For most men, we are identified by what we do with our hands…manager, fireman, sales executive, forklift driver, physical therapist, flooring installer, school principal, carpenter.
One of the first things we ask when meeting another man is, “What do you do?” Then we slot that man. Our minds work better when he’s slotted. We have a point of reference.
But is what you do who you really are?
Culture defines a man by what he does with his hands. God defines a man by who he is in his heart.
In around 450 BC, Nehemiah learned that Jerusalem lay in ruins. He was just a slave, a “cupbearer” to King Artaxerxes, a bartender. Despair overwhelmed him. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat—so he started fasting. He started praying. In those solitary, desperate, hopeless hours, that intimacy with God through prayer unclouded Nehemiah’s broken spirit.
He asked himself, Is there a path? Who do I know that could get this done? It’s impossible. How could I do anything? Could I do something? What would that look like?
Nehemiah overcame that struggle and identity crisis. As a result, he led the successful efforts to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s struggle is a variation on one of the most important questions we must ask ourselves as men: Is the level of life I am now living at the full capacity of my life?
Are we living at our maximum, or is there another level? Are we at full capacity, or is there more?
Most of us have something larger inside us—it’s just locked up. Nehemiah was a slave, but he was a slave who had a dream. And he committed to his dream.
We become the size of the dreams we are courageous enough to pursue.
Or we shrink to the size fear allows us to become…which is always smaller than what we were designed by God to be.
The more you lean into God, the clearer your purpose becomes, the more positive your personal narrative, and the greater your potential for success. Get into a Christian Men’s Network group near you. We’re a community of men that belong to thousands of local churches. We’re in brotherhood together. We have your back. We are ready to fight for you. We believe in God’s best for you.
If you can’t find a group, start a group. Study the Word, pray. My prayer for you is that you’ll grow in God into the size of the dream he gave you.