by Bill Denton
"The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2, NASV).
"Small boys learn to be large men in the presence of large men who care about small boys." -Phyllis Therous
We need some big men. I'm not talking about the relative physical size of the person. I'm talking about men big in mind, heart, and spirit. Our world suffers when the only ones available are men whose pinched minds and hearts and puny spirits keep us in the grip of their meager abilities.
We need men, especially in the church, who are big. We need men whose faith is big, whose minds are big enough to think through the complicated problems to help us understand God's solutions. We need men whose hearts are big, not stifled and stilted. We need men big enough to love, compassionate enough to act, and secure enough to risk what it takes to help those who hurt. We need men who are big on action instead of absent or unseen.
However, as much as we need big men, we must also face the question about how such men develop. It is always the rare man who is truly big. The truth is that most men are small. Fear, insecurity, and uncertainty keep most men in the little leagues. They are happy for somebody else to rise to the occasion and lead the way. We are probably not going to change that situation.
Still, we need some big men. Where do we get them? Phyllis Therous provides an excellent clue. Mostly, we get big men from small boys who are blessed by being in the presence of big men. Most men need at least encouragement from others, and especially an example and model. (Of course, even without godly human father-figures, there is always the ultimate Father-figure, God Himself-so no one can claim bad example as an excuse for not measuring up.)
When the Apostle Paul envisioned the responsibility of developing faithfulness in others, he understood that it would happen as one faithful man invested himself in another man, who could, in turn, do the same with yet another man. It is one man with big faith, investing in another man to help him develop a big faith, who will then help another man develop a big faith. That is how it works best. Big men know the importance of passing big things down the line.
Today, we face a legion of obstacles, problems, challenges, and opportunities. Little men will simply not get the job done. It will take big men to take the gospel to the world. It will take big men to get out of their comfortable habits, to take some risks, to put forth the energy and effort to get the Lord's work done. Why do we not have more big men ready to take on the job? It may be that we've spent far too much time in the company of little men. Stand up, men. Step up to the plate. Be big. Nothing else will succeed.
© 2003, Dr. Bill Denton
All rights reserved.
Dr. Denton's book, CrossTies Devotionals,
is available at www.lulu.com
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