Everybody worships something
By Jim Boesch
Everybody, everyday worships something or someone!
The people who visited our church campuses or some other form of church community last Sunday were given the opportunity to worship our living God.
But, do not be mistaken, the people who did not attend any church community on Sunday did worship something or someone, just not our Creator God. There is still something or someone at the center of their lives that drives their behavior; in most cases, that someone is themselves.
The major determinant of a person’s activities lies in who or what is the object of their focus. Who or what do they worship? Who or what is their source of security, self-worth and wisdom? Who or what is their audience and judge of their life decisions?
Our culture today consistently tells men “make it all about you.” “Find happiness and self-worth by collecting wealth, power and status. Take care of yourself first and satisfy your wants and needs above all else.”
While anyone can see this is surely a self-serving way of life, the you-deserve-it attitude is the culture in which men spend most of their waking hours.
The problem with men not having God as the object of their worship and focus is that the bulk of their behavior is manifested in self-destructive pride and fear.
Prideful behavior can be witnessed in men who promote themselves, boast, take all the credit, show off, do all the talking, and demand all the attention.
Pride can be defined as an over-high opinion of yourself––an exaggerated esteem of self, arrogance. And in scripture a warning can be read as: “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought” (Romans 12:3).
Fearful behavior will show up as men who protect themselves, hide behind their titles/positions, withhold information, intimidate others, hoard control and discourage honest feedback on their behavior.
Fear can be defined as an insecure view of the future producing self-protection. And in scripture can be found “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:15).
The major consequences of men behaving with damaging pride and fear is that it always separates them from God, other people, and themselves.
Pride and fear always causes men to compare themselves with others, make them unsatisfied with their lives, and distort the truth into a false sense of security.
But there is hope! There is a tremendous opportunity for effective ministry through these men if, as servant leaders, we influence them to focus on God as the object of their worship, their source of security and self-worth and the audience and judge of their life decisions.
If we can help these men focus on God and His kingdom instead of themselves, we will be able to provide the antidote to the pride and fear that is consuming them. In doing this, God becomes the only object of their worship, He becomes their only source of security and self-worth and their only audience and judge.
In this transformation of objects of worship, the pride that was manifest earlier is replaced by humility. Humility can be described as something hoped for, lived but never claimed and as the act of looking out the window rather than in the mirror to praise.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
Next, the fear that was consuming men can be replaced by God-grounded confidence. This confidence is experienced when one is able to rest assured they can abide in God’s love, goodness, purpose, plan and provision which allows them to live and grow with others in transparent, transforming relationships. It’s about trust and proceeding in faith one step at a time.
So we can say with confidence, “the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
When we help men replace pride with humility and fear with God-grounded confidence, men move from the initial act of separation back to relational community, from acts of self-serving comparison back to contentment of being who God created them to be, and from seeing an unreal distortion of life back to the truth that through Jesus we are unconditionally loved children of God.
Remember, everybody worships something so let’s be servant leaders who guide our men to the living, loving God who created us to worship only him!
Jim Boesch, deployed staff member
General Commission on United Methodist Men
Jim is a master trainer in facilitating workshops for “Lead Like Jesus,” servant leadership training; “Understanding Men's Ministry,” discipling leadership training; and “Equipping Equippers” learning-facilitation training. You may host any of these workshops in your area by calling him (407-721-0416) or by e-mail.