Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find
it - Matthew 7:13-14.
My oldest son is now a teenager and it brings a whole new set of challenges (I know they are a number of you that have already experienced this stage of your child's life and I am more than receptive to your advice) and it represents something different for me. With his hormones starting to kick in and puberty coming, things are starting to change. This will be my first time dealing with this since I really didn't get to experience it with my daughter (that's something that will be covered in another post). One of the conversations that I am already having with him is to resist the temptation to follow the crowd.
It's amusing to note the changes of how we convey the message from generation to generation. My father would use the old "if everyone jumped off the cliff, would you follow and do it"? The message now revolves around social media and channels such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus covers the narrow gate and broad road in the much beloved Sermon on the Mount. This was our Lord's first major teaching address and the items that He covered represents a guide on how to live life and the characteristics that should comprise our walk as Christians. Jesus talks about how many talk about experiencing life with Him, but few will find it. This was evidenced by the many people that followed Him at the beginning of His ministry, but dwindled down dramatically by the time of His death. Jesus was warning His followers that adopting the principles covered in the Sermon on the Mount required discipline that few were willing to embrace. As a result, few would be able to enter the Kingdom. Not because they didn't want to, but because they didn't have the intestinal fortitude to do it on consistent basis. This teaching has practical application in our life. How many times have we embraced a cause or call to action because we were swept up in the fervor and hype caused by the masses, only to shrink away when we realize the cost that was required? What was the reason that we didn't see it through until it's completion? Why was it so easy to start, but so difficult to finish?
Men, it's a special person that can identify a worthy calling and then put into practice the habits required to be successful. Very few can do it. It's so easy and convenient to take the broad road, which represents the easy way out. The narrow road is the one that requires you to dig deep and tap into reserves that you may not know that you possess. I will tell you that there are less people on that narrow road and the benefits of taking it are enormous. There is less traffic and you get to meet like minded people that inspire you. I challenge you to take the narrow road in your life. You won't regret it.
ACTION PLAN: Reach out to someone that is travelling the narrow road and spend some time with them. Find out the things that they are doing that keep them on that path and integrate it into your life.
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Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.