By W. Eric Crooms, Pastor
If I were to paraphrase the inimitable Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, The problem of the twenty-first century for Black men in America is the problem of empowerment, the willingness of our brothers to move against the internal and external forces that stand between us and our freedom.
Divergent forces are at work now to undermine, undercut and under served the pillars of our community.
This assault on our men is rampant in our society and it’s most vicious display is registered in the killing of unarmed young men. Self-destructive habits also are wreaking havoc among many in our community. Therefore, our challenges are both structural and behavioral.
In light of the above, what are men to do now? Become Psalm One Men.
It’s important to organize, and protest has its place. But empowerment is also essential and empowerment begins as an inside job.
We must tap into our inner power and equip ourselves to claim our God-given, brand-new future! Why?
Because you can’t keep a good, Psalm One man down!
One cursory glance at our society and we all must face the sad reality: right is wrong and wrong is right; guided missiles but misguided souls. Something has happened to our men.
We need men! We need men who will stand for right and not wrong. We need principled men, men who do not equivocate between the allure of right and the unabashedness of wrong.
• Well men:
The average white male lives
61, 320 hours,
Longer than the average black male
That’s an average life span of 67.8 years for black men.
- Strong men whose backs are not bent, because no person can ride your back unless it is bent, says Dr. King.
- The voice of men to resound as God’s trumpets, leading the young along principled paths;
- We need mentors who will remind youth that we ourselves once walked the journey they are on. We need men!
The Psalm One man is the type of man we need; we observe in this man godly characteristics of Christ. The Psalm One man of the first number of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible is our blueprint of what Christ calls us to become. This man possesses three (among many) unique attributes.
He is Blessed
- ‘Blessed is an adjective and has two meanings which shed light on the believer. One, blessed is to make holy, to consecrate and to live as a beneficiary of that relationship. Two, ‘blessed’ also means to bring happiness or comfort. We are blessed because of our relationship with God but we bring that blessing to others!
We are, therefore, blessed and highly favored!
If you want to be a blessed/happy man, do not:
- follow advice of bad people
- take the path bad people took
- become what bad people who took the bad path become: scoffers, a man who sits in the company of mockers (haters; those who have time to deride the dreams of others because they gave up on their own dreams; critical, hateful; dream-busters.
He is a Stand Up Man in a Sit Down World
- The Psalm One man finds his power in his blessedness; he can, therefore stand in his purpose, when others sit down. He is “maladjusted” i.e. cannot ‘adjust’ to what’s going on around him but sounds the alarm that change had better be coming!
- if you “sit in the company of mockers” (NIV), what do you think you’ll be when you stand?
And as a result of standing instead of sitting:
- they are like trees
- yield fruit
- do not wither
- in all they do they prosper (not that their bank accounts are at surplus or that they drive the finest cars, but rather it becomes their attitude –they see themselves as prosperous, blessed and highly favored)
He is Aware of his Spiritual Power
- There is a profound difference between a spiritual man and a religious man; the former sees life from the inside out, the latter from the outside in.
But do these things:
- their delight is in the Lord
- and they meditate day and night (not only are they in the Word , the Word is in them, infusing them with strength, joy and an unquenchable thirst for the things of the Lord)
- spiritual man’s house is built on rock/religious man sand
- spiritual man is anchored in a storm/religious man blown away like a chaff
- spiritual man sees the Divine within him/religious man somewhere up there
The Psalm One man is a powerful man; he knows who he is and whose he is. The Psalm One man is the God-inspired man who constantly seeks to become better and thereby making our homes better, our churches better and our communities better.
We need Psalm One men!