Are You a Guy or a Man?

“The disciples were amazed. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked. ‘Even the winds and waves obey Him!’” (Matthew 8:27 NLT)

When you’re with a group of men you might see, hear, or smell any number of things, but if you asked why, the common response is: “It’s just a guy thing!” And that’s true even if it’s a Christian group of men. The basic premise behind the acceptance of uncouth behavior among men is that they’re just being “men.” But are they?

The setting for the above verse is, Jesus has been resting from a physically tiring day of ministry, but while He slept a fierce storm arose and the water was coming into the boat in an alarming rate. The disciples literally were fearing for their lives.

I’m confident they tried everything they knew to do to remedy the situation, but to no avail. Finally, in literal desperation, they awakened Jesus and, to be heard above the noise of the storm, they were shouting at the top of their lungs: “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Have you ever been awakened from a deep sleep? You may have been in the midst of a dream, so to be suddenly awakened is somewhat disorienting. I’m not suggesting Jesus wasn’t in full command of His senses, but listen to what He said first: “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!”

Of course, the storm is still raging, so Jesus would have had to speak loudly also. What’s my point? The disciples’ first response to the storm is fear. Jesus’ first thought was faith. What’s the implication? It’s as if Jesus is saying: “What do you have to be afraid of, I’m with you!” Then, as a means of illustrating His point, He rebuked the wind and waves, and there was peace and calm.

It was then the disciples asked the question at the top of the page. So, what does all of this have to do with whether you’re a guy or a man?

Being a guy is fun. You can be “yourself.” Laid back, unguarded as to your behavior, after all, “I’m just a guy.” Belch, pass gas, have a hot dog eating contest, who cares, it’s just a “guy” thing. Depending on the nature of the crowd of men, it can involve drinking, drugs, illicit sex, even the taking of another person’s life. Where am I going with this?

Being a “guy” essentially means to give liberty to your basest self. It’s a “no discipline, no rules, and no holds barred” kind of attitude, quite unlike the behavior of our Savior. But don’t misunderstand. I believe Jesus had a great sense of humor. I suspect He played tricks on His disciples, laughed, and had a good time with them, and there’s certainly a place for that for us.

But when it comes to our faith in Jesus, we’ve got to allow Him to lead, discipline, and instruct us. We must learn to become a man, a man of God, not simply a guy among guys.

Burk Parsons wrote: “It’s easy to be a guy, but it takes courage, integrity, character, honor, strength, discipline, and humility to be a man.” Guys joke and cut up, and that’s okay, but there comes a time when we’ve got to set our rowdiness aside and discipline ourselves to intentionally grow in our likeness of Jesus.

Real men love Jesus and, thus, love and are faithful to their wives, treat their children with tenderness and kindness, and walk in a way that deserves to be followed. Jesus was a Man among men who not only taught us, but showed us with His life, what it means to be a man. Let’s follow Him as closely as we possibly can – TOGETHER!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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