By Father Mark Pfeiffer
Mother of Sorrows/St. Mary’s Catholic Church
I am fortunate to have had some very good teachers in high school who possessed a gift to challenge students all the way into their soul. They actually brought out the best in people. These teachers were able to push us a little more, to surpass our typical level of achievement, going one step further.
We are fortunate if we have a spouse, or a person we can be accountable to, who challenges us to do our very best. I know a few people who bring out the very best in me. This is a gift to be admired.
The Book of Titus 2:6 speaks of this topic of performing our very best as a man or woman of God. We receive so many varied signals of what it means to be manly. St. Paul says, “Encourage the young men to be self-controlled.” This applies equally to women. Self-controlled isn’t adequately mentioned these days.
Proverbs 16:32 speaks, “The man who controls his spirit is stronger than the man who conquers a city.” This means it is an admirable quality to master our behaviors. This is seen in the way we speak well, respecting one another, treating one another as a “child of God.”
The Bible is saying it is more impressive to master our speech and the way we relate well to one another, than it is to be a conqueror. It takes great ability, all with the help of God’s grace, for us to manage ourselves.
Self-control is evident in the way we manage our temper. Oddly enough, we may find some people think letting our temper fly-off uncontrolled is manly. They make a display of themselves allowing their temper to flare-up. No, God shows us, it is the ability to display a control of our temper making us a man.
Equally we can sight controlling our passions. The man rooted in the Bible does not say, “How far can I go?” The man of God sees the value held in respecting one another in the truest sense.
The thought guiding us is, “We are going to be pure.” He is in charge of his passions. He is able to control his mouth, taming his tongue, avoiding profanity and the use of put-downs. He sees the significance in controlling his time, taking advantage of opportunities set before him.
The man centered upon God brings patience to life in the way we relate as we are in a pressured situation. Not becoming over-bearing. Instead, he sees the reason to control his selfishness. This is evident as we place others first.
I know there are so many false images for manhood being floated about us. The superficial images of the macho man, or the he-man, are not well-rounded. God challenges us to put His Word to life.
Use the insights God provides us to respect God-above, and respect our brothers and sisters. God challenges us to be “true.” God brings out the best in us. He says, “The fruit of the spirit is self-control.”
We are supportive of one another. We challenge one another to be true. We possess the ability to bring out the best in one another, becoming men and women of God.