What's my Hill?

As I was perusing Facebook this morning and catching up with some work emails, I noticed this commencement speech from Matthew McConaughey and liked what he was saying to the graduating class at the University of Houston and say that "life should not be a popularity contest.  Be brave, take the Hill, but first ask 'What's my Hill?  So me, how do I define success?  For me it is a measurement of 5 things: 1) Fatherhood, 2) Being a good husband, 3) Health (mind, body and spirit), 4) Career and 5) Friendships.  These are what is important in my life right now." Everything in culture talks about self and what is best for me and how I express myself and my identity in such a narcissistic society that the world is spinning further and further away from biblical truth:

  • 1 John 2:15-17 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
  • Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
  • Ephesians 5:11 ESV / Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
  • James 4:4 ESV / You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
  • Titus 2:11-12 ESV / For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

So let's test what Matthew said to Scripture:

Being a good father:

  • Psalm 127:5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
  • Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  • Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
  • Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
  • Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
  • Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Being a good husband:

  • Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
  • 1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
  • 1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
  • Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
  • Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
  • Ephesians 5:21-32 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. read more.

Having good Health (body, mind and spirit)

  • Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
  • And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
  • Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true and everyone should accept it.” 1 Timothy 4:7-9 (NLT)
  • A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)
  • Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. Proverbs 3: 7-8 (NLT)
  • Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)
  • You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. Psalms 63:5 (NLT)
  • He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers yeah strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will fall give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31 (NLT)
  • Don’t be impressed with your all wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you’ll gain renewed health and vitality. Proverbs 3:7-8 (NLT)
  • Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink-even if you have no money! Take your choice of wine or milk-it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul! Isaiah 55: 1-2 (NLT)
  • The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well watered garden like an ever-flowing spring.Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)
  • You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. Exodus 23:25 (NLT)
  • A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick. Proverbs 17:22 (TLB)
  • As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Psalms 119:143 (NLT)
  • Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25 (NAS)
  • Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NAS)
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NAS)
  • So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

Having a good career:

  • Colossians 3:23 ESV / Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
  • Proverbs 13:4 ESV / The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 ESV / For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
  • Philippians 4:13 ESV / I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
  • Proverbs 14:23 ESV / In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
  • Philippians 2:14-15 ESV / Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
  • Proverbs 16:3 ESV / Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Having good friends:

  • John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
  • James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
  • Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
  • Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
  • Proverbs 14:6-7 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
  • Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
  • Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
  • Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.
  • Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  • Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
  • Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
  • Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  • Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Being a legacy dad and the process therein is never about being and living a perfect life because we could not and that would be really worldly instead of godly.  Being a legacy dad means that you are not walking this walk alone by just talking about it to others, it means that you are choosing the pathway that God calls you to take.  A legacy dad yields and subjects himself to the authority of scripture at all times (even when we blow it).  A legacy doesn't just remorse his sin and moves in, that is, feels bad about his sin and/or mistakes and keeps on doing it.  Rather, a legacy dad finds true repentance, that is, he feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit (your words, actions and/or deeds are contrary to scripture - acknowledge them before God) and make amends with those who you have wronged.  True repentance is acknowledging and confessing your sin to God and going the opposite way of that sin.  By having others who walk with us in community we put that sin in the light and the darkness can not exist in the light.  Being a legacy dad is setting a course for your family to follow and to show them Christ everyday in your actions, words and deeds.  When you screw up (sin) and when you do not show legacy dad traits, this doesn't disqualify you from being that legacy dad, rather, by acknowledging your wrongdoing or wrong path, it provides a true biblical guide in showing your kids true repentance, the act of reconciliation and restoration.  These are good things to model for your wife and kids and grandkids and to others within your everyday influences.

Let us take inventory of our lives.  If we could go back to our boyhood self and speak to that boy what words would you give him?  What pitfalls would you tell him to avoid?  What friendships would you tell him to run from?  What would you tell him about faith, church, wisdom, biblical application for him to follow?  What does that look like?  Maybe we need to write that to our boy hood self.  In doing so, take inventory as to where you are as a man.  Confess what needs confessing.  Change what needs changing.  Give to God what belongs to God.  In all that you do, acknowledge God and He will make your paths straight.

You and I can do this!  We can do this because we are not alone.  God gave each of us that profess and bear the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior His Spirit.  Even when we don't know what to say or do, Pray!  Pray for God and His Son and His Spirit to guide us and instruct us in the way that would should go!  This means that if you are not reading the bible daily how can you find the true path of biblical leadership in your home, church, work and community?  You cannot!

Blessings, D