, God says, "It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city." And young men are praised for proving that they are strong by the evil they've overcome (1 John 2:14
). Every man has his Kryptonite. Denying our weakness only guarantees it's going to bring us down. Stuffing our pain only hastens explosion. Pretending we've got it all together only sentences us to a very dangerous strain of lonely. So, yes, manhood is conquest - of myself. And that begins with taking off the Superman mask of invulnerability, admitting when I'm hurting, when I'm not sure, when I need someone. A lot of men had a dad who always had to be tough, and right, and in control. But the son would have given anything to know if his dad was proud of him...to hear him apologize...to hear him say, "I love you." Even today there are scars from a dad's criticism, a dad's anger, a dad's distance. So I'm seeing now that "man up" may mean something quite different from the macho myths that we were raised on. It means being man enough to say three of the most healing words in the English language "I was wrong" or "I forgive you." Manhood is saying those words that we thought showed weakness but actually prove strength. "I need help" before the explosion comes, before I hurt more people, before I'm hooked and can't get free. I can't conquer me alone. The man in the mirror is my biggest battle. But maybe if I'll swallow my stubborn pride, it could be my biggest conquest. I have to agree with that guy in the Bible who said, "I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. Who will free me?" You can't be rescued until you admit you can't save yourself; until you're willing to pin all your hopes on somebody who can rescue you. And "who will free me?" Well, the Bible's answer is this: "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ" (Romans 7:15
, 24-25). Because the animal inside us - sin, God calls it - can only be tamed by the Man who turned its fury on Himself. Who took on Himself all the darkness and all the penalty that has made sin my master and my eternal destiny. He beat it on the cross. I am one of an army of men who have surrendered our lives to this amazing Jesus. Who've discovered that a man can finally conquer his darkness by being conquered - by the Son of God. Jesus has the power to conquer what has always conquered us. And we trust Him because He loved us enough to die for us. If you're ready to let Him take the wheel, I invite you to join me to find out how at ANewStory.com, and let a new story begin for you.
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Okay, I'm admitting it. I wore my Superman t-shirt to sleep in last night. I do some other nights too. That's about as close to being Superman as I'll ever get. See, sometimes these days I have trouble opening a jar, and I doubt I could bend steel with my bare hands. As far as leaping tall buildings in a single bound? Sometimes I have trouble getting off the floor. But with the new "Man of Steel" movie rocked the box office. See, Superman is popping up or landing all over the place these days. And he's reminding me of the sad reality that there really is no such thing as Superman. I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Man of Steel - Where Is Superman?" Oh, if you're a man, you're supposed to be Superman. Never weak, life's bullets bouncing off you, the fixer, the solver, the answer man, the tower of strength, the conqueror. Above all—the conqueror. Because a man supposedly proves he's a man by conquests, right?. In sports, in business, in the gym, and with women. I'm learning, though, that those aren't the conquests that ultimately prove your manhood. No, the question is this: "Can you conquer yourself?" What about the volcano temper that erupts briefly but can scar permanently. The chainsaw mouth that rips even the people we love. That selfishness that insists that I'm more important than you are. The passions that cheapen sex, use people, and that imprison our imagination. And those dark feelings that take us to some very bad places. The addiction that's calling the shots. The Bible presents a man's conquest of himself as decisive in his manhood. In our word for today from the Word of God,
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There is no stage of life immune from the fear of loneliness. The nervous student fears loneliness due to a lack of the familiar. The single person fears a life of loneliness without a spouse. God knows it all.