Building Hardihood in Today’s Christian Man
By Bryan Van Slyke
It is not the man standing at the pew staring off into oblivion that displays the hardihood characteristics; instead it is the man on his knees at the front of the church. His presence there requires courage, boldness and confidence.
It is these traits that he will take with him from that moment. It is these traits that God will use to make him strong. And not just for that day, but the many days to come.
Hardihood noun bold, daring, courageous, strength, vigor.
When was the last time you heard this word? Have you ever heard of this word?
The characteristics of hardihood describe a man who is willing to be bold and take daring steps. But even more, it describes a man who is able to stand up when he falls or is resistant when facing failures or challenges.
In other words he is not afraid to face a challenge and he is ready to pick himself up off the floor if he fails. Can you say this about yourself?
Common Places Christian Men Struggle With Hardihood
First of all, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty. Guilty as charged. I can’t count the times that I’ve said the phrases like the following:
o This will be the last time I do that (insert sin)
o Today is a fresh start
o Only one more time
o I’ll do that tomorrow
o I’ll ask for forgiveness later
I have fallen victim to these lies in the past and I will fall to these lies in the future. I’m human and I make mistakes. The first problem with these phrases is that they represent a weak and passive man. The man who says these words over and over again has created a lie in himself. Although he knows they are lies, he proceeds to do the “sin” and ask for forgiveness later. This does not display the characteristics of hardihood. In fact, these phrases say the complete opposite.
A Man of God displaying the true hardihood characteristics might get to a point where he says one of the lines above, but the big difference will be that he sticks to it! You must say the line you choose everyday and be honest with the actions and results. Not matter how hard it may seem.
The Challenge of Hardihood
The real challenge doesn’t lie in starting something, it lies in committing to something.(TWEET THAT)Over two years ago now I started writing this Blog. I needed a way out of saying the common phrases mentioned above. I needed something beyond the Sunday morning sermon. I needed more of God. This is the challenge of hardihood. To start something and stick with it no matter what.
Persistent courage. Resilient attitude. Active learning and listening. The hardihood lifestyle requires each man to continue down the path he started the day he said, “Today’s a fresh start.” But won’t there be hard times? Won’t there be moments when I am tempted to masturbate? Won’t there be moments when I want to lust after women again? Won’t there be moments when I want another drink? Won’t there be moments where I don’t want to go to Church or seek out God? Yes! Yes! Yes!
These times separate the men from the boys. When these moments arise and challenge us, we must stand firm to the promise we made to ourselves and to God. Fresh start. Fresh start. Not at this moment, but still the moment in the past when you said it. This is the true challenge of hardihood.
So Why Are Men Failing And What Can You Do?
I believe men are afraid to go to that next level. It’s much safer to follow a football team through the good and the bad. It’s much safer to ask for forgiveness later and, when you’re living from day today, it just seems easier. The hard fact is that it’s not easier, in fact its harder. Tomorrow will face the same struggles as today because you are not willing to take the necessary long-term steps. So what can you do to change?
Encourage Each Other
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ” Encourage one another and build each other up.” On the day that you decide to say on of the phrases above or decide to make a bold change in your life, tell someone. Tell a fellow brother or close family member and have them keep you accountable. Honesty and openness is a must. Express, your fresh start and allow someone to help you keep it fresh!
God Is Faithful
2 Thessalonians 3:3 ” The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” God knows your heart and he knows when you really mean you want a fresh start. It’s critical to remember that God will give you the strength to move to the next level. Personally, I have continued to fight some hard times, but God protects, strengthens and has always been faithful to me. Ask for his strength daily!
Hebrews 12:3 ” Consider him who endured the cross and such opposition from sinful men, so that you will no grow weary and lose heart.” When I think of the word hardihood, I honestly think of Jesus. He was faced with numerous kinds of risky feats and ventures, yet he continued to walk his path. With more charisma and more character than any of us could ever hope for, Jesus endured it all for us. The next time you say something closely related to the phrases above, think about the life and death of Jesus.
He followed through on his word, now we need to follow through on ours.
Be the man on his knees in the front, not the man standing in the pew waiting for something to happen. Be the man who sticks to his word no matter what. Be a strong man of God carrying the heavy characteristics of hardihood.
Faced with opposition or hard decisions, how were you able to tough it out and get through it? Were you able to display some hardihood characteristics? Share in the comments below.
From: www.manturity.com web site. April 2014.
The above article, “Building Hardihood in Today’s Christian Man,” was written by Bryan Van Slyke. The article was excerpted from www.maturity.com. The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.