“But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses. (MSG)”1 Timothy 6:11-12
Pray using the Five Parts of Prayer format:
Today’s MOG virtue is compassion. It means to be thoughtful of others and to feel for them. In John 8: 1-11, a woman is brought before Jesus. Some of the people want her to be stoned for adultery, but Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.” No one throws a stone, and Jesus forgives the woman, telling her not to sin anymore. He knew she had messed up, but he showed that he understood her and cared about her. She didn’t need to be stoned; she needed compassion. The people didn’t need to stone her; they needed to show compassion.
In the spring of my senior year in high school, I was going through a stressful time. I hadn’t heard back from most of the colleges, but I was watching all my friends get accepted to the schools they wanted to go to. So, I started distancing myself from them, and I got kind of snippy. One day, a buddy of mine asked, “How are you?”
I said, “I’m fine.”
Then he said, “No really, how are you? Cause you’ve been acting a little off recently and I want to make sure you’re alright.”
I realized I’d been taking out my anxieties on people I cared about, so we talked about it. He didn’t have to be so understanding, but it’s what I needed. Imagine if he had carelessly said, “Hey you’ve been acting like a jerk.” He might have been right, but it wouldn’t have helped.
Our society pressures men to be independent. Men aren’t supposed to need anyone, and if we see something wrong with someone else, we’re supposed to call them out with tough love because feelings are for the weak. But that attitude isn’t how healthy relationships are built. Instead, we should check in with each other and be honest without getting angry or defensive. Compassion doesn’t blame or shame people.
In Galatians 6:1-2, Paul writes, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
We all make mistakes. And God calls us to restore each other gently, to carry each other’s burdens. We show each other compassion. We listen to each other. This is the way God’s Spirit calls us to act.
Challenge: If you can, in your mind, name one person you’ve had a problem with recently and to whom you have not shown compassion. Say a prayer for them. Ask God to guide you in understanding them better. Before confronting them with criticism, consider letting them know how much you care about them — write a letter, a text, give them a compliment.
This is your guy’s directors Josh and Travis checking in one last time as the summer comes to a close. As we wrap up this summer we wanted to let y’all know how much we have been praying for you. We know that this unprecedented time has been hard and uncomfortable for so many of us and we want you guys to know that y’all have been at the forefront of our thoughts this entire time. We wish we could have had a full summer together out in the beauty of God’s creation, but we know that it was not in his will for the summer of 2020. However, we are so thankful that we still got to connect with you through these newsletters these past few weeks. We know that our counselors were so excited to be able to share with you what the Lord has been teaching them this summer. We are looking forward to next summer when we are able to have a true MOG again complete with cheers, feats of strength, and most importantly being able to open up our Bibles together and learn more about God in the beauty of His creation.
The MOG verse for this summer that we decided on was 1 Timothy 6:11-12. This verse says “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” We chose this verse because it hits on so many of the important traits that we as Men of God should strive to display in our everyday lives. It is so common for men to feel pressure to be strong and tough, showing off how “manly” we are, instead of showing depth, compassion, and a connection to those we care for. In this verse Paul calls Timothy to show love and gentleness, things not normally associated with manliness as it’s often defined in our society. This verse reminds us that we are called to live like Jesus by showing love, gentleness, and compassion to all, and to grow intimate connections with everyone in our lives. Additionally, this verse reminds us that “eternal life” is here and now – in Christ we are able to enjoy the fullness of life as Men of God and we encourage you to take that to heart as this summer ends. Spend some time reflecting on what righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness might look like in your life at home.
We know that this summer was not what we would have desired for camp to look like. For many, this summer has been full of disappointment and heartache. Know that we have been praying for every single one of you guys and are anxiously awaiting the day that we can be together again worshiping Jesus in the canyon. Until then we encourage you to continue spending time with the Lord, getting out into nature, and staying in the Word. Use the rest of this summer to have quiet times outside, maintain community with your camp family, and try to keep it at the forefront of your minds that you already are a man after God’s own heart. Thank you for spending some of your summer with us as we continued to learn more and more about what it means to be a MOG. We hope to see you all in the canyon next summer!
Josh and Travis
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