Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “P” Is For “Perseverence”

27 Jun

(“The Alphabet of Manly Virtues” is a 26 post series examining various character traits of godly men. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts! To view other entries in the series, click here.)

pWhen pondering the possibilities of manly virtues and the letter “P”, the practical problem that presented itself was: From which “P” should there be a poignant post?

Could I potentially pick a proper “P” without plummeting into a preposterous plethora of “popped-p’s” and still make a penetrating point? (Hmm, that answer appears to be a pathetic- Pffft!!!  I think if I had the letter “R”, I am now quite convinced I would have gone with “resistance”.) But I did think of several virtuous “P”s before settling on one because sometimes you just want it to be…uh…perfect.

The letter “P” does have a profound (Rats! Did it again!) influence in my life. I am a Parent of three children (17, 15, and 10).  I am a media Producer and a college Professor. My nickname since high school has been the Pope and my favorite singer-songwriter is Andrew Peterson. I love Pizza, Pop and Pasta. I also have never been on Parole or in Prison.  Well, you get the idea…perhaps.

I thought about “Praise” or using the word worshiP because then I could be super clever since it had a “P” at the end, but then the W-dude of this series would be like- worried. I mean what else could you use for that letter?

As a media producer, I am keenly aware that we have all become producers. That seemed interesting. The American culture has become a media-saturated culture.  We watch it, blog it, tweet it, text it, or post it. We instinctively reach for our smartphones when there is a lull in the day or feel that phantom buzz on our thigh. We can’t seem to live without our media. Media has become the hub of all our communication. It is our new sense of community- an electronic reality. We as Christians are called to communicate into that world and to proclaim Christ crucified whether through media, blogs, churches, or personal pleasure. It’s important to recognize that we are all producers now. Therefore must bear the responsibility of pursuing a truly God-honoring, Christ-exalting approach to using our communication– personally, professionally and in the Church for the glory of God through Jesus Christ. It is more than just about the style or how we communicate; it’s about why and what we communicate whether in spoken word, text, or pictures. It was to be a call to step back and ensure that the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart are congruent and that we are not just investing ourselves in the trivial pursuit of happiness, or 140-character wit. I also wasn’t convinced that it was the virtue needed here (Perhaps I should save the “producing” for a book?!).

I did consider “Prayer”. That’s huge. I know I feel like I don’t do enough of it and yet it is essential for any kind of relationship with God. I have been reading The Praying Life by Paul Miller.  It’s a terrific book. He says we don’t need to get prayer right- just tell God where you are and what’s on your mind and then come to him like a child with a runny nose.  He writes that we should come to Jesus overwhelmed with life, with your wandering mind and as messy and weary as you are. He will not fail to do his good work in you if you slow down and truly talk to him and not just try to get fixed or treat him as some sort of supernatural concierge. Miller says to just babble your heart to Jesus.

Babble your heart to Jesus. Hmm. There is a process going on, isn’t there? We don’t have it figured out. We are already, but not yet with Jesus. We see Jesus in that mirror dimly now, but soon face-to-face (1 Cor 13:12). We have to persevere.

The Christian life is not easy. There are many pitfalls, diseases, deaths and pains in life. Yet the Bible tells all to rejoice in these sufferings (Romans 5:3, Col 1:24, I Peter 4:13). We must persevere because that brings proven character and in the end that produces hope and hope in Christ never disappoints (Romans 5:5, ESV, 2003).  Christ died for us, while we were still sinners. We must persevere. We must never give up. The apostle Paul didn’t give up, and neither did countless others.

If we are still breathing, God has more for us to do.  We must finish well.

So therefore, don’t lose heart. We are being renewed day-by-day. This light and momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:16-18). Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial (James 1:12). Hold fast to your confession! We have a great high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4: 14-16). As men we have an impossible task. We cannot do it alone. We need Christ to intercede and we need each other every day to exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13). Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong and do everything in love. (1 Cor 16:13).  We must persevere.

As I mentioned Andrew Peterson is my favorite male songwriter and he constantly reminds me that “we are both far from glory but made for it”. So I leave you with his song “Steady as a River”.  Remember: the great captain is at the helm.

Though the clouds are known to gather

And the wind is prone to blow

I’ll keep her steady as a river

When the wild wind comes to blow

I’ve already been delivered

So I’ll keep her steady as she goes

So when you can’t find the faith to slumber

When you’re thrown by every swell

You know that you’re not going under

With the captain at the helm

-Mark Seignious

Mark Seignious (last name rhymes with genius) spent nearly 20 years working at radio stations in San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento, and St. Paul. In 2001, he joined the faculty of Northwestern College (soon to be university of Northwestern St. Paul) where he is an Associate Professor of Electronic Media. He and Sheryl have been married for 20 years and have three children. He loves food, film, family, friends, fellowship, and fishing. Apparently, he has also found a new fondness for the occasional alliteration…

2 Responses to “Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “P” Is For “Perseverence””

  1. Tim sawyer June 27, 2013 at 09:19 #

    Nicely done, Professor Seignious! Loved this. T-Saw

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