Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “V” Is For “Vision”

18 Jul

(“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.)

vvi·sion 
/ˈviZHən/
Noun- The faculty or state of being able to see: “he had defective vision.”
Verb- Imagine.

Life is a journey! Every one of us is going somewhere. Some of us on purpose. I have been amazed by the number of men I have talked with who have little to no vision for their lives. No vision for their marriage; no vision for raising their children; no vision for their health (both physical and spiritual); no vision for their career (other than making lots of money).

When I talk with men I discover that there is a serious vision drought in their lives. If they do have vision it is severely limited and short sighted. This short sightedness leads them to an inaccurate view of life, and fruitless pursuits for fulfillment (like pornography! But that is for another post). Let me share a brief story to illustrate the point.

There were six blind men who lived in India. One day they decided to visit the palace. In the courtyard stood an elephant.

The 1st blind man reached out and touched the elephant’s side and said, “an elephant is like a wall.”

The 2nd blind man touched the trunk and said, “an elephant is like a snake.”

The 3rd blind man touched the tusk and said, “an elephant is like a spear.”

The 4th blind man touched the leg and said, “an elephant is like a tree.”

The 5th blind man touched the ear and said, “an elephant is like a fan.”

The 6th blind man touched the tail and said, “an elephant is like a rope.”

NO ONE AGREED WHAT THE ELEPHANT WAS LIKE.

It is understandable that six blind men would struggle to comprehend what an elephant was like. Each man had a limited perspective of the elephant. They based their understanding of the whole on the sliver of information that they had. Many men are like this when it comes to understanding what it means to be a man.

Now at this point you may be thinking, “Great I am going to learn what it means to be a man reading this post!” Let me let you down gently by informing you that I am not going to do that here. I am a man on a journey to live out the apostle Paul’s command in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, ACT LIKE MEN, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

What I am going to do is to challenge you to expand and pursue a greater vision for what it means to be a man.

My burden for you is not to give you a vision here, but to alert you to the need for vision, lay some tracks for you to pursue vision. This is a life long journey, and our wives, children, and friends are depending on us. Even more, answering and fulfilling our calling in life depends on it.

First Things First

If you are going to pursue vision you need to know what it is.

Andy Stanley defines vision as “what could be and should be of the future. Further, we must receive our vision from God. If our vision comes from anywhere other than God it will fail and lead us down a path of discouragement and frustration. God’s desire and plan is to give us life through faith in Christ. He breathes his life into us through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. It follows then that the vision God gives will come from our heart and mind as they are informed and fueled by the Holy Spirit. This vision will humble you, motivate you, and align you.

As you discover and act on your vision you will come to find that your vision is an anchor that will help you focus your life in the direction God wants to lead you. It is important to understand that ACTION is required. Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare. The difference between a visionary and a dreamer is that a visionary has the courage to step out in faith and live out his dream.

In the beginning of this post I said that life is a journey.

Life is a journey, and every journey has a destination. So where are you going? Everyone is going somewhere in life. Few people end up at that place on purpose. Ending up at a desired destination of what could be and what should be is reserved for men with vision.

I agree wholehearted with Andy Stanley who has written that Vision weaves four things into the fabric of our daily experience.

  1. Passion – Vision evokes emotion.
  2. Motivation – Vision-Driven people are motivated people.
  3. Direction – Vision provides us with a roadmap for our desired future.
  4. Purpose – Vision make you an important link between current reality and the future.

So let me encourage you to begin today to engage in the process of Visioneering. “Visioneering is the course one follows to make dreams a reality. It is the process whereby ideas and convictions take on substance … visioneering is the engineering of a vision. VISIONEERING = INSPIRATION + CONVICTION + ACTION + DETERMINATION + COMPLETION” (A. Stanley Visioneering p.8)

To encourage you to discover your vision I am doing two things for you:

  1. I am praying that God will ignite a passion to pursue vision within you, and give you the courage to act on your dreams.
  2. I am included a tool that I use with the people I serve as a Life Coach. It is a Life Plan that will be of great value to you. CLICK HERE to download it.

Has God given you a vision? Share it in the comments!

-Steve Erickson

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Steve is Campus Pastor for Freshwater Community Church, a Life Coach for Pointing The Way, and a Professor of Biblical Theology at North Star Bible Institute.  You can follow Steve on Twitter or Facebook

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