Psalm 119:9 (NKJV)
9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
What does it mean to be a young man and not just a young male? We have many young males in the world. You can see them strutting along the streets; speaking disrespectfully to their parents and teachers; scorning authority; blasting their music in their cars; starting fights; chasing females; causing trouble. But what does it mean to be a man and not just a male. For maleness is a matter of biology – anyone with certain anatomy is a male. But manliness is a matter of moral fiber – and has less to do with your anatomy than your character.
So you young males out there – do you know what it is to be a young man? This is the question David poses today. How can a young man cleanse his way? How can he be a young man after God’s own heart? How can he grow in favor with God and with other men? How can he demonstrate his worth? David’s answer is simple: By taking heed according to God’s Word.
Remember that two weeks ago when we read John’s remarks in his first epistle, he said, “I have written to you young men because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the evil one.” In other words, the most important thing you can do to become a young man and not simply to be a young male is to consider, meditate upon, memorize, and practice God’s Word. Lord, what do you want me to love and esteem? What do you want me to cherish? What does it mean to be a young man after your own heart? It is this type of meditation which leads to John’s conclusion, “and you have overcome the evil one.” The key to victory is faith in and reliance upon the Living God who has revealed Himself and His will in His Word. And this book is the pathway to manliness.
Reminded that we often confuse maleness with manliness, let us kneel and confess our sin to our father, asking Him to bestow manliness upon our men – young and old alike.