Thoughts from a Men’s Retreat

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” (1 Sam. 16:7)

I wanted to share the 10 main points that a speaker shared this weekend at a Men’s Retreat I attended. The theme was “Men of Godly Character”. Of course all of these apply to women as well.

[Add: = my own comments inserted]

Men of Godly Character…
1) …are excited to communicate w/ God
2) …understand the value of the Holy Spirit
3) …know the absolute relevance of TRUTH [Add: Jesus being the TRUTH]
4) …understand how to apply TRUTH and submit their will to the will of God [Add: as modeled by Jesus]
5) …take God’s character as the source of our own character
6) …get their work ethic from God
7) …are generous and give fearlessly, joyfully, without strings, expectantly, lavishly, and often anonymously [Add: to expand God’s kingdom]
8) …are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a witness [Add: for Christ]
9) …love to be discipled and disciple others [Add: in the ways of Christ]
10) …are quick to forgive, to extend grace, love, and reconciliation (and also do not take offense easily)

I don’t think this list is exhaustive by any means, but I can see some of the primary things that should characterize us as men of God captured in this list in one way or another. What we must be careful to focus on is that each of these is centered fully on Christ, His work on the cross, and our purpose of being called to the Great Commission.

Boiling it down, this is how I would summarize this particular list in my own words: A man of godly character is a man that continuously prays, reads the Word, relies on the Holy Spirit, sees Jesus (and His teachings) as absolute truth, applies that truth to his life, submits to God, displays the fruit of the Spirit, does everything as he would do it unto the Lord, gives of himself generously, lives as a witness for Christ, disciples others, is quick to forgive, and extends grace and love to all.

All in all, I think that’s a pretty fair list and something we can assess our own lives against to see where we are excelling and where we may need improvement.

I would also add the following as core competencies for “men of godly character”:
– They center everything they do around Christ… family, ministry, work, activities, etc.
– They walk in humility, integrity, purity, and love
– They are spiritual leaders in their households and relationships
– They consistently point others to Jesus and His redeeming sacrifice on the cross
– They meditate on God’s Word and pray continuously, relying on Scripture as their source of instruction and godly living
– They live for the purpose of loving and worshipping God, loving others as they love themselves, and carrying out the Great Commission

Remember as the 1 Samuel 16:7 says above, God doesn’t look at our outward appearance or accomplishments, but rather looks at our heart. That is how our true character is defined.

I challenge each of us to take time to review and pray over these lists, to identify areas of improvement for ourselves, and then to ask God to strengthen us in those areas and give us opportunities to put them into practice.  May the Lord richly bless you in your spiritual life as you do so!

[From October 29, 2018]

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