Today we dug in a little deeper and it struck close to home for many of us. Now we’re getting into the “real stuff” and it’s only going to get better from here. Stay with this. Push into it. If something unnerved you today, journal it, find a brother and talk about it, open it up – whatever you do, don’t ignore it and stuff it back down. It popped up for a reason. Push and find out why it struck you.
Oh to be this man — “A man of strength, integrity, who lives with an intentionality and has a movement in his life towards God and others. A man who rescues others, who lives well, loves well and who is free, strong and loving.” We all know a few men like this; real, authentic, genuine men. Men who are transparent and strong. Men who don’t pose, are humble and yet so strong. They are very rare but when you find a man like this, aren’t you just drawn to him? This vs. the poser, you know that man that has his shirt unbuttoned showing off his chest hair, cigar dangling from his mouth saying things like “I should have been a cowboy.” That guy…does he draw you in? No, of course not. That guy, the poser, no, he pushes people away because he is terrified to let anyone see his true self.
We’re all born with this question of “Do I have what it takes?” Can I rise up and face and deal with all that is required of me as a man? It’s a question that haunts us.
And we’ve all been told – some on multiple fronts, some in quite painful ways – “No, you don’t have what it takes.” Maybe it was your father or an older brother. Maybe it was a boss or a coach. Maybe it is your wife.
When that plays out, when you’re told “You don’t have what it takes”, when that is seen and we’re exposed as not having what it takes…there is nothing worse. I liken it to having a colonoscopy. Then they tell you to take off your clothes and put on that gown, you’re exposed. I doesn’t matter what you walked into that hospital as – a doctor, a trial lawyer making $1 million a year, a Pastor, a CEO, an NFL superstar – none of it matters. Suddenly, you are naked, vulnerable and exposed. That is what it feels like to be told “You don’t have what it takes” – naked, vulnerable, exposed.
We all have areas where we get our applause. But we all have areas that haunt us where we don’t have what it takes. So what we do is we hide. We hide those areas so no one will see us. And we concentrate on the few areas of success, skill and ability. And with those other parts, we hide.
We pose because if we were truly seen as not having it all together, we couldn’t take it. So we fake it. We mask it. We fall back on the strengths of our checkbook or our looks or our athleticism or our intelligence or our theologian-like knowledge of the Bible. In so doing, we create this buffer around us, this bubble that keeps people a certain distance away from our core where they can’t see our vulnerability and weakness. We don’t let anyone in too close perhaps even most particularly, Eve because she has the ability to cut our legs out from beneath us so we don’t let her see our weakness.
The beautiful thing is that Christ offers us a genuine strength so we don’t have to hide, pose or fake it. His restoration goes deep. What He offers goes beneath the surface of what people see – the 90% below the surface.
What God is after in us is a restoration, a transformation to becoming a man that is engaged, loving, moving towards others, offering, handling his world with a strength and courage and reliance on God.
Breaking the pose is a step towards freedom.
A step to the future so I can start being trained for my role in the Kingdom instead of battling my past – i.e. I am wounded by this weakness I have, the things that were said against me, so I have crafted this slick pose, this false-front so that I can appear to be “the man”.
Breaking the pose means being strong enough to be vulnerable, to be real. That authenticity will draw people in whereas the Poser pushes people away.
We have to cultivate this shift to authenticity and away from the pose. We don’t fix it in one session. No, these fig leaves we’ve crafted to mask our true selves have been perfected over decades. They just don’t quietly go away in the night. You’re going to have to fight for freedom (remember the warrior?) and pursue this breaking of the pose.
It is like a rough, clay filled piece of dirt. We have to dig the soil. Harrow up the field. Fertilize it. Plant it. Water it. Pick up the rocks. Dig it all up again. Re-fertilize. Compost it. Kill it back, burn it. Dig it up some more, re-fertilize, replant. And in a few years, you’ll have lush, green fields producing a good crop. A good soil = a good outcome. It takes time and work but the outcome is very much worth it – an abundant life.
Dropping the pose is going to take work but it leads to life.
How many of you are living in the past? Fearing the future? All of this at the utter cost of missing the “now”? What’s the cost of the pose?
more next week…