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Published Date: March 5, 2014

Published Date: March 5, 2014

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Cover of "Created to Thrive".

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Reflect with Us: Manly Men, Common Clay Pots, and a Harvest of Good Deeds

Worldly stereotypes about men abound. Movie-goers watch jet-setting spies spring back to life after leaping out of airplanes. Professional athletes are valued for their physical prowess. Romance readers lust after rugged cowboys. Gamers pretend they are militaristic superheroes. And Wall Street applauds twenty-something billionaires.

The evangelical world is not immune. Pastors of mega-churches and best-selling authors are viewed as being anointed by God. Veterans are always noble, self-sacrificing, and courageous. Missionaries love hardships. Single men, lonely and domestically-challenged, must pursue marriage and parenthood to be truly fulfilled. And middle-class breadwinners are to make the family’s decisions because they have a pipeline to God’s will.

What’s a biblical egalitarian to do?

We return to Scripture. “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind” (Rom. 12:2. All Scripture quotations taken from the Good News Bible).

We remember whose children we are. “The God who said, ‘Out of darkness the light shall shine!’ is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

We put away discouragement. “We who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7).

We receive the Holy Spirit’s gifts. “But the wisdom from above is pure first of all. It is also peaceful, gentle and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant” (James 3:17–18).

And we rejoice in our future hope. “I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

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