You can be both steel and velvet

Good morning everyone,

Our theme for this month: “Character and integrity”

Our Bible verse for today: “As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “You can be both steel and velvet”

I guess I’ve always been something of a hero worshipper. Since I was a child there have always been those who I have looked up to, admired, and wanted to be more like. It’s not that I actually “worshiped” them. It’s just that I saw character traits in them that made them special in my mind and created within me a desire to be more like that myself.

They were often notable figures from history like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan; or athletes like Eric Liddell, Tony Gywnn, and Payton Manning; or celebrity figures like John Wayne; or Christian leaders like Henry Blackaby, Eugene Peterson, Oren Teel, and Dick DeGrow. There have also been Biblical figures who I especially identify with and would like to more like including Joshua, Caleb, Jesus, Paul, and Barnabas.

One thing all of those men have in common is that they embodied the concept of being both steel and velvet. Steel represents the inner core of the man. That inner core is comprised of a strong character and solid integrity. It is formed by an unshakable commitment to moral and ethical behavior, and it consists of character traits like strength, courage, resilience, perseverance, loyalty, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and dependability. The inner man is rock-solid and unmovable.

But the outer man is clothed in velvet. The outer man is kind, considerate, and compassionate. He is quick to grant mercy and grace. He loves his Lord, his family, his friends, and his church, and he isn’t ashamed to show it. He has an inner core of steel but it is wrapped in an outer core of velvet. I think Joshua was like that (see Joshua 24:15 above). This concept was well-developed and fully explained in the classic men’s book “Man of Steel and Velvet” by Aubrey Andelin.

Yesterday we considered the importance of being kind to people. Too often in our day kindness is viewed as weakness. That’s especially true in the public brawls that pass for political and social discourse these days. But not for the man or woman of steel and velvet. Such a person has the confidence, courage, and wisdom to stand their ground, but without being mean-spirited, harsh, and unkind. I have great admiration for people like that and I aspire to be more like that myself. I hope you do as well.

God bless,

Pastor Jim

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