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ARE YOU A WISE MAN OR A MORON?
How’s that for an opening question? Does it intrigue you or offend you? Jesus sure had a way of doing that to people. You see, He asked that very question in Matthew 7. You see, in Matthew 7 Jesus introduces us to Wally and Martin. Wally is a wise man, and Martin is a moron. Oh, that’s not my description of Martin, it’s Christ’s.
So, who are these two guys? What are they building? What makes Wally wise and Martin a moron? Enquiring minds want to know!
Welcome to the Point of Purity Podcast! I’m your host Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry and this is Episode #137. In this episode we continue our journey through my book entitled “Are You a Super Man of God? Becoming God’s Man of Steel”. This week’s episode is entitled “A Wise Man and a Moron.”
For those of you just joining this podcast, and for those of you who just need a refresher – we are currently talking about how to be a Super Man of God – God’s man of steel. Much of what we’re covering in this series is being taken directly from the pages of my book with the same title “Are You a Super Man? How to Become God’s Man of Steel” available on Amazon.com.
In Matthew chapter seven, Jesus introduces us to “Wally and Martin” (names I’ve made up for the sake of this study. Now Wally was a wise man, and Martin is a moron. Oh, that’s not my description – it’s Christ’s.
Now, I’m willing to bet if you pick up your Bible and read Matthew 7:24-27, you will not find the word “moron.” But I assure you—it’s there. Jesus called Martin a “foolish” man. That word “foolish” comes from the Greek word “moros.” You guessed it, it’s the root for our English word moron. And it means exactly what you would expect the word to mean—one who is stupid, a blockhead, a very foolish man.
The first thing we need to focus on is the magnitude of Wally and Martin’s building projects. They weren’t assembling a really cool treehouse or an ice-fishing shanty or duck blind. They were building a very important structure which Jesus called their “house.” In other words, both of these guys were deeply involved in their life-building project.
This wasn’t a fly-by-night, do it on a whim and slap it together kind of thing. This was an I’m-all-in, do-or-die project. Their goal wasn’t simply to construct a comfy vacation bungalow somewhere in the Hamptons. They weren’t building something just for themselves. It was to be a heritage for their kids—a legacy they hoped would last well into the future. They were building their lives.
In a few moments, we will discover together just what made Martin a moron and Wally wise. But for right now keep in mind that Martin wasn’t just throwing a few sticks together with spit, chewing gum and a ball of twine and saying—voilà, there is my life! He wasn’t going through the building process thinking, “Oh, this is just a temporary thing. I know a big bad wolf is going to come along someday and he’ll huff and he’ll puff, and when he blows, everything I’ve worked for all my life will come crashing down around me.” He didn’t shrug his shoulders and say, “Eh, no big deal. When it does collapse, I’ll just pick up the pieces of my life and start all over again.” No! He was just as intent on building a life that would leave a lasting legacy as was his counterpart. Both he and Wally were working toward the same goal.
May I suggest that you and I strongly resemble the builders of Matthew 7. Every day, whether we realize it or not, we are building into our lives. Every day, we make decisions that impact our lives and affect the lives of those around us. Every choice we make today determines the path we are going to go down tomorrow, and the heritage we will leave behind when we are gone.
Most of the time we don't pause long enough to consider that the things we choose to do (or not do) today are literally molding our future and setting a course that will influence the lives of everyone we care about. Not only do Wally and Martin share this similarity, but we have at least this one thing in common with both of them. We are all life-builders.
The second similarity Wally and Martin shared is this: they both lived in the same neighborhood and probably knew each other. I say that because Jesus said they both encountered the exact same horrific storm that attacked their houses (lives). In both instances Christ said, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house” (Matthew 7:25, 27).
This was no mild mid-summer thunderstorm. They didn’t sit out on the back deck with an iced tea in hand and watch the clouds darken while complaining about their lumbago. The storm that ransacked their neighborhood was more like a class-five hurricane with a couple of tornadoes thrown in. That particular storm packed such a punch that it put untold stress on both of their lives. It bore down on both of them with unbearable force and they were powerless to do anything about it.
You and I will also face multiple storms in life—each one intent on destroying us. Sometimes we will get rained on. I’m not talking about droplets of moisture that fall from the sky—I’m referring to those tiny little situations (dare I say annoyances?) that in and of themselves don’t amount to much, just a pesky drop here and there that we could definitely do without but can tolerate. However, when they start hitting you all at once you find yourself diving for cover. Every so often the rain will fall on your life with a vengeance; how will you hold up under the barrage? The choices and decisions you make today will determine your answer when the storm comes tomorrow.
Sometimes, with the rain comes the flood. I’m talking about those situations in life that seem to swell up on you suddenly and then tend to just sit there, weighing heavily on you, drowning out everything you value. They just take over. You wonder if it will ever end? When it will go away? You feel a damp sadness creep over you, bordering on cold despair as it leaves sludge and destruction in its wake. The floods of life will come my friend; you can count on it. The choices and decisions you make today will determine how you respond when it rises up all around you tomorrow.
And then there is the wind. This isn’t a slight breeze we’re talking about. I’m referring to the times when you get slammed, seemingly out of nowhere. You never saw it coming. This is the major surprise that hits you hard, relentlessly pressing in on you. You stagger back from the blast, barely able to keep your footing. You search for something (or someone) solid to grab hold of because you are unable to anchor yourself. You know if you don’t find purchase soon, it’s going to blow you far, far away. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced these winds before. And you will experience them again. The choices and decisions you make today will determine how solidly you stand against the wind tomorrow.
The fact is life isn’t always sunshine and butterflies. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are spiritually, the storms will come. In fact, many times you’ll get hit by rain and flooding and winds all at the same time.
How well will your structure (your life) hold up under the storm that's coming? What high-quality materials are you building into your life right now that will enable it to stand when the attack comes?
We don't know when the next storm is going to hit, how hard it will hit, how long it will last, or what part of our life it's going to attack. The only thing we do know is that it will come. We need to prepare now for the inevitable. So far, we share at least two things in common with Wally and Martin. We saw that both builders faced the same storm. What storms of life have you struggled against? Why did you consider them “storms”? Let me challenge you to get your Bible and read 1 Peter 5:8 - then compare that verse with the words of John 8:44, 10:10. Those verses will help you answer this question: What does Satan want to accomplish through your storms, and why? Ok, now open your Bible to James Chapter 1 and read verses 2-3. After you’ve read James 1:2-3 read Job 23:10 and 1 Peter 1:7. Those particular verses will help you answer this question: What does God want to accomplish through your storms, and why?
So far, we’ve seen two similarities so far between Wally and Martin: first, each is building his life, his lasting legacy. Second, they are facing the same storm, intent on taking down both of their houses. A third connection these guys share is that they both attended the same church. They sat under the same pastor and were exposed to the same sermons’ week after week.
Please understand that in this story Jesus isn’t saying that Wally had a love for hearing the Truth, while Martin felt utter contempt for it. No, Jesus said that both these guys heard the Word of God. Let me repeat that—they both heard God’s Word! Sometimes we forget that part of the story. Both men knew the value of what God had to say. Both men sought it out. Both of these guys listened to what the Lord had to say.
Lest you think, “Well, they may have heard the word of God, but only Wally was actually listening,” let me clarify something. The verb "to hear," as used in this story of the two builders in Matthew 7, indicates that the one doing the hearing is attentively considering every word carefully. In other words, both Wally and Martin gave their full attention to what was being said, and they were thinking about how God’s Truth applied to them.
Let me risk a moment of repetition here: don’t lose sight of the fact that both of these builders heard God’s Word. Both of them sat on the edge of the pew during the Sunday message. Both of them took notes and gave careful attention to what God had to say about how to live life and gave serious thought to how it applied to them.
This wasn’t just a wise-man thing to do. Even the other guy across the aisle sat there listening to what God had to say and was actually thinking about what he was hearing. Martin wasn’t a moron—at least not yet.
Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that you too hear God’s Word? You’ve been hearing it as you listen to this podcast each week. You hear it every Sunday in church, or when you have your devotions or sit in a small group Bible study. Every time you hear God’s Word you have a choice. What are you going to do with what you hear? Think about this carefully, because this is a third thing you and I share in common with Wally and Martin.
As thought-provoking as all of this is, it’s not the similarities between these two guys (and us) that are important here. Up to this point, there is very little difference between the two men. However, Jesus makes it clear that there is just one singular difference we need to focus our attention on. That sole variation is what determines whether you are a wise man or a moron. You see, the fundamental difference between Wally and Martin was the type of foundation they chose to build upon. Wally chose obedience to God’s Word. Martin did not.
The foolish man of Matthew 7 heard God’s Word, just like the wise man. What made him a moron was that he willfully chose to ignore what God had said. He heard God’s truth, just as you are. He understood God’s promises, just as you do. Yet he didn’t follow through with obedience. (How about you?) Maybe he intended to apply God’s principles to his life later on; I don’t know. But James warns us to “not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). Otherwise, you’re a moron.
Martin made the choice to go about his life on his own. For whatever reason, he decided he only needed God on Sundays and holidays. What choices are you making right now? Think about this: you’ve already been spending time at the construction site. You are already fully engaged in your life-building project. The question, then, is not whether you are going to be a wise builder; rather, the real question is which builder are you right now? I can’t repeat this enough. You are building your life right now. Is it a godly life? This very moment as you are listening to these very words, would God consider you a wise man or a moron?
If you are not in God’s Word daily, and if you are not applying God’s truth to your life—moment-by-moment living in obedience to what God is teaching you—then I submit that you already are that foolish man. You are a moron. I know that’s strong language, but if you truly want to be godly in your everyday living, it begins now. Not tomorrow, not after you’re done going through this study, but now!
Let me reiterate the fact that God says a wise man will give his full and immediate attention to what God is saying in His Word. The wise man, the Super Man of God, is always considering carefully what he is reading, and he is seeking to understand how it applies to him. But that alone doesn’t make us wise. Something else is required. According to Jesus, it is nothing short of complete obedience! You have to put what God says into practice in your life.
OK, we’re going to hit the pause button here until next week’s episode. If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, and more specifically how we can help you live in freedom from sexual sin, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com.
Now before I close out this episode, I WANT TO REMIND YOU OF SOME VERY, VERY EXCITING NEWS. After nearly 11 years of testing, I am excited to announce the release of my newest book The Point of Purity Workbook!" Available now on Amazon, this workbook is the accumulation and culmination of 10+ years of coaching, mentoring, and counseling men in the area of sexual addiction and purity.
“The Point of Purity Workbook" is a 12-week journey through Scripture to help you discover the point of purity. Why should I be pure? What’s the point? What's wrong with a little "forbidden pleasure" from time to time? You will also learn how to get to the point of purity - living daily in freedom and victory over temptation.
Written in such a way that you can do this on your own or with an accountability partner or small group its purpose is to walk you through Scripture discovering from God’s Word how you can be free. Each week you are equipped with powerful tools from The Bible that will help you not only BE free, but LIVE free. You will learn how to effectively change your thought process when faced with temptation (not just sexual temptation, but actually any and all temptation). You will discover how to submit yourself to God, standing firmly against the temptation and successfully resist it every time.
You see, the real problem we struggle with is not sexual temptation. The real problem is a worship disorder. Who is sitting on the throne of your heart? Whom are you worshiping and why? “The Point of Purity Workbook" is a 12-week deep dive into Scripture to help answer this all-important question and discover how to dethrone King Me, allowing God to be Lord and leader of every part of your life. So be sure to visit Amazon.com today and get your copy of “The Point of Purity Workbook”!
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes! So, until next time this Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.
Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!
I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!