Tough times don't last, but tough people... are eternal.Oct 30, 2022
Toughness is forged from weakness, not strength.
Being tough is most certainly a desirable and coveted quality of a person. But it is an especially important virtue for men. While tough women are certainly beautiful, amazing, and necessary. It is highly necessary for men to be tough. They are built for it, and life is certainly no cake walk, so in many senses being tough is a requirement. However, being tough is not only misunderstood, but also poorly executed and expressed. Most certainly men and women must choose, develop, and learn toughness. Because being tough isn’t an innate quality, toughness must be developed. I believe women necessitate toughness more often because men fail in this area tremendously. The reason for this failure is a misunderstanding of what real toughness is.
Toughness is not an egotistical warhead fired upon the people and situations in your life to dominate your environment with brute force.
Toughness is certainly not authority displayed for the purposes of maintaining control and power.
Toughness is also not rubbing dirt in it, grinning and bearing it, no pain no gain, or some other form hubristic halo used to virtue signal to the world that you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and by golly you won’t be broken.
Toughness is the ability to respond lovingly, and honorably, to hard and difficult situations.
Being tough is a choice, born from weakness, fashioned with responsibility, and executed through acts of service.
Toughness is pragmatic, necessary, and forged for the service and protection of others. Not the glorification of self.
Men think being tough is a glory filled form of being a bad ass where the toughest dude is the one at the top.
Because the one at the top is the king of the hill.
When I was in grade school, we would play a game called king of the hill. A game of pure violence where you would use any means necessary against everyone else to dominate the top of the snow pile. This was mostly a winter game because the huge piles of snow formed from the street plow would create a perfect mound for mayhem. Whoever dominated the icy, slippery slopes of disaster was willing to deliver and receive the most brutality and enshrine themselves as the toughest kid.
This game, much like life, was not gentle. Except in life, we don’t make it out alive, and there isn’t a teacher moderating the intensity, so “no one gets hurt”. However, kids did get hurt, like injured hurt, there was literally blood, but nobody died.
Life is a no holds bar game of king of the hill, and whoever sits on the top is the toughest.
Of course, that’s a lie.
Even though the world immortalizes and fawns over the people at the top, we are also secretly disgusted by them when they fail to use their power, position, and ability to serve others. When the ones at the top only serve their own self inflated idolatry, we despise them. Especially when they hurt others to keep and maintain their own position on the hill.
Yet, how many men, are scrambling up the slopes of life trying to get to the top. Risking life, limb, and sanity to achieve the life they think will satisfy their soul by working harder, pushing more, and shoving whoever and whatever out of their way in the pursuit of immortality?
Not to take anything away from those that attack life with high levels of force and abandon, nor to say they do so out of self-glorification (I won’t assume a persons’ motives even though they are always mixed), I will say this…
You have to be tough to get to the top in life. In fact, you have to be the toughest.
But I think this is a worldly and natural form of toughness and doesn’t truly embody what it means to be really tough.
Because true toughness is born from weakness, not strength. You cannot truly embody the supernatural characteristic of toughness without becoming weak. But one must understand how truly, weak and feeble they are, accept the truth, and be willing to be made tough through spiritual process.
Toughness is not strength over weakness. Toughness is strength brought through weakness.
Kindness is the ultimate form of toughness, and the ultimate form of kindness ever to be shown by one human to another is when the ultimate King of the Hill, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, came and died a horrific death of crucifixion to love, and save the world from its suicidal death filled pursuit of the top.
So real toughness is a man laying his life, ego, and safety down out of love and service to save others and get them to the top of the hill.
It’s tough to be kind to those who are unkind.
It’s tough to love those who are unlovable.
It’s tough to be gentle with those who are rough.
It’s tough to be polite to those who are rude.
It’s tough to be speak tender to those who scream.
It’s tough to speak well of those who speak poorly.
And it is certainly tough to give to those who only take.
Real toughness is a person who loves. Jesus encouraged his disciples to remain in his Love, Joy, and commanded them to love each other as He loved them. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:3
Real toughness is “Becoming an imitator of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and living a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”. Eph 4:1
Real toughness is becoming a servant of all at the bottom of the hill, not the master at the top. Toughness is taking the beatings on the hill to get others to the top.
Toughness is an attitude. A supernatural attitude which must be bestowed upon us by the only God who made himself nothing and took upon himself the very nature of a servant. Phil 2:6 – 11
Toughness is not obligation, pity, martyrdom, or a virtue signal aimed at earning heavenly brownie points. Toughness is finding joy inside pain and suffering, and a willingness to continue to get others to the top out of love. The joy set before Jesus on the cross, was that we would be welcomed into the new Kingdom (the new hill) as regenerated children of the light that seek to help others reach the top of the hill of life, eternal life.
You see toughness can only be forged through weakness.
Fortunately for us the hill of life will provide plenty of opportunities to come face to face with our finite feebleness. Our problem is that we keep thinking getting to the top will fix the problem. But that’s exactly why life is so brutal, because everyone is sacrificing others to get themselves to the top, in a game where only the tough ones survive. And even then, death is the ultimate hill leveler.
Death is the ultimate king of the hill in this life. But the real King has come and has thrown death to the bottom in victory by bringing the mountain low, and raising the valley up.
This victory wasn’t earned through strength. This victory was claimed through weakness.
The immortal became mortal.
The unkillable became killable.
The author of life became subject to death.
The King of the universe became the servant of all.
Real toughness isn’t getting to the top to survive. It’s sacrificing ones’ self to help others get to the top alive.
God embodied toughness, through Jesus, and showed us what being tough is, means, and does. Toughness is fueled by love, and forged through service at the expense of self to get others to the top. He become our toughness, and King, in a world and on a hill that is so deadly not even God himself survived.
“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing Gods kindness leads you toward repentance.” Rom 2:4
Want to be tougher. It’s time to be weak.
Maybe it’s time to accept your weakness, and come face to face with the God who chose weakness out of love for you to bring you to the top of the hill with Him.
Because Gods power is made perfect through weakness.
So, take heart dear brother and sister. Rejoice always in the God who chose to be broken how you are broken, to die as you’ll die, and to play the deadliest game of king of the hill for you, and with you, so you can dance on top with him for eternity.
If you are in a season of endless brokenness, just meditate on the fact Jesus chose the ultimate suffering for you in himself, so he could be with you in yours.
He came to be with us in the valley, shrouded in darkness by the ever-looming shadow of death. So, we can fear no evil, and can learn to be strong in His Holy Spirit to become tough.
He has fulfilled his promise to be with us, and paid the ultimate price to do so out of love so we can have access to His supernatural strength born from weakness.
If you are in pain and are suffering, remember God chose it voluntarily to be with you so you can be tough enough to walk through your trial in strength.
Give thanks for the brokenness, because it’s through the brokenness where we are made whole, and are driven to Him.
Life is impossible, but with God all things are possible, especially conquering a game where death throws down everyone, including the God of the Universe.
Remember its always more fun to slide down the hill than it is to climb it.
I pray for whatever suffering you are facing you go to Jesus to learn what he wants to teach you, and he gives you the strength to become tougher in the valley, than you could ever be at the top of the mountain.
The promise is that He, the immortal almighty King, and lover of your soul has come to be with you to get you top of the hill…
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