James talked about a single-minded stick-to-itiveness come hell or high water. In a word: grit.
That’s the fifth virtue of manhood. Grit is the place where passion and perseverance meet. It’s resilience in the face of rejection, fortitude in the face of fear. It’s a no guts, no glory approach to life, even in the face of impossible odds.
I certainly believe in the power of prayer. We must pray like it depends on God. But I also believe that a good old-fashioned work ethic honors God. So you have to work like it depends on you.
Even if you’re hanging on by a thread, you hang in there. No matter how many times you’ve been knocked down, you get back up! You keep on keeping on no matter what, no matter when, no matter how.
Today I want you to consider the idea that men should actually seek out situations where they’re going to have to activate their grit if they are going to accomplish anything.
Truth is, I’m more and more convinced that men need an element of danger. It’s one way we come alive. It’s one way we discover who we really are. Without danger, our sense of manliness atrophies. We become like caged animals. If there isn’t a healthy and holy outlet for our testosterone, we often find unhealthy and unholy outlets.
“What does not kill me,” said Friedrich Nietzsche, “strengthens me.”
The way you gain strength is by breaking down your muscle fibers. Then, with the help of protein, those muscle fibers grow back even stronger. What’s true physically is true emotionally and spiritually. When you go through a season of stress, think of it as an emotional workout. It might feel like a breakdown, but God is building up your emotional fortitude! Maybe it’s time to set a stretch goal.
We must choose to do things that push us past our previous limits.
It takes tremendous grit to go after your dreams. It takes tremendous grit to fight for your marriage. It takes tremendous grit to be a true friend, a true father. But that is precisely the point.
It takes a man.
It makes a man.
Name today’s stretch goal. And go for it!