Tried and Tested…but not found True?

Posted: 2012 01 09 by Paul S in Biblical manhood, Challenge, Hardcore Christian Men, manhood, masculine, masculinity

So here I am. I’m reading scripture. I read about men like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Guys like Jacob, Isaac, Daniel, and John. Guys who are icons of Christian men and discipleship of God. They are tested by fire and they are found to be true. Do I measure up? Am I found true when I am tested under fire? Am I able to hold up under the pressures of the world?

 

Men’s ministry has a tendency to use the image of a blacksmith forging swords to describe what they are trying to do. I’ve done this myself right here on Hardcore Christian Men. This image breaks down when we truly consider ourselves as the sword being forged. It’s great when we are the ones swinging the hammer. When we are the ones who are working the iron. When we are the ones pouring our sweat and energy into creating the perfect blade. When we picture ourselves like images of the Greek god Hephaestus, we feel powerful and deserving of praise.

But what if we consider ourselves as the sword being forged? What if I am that blade, being struck repeatedly with the hammer? What if I am placed into the forge and fired in the coals? What if I am found to be a little too brittle, not flexible enough, or too flexible? What if I don’t hold the edge when I am sharpened by the iron?

 

Like any piece of metal that falls under the blacksmith’s hammer, if I am found wanting, will I be thrown into the scrap pile? Will I be thrown away?

 

No. In Romans 3:10, Ecclesiastes 7:20, and Galatians 3:11, we read that no man is righteous. None of us pass the test. None of us are found true. Scripture shows us that the very men we hold up as paragons have failed to live a righteous life as well. David committed adultery and murder. Peter denied Jesus three times. Paul hunted Christians before becoming an Apostle. All of these bits of metal would have been thrown in the scrap pile by a blacksmith, but they are lifted up by God and used to further His kingdom. It is thier writings and experiences that fill scripture. It is thier wisdom that we use to help us understand how we as Christians live.

 

God does not discard us if we fall short of His image, he lifts us up and gives it another try. God does not give up on us. God does not throw us in the scrap pile. He continues to work us. Even when we fail to measure up, God places us back into the fire and brings us back to the anvil. He strikes us with the hammer to form us into strong, powerful, Christ following men.

 

Next time you imagine being the blacksmith, remember that we are not the smith, but the metal.

 

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    I really enjoyed this post. So many of us in the world want to be the one in control and have the power to mold and shape our own lifes and God allows us to do so at times. Everytime we do so, in my experience we fail. But when we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord He can make greater things in us. He is the potter and we are the clay. I like the thought of being a sword. This to me has a deeper meaning. God’s Word is sharper than any sword. If He is making us into a sword it is His word that will prevail. Fit for battle unto the victory found in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

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