I love Jason Bourne. He's da man. No messing around, just a stud period. LeeAnn's more of a Jack Bauer kind of guy. Puts family first, yet still got that stud element to him. We often talk about our culture and the pressure that women face when it comes to beauty. I believe that as guys, we also face our own identity issues and struggle with comparison when it comes to achivement, success, and power. It leads us to the question, what does it mean to be a man?
In Jewish culture, there was something called the Bar Mitzvah which is this process of developing from childhood to manhood. Bar means son of and Mitzvah means the law. As the children learned the law, then at some point, they would be held responsible and accountable for the things that they learned.
At the core of what they learned was the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. This is it. This is the center. This is what drives a person whose heart is after God. So often we are driven by money or success, but the Shema reminds us that what compels us is God's love for us and our love for Him. Everything else flows from that. It is God's love that compels us to be part of the redemptive plan of this world to restore all things to Him. It is God's love through us that compels us to love otheres and see them made in the image of God and treat them with dignity and respect. It is God's love and acceptace of us that makes us realize that it is not what we do, but what He has done that matters. It is this grace that enables us to extend grace to others. It is this kind of love that allows us to follow Jesus to serve others and give ourselves away and pursue the posture of the first shall be last and the last shall be first.
As we are reminded by 2 Cor 5:14, For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. May we learn to allow our faith to lead us in developing a vision for what it means to be a man or woman of God. May we learn to live out the Shema in our everyday that others might see and understand this incredible love and hope that we have in our faith in Jesus.