Micah 6:8 “He hath showed thee O man what is good, and what is good and what doth the Lord require, but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
I am led to simply challenge soul brothers to Maximize their Potential. My target audience is Black African-American brothers. I am radically following Jesus of Nazareth who according to the writer of John, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not, but as many as received Him to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” John 1:11-12.
In Christology it is called Jewish particularism. Jesus started with His own Jewish ethnic group. Then He went to the universal (“but as many as received Him”). Before we attempt to go universal, let’s begin with the particular…our house. As a race we have listened to too many voices attempting to define us and make us who they want us to be. It is a form of mental enslavement. When it comes to Brothers it appears that we are losing the war. One must engage in multiple battles in order to win the war. Whenever I can engage a brother in conversation, my goal is to make sure he knows and understand you do not have to become who the mass media has predicted you to become. Black men are denigrated and yet imitated. Others fear our strength… now let them fear our person-hood in God. In Part 11, I project seven (7) Manhood challenges.
Part I Twenty-five (25) Important Manhood Challenging Questions
- Do you love God supremely?
- Do you love people?
- Do you genuinely love your family?
- Do you authentically love your church?
- Do you take an annual physical exam?
- Are you the leader in your family?
- Have you set short term and long range goals?
- Have you prioritized your goals? Educational and Career goals?
- Do you have family discussions at times other than a crisis? Prayer?
- Are you a good steward of money?
- Do you have money conflicts in your family?
- Do you understand what constitutes conflict?
- Are you too busy to demonstrate love to people who are near?
- Have you developed strategies and set boundaries for your personal life? Family?
- How do you handle resistance to your authority?
- Do you know the relationship between example and authority?
- How do you handle disunity and disloyalty in your circle?
- Have you ascertained why people do not cooperate when you expect?
- Are you a control person? Can one be in control without being controlling?
- Do you have daily private devotions?
- Are you willing to take risks to grow as a person?
- Can you handle criticism?
- Can others disagree with you without affecting their relationship with you?
- Do you have a potential Sampson in you? Judges 16: 18 f
“Sitting in a church does not make a man a Christian any more than sitting in a hen house makes a man a hen.” – E. Stanley Jones in Growing Spiritually
The Biblical Mandate: 1 Corinthians 4: 1-2– (JB) “People must think of us as Christ servants entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of this trust.”
PART 11 SEVEN CHALLENGES TOWARD CHRISTIAN MANHOOD
- BROTHERS KNOW WHO YOU ARE (Identity) 1 John 3:2 CHRISTIAN
▪ Self-knowledge is the key to empowerment Proverbs 1: 7ff
▪ If you know who you are culturally no one can define you
▪ If you know who you are spiritually no one can destroy you
▪ Loving God supremely is the key to maximizing your potential
- BROTHERS BE A PRIEST IN YOUR HOME (Security) 1 Timothy 3:5
▪ As a leader, learn to submit to each other
▪ As a provider, make sure basic necessities are in place
▪ As a protector, provide a sense of security for household
- BROTHERS BE A PRIEST TO OTHERS (Covering) 1 Peter 2: 5
▪ Be willing to heal and restore broken relationships
▪ Be tolerant (Matt 7:1) the very person we judge may be favored by God
▪ Brothers must be willing to tell others what they do not want to hear in love
- BROTHERS PLEASE WALK IN INTEGRITY (Integrity) Proverbs 11:3
▪ Take charge of your feelings and be willing to admit mistakes
▪ Be resolute and refuse to be drawn into conflict by others
▪ Be honest, sowing and reaping is a part of divine order
- BROTHERS MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE (Responsible) Proverbs 8: 20
▪ Think of discipline as learning and not punishment
▪ Be willing to be accountable as you hold others accountable
▪ Submit to leadership
- BROTHERS MUST WALK IN MATURITY (Maturity) Hebrews 6:1
▪ Perfection is the biblical name for maturity
▪ Spiritual discipline leads to maturity
▪ Holiness and the Spirit-filled life is the goal Heb. 12:14 – Eph. 5:18
- BROTHERS ARE CHALLENGED TO WALK IN EXCELLENCE Micah 6:22
▪ What does God require of us
▪ Be a living sacrifice to God Romans 12:1
▪ Acceptable to God
A Concluding Word: It is time for us who perceive ourselves as Fathers in the faith to “pass the baton” to young future leaders so that they will go beyond our accomplishments. In oppressed communities of color throughout this land we cannot tolerate not even one more unlawful shooting of another brother. Brothers we can ill afford the tragedy of killing each other. There is no perfect Church on earth. Look for a Church that is Kingdom oriented and Christocentric and not people-centered. As radical followers of Jesus Christ we are called to “pierce the darkness” in a troubled world. It it past time for brothers to take their rightful place in this society, in this land that we labored to build. This is our time and this is our season.
“Have a funeral service and bury your old dead words and attitudes and put a no resurrection sign over them” – E. Stanley Jones in Growing Spiritually
Follow me at the Agora-www.theagora.net (look for the marketplace of ideas) where truth is spoken and never compromised.”
Dr. Leonard Lovett, COGIC, theologian, ethicist – Ecumenical Officer, emeritus