“Master and Commander”

 In Blog, Charles Cavanaugh

In his role as Captain Jack Aubrey, Russell Crow faces the challenges of leadership head on, even under seemingly impossible circumstances. Under his command, one young officer becomes the object of the crew’s disdain. As pressures mount on the young and inexperienced officer, he tragically decides that suicide is the only answer and jumps into the sea to his untimely death. Captain Aubrey says some last words of eulogy before the somber crew and makes this sobering observation. “The truth is that many of us are not the man we once hoped we would become.” Such a thought should cause each of us to walk in humility before our friends, our fellow-believers, and our families.


If we are to be men of God, we all should walk with increasing measures of Biblical humility. We must, by God’s grace, be Gospel-motivated husbands, fathers, and men. We must make it our prayerful plea to our Heavenly Father to make us men of Christ. Our attitudes towards our wives and children must be filled with grace and the forgiveness of Christ. We are told; “love your wives, and do not be bitter against them.” We are instructed, “do not provoke your children,…” I have jokingly said in the past; “I could be a good Father if it were not for my children.” Truth is that my children’s struggles are largely due to living with a fallen father. Patience, forbearance, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, and love are much easier to exercise with compliant children and faultless spouses. That is where the Gospel and Gospel living come in. Christ did not come to die for slightly flawed but otherwise good people. He came to give Himself a ransom for the ungodly, the unworthy, the unlovely. And we do not live with slightly flawed but otherwise good people. And neither are we. “And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God as a sweet smelling savor.” This is Christ-centered, Gospel living.


Yes, Captain Aubrey, I am not the man I once hoped I would become. But by God’s grace, I am not the man I would have been without Christ. And in that grace I stand and still “press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Press on with me looking to our “Master and Commander”.


By the Grace of God,

Charles Cavanaugh

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