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10 Passions o10 Passions of a Man's Soul

(Moody Publishers)

Why do men do what they do? Because they are wired that way. The tamed man has been taught to suppress the very gifts that – properly channeled – would make all the difference in the world. Author Mark Elfstrand uses interviews with ten dynamic, powerfully gifted leaders to explore the driving passions that motivate authentic men of God and helps you discover your hidden leader waiting to emerge.

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Ignite Your Passion to Win

By Bill McCartney and Mark Elfstrand – Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” In a sense, yes, he was right, because Scripture tells us that we are to run to win. We’re not to be shadow boxing.

The verse in Scripture that captures this for me is Colossians 3:23 when Paul writes, “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.” But, and this is the key, “Do it for the Lord, rather than for man” (author paraphrase). In other words, what is your motive? Paul tells the people of Corinth that our motive is to receive “an imperishable crown.” Motives define why we do what we do.

In the Christian faith, we’ve got a picture in our hearts of what God has promised us. That becomes our motivation. So winning is very important, but in the context of the sports legend used, no, he was not right.

Most men have a strong competitive nature. That’s a healthy part of our God-given design. Iron sharpens iron. We need each other. My spiritual gift is found in Romans 12:8 (NASB). It is exhortation. That is one kind of spiritual gift. And this gift works inside or outside the kingdom. When I coached, it was my strongest asset. And it’s also a blessing to me as a brother in Christ with other brothers. Yeah, you need competitive people. The most competitive people play the most competitive games.

A weak man makes others around him weak. A weak father in the home makes everybody in the home weaker. A strong, faithful father makes everyone in the home stronger. It is true that many men lack discipline. They lack commitment. They lack resolve. In Deuteronomy 20:8 (NASB) we discover, “Who is the man that is afraid and fainthearted? Let him depart and return to his house, so that he might not make his brothers’ hearts melt like his heart.”

Jesus said that whoever would come after Him must do two things: He must deny himself and take up his cross. Basically, he’s got to have the fire. He’s got to have resolve. If a man is just a humble guy, you’ll be attracted to him but you won’t follow him. On the other hand, if a guy has great resolve, you’d be attracted to him, but he’ll wear you out. It’s that balance that Christ wants.

Men are out of balance if winning is an obsession. Generally speaking, men who can’t handle losing are control guys. Their identity is wrapped up in what they are doing and not who they are. Deep down, these men are fearful. They are driven. In fact, they are some of the most strong, driven men out there. Some are control freaks. I’ve walked in and out of that path of these men when I coached. You know, I have to take responsibility and say sometimes I coached like that. And I repent over that.

Your spiritual senses have to be matured. Do you hear the voice of God? Do you taste and discern the will of God? Do you have the sweet fragrance of those who are full of life? Your spiritual maturity is wrapped up in that. The “breastplate of righteousness” is about the heart. And there’s more to the armor, as we are told in the Bible. Put those things on.

To win on the battlefield of life, men must help men. The clearest and most positive way Promise Keepers has helped has been to assist men in forming accountability groups. They bond. I heard someone say that women bond face-to-face. But men bond shoulder to shoulder when they take on a challenge together. Accountability groups have helped men take on challenges together.

I believe after men hear an inspiring message, they get motivated. And for two, three, or four days in a row, they get out of bed and they get on their knees. It’s dark out. They go before the Lord and they cry out to Him … and nothing happens. So they stop doing it. That is why they fall in apathetic condition.

For men to be winners, they need to know He is there. When they find themselves out there in the morning all by themselves reaching out, He’s there. He promises to be there. He cannot … not be there. His word is good.

So keep going after Him until you find Him. Keep reaching out to Him until He answers you. An extraordinary bond develops, and you will really get to know God. But men don’t stay after Him. They don’t persevere. If God doesn’t show up right away or in a day or two, then they’re out of Dodge. Men must be challenged to hang in there to win!


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Excerpted from 10 Passions for a Man's Soul, by Mark Elfstrand, © 2007. Published by Moody Publishers. Used with permission.

Bill McCartney founded Promise Keepers, an organization dedicated to encouraging and discipling godly men. A successful head football coach at the university of Colorado, he left that pinnacle to spend more time with his family and begin the PK men’s movement. Recently he founded The Road to Jerusalem, a mission for Christians to embrace the messianic Jewish community.


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