In Luke 21, Jesus is talking about the future when he says, “They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me” (v. 12-13). Could the time come when men of God will be called upon to testify in difficult times? To name the name of Jesus in our day is much more risky than just ten years ago. How will you respond in adversity? Consider the number of times Jesus warned his followers about being “hated.”
The following definition of the masculinity came to mind, when I ponder being a godly man in our culture. “The power to honor the truth – to speak it and be it – is at the heart of true masculinity.” (Leanne Payne). Truth is hard to come by in our Post-modern age, when our culture has accepted the proposition that truth is relative. Paul warned us, “You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages” (II Tim 2:3-4 – The Message).
I am personally grieved at the manner in which “church people” are being blinded to the truth. A cloud of deception seems to prevent many from seeing what is happening in our culture. I sometimes feel like a “watchmen on the walls” wanting to cry out, “Don’t you see what is on the horizon.” Jesus warned of this when He quoted Isaiah: “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes” (Matt 13:14-15).
Men, I trust that you want to be a “truth-teller” in our culture. The true masculine expression will honor the truth. Godly men will not only speak truthfully but also live by the truth Our intention and commitment must be settled. We will live by the truth, no matter what. So what does that look like?
This is how I see it for my own life. First, acceptance of Scripture as the expression of “objective reality.” This is how reality works. Secondly, to be a humble, loving follower of the truth. This means allowing Jesus to transform my life from the inside out. No secrets. Thirdly, desire to live a life of integrity. Head and heart flow together. Fourthly, to live an authentic life. What you see is the real me. Fifthly, admit and confess when I have failed to live up to the truth. “Lord, help me to be an honest man in all areas of my life.”
Finally, remember the wonderful promise of Jesus: “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you” (John 8:32 – The Message). Truth will free you from that self-enclosed, dark, fearful, insecure, lonely hiding place within, bringing you into the light, allowing you to live freely.