The Bible describes Boaz as a “worthy man” (Ruth 2:1), a man full of substance…full of character. More than his wealth, affluence and business acumen, Boaz stood out for his character. If our young men were wanting to hang manhood posters in their rooms, Boaz would be the number “23” of those posters. He’s a man worth emulating.
But what was it exactly about Boaz that we would want our young men to mimic? Reading through the narrative of Ruth there are six traits that stand out about him, and in this post I will share one of those attributes (and the rest in future posts).
One of the things I find most encouraging about Boaz is he’s not a preacher. He isn’t a prophet, or someone in full time vocational ministry. He’s a businessman, situated out in the marketplace. He’s successful, and makes plenty of money, but he’s not defined by the size of his organization or bank accounts. In fact, while he rarely makes mention of his business, he talks way more about his God. What’s clear is that he is guided by what I am calling a transcendent purpose.
Howard Hendricks once pointed out there’s three questions every man has to answer: Who’s our Master? What’s our Mission? Who’s our Mate? My sons and I talk about these questions often. As they are preparing to leave our home to venture out into the world, our conversations have been filled with this concept of mission. Sure, there’s the idea of how will they earn a living, but mission speaks to so much more, and is best expressed by the word vocation, which comes from the Latin vocatio, which means calling. Too many men have jobs, but not vocations. Too many men receive a paycheck, but not enough have embraced their mission.
This maybe you, and you’re wondering how does one discern their mission? Great question. When God called Moses into the mission of leading Israel, Moses balked, giving a whole litany of excuses of how he couldn’t do this. God then asked a critical question that turned the whole conversation and trajectory of Moses’ life: What’s in your hand (Exodus 4:2)? It was a staff- an instrument Moses had used for the previous forty years as a shepherd. He was comfortable with his staff. He had used it effortlessly. What was in his hand was his gifts and passions, those things that when he did them not only brought him joy, but had become second nature.
If we want to discern our mission, begin with the question of what’s in our hand? What is it that when you do it you sense the pleasure of God? For me it’s preaching, writing and leading. That’s in my hand. For others it’s singing, or maybe administrating. These are good gifts God has given us. Now I’ll let you in on a secret: If God gives you a gift, and a passion, don’t you think he wants you to do something with it? This is a part of your mission. Isn’t this a real game changer for how we approach the will of God? Instead of waiting on God to show you what you should do, why don’t we begin by taking inventory with what’s in our hand? Once we figure this out we’re well on our way to mission and vocation, and living with a sense of transcendent purpose.