by Clayton McClure • High School Assistant Principal
We live in a day and age where we just don’t want to grow up! Men are not acting like men and they are still hanging on to boyish traits and tendencies. Why is there so much confusion?
I am not saying that we can’t have fun! It is all about the timing of our fun and also knowing when we need to lock in and be focused. Those who know me know that I love to have fun, but I also know when it is time to be serious and focus on the task at hand. I truly believe what is lacking in our culture is men who now how to have this balance in their life. To quote Matt Chandler, the teaching pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, Texas, “I know a lot of 38-year-old boys who know how to shave.” Just because I have facial hair or of a certain age does not make me a man, but that is what the culture it telling us!
1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”Let’s look at three aspects of this verse! First of all, when I was a child, I spoke like a child. In our culture today, many of us still talk about very childish and immature topics. Sometimes we will discuss things that are immature just to be relevant to those around us. Trust me, the younger generation does not find it cool when the older generation tries to act like them. What they are longing for is someone to look up to and one who models the way a Christian man should act. The Apostle Paul asks others to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1Cor. 4:16, 11:1). That should be our goal as Christian men!
The second aspect of this verse addresses my thought life. What am I putting in my mind? What am I watching? What am I reading? What am I listening to? What am I searching for on the internet? Many of us are putting silly, trivial, irreverent things in our mind. When we fill our minds with foolish things, we tend to act foolishly! Philippians 4:8 sums it up, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Don’t take my word for it, the previous verse is very clear about what we need to fill our minds with!
The final aspect of this verse talks about our reasoning. Do you see the progression? If my words and my thought life are wrong, my reasoning will always be off base. Reason can by defined as having good logic and sense. There is no way we can have good logic and sense if continually fill our minds with fruitless matters. How can we be discerning if we consistently run after the things in this world that have no eternal value whatsoever? Take a look at the following verses:
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spiritsof the world, and not according to Christ.”
Hosea 14:9 “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Proverbs 15:14 “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.”
Scripture calls to renew our minds! You may ask, “How do I renew my mind?”. Daily you must run to His Word (the BIBLE) and fill your heart and mind with His truth. There is no greater way to start your day than to be in the scriptures. Let’s be honest, when we are not consistently reading the Bible and spending time in prayer, we can easily resort back to our childish ways. Please know that this not a battle just for young men, it is something that we will continually fight until the Lord calls us home. There are many days that must ask myself this question, “Am I making a boy decision, or man decision? Am I responding like a boy WOULD or am I responding like man SHOULD?” We must be willing to ask ourselves tough questions! Not only ask them, but to respond honestly and begin to make change in our lives. When we begin and continue this process we can begin to make an impact on the next generation. By the way, the first “man decision,” is to allow Holy Spirit to take charge and lead!
Clayton McClure came to ELCA in 2001 to teach English, Bible, and Public Speaking. Since then, he has taught at the high school and middle school levels. In 2010, he became the Assistant Principal for the Middle School. Prior to coming to ELCA, he taught and coached at Mt. Zion Christian Academy for two years. He graduated from Toccoa Falls College with a Bachelor of Science degree. He has been married to his wife Heidi since 1998 and they have three boys (Ethan, Micah, and Jonah) who all attend ELCA. He and his family are actively involved at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church.