An encouragement letter for you today that destroys your problems through a primal, Biblical, four-step framework.
By the way, what are you dealing with that’s giving you a struggle?
Is it your marriage? Has it become dull and sexless? Maybe there’s outright conflict, and she’s threatening to leave. Maybe you’re not sure if you will ever find a wife.
Anxiety and depression? Worried? Feeling hopeless about life? Or, like me four years ago, a general malaise, a sense that something is wrong but can’t quite put your finger on it?
Afraid or Insecure? Dreading some potential outcome? Worried about finances or losing your job? About your ability to provide for your family?
Any of these problems are mere symptoms of becoming disconnect from our not true to your life purpose.
Here’s how to fix them.
Anchor Your Origin Story: Made In God’s Image
Who are you?
Where do you come from?
When we have a rooted story about where we come from, we can know our identity and our purpose with full confidence. We can know our worth, how our worth is determined...
Genesis provides the archetypal origin for men:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. --Genesis 1.26 ESV
Walter Bruggeman says about this:
"And perhaps we have no more important theological investigation than to discern in whose image we have been made. Our sociology is predictably derived from, legitimated by, and reflective of our theology."
We find our identity and purpose in being made in God’s Image. It’s inherently given to each man (and woman) and nothing changes that.
This means your worth and value as a man never changes. If you’re a baby in the womb, or an old man who needs his diaper changed, your worth and value is not diminished. If you’re born like Sean Stephenson was, a man whose body is so deformed it’s hard to recognize, your worth has not been diminished.
Despite any of these things, brother, your worth is high.
Yet how many times have you questioned your own worth, or let someone else make you feel you are not worth as much?
How about the time your wife criticized you and you subsequently felt bad about yourself, as if she took your worth away?
Or you compared yourself to someone else who had more money, better looks, better job, a better life and suddenly you felt less than about yourself?
Or listened to crooked reformed theology that told you not only are you a sinner, (yes, we are all sinners) but you are totally depraved and that you should, in fact, as John McArthur claims, “Hate yourself?” (I’m going to deconstruct that sermon one day.
Satan has a vested interest in getting you to debase your own worth. It will cause you to act impotently, wallow in pity and fear and anxiety.
J. Richard Middleton, and Old Testament scholar, says that being made in God’s image has a distinctly royal flavor. When a king would take rulership over a distant land, he would set up a statue, an image, in that land to reflect his own glory.
It’s common in men’s work to hear men called kings, but that is the Biblical truth. God gave you co-agency over your life. You are, like Joseph, second in command only to one Higher King.
Root your heart in the royal message and start treating yourself like the king that you are.
Meaning: Made To Rule
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion —Genesis 1.28 ESV
Man (and woman) was made to rule. Your life purpose is wrapped up in the meta-purpose of ruling over your sphere of influence (along with your Queen if you are married). Your body, your home, your family, your work, your property, your resources.
God asks you to steward them in such a way that you shape them, multiply them, and become fruitful in all areas of your life. Whether you are making money, making kids, or planting a garden, you are ruling.
Part of the problem we have with ruling like a king is that we think it means that we sit and others do the work.
This is not true of Israel’s kings. They went to war. They cultivated wisdom. They were master craftsmen. And they took responsibility, even if it wasn’t their fault.
You have a purpose to go along with your unchanging worth:
Morality: Ruling By Wisdom
If you can’t already tell, I believe that being made in God’s Image is a seminal teaching with practical consequence for men.
My other core teaching reveals how we fulfill that ruling call: We rule with wisdom.
Solomon, when God appeared to him like a genie and asked him the ability to receive anything he wanted, said:
“although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an listening heart to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning heart, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 1 Kings 3.7–12
There’s a lot of stuck-ness among men out there (that’s been me many times.) If we can bring a listening heart before both God and the problem, God promises to bring solutions:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him James 1.5 ESV
I need a lifetime to say all I want to say about wisdom, but let’s say this for now: We are in the information age, and it has gotten us nowhere. We need not more information, but more wisdom:
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” ― T.S. Eliot
Begin asking God not for more information but to come alongside you and give you His wisdom
Destiny: The Kingdom of God
The kingdom of God is our Father’s in-breaking rule and redemption, setting the world right under the rulership of God. It is this moment:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.--Revelation 22.1–5 ESV
A man must serve a greater purpose than his own. At the top of all purposes is ruling on behalf of God’s kingdom, not our own.
This is the ultimate cause for which we live, work, play, and worship.
Conclusion: What's Next?
If you will anchor your identity in the Image, if you will give meaning by fulfilling your calling to co-rule with Him, if you do so with wisdom, you will fulfill your destiny as a man.
If you will exhaust your life on your highest and noblest of purposes. You will be able to tackle any problem along the way.
If you need help with this, I currently have a coaching spot open.