Spiritual Couch Potatoes
I am so sick and tired of hearing men complain about the state of today’s church and whining about the spiritual condition of our nation. Yet when you ask them what they are doing to address their so called concerns they suddenly change the subject. This is very disheartening when you consider that most of these men whining and complaining are claiming to be God’s men. Well God’s men, it is time for us to “man-up” and stop being spiritual couch potatoes!
Now before you start shouting “Amen” and “About time”, let’s understand what it really means to live for our Heavenly Father. Peter gave us a very good description when he wrote: “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” WOW! God’s men have a tremendous standard to live out through their daily lives. Let’s look at some key questions related to this passage.
Are you living your earthly life for the will of God? Far too many of God’s men are living their earthly lives trying to serve two masters. Jesus made it very clear when He said “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
In our culture, this verse can be interpreted to be money or things money can buy. Material possessions have become the standard by which men measure success. Let’s face it; it is easy to get distracted by the cultures standards and start to focus on the wrong things as it relates to our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Peter gave us a clear indication of whether we are on track with living our lives for the will of God. The passage states “they heap abuse on you.” When we are living for God and not for ourselves our peers have a very difficult time understanding it. Remember, Satan is always at work and one of the most effective ways to distract a man is to have his peers make fun of the way he is living his life. Peers will attempt to make living God’s will somehow less masculine and real men don’t need such things to live their lives. When we speak God’s truth they will call us hypocrites, narrow-minded and antiquated. Peter reminds us that those who heap on the abuse will have to give account to a just and holy God and he goes on to say that this was the very reason the gospel was preached even to those that are spiritually dead.
Peter goes on to tell us that “the end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” Pray? So many of God’s men fail to use one of the most powerful resources we have in our relationship with Him and that resource prayer. Again, this is one of those things that our culture loves to use to imply that men who pray are somehow weak and less masculine. Yet prayer is critical to developing and maturing the personal relationship with God. God’s men must ignore the pressures of our culture and remain focused and determined to pray without ceasing for it is critical to the mission of making disciples.
As if these two directives are not difficult enough for men, Peter goes on to say that we are to “love each other deeply.” OUCH! Come on God, haven’t we been given difficult enough things to do with living Your will and praying! Then He has to tack on that we are to “offer hospitality to each other without grumbling.” After all “love deeply” and “hospitality” are not generally part of a real man’s vocabulary much less the way he lives his life. But these are the things that set us apart from other men in our culture and are critical to living out the example given to us by Jesus Christ. While we will come into contact with people that are certainly not very lovable; it is when we love the unlovable and we are kind to those who do not deserve kindness that we are truly reflecting the Love of our Heavenly Father and the model of Jesus Christ.
Here is the challenge to the men that are currently spiritual couch potatoes: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
Peter closes with a description of what it means to “suffer” for being a Christian. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
God’s men need to WAKE UP, GET UP, and GET BUSY doing God’s work. For us to successfully live God’s will we must remain focused and steadfast with Peter’s description of “suffering” in this passage. Jesus tells us “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
As God’s chosen men we must be obedient to His directives and fully expect the world around us to react negatively; therefore the world will try every tactic possible to disrupt and destroy our efforts to accomplish God’s objectives.
So the real question is to whom do you want to belong … to the world or God? If you desire to belong to God then there is no room for spiritual couch potatoes in His Kingdom!
 1Peter 4:1-11 All scripture used in this article is taken from the NIV translation of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.
 Matthew 6:24
 1 Peter4:12-19
 John 15:19