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A Divine Appointment

Many years ago, a brother asked me to meet with him.

At the time, I was going through a difficult period at work. I was working many hours and finding it hard to keep up with everything my boss was asking me to do. The stress was intense and it began to affect my marriage and my interactions with my children. 

As the meeting drew closer, I really wondered if I should take the time to do it. I thought it would be better to try and work things out alone, just like every man does at times.

But I kept my appointment with Mark, and it turned out to be an amazing conversation. He didn’t talk about sports, the weather, or the latest news; he jumped right in, and he went deep and talked about things that mattered. It turned out, like me, he was going through tough days at work. Like me, he was feeling strain in his home. And he told me how bad his attitude was about it all.

You know what I heard when he said that? “I am like you. I have that problem, too.”

And then he got direct with me. He asked me if I was praying about it all. And quickly confessed, “Because I’m not.”

When we take time to meet with a brother who is direct about what we need to do and is dedicated to our success as a godly man, we can begin to understand what is wrong in our life. Click To Tweet

His clear, blunt words broke through my tension and frustration and avoidance. His directness pointed out the obvious: I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t praying to the God who offers His help in time of need. I wasn’t praying and asking God to provide His power to get me through the situation.

And I realized that my reaction to the pressure and the tension and the deadlines was just like any other man at work. I was being just like anyone else, saved or not. I had hope, but I wasn’t seeking the Lord. I wasn’t being a man of valor. Mark’s question helped me see that.

Because I took the time to meet with a brother, I understood what was wrong. And I was ashamed of myself. You see, men may want a mother in tough times, to sooth and console us, but what we probably need is a good kick in the pants! My brother was direct and he was dedicated to my success in my Christian walk. My friend’s desire to go deep, coupled with his directness and his dedication ― his caring for me ― changed me. It changed the way I saw my work and the way I talked with God. It increased my dependence on Him and made me ask for His help more.

Mark’s dedication went even further: He requested that we call one another every other day and ask how we’re doing. And that morning, my brother and I committed to change our habits and seek the Lord for His help. We committed to pray ― for ourselves and for one another. Six months later during my annual performance review at work, my boss commented on an attitude change that he had noticed in me, one that had begun a few months back. I thought about it and realized that my attitude change had begun at about the time of that meeting with Mark ― the meeting I almost cancelled.

Sometimes we need a good kick in the pants. When we take time to meet with a brother who goes deep with us, who is direct about what we need to do and change, and who is dedicated to our success as a godly man, husband, or father, we can begin to understand what is wrong – not the symptom, but the cause. And then we experience what 1 John 1:7 says: “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 

Brad Smith
Brad Smith is the executive director of Men of Valor International.

REACHING SOUTHERN AFRICA: PLEASE PRAY!

Men of Valor is traveling to Southern Africa October 15-31. Two conferences – one in Ingwavuma, South Africa (Oct 17-20), and one in Mbabane, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) (Oct 24-27) – may draw some 300 men. Pray for us that many men’s discipleship groups launch and that men’s lives, marriages, families, communities, and churches are changed for Christ! “If we reach the man, we reach it all!”

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