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reflections on being a Christian man, part 1
Some events seem to give pause for additional consideration, and this one did that to me. Each of us is created by God in His image and likeness [Gn 1:26 Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. ...]. Each of us is unique in all of creation. Each of us is expected to use the many different gifts and talents for the common good. Dennis is answering his call.
What is there about me, as a man [male], as a Christian man at that, that should make me stand out and be a reflection of that which God intended me to be? I want to share with you some thoughts along that line - thoughts that started en route driving 9 hours to Memphis. I intend this to be a continuing reflection for several weeks of Sundays. Join me in these reflections.
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Of the first things I've considered, those that seem of most importance to me are the qualities that define the character of the Christian man. First and foremost in my development of manly Christian character are issues of taking responsibility before God. I am responsible ... I am not a victim of some heavenly prank. This realization carries with it a lot of gravitas - weight, heaviness, significance.
- "Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely. Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
- If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
In our society and culture, money is a medium of exchange. I exchange money with others for things and services held by them. They exchange money with me to obtain things and services from me. I am responsible to use that money wisely. It is God's money. I am charged with looking after it and using it for His purposes and designs.
The notion of tithing comes to mind. A portion of that money needs to go directly to God's work. For me that means financial support to His church and other charitable works. It cannot be just what I have left over - it needs to be significant, and needs to allow for almsgiving, also.
Additionally, in the order of manly character development, I need to join with other like-minded men and take responsibility for the wider social groupings with which I come into contact in my neighborhood, city, state, and nation. Governments are in place for the broader common good. The micro level is my responsibility. I need to be "my brothers' keeper".
[to be continued next Sunday]
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