A Man of Copper, Not a Man of Steel

At my advanced age, one of my favorite actors is Tom Selleck.  I enjoyed his role playing private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series Magnum, P.I in the 80’s and currently like his role of Frank Reagan, NYC Police Commissioner in the TV series, Blue Bloods, which has aired since 2010.  If you ever catch me “binge watching”, I am caught up engrossed in his latest series.  His roles portray a man’s man, a man of steel. I recognize if I happened to walk into a restaurant with Mr. Selleck, the ladies would be staring in our direction. Not one of them would be looking at my squatty body! ☹ All of their eyes would be on 6’4’ super handsome Selleck, a man of steel.  

It is amazing how different the Bible pictures a man of God.  Paul the Apostle started out his career as a man of steel.  He single-handedly led the Jewish nation’s attempt to eradicate the Christian Church.  Acts 8:1-3 describes it this way, “a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen (who Paul had stoned) and mourned deeply for him. But (Paul) began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.”  Paul led a trail of terror and tears against the church, a man’s man.

Then, this man of steel and terror met Holy God on the road to Damascus and was knocked to his knees immediately crying out, “Who are you, Lord?”  Instantly, this man of steel recognized that he was no longer lord of his life.  He realized quickly that life would be  lived in submission and surrender to Jesus Christ.  By the way, not too many days before this Damascus road episode, He was in the band of leaders that condemned Jesus to the cross.  Paul hated Jesus.  Now, he would serve him.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul captures what his new life looked like, “But, (the Lord) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  Paul reached out to most of the known world reaching lost people with good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ.  During his ministry, he reveled in his weakness humbly surrendering to the power of God.

The metaphor that I use to describe the life of a man or woman of God is the conductivity of electricity over a very weak, unstable metal, copper.  It is very difficult for electricity to be conducted over steel which is such a strong, stable metal with way too much resistance (ohms).  Yet, electricity has little problem conducted over copper maximizing its power.  Electrical power is “made perfect in weakness.” 

God wants us to be men of copper, not steel.  Delight in your weakness not boasting about your strength.  “For when I am weak, then I am strong” allowing God Almighty to perfect and maximize His strength in and through me.  Become a man of copper not steel!

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