Four Faces Of Folly

Steve Arterburn

 

As men, we’re called to speak into chaos. But our words must be both wise and well placed in order to offer any aspect of redemption. Consider Job’s friends. When tragedy struck, they were simply incredible. For seven days they were present with Job’comforting and grieving with him.

 

But when they began offering counsel, the situation soured. I think the foolishness of Job’s friends were expressed in four faces, and I think these four faces of folly still tempt us today. See if you can resonate with them.

 

Face Number One: Personal suffering always has a clear reason. Job’s friends were convinced that if somebody’s life is messed up, then there’s a clearly identifiable cause close at hand. After all, trouble doesn’t come out of nowhere.

 

Face Number Two: Good guys always prosper. Job’s friends were sure that, if you walked with God, you’d receive your just rewards in this life. 

 

Face Number Three: Bad guys always roast. Job’s friends believed evil always meets judgment in this life.

 

Face Number Four: If you’re suffering, it’s because you’ve sinned. Job’s friends had ideas about suffering that caused them to needlessly kick Job when he was down.

 

Men, do you have a friend who’s suffering? If so, take care that your words bring comfort to the situation. Don’t let the example of Job’s friends scare you into silence. Just keep in mind that your best guess as to the reason for your friend’s suffering may well be wide of the mark.

Exaltation Through Humility

Steve Arterburn

Men, Jesus Christ is first and foremost the object of our faith. He’s also our primary example of what the life of faith looks like.

 

For instance, consider Christ’s humility’particularly the way He relinquished His will to the Father. Philippians chapter two says our attitude should be the same as His. Though He was truly God, He didn’t demand or cling to His rights as God. Instead, He made Himself as nothing. In His incarnation and life on earth, He took the humble position of a suffering servant. He lived in perfect obedience, yet died a criminal’s death on a cross.

And because of this humility, the Father raised Christ from death to sit at His right hand’a position of absolute honor, glory, and power.

But whatever you do, don’t miss the progression: Jesus’ humiliation preceded and precipitated His exaltation. Humility was a key element in Jesus’ life as He accomplished the Father’s will for fallen humanity.

If we’re to surrender to God and His will for us, we need to be humble as well. Jesus didn’t pray solely for His own will. He humbly prayed for His Father’s will to be done. We, too, ought to pray, ‘Father, I want your will, not mine.’ Men, this is the mark of humility and the beginning of real spiritual renewal.

Doing Good To Your Wife

Steve Arterburn

What’s it mean to do good by your wife? And how might you, as a husband, go about doing it? You might come up with things like laying a new bathroom floor, shoveling the car out after a snow storm, or taking out the garbage on time. These are fine and good, and we like them because they keep us in our comfort zone.

 

But what about providing your wife with spiritual leadership and stability? Now that’s doing her good’in fact, it’s the best you could do for her. Yet it’s also a scary proposition for many husbands. You might not even know where to start.

 

Here are five suggestions to set the spiritual thermostat in your house:

 

1)      Develop a knowledge of God’s word. This is a must. 

2)      As you learn about God, begin to submit yourself to Him more and more.

3)      Be consistent in your prayer and devotional life. Your consistency will instill your wife’s confidence in you.

4)      Go to church and worship with your wife. Your wife will benefit greatly from watching you worship and worshipping with you.

5)      Be quick to forgive and to seek her forgiveness when you need it. Your honesty and humility will speak volumes to her.

 

Men, you will bless your wife by leading her. If you do it tenderly and wisely, and by example, she’ll follow.