This post was written much later in the day than I normally post. I've struggled with the thought about how to identity a good man - and how to help men develop into better men. I wanted to lean on the scriptures very heavily and provide kind of a 1-2-3 roadmap to becoming a better man, a man of God. I feel like I failed. I've spent a couple of days going through stories about Ahab and Boaz and David and Joseph and Solomon and others. I've read about unnamed prophets, kings and other representatives of the kingdom of God for models.
I found a lot of deeply flawed characters.
In fact, only Joseph gets away without any criticism. Even then, a lot of modern teachers will try to inject some into his story and find fault where the Bible doesn't indicate any. Yet even looking at Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc., you find a lot of despicable acts, doubts, crimes and general nastiness. It's really remarkable how God used so many folks who had so skeletons in their closets.
That's where I finally found my definition of a "good man" that I could go with. Because what is the common denominators between all these men? What qualities bind them together in the history of the faith? Maybe if we can hone in on a few of them, we can learn more about what it is to be a true man of God in our times?
1. A good man follows God's purpose for their lives no matter the cost. A good man will pass up temptations to get off path with his life. He will be focused. He will be determined to do what the Lord has placed on his heart. This is not about ministry; it's about purpose. It's about design. A good man will fight to be who he was created to be. It might look ugly, but he will be unbending and that is admirable.
2. A good man walks in humility. The bottom line is most good men don't consider themselves to be that good. If you find a guy who's committed to pronounce his own greatness, I'd advise you to run the other way! I've said it before, a proud man doesn't learn and he sure doesn't care about receiving advice. He won't listen to his wife, either. Chuck Swindoll once said that a man who won't listen to a godly wife is a fool. I agree. A good man listens to wise counsel.
3. A good man never gives up on God or themselves. A good man keeps going even when suffering setbacks. You see, when you go through the life stories of the patriarchs you see as much failure as you see success. One thing you never see is quitting. You'll see repentance and promises made to the Lord to be better and do better - even remorse up until their deaths in some cases. A man of God doesn't stay down when knocked down or when he falls. He doesn't stay down when it's his own failing that put him down. A good man gets up tomorrow.
When you have such a man, you have someone special. He'll still screw up, disappoint you, forget important dates, act insensitive. What he won't do is stop trying to get better. He may not be Prince Charming. But Prince Charming is a fairy tale. Real men have done and still do nasty things from time to time. But praise God for them. We need them and their energy and their drive and their courage more than ever.
Even with all that said, I'm sure most of our readers care most about where these men are hiding. Another day...