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Men who live to avoid pain disgust me.

My last post led me to thinking about men who live to avoid pain.

I was playing basketball a few weeks ago and observed some of the guys talking about getting fired from fast-food places because of a bad drug test. They were talking about how to avoid getting caught doing drugs. A few of these young men also have children who they don't see daily because the kids are with their babies 'momma'.

My first thought was "That's so sad. They don't have purpose." Then my mind revolted against that thought. I realized that they do have purpose. Their purpose (like many men) is to live and die while avoiding pain in any form possible.

The absense of pain is never the Christian's goal. At least a Christian who reads the bible.

The avoidance of pain leads to several things in a man's life:

1. Avoiding the pain of education. Education means you will be challenged intellectually. There are big words and concepts that are hard to grasp at first glance. Avoiding this pain leads to men who are ignorant and able to be fooled by the schemes of the enemy and his cohorts. The newspaper is written at an elemntary level and I can't tell you how many men can't or wont' read even that. It's shameful how many men avoid reading books because it hurts their brain. Basically we've ended up with a culture of men educated no more than they were at 17 and gaining experience from other men who are also as educated as your average pimple-popping adolescent.

2. Avoiding the pain of exercise. It's easier to sit around and stay out of shape. Avoiding this pain makes you weak and feeble, unable to keep up with your children around the house or playing at the park. Do you want to be a man who can't run around in a field throwing a ball with your son? I never respected blatantly overweight or out of shape coaches.

3. Avoiding the pain of confrontation. I know of one man in a former church who avoided confronting a dude making out with his teenage daughter in his own driveway for a half hour. The kid had no respect and I'm positive this man's daughter lost respect for him as a father. Even if she enjoyed the tonsil hockey at the moment.

4. Avoiding the pain of work. Paul said if a man won't work he shouldn't eat. We are at minimum the protectors and providers. If you won't get off your but to better youself and do whatever it takes for your family you're a shameful man.

5. Avoiding the pain of responsibility. A man owns up to his mistakes and flaws. Avoiding responsibility of your own actions is not manly. It's sheepish and cowardly. Men accept blame when they are at fault. Salvation itself is dependent upon men (and women) to start by being humble enough to admit they are sinners by nature. Admit your faults, accept proper responsibly. Don't be known as a weasel who avoids the pain of owning your own problems.

6. Avoiding the pain of emotional problems. Real men understand that they have emotional baggage. By ignoring it or refusing to talk about it because you don't want to seem week is in itself weak. Some of the strongest men I know became strong in my mind when they admitted an emotional problem or an addiction. Men who think they have to wear a cape and a mask are usually some of the most pathetic men at their core.

There are plenty more... this may becoming an ongoing post. Please challenge yourself to become a man who's more than a blimp on the radar screen of life. If you're married to a man please give him the permission and prayer he needs to be something more than a man who avoids pain. He'll be a better husband, father and citizen for it and Christ will be honored.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, October 04, 2007

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