Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems Chapter 19 – The Making of a Man

Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems

Chapter 19 – The Making of a Man

“This world is not a place merely to live in, nor a place in which to do certain kinds of business; it is a great workshop in which to make godly men.” I collect quotes, and adding this one to my collection from Pastor JR Miller, it reminds me of another quote I’ve shared before: “It is…the end towards which a boy uses his intellectual training that is our principle concern. We care most of all what kind of person a boy is.” (Washington Jarvis, Headmaster, Roxbury Latin School)

A person’s character is far more important than mere intellect and knowledge of things. In his recently published book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell makes a convincing case that what we perceive to be advantages may in fact be disadvantages (and quite often are); but what we consider disadvantages are actually character-building, “desirable difficulties.” As he made the talk show rounds promoting his new book, Mr. Galdwell said something that my professional career taught me long ago: successful businesses prefer to hire character over apparent ability. In any enterprise, as in life, character counts!

We continue with Pastor Millers comments: “It is not easy for us to be holy and to grow into beautiful life and noble character. It is not hard to take a lump of clay, and shape it into any form we desire. It is fairly easy to take a piece of soft wood, and carve it into a figure of beauty. It is harder to cut a block of marble into a form of loveliness, for the stone is hard. But it is harder still to take a block of marred and sinful humanity, and make it into a godly [individual], bearing the divine image. Yet that is what God is doing with every Christian who lies in his hands.” Read Rom. 8:29!

Parents, friends, and fellow Character Advocates, I cannot adequately summarize the invaluable things that Pastor Miller has to say here. If you have not read any of the previous chapters, you must read this one. See below a few of his closing observations; then prayerfully read the entire text, which clearly instructs us in our vital TEAM2work endeavor.

  • “Young people must not think that they will naturally grow into fine character, without any care of their own; the natural drift of life is the other way — away from manliness. Only training and self-discipline will yield the noble product.”
  • “The lesson in all this is that experiences alone will not make a worthy and noble [individual] out of anyone. Several things are essential in order that beauty may be wrought out in life’s school. The preparation must be right. A misspent youth, with squandered privileges, insures failure in life.”
  • “The true meaning of experiences must be understood. Many lives are hurt and marred, by the things which are intended to fashion them into beauty and strength.”
  • “Then we need Christ at every point. To leave Christ out of life is to thrust away the only hand which can make circumstances minister to the building up of character.”

Find the full text on Grace Gems at:

Chapter 20 – That Will Do!

 (to be continued)

— Joe LoGiudice, Principal