Real Men (6)

"Not given to wine." The Bible nowhere forbids the drinking of wine. Know, however, that (1) in Biblical times, water was mixed with wine to make it less intoxicating, and (2) excessive drinking is always forbidden. Today, drugs and alcohol cause untold misery. Driving after drinking causes thousands of highway accidents, resulting in injury and death. Those who drink more than one glass of wine or one beer, and those who take drugs, impair their health, their judgment, their work, and their relations with others. No real man allows himself to be mastered by anything, including alcohol and drugs. Alcohol is often implicated in violent behavior. That forms the connection with the following quality of a leader: A real man will not resort to violence. He will be "peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men" (Titus 3:2). He knows that he himself has many faults and failings. If he is a Christian, he looks back on his previous life with shame, recalling that he was also "once disobedient, foolish, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another" (Titus 3:3). Thus, when others offend him, he will control his impulse to hit and to hurt. He will remember that "the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward men" has appeared, bringing forgiveness and grace (Titus 3:4), and he will treat others as God has treated him. Though a man may have to use force to defend his family and public officers may have to employ violence to control, catch and punish criminals, there is never any excuse for a man to inflict physical harm on his family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues in response to personal insult or injury, real or perceived. How can a man avoid these twin evils – intoxication and violent rage? Only by relying on the "grace of God that brings salvation… teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:11). That grace is found in Jesus Christ, who chose to endure the violence of the cross in order to bring us God’s mercy.