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Bible Reading: Proverbs 19.16-23

Proverbs 19.16-23
He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his good deed.
Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.
A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.
Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.
What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

Today there’s a debate going on in social media about toxic masculinity.  Gillette the razor company is calling men to change their ways.  Echoing the #metoo movement, the advertisement highlights men’s disproportionate role in sexual harassment and bullying.  The ad has 700k likes and 1.3M dislikes: many praised it and many others feel the ad paints all men with negative stereotypes.

The company says their mission is to “groom the next generation of men” and that the ad serves that purpose.  Regardless of Gillette’s commercial intent, we can be thankful for it as an opportunity to share with others what God has to say on the subject. 

Scripture says that “The best a man can get” is to follow the principles laid out in today’s passage:

  • be fully devoted to God (verse 16, 21, 23)
  • model generosity, truth and integrity, love and kindness in community with others (verse 17-20, 22)

This mirrors Christ’s commandment (Matthew 22:37-39):

  • love God with your everything
  • love others as ourselves

The beauty of the gospel is that even in this fallen world, everyone instinctively knows that they should respect one another at all times.  And that they fail to do so. 

But advertisements aren’t going to change men.  Only the gospel has the power to do that.  Father, may our hearts be in tune with your Spirit today so that we may by your grace show others what it is to be a real man.

Memory Verse: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18.10