When a team participates in a game the outcome does not hinge on the efforts of one man alone. Sure, there are times when an individual shines and carries his teammates on his back with a spectacular performance. However, one player will not defeat an entire team. It takes a group of men who have worked closely together over time to achieve victory. Men who have spent countless hours together and know each other’s thoughts and movements before they occur. Their triumph over their opponent is the result of time spent together, encouraging one other, and holding each individual accountable for their actions.
A group of people who find sustainable success is not made up of people who are all the same. They are individuals who possess different giftings but share the same vision. They complement one another. Some call it “being on the same page”. It’s like singing in a group. If all the voices are the same with everyone in unison it may not make for a melodious sound. However, when people with different types of voices sing in harmony it can make a beautiful song. It is much like us as men choosing an inner circle. We need men with diverse backgrounds who have different perspectives and experiences, but their common goal is to inspire and encourage us as well as hold us accountable for our words and actions.
Life is too difficult to navigate it on our own. We need three types of men in our lives for us to have a healthy balance: men who speak life into us, men we walk side by side with, and men that we share our wisdom with. We all need a Paul, a Barnabus, and a Timothy. We learn about these 3 people in the Bible. Paul goes from a guy actively persecuting Christians to writing roughly half of the New Testament. Barnabus and Paul worked together as missionaries. They encouraged one another and did great things in the early days of the church. Timothy was one of the men who Paul mentored and two of the books that Paul wrote were penned to him (1st and 2nd Timothy).
Paul- The men who give you wisdom
Let’s cut to the chase. We all need some old dudes in our lives. Guys who have spent more time on this earth getting their butts kicked by life and learning from their mistakes. These are men we need to speak into us. Granted we learn through our own mess ups, but think about it, isn’t it better to learn from someone who has already traveled that path? Someone who can warn us about what lies ahead. It is imperative that we seek out men that we respect (hopefully one is your dad) who can help guide us and we can go to in a time of need. This always doesn’t have to be someone older than you, but it does need to be a man who has more experience in the areas that you need help. Seek out men who you trust and love you. They will be the ones you can count on.
“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.”Proverbs 16:31, ESV
Barnabus- The men you walk with
Barney Fife is really not the image I am trying to convey here because his character is a bit goofy, but when you think about it, he was always loyal to his buddy Andy. Loyalty is key when you choose your running mates. You need guys who have that “ride or die” mentality. They will stand by you regardless of the situation. However, you don’t need yes men. You need accountability partners who will call you out when you’re not living right. These are men you live everyday life with. You encourage each other, spend time together, and learn from one another. Some of these men you have known since grade school, but others you just met last year. It’s not the length of time you have known them. It’s the commitment to hold each other accountable that is the strongest bond in these relationships.
“My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too.”Galatians 6:1, GNT
Timothy- The men you speak into
When you get to this stage in life it is a true blessing. Think about it. God is now entrusting His own kids to you. Yeah, the dude in the mirror who has messed up countless times but like a prize fighter you keep getting up off the canvas. Why? For times like this. To be put in a situation where now you can use your wisdom and life experiences to speak life into the next generation of husbands, fathers, and leaders in our society. This is a mantle you should strive towards. Sometimes God will bring these men to you and other times you need to search men out and offer yourself to them. It’s really not that hard. You just need to make yourself available and ask God to use you. This will take time away from other things in life so make sure that when doing this you don’t alienate your direct family like your wife and kids. Remember that “no” or “later when I have more time” are powerful statements that set boundaries.
“Instruct the wise, and he will be wiser still; teach the righteous, and he will learn more.”Proverbs 9:9, CSB
Here are some things to think about and apply to your life:
- Seek out men in all 3 areas (Paul, Barnabus, & Timothy).
- Pray to God and ask Him to use you in a way that brings glory to Him.
- Search for Christian authors in print and online to inspire you and give you more content to share with others.
Tonight, I will be speaking at our men’s bible study group at Impact Church and sharing this message with them. Please pray that God will use me in a mighty way to inspire and encourage the guys with His word. God receives all the glory when He uses us to reach others and I am humbled that He continues to choose me. I pray that blessings over every one of you who are reading or listening to this blog today.
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