Are you a treasure or a rotten apple?

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psa. 1:1-3).  What kind of man are you?  I know men that are honorable and strong.  Their loyalty to God and their family are beyond question.  When you see how they treat the love of their life, you cannot but admire them.  They do not belittle, denigrate, or mock them but rather encourage with both words and actions.  They understand the value of a loving wife and are proud to be called her husband.  They desire to bring up their children in the way of the Lord, and that is always at the heart of their relationship with them.

They observe and delight in the small things their kids do and are always available for school events.  They are never afraid to play childish games with them because they know the importance of their presence.  They encourage them with love and words of affirmation, and their lives are examples of devoted Christians to all who know them.  They are not afraid to discipline but do so only when necessary and in a manner appropriate for the situation.  Every night witnesses them on their knees, praying fervently for every single member of their family as well as their friends. This kind of man protects those he loves with fierce determination and is not afraid to die for them if necessary.  They can usually be seen with a Bible in their hand, and everything they do is directed by it.  Not ashamed of displaying their love, a hug and a kiss are always available, and their strong arms are a refuge to their children and even their wives when they are afraid.  They are the epitome of courage, integrity, and trustworthiness, and more than one time, you will hear someone say, “I want to be like him when I grow up.”

 

But, I also know the antithesis of this man.  Those men are angry, afraid they will not be seen as “strong” and will use any means necessary to be seen as such.  These individuals sideline love, and screaming, cursing, and hatred are liberally spewed out in an attempt to take control of everyone forcefully.  They are not loved but feared, and compliance to them is not willing or out of respect, but to prevent overly harsh consequences.  They respect no opinion besides themselves, and the word “sorry” is never uttered by them.  They often can be heard boasting about their female conquests even though they are married and delight in sinful and immoral practices.  They don’t encourage but rather constantly scold, berate, and tear down, replacing their victim’s self-confidence with insecurity and doubt.

They find fault with everything and everyone and are never satisfied with anything.  They thrive on forced control, and punishment is self-empowering.  Unfortunately for their victim, the harsher the punishment, the more satisfied and empowered they feel.  They think they are “all that,” but they are not.  They are weak, afraid, and self-centered, bullies who have no empathy and little to no self-control.  They are disloyal, bear false witness, display no integrity, and are not trustworthy.  No one wants to be like them, and few people call them “friend.”  They are disloyal and will stab you in the back at the drop of a hat.

Which one do you think is a man-of-God?  Which one are you?  Do people delight in your presence or fear it?  Will they treasure your memory until the day they die, or discard it like a rotten apple and never think of it again?

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