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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Stature of Man

Updated on October 29, 2016

I think this ship could carry more personnel than were in my hometown when I was born.

One man's stature? I do not think man can stand alone/
One man's stature? I do not think man can stand alone/ | Source

Joe has bad stature? We do not say stature in the negative. I don't no why.

Did you know that some people have what they call arrested development? It really means that somewhere along the line their growth got captured and held captive someplace. It is possible that that place of captivity we are talking about is a jail where we have put ourselves under arrest. Probably we did not even give ourselves the respect to “read us our rights”. Probably also we chose to either lose the key or maybe even worse, give it to someone else so that we were reliant upon them for our release or freedom. The concepts of guilt and resentments are at work here, those twin son demons.

Stature of the earliest part of our independent mobility is hands and knees doing our best to crawl. That is the physical stature. The holistic stature of that child is to go to and see what is. Somewhere we learn to walk and even run. In our earliest phases here most simply love to run and walk and about seeing what they see as they travel. One of the finest children’s games there is, is called tag. Then the stature and mobility of the man changes to where the reason for the mobility is to get some place. Perhaps even a noble purpose driven life. It is in this part of life that most create a child. So the stature of the man is the example of what the child must develop.

We have all heard the phrase “the road less travelled” but we must be cognizant of the destination. “A destination less travelled to”.

We think of stature and our minds go directly toward the posture of a man, how erect he stands. Upon further thought we add the proviso that his stature is also connected to the stands that he makes. Then we might well add the respect that he deserves. Funny but I have never heard the phrase “he had terrible stature”, so I surmise stature is reserved for the positive in us.

I will not even research it here but for some reason I think that Statute, Statue, Stand and Stature all have to do with how something is standing for something. And certainly that is not restricted to the physical. Perhaps the words have origins having nothing to do with each other. But it is interesting to think of them along the same lines.

Perhaps the stature of one man. Perhaps Washington? I like these pictures. I lived in a place where the Cathedrals were built on Aztec pyramids - Chollula Mexic

Are power and might the things of stature. Or is it the heart?

I did hear a man once who thought his ability to out drink everyone had stature.
I did hear a man once who thought his ability to out drink everyone had stature. | Source

Is it mystical what is the stature of a man?

There is a fine phrase: The Doing Of The Thing. https://www.amazon.com/Doing-Thing-Brilliant-Whitewater-Holmstrom/dp/1892327074 (I think a book by Brad Demick that is a must for people who want to understand people that are in nature different than us city dwellers and I might add wonderfully written). At some point the man walking on two legs from destination to destination notices something special along the path, both metaphorically and physically. It changes him. He begins to see that what he thought was the stature of the man who reached the pinnacle was what mattered, was at least partially wrong. It became apparent that his real stature was how he impacted others while on his journey. Now do not for a second think that we are talking about the easy civic participant stature. We are not talking conformity here. Probably the opposite.

Just a fun thought here. I am not referring to horrific hurricanes here. I am writing of places where the winds are supposed to normally blow over 100 miles an hour. Tops of mountains and the like. A man that stands erect facing a 70 mile an hour wind will most surely get knocked down. The man that bends his knees a little and hunches his back a little and then leans into the wind may remain standing. This is true in life also. Standing erect for the purpose of standing erect will blow you over in times of strong winds. Stature is not being erect when it is time to lean over and give a hand up. Stature is not standing proud when humility is called for. The father who does not stoop for his son does not love his son.

It is entirely possible that one man must bend his own morals and integrity to help another. Certainly a battle within occurs in such circumstance. So even if the man must sway a bit like the willow in the wind he remains rooted in what he calls good.

In contemplating this issue we can let go of the tethers of the model society proclaims as a man of good stature. We must be careful here though as we cannot simply say that just because society proclaims it good then it is bad. Sometimes it takes some pretty nasty fertilized soil in order to grow the best rose. While the society of man has many stinky constructs many good things come of them. When the farmer has one rotten apple in the barrel he can cast that one out and save the many good apples if he is vigilante. If he is not discerning quickly casting out the rotten truly his whole barrel will turn rotten. And it is the same in looking at the traits of a man. We mean this both from the internal and the external. In order to maintain good stature a man must both listen to guidance from others and also do his own pruning.

Who stands taller?

This aqua grower puts me to shame in stature. I try to be as erect as these.
This aqua grower puts me to shame in stature. I try to be as erect as these. | Source

Perhaps this is my stature. I think I am OK with that/

I think gifts and love must be shared

Money. Do the finest clothes with the perfectly coiffured hair and just the right amount of bling increase a man’s stature? At first blush I say no not at all. On second thought if the man spends equal amounts of money helping others, well then it may. Dapper John may just be philanthropist John also. So we cannot judge a book by it’s cover and we cannot judge a man’s stature by his cover. And so of course the opposite is true. The appearing pauper may be a man of high stature when it comes to helping his fellow man. Wealth may be an opportunity to increase ones stature but it may also be an encumbrance. Once again it is the choices that the man makes that determines his stature.

There is this mixed bag that we get when we know what we must do. First we must ask if it is hubris and arrogant that we think that our way is the right way to go. And so many potential men of good stature get moribund here. Lack of confidence, insecurity and a fear of what others think takes the stature of the man and hides it from himself and the world. And so the ruddy hell of it is that we must actually take action to be of good stature. And furthermore it means that to be a man of good stature one must often fail. Overcoming failure is such a much higher standard than to not have taken action. The wonderful thought not expressed is far worse than no thought at all.

Those of us who dwell in the world of composition, know full well that we must “publish” our songs, poetry, stories and opinions or suffer. The stature of such art does get to be defined by popularity or financial success. The stature of such an artist is measured by performing his art using the gifts freely given him. A man who dies without putting his poem to print, may not be a man of good stature. But one who gave the world his art – good or bad, is a man of good stature. Contribution is such a wonderful word. Let us be careful here though. The physician who travels to a far off land to heal the sick and the lame should not be judged on his lack of spending his time on writing. It is not what the exact nature of the gift is that matters. It is that the gift given is shared.

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    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 8 months ago from United States

      A person's stature depends a lot upon what others think of him or her. If they

      are respectable, set good examples for others to follow, then usually they are held in high esteem and are a model for the rest of us. What we think of ourselves or self- esteem is most often governed by how others treat us and what they say about our behavior. This is a focal point in my classes as a former teacher of the handicapped. Self-esteem was the most valued and highly praised virtue in all of my kids.It often made the difference in success and failure. A person's stature is exactly that, a reproduction visibly accepted as their essence. My opinions only my friend. Blessings. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu, I have this wonderful privilege of serving as chairman of a Council that oversees all the money that is spent at our school, the one my son attends. We are not talking much here, under a million but close. It is an awarding winning school where a full third of the students petition to get in.

      They have the most marvelous of marvelous programs to integrate a large group of children with learning and physical challenges. My son only in first grade mentors one. I say the self esteem is lopsided as my son glows with love to help another. FDR taught us that no man is handicapped unless he is not respected.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 8 months ago from london

      Interesting. Funny it reminded me of Ann's Challenge of taking the dull or boring and turning it into something interesting. In this case, it read like you started with 'statue' and your Hub gradually developed into a great story.

      I like your approaches to it, and for the man who is bent or bending over most refer to the word 'gait.' Yes, statue is an interesting one, implying prestige due to land, wealth, power, status or class and all those you've mentioned plus. Nice Hub.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      manatita, thank you for coming by and leaving one of your very thoughtful comments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I read "stature" and immediately thought of "integrity," which has been on my mind a lot lately. I hope, when I die, I will have built a legacy of integrity and stature. Crossing my fingers and getting ready for another day of improving upon my foundation. :) Happy Sunday, my friend.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, my mom, after my father left, was real adamant that we children be in constant contact with really outstanding men of integrity. Some were beaten down by life but it was clear they did not compromise their values. She would have invited you over the moment she laid eyes on ya. Happy Sunday --Pumpkin carving and friends and family today!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 8 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric – What an interesting examination of the word “stature.” When I hear the word I think of one’s physical size (Old French stature means “height, size of body”). And then I think of my own appearance—at 5 feet nothing I don’t stand out in a crowd, that’s for sure. Perhaps my stature was stunted because I was a premature baby; or maybe I take after my Dad who was only 5 foot 5 (and his mom was 4 foot 10).

      You were thinking of one’s status—their standing in society or profession. But then you helped us delve even deeper—what do we stand for? What do we believe in our heart of hearts? What do we hold as really important in this life?

      If we bend over to help our fellow man, we are standing tall indeed.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, isn't it a wonderful thing to think about. I was doing some duties at my son's grade school and saw some mentoring children helping the little ones. The way they carried themselves in pride and passion, made me wonder about myself.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for pointing out that a man of stature is not necessarily flawless. His integrity (being the rule and not the exception) will always inspire respect.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And with that Dora is an interesting concept. "To some he is a man of high integrity, to others not so much". Perhaps as usual we should not be too quick to judge. There is no doubt that I consider you built on integrity.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 8 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, don't sell yourself short. Think of the impact you have made (and continue to make) on the lives of your children. And please consider what you have done for us here--you encourage us to think, and ponder, and share in thoughts of God's grace and love.

      You take a human thought/feeling and then guide us to seeing our Lord's benevolence and mercy. You are standing pretty tall in my estimation.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You have shared a great thought to this wonderful word, 'stature.'

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you my friend. I hope all is well for you and for Croatia.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 8 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Interesting post. It's my feeling that the Stature of Man. Or (woman) is linked to their high integrity...

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, thank you for that comment. I have no qualms about searching inside and out for my issues. I can go deep into the abyss without worry or fret at all. I just have this overwhelming belief/feeling that God will always cover me and bring me back to the good.

      When I would preach/teach I frequently asked the children if they had any doubts. They would consistently deny any at all. I found that just telling them that it was OK to have doubts, was not nearly as effective as relating mine. My stature was not nearly as important as theirs.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for coming by Nadine, I so enjoyed your latest article. Yes indeed in this case I tried to make clear "of man" not of men. Through great comments like yours, I am digging deeper into the notion of "integrity". To me it is always likened to the giant Oak tree. But there must be more to the symbolism.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 8 months ago from San Diego California

      As a former squid, I take umbrage when you post a picture of a US Navy vessel and then write a caption about a fellow who could outdrink everybody in the bar. Are you implying a connection between sailors and drunken behavior?

      The words you say about stature get the little cogs spinning in my head, but they would spin faster if I wasn't so damn drunk all the time. Just kidding, no beer before breakfast. Anyhow, you made me think that some people reject going to church because the priest, pastor, or preacher is somehow morally flawed, that he or she is not of sufficient moral stature. I reply that the priest, pastor or preacher is just a vessel, and even a cracked vessel can contain a very fine wine. Sometimes a cracked vessel is even better, because the fine wine within can spill out to parts that it wasn't originally intended to go to.

      All of my analogies wind up including liquor in one way or the other, but I still see no connection between the Navy and drunks. Beautiful, brilliant sermon as always. From my window, I can see the smoke and thunder swirling over the Sprung Valley as you deliver your powerful words.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 8 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Integrity- I was having a conversation with my neighbor and we were discussing the fine line between minding our own business or, speaking up and speaking out. We went deep about how the truly great people fought for whats right even at the expense of their own comfort. Today many of us are riding off the backs and labor of those who were not afraid to speak up for justice, unfortunately our generation who are now enjoying the benefits of the labors of others are doing nothing for the generations underneath us. He made a comment " All the people who spoke up for justice were killed" After pondering his comment I said: " Yes, but isn't it better to be a person who died for something, than a person who lived their whole life and did absolutely nothing."

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel I like that about a leaking vessel. Makes me think.

      As for you being a former squid, I am quite sure the bars were sad when you honorably discharged. And thank you for your service.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana that reminds me of the notion that an old man dying seldom speaks of regrets for what he had done but usually speaks of regrets for what he didn't do.

      The idea of fatalism is one of the greatest cop-outs I know.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      The best we can hope for is statute and having integrity in our action's toward our fellowmen. I hope I will be remembered as one who believes in humanity. Beautiful sermon!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby I for sure already remember you and appreciate you for your integrity in advocating humanity.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 7 months ago

      I agree it with your thought that the choices we make determine our stature. We all want to stand tall among others but it takes determined effort to always choose (or as much as possible) what is best in situations.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dianna, I remember around 26 I thought I was a man of stature, a successful professional. In fact stature did not even give me a peek until my forties ;-)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Really good points here. For me, if a man has to compromise his 'morals' (I think that's the phrase you used) to help another, then I'd question those morals!

      Another one, one rotten apple in a barrel will (if left alone) make awesome Scrumpy, (be careful, it's very alcoholic, and has bits of apple in it!)

      Great stuff

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence I am always happy about the reality that I can change. If the world as we know it changes it would seem right to change with it. This does not mean that how I change is dictated by world, but rather by the truths that are self evident.

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