What Happens when Men get together … in the woods … for a weekend … on a retreat?
At Redeemer Hoboken’s Fall Men’s Retreat, the men enjoyed an open fire, black coffee, juicy steak… and the topic of Courage. No, not the bravery that some of us attempted to display playing tag-football while way past our respective “primes,” but rather Courage unpacked in a Biblical way.
Darin Kinder led our discussions. He reminded us that while boys take, men give life. We explored what it means to be valiant men: powered by Integrity, Courage and Compassion.
To truly have integrity we must acknowledge God as our creator. We must confess and repent our sin. We must embrace the enormity of God and his love for us in Christ through faith and humility. Only then can we walk in courage… without fear… on the pathway of love (compassion).
God’s word teaches that the opposite of fear is love: “Perfect love casts out fear.” Yet so often we find ourselves living in unbelief: thinking we are not loved, being unloving, and living in fear– all for no Godly reason.
We trap ourselves in a, “good works mentality,” instead of living with the unshackled freedom available through God’s grace. We need to accept his love, power, and faithfulness.
It was so much fun congregating with the men of the church. The food and fellowship was great, but the best part was to learn, remember, and be reminded that, “God is Love,” and, “Christ is our Life.” When triangulated one might translate: Agape Love = Life. Fear takes away life with expectations of punishment and death. When we embrace who we are with integrity and own up to our needed humility (because He chose to take our place in spite of us), then we begin to understand that courageous love gives life.
I guess the line in the movie Shawshank Redemption still applies: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”