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So, what does it mean to be a great man and how do we become one? Men are called to pursue being the man that God designed them to be. Jesus Christ lived and walked this earth 2000 years ago. He felt everything we felt, and was tempted in the same ways we are tempted. That is why Jesus is our perfect role model. Men are called to be servant-leaders, to be the spiritual leader of our homes, while serving our families. We are called to live as role models in our workplace and community, as well. In fact, the best measure of a man is not by what is spoken, rather by what is unspoken, and observed by others. Men are called to represent God’s heart to those around us, practice forgiveness when we are hurt, and live a life above reproach.

A Man After God’s Heart

Let’s look to King David from the Old Testament.  Acts 13:14 says that David was a man after God’s own heart. That should be our pursuit, as well. David sought the Lord with passion and fervor, and he was great because he was patient and waited on the Lord. When he was facing adversity, he sought God’s guidance and protection. When David was in awe of Almighty God, he worshipped him with songs of praise. At those moments when David was brokenhearted, he turned to God for comfort, refuge and strength. In the same way, we must walk out the desire that God has for us, as men. So, whatever David did to seek God’s heart, we can do, too!

Humbled and Repentant

You may ask, what made David a great man? It wasn’t the fact that he slayed a giant. David was great at being a repenter. How he handled failure was also an admirable quality. David made some terrible choices in his life. He had an affair with his general’s wife, then tried to cover it up by having the general killed. But, when he was confronted with his list of failures, he humbled himself, took the rebuke, and repented.

Sadly, we don’t use the word, repent very much anymore, even though we should. Repent in its literal form means to change your mind. How do we respond as men, when we are confronted with struggles, mistakes, or failures? Do we stand firm in our actions, defending ourselves? Are we so arrogant to think we know we were right? Do we ask why we are being challenged in those areas of weakness? Are we angry when we are convicted of our poor choices? Instead of these reactions to conviction, we must repent, change our minds to act according to God’s Design for Manhood.

Honest and Unashamed

In Psalm 51 David prayed a prayer of repentance after he was confronted by the prophet Nathan regarding his fall into sin with Bathsheba. David was honest before God, which is another character trait of a great man. He confessed his transgressions to God Almighty. He asked God to cleanse him, wash him, and be made whiter than snow. David pleaded with the Lord to “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me” (verse 10). He longed to be forgiven, to be made whole and complete again in the eyes of God. David was willing to bear the consequences for his decisions because he knew the need for God’s forgiveness was greater than the humiliation he would have to face. Finally, he was unashamed of his relationship with God. He danced and worshiped the Lord in public, without any concern for the thoughts of others. David He prayed with passion and fervor.

What can you learn from David from the Old Testament? Seek God with your whole heart, be unashamed of your relationship with Him, and worship Him freely. Pursue humility, pray, and repent when you have sinned. Be patient, and wait upon the Lord. Acknowledge that you will make mistakes, but rely on the Spirit of God living inside you to give you guidance along the way. These are the qualities of a great man. Go be the man God designed you to be!

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Jim Bradford
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