After giving a brief and humorous history of men’s sessions at Steubenville throughout the years, Mike Gormley launched right into speaking to us about what it means to be man.
Throughout the history of civilization, the definition of what it means to be a man has undergone significant changes and shifts. In some cultures, manhood has been associated with initiation rituals, and in some cultures the definition of manhood has been conveyed to younger men by their fathers.
Sadly, legitimate initiation rituals and role modeling are often lacking in American culture; therefore, some of us are struggling, and many of us don’t really know who we are. When we don’t know who we are, we can easily become passive and weak. But this is not God’s plan for us.
One of the quotes that Mike shared was from a book called Wild at Heart by John Eldridge:
“I always wanted to play the knight, but I never wanted to bleed like one.”
That’s powerful. Our desires to be strong men (as good as they are) need to strengthened by a willingness to fight the important battles God calls us to fight. And, in order to fight, we need to be strong. We need to be willing to go into the battle, to be willing to suffer, to endure the trial. And when we do so, we build character.
The central defining aspect of what it means to be a man is strength. To gain strength in our faith, it is essential that we understand Scripture. If we don’t understand God’s Word, the weakest of arguments will cause our faith to collapse, and this must not be the case!
Mike then reminded us of the story of David & Goliath; even though David was small in stature, he was the Lord’s anointed. Check out the confidence David had because of his relationship with the Lord:
David answered him [Goliath]: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted. Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will feed your dead body and the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle belongs to the Lord, who shall deliver you into our hands.
Mike asked each one of us to consider:
Who or what is the Goliath in your life? What keeps you from becoming the man God created you to be?
With the Lord on our side, and by developing an increasingly stronger relationship with Him, we can experience victory over the giants, those things that keep us from being the men that God created us to be.
You can listen to the full audio of Mike’s talk by clicking on the link at the top of this blog.
“If we are drawing our identity from our achievements – from anything other than Jesus – we are building a castle on sand.”
“Your identity is rooted in the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
“Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17