“Man” is given to us, so we will have something to live up to. Every man is supposed to embody a set of values and a belief system such that he becomes a model for all others. It is of utmost importance that every man should conceive of himself as a model, a sort of blueprint for society as a whole.
One of my assignments as a man is to live in such a way that my life becomes “footsteps” that others can follow. In the Bible, certain men stood out because their lives, their values, their belief systems and the expressions of their gifts and callings became a “way” others must follow. People who came after them were rebuked for not walking in their ways or footsteps. Every man must succeed at becoming someone to live up to.
I have taken the time to compare two men in biblical times. These were two very successful men. If they were to live in our modern times, they would still be successful. Their names are Nabal and Job. I compared the successes of these men and guess what I found? Nabal was a wealthy man. Very successful in material terms. He earned the envy, respect, and fear of his contemporaries because of his attainment in both the material and financial world. His status as a man of wealth was intimidating. However, when you draw the curtain and strip him of his wealth, position, and probably titles, all you will find is an empty man. He wasn’t rich in character. Something was wrong with the quality of man he was. The quality of man you are as a person is what makes you a “gift”, a model, a blueprint and a footstep that must be followed. You could admire Nabal’s success, but you couldn’t copy his lifestyle.
Job, on the other hand, went through a season of trials that stripped him of everything he owned. All of his wealth and possession were gone with the wind. However, underneath all his wealth and deep within his heart, we find integrity. When devastating experiences reduced Job’s outward possession and status, we discover that the root, the foundation, the bedrock of his success was that he was a man of integrity. Crises unveil us. When you are reduced to “you,” whatever is left is what you have got to offer. That is your real success. Success is the quality of person you are. People want to look at the quality of person you are and gain wisdom and instructions for their lives.
“Nabal”s” are not transferable; they make bad models. They destroy the fabric of society. Only “Job’s” are a gift to society. Become a man of value. Don’t be known for your success alone, rather be known for your values. Be recognized for the quality of person you have become, and the one you are becoming.
How does one move towards becoming a blueprint or a model for others? Every man who wants to become a master plan for others must define his “yes” and his “no” in life. Your “yes” and “no” must be so loud and clear that no one is confused about where you stand or what you represent in life. Your “yes” and your “no” should not mix. It is becoming increasingly difficult to stand for something in an age where there are no rights or wrongs any longer. Rights and wrongs are defined these days as differences in opinion or as merely a different point of view. A man’s most important job is to define values for his family. Everyone is, of course, entitled to his opinions…but it does matter what the opinion is. Some opinions are wrong doors. They lead astray. We need the men in our lives to teach us values. We need them to help raise standards for us – at home and in the nation.
Let me conclude this article by saying that your work as a man is defined or described in at least four simple sentences:
- What you initiate
- What you promote
- What you protect, and
- What you pass on
Every man is a father. A father in the sense that he is to become an originator; an initiator of something. You must develop the courage to rise and set the ball rolling. Something of worth must begin with you. Every man has this capacity.
As men look around, they must take notice of the good things around you and promote them. Lend your voice and support to the good causes. Develop the habit of not being indifferent. Help support what is good.
Every man has an assignment to protect something. Whatever is not protected becomes lost. It either becomes stolen, or it erodes. So many good values have become eroded because they were not protected in our homes and various institutions. There is a warrior in every man. Every warrior must arise and fight to protect what is true and right for the good of all.
Men must develop long-term thinking. Short-term thinking is risky. Some of the stands we take today may have some short-term benefit, but they come back to haunt us in the long term. What are the trans-generational consequences of the values we have embraced as a family, community or nation?
Batons were passed on to us as men; one day it will be our turn to pass on the baton. We must pass on the right baton.
About the author
Chris Ehidiamen is a chemical engineering graduate, writer, and minister. He is passionate about human development and spiritual impartation, and dedicated part of his undergraduate years reaching out to his peers at the University of Benin through campus fellowship meetings and initiatives. He still speaks across different campuses in Nigeria and organizes the spiritual empowerment summit called the “City Shakers” in Lagos. His global outreach has enabled him participate in a leadership training in South Dakota and also minister in New Jersey, USA. You can connect with him on Twitter via @ChrisEhidiamen.