Friday, 3 July 2009

The Complete Man - *Pastor Muyiwa Bamgbose

*Pastor Muyiwa Bamgbose is a pastor and trustee of The Vine Branch Ministries, Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria. In addition to being a successful pastor and businessman, Pastor Bamgbose is also mentor and life coach, having served in various positions at both local and international leves in the Jaycees International.

When we talk about complete men, what are we talking about? Complete Men are everything that men, real men should be. A complete man is a man who is dignified enough to attract others to God. The essence of being complete as a man is to show forth God’s praise. God declares in Isaiah 43:21 that these “people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise”.

G. Wright Doyle, writing in his book, Jesus: The Complete Man writes that as we go in search of the "ideal" man….it is pertinent to ask: “What does it mean to be a real man? One who can command both respect and affection? A complete man is the person who accomplishes worthy goals without ruining others or losing his soul”. Doyle goes further to assert that “we see too many "macho" types who swagger through life with bravado, but with hollow hearts and confused minds. Others are kind and sensitive, but lack the strength to lead with purpose and passion. Far too many men are obsessed with their work, their play, or their pleasures. Meanwhile, the women around them long for someone who is caring, confident, and competent. Where can we find a man who has it all, a well-rounded man who combines all the qualities we look for in a leader and a lover?” The book, JESUS: The Complete Man presents us with such a model. For almost two thousand years, Jesus’ influence has spread around the world. In almost every country, men and women acknowledge him not only as the perfect pattern of human goodness but also as the only saviour from sin and death.

To be a complete man is to be like Jesus in every respect; after all, Jesus told us to imitate him. To be complete is to have purpose, passion and be sensitive, caring, confident and competent. Becoming a complete man is a process that requires diligence and requires the following qualities which can be summarized as Dependence, Devotion and Development

1. A complete man is someone who is not independent on himself or his abilities but is completely dependent on God for everything. Dependency on God may seem like an old fashioned idea in this day and age where we have been taught to be self-conscious and self-reliant. But the ways and ideas of God’s kingdom are different. To be complete in Christ requires absolute dependency on God and His Will. When we are dependent on God’s will we would become complete in Christ.

You are the best you when you can absolutely depend on God’s will; that is when you find your life’s purpose in Christ. This is a very important issue that cannot be ignored in the process of becoming a complete man. Colossians 4:12 says through labouring in prayers we can “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”.

As we read from Colossians 2: 6 – 10 this issue of dependency poignantly comes alive. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

Apart from being dependent on God, complete men depend on God’s servants and ministers. God’s servants are His messengers and they can be used as divine vessels to transmit His plans to us. Real men do not act as if they know it all. They realize their need for competent, humble and submissive ministers of God who they know are doing exactly what God tells to do. Submission to authority of a church, rather than demean a man, actually affirm him.

No man can be complete without being inter-dependent. Interdependency is an acknowledgement that there is something that everyman needs but does not have; something which the other man has. When the strong man doesn’t have the weak man in partnership, he is not complete.

2. Devotion is another attribute of a complete man. A complete man is devoted to God’s word. The scriptures are his backbone. 2 Timothy 3 verse 16 says aptly: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the same vein, the writer of Joshua 1:8 had the complete man in mind when he penned these words: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”

The complete man is also devoted to his call, work or ministry. Though sometimes it would not be easy or gratifying, the man who will become a complete man in this life understands that he can learn and profit from his trials and afflictions as the scriptures enjoins in James 1:2 – 4: “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. Faithfulness to his calling or his ministry makes the complete man, a man approved by God. Luke 16:10 -12 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?”

Apart from being devoted to God’s word, and the ministry God has given to him, a complete man is also devoted to his home, his wife and his children. At home, a complete man is a father, a lover and a friend who understands how to balance his devotion to his family with his affection for God. As good husbands, complete men understand that they must dwell with their wives “with understanding, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”1 Peter 3:7 and in the same vein they “do not provoke (their) children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Success is not complete without a successor. The man who will be complete understands this principle very well and it shows in the way he relates with and disciplines his children. It also reflects on the way he relates with others – people in the church, in the community and in the society at large.

Completeness is a process; it is not destination but a journey. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord”.

3. No man is ever content with his state or condition. Every man who desires to be complete always aspires to be better. To be a complete man is to be a man who is constantly in development. A Christian should never be out of tune – mentally, spiritually, physically and even socially. It is of no use to be heavenly conscious but earthly useless. We need to continuously, and constantly develop ourselves to remain relevant to society and to God. We need to be diligent in studying, reading and other exercises. Reading remains one of the good ways to develop both mentally and spiritually. But it requires diligence. 2 Timothy 2:15 says – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness”. We also need to watch what we eat and how we spend our time, in particular, what we watch on TV. We need to watch our finances too. What are we spending our money on? Do we have the resources for the things that really matters? The whole point is to always be led by the Spirit of God.

Completion is a process that never ends for a man. But a man can become complete in Christ, making him an asset to his family, his ministry and the society at large. It is my prayers that God shall make us all complete men (and women) in Jesus name. Amen

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