Unpacking the poser is brutal. The poser is not the truest thing about you. It’s a mask, a façade. To find genuine strength, we have to set the poser aside. Jesus on Nathanael… “Here is a man in whom there is nothing false” – Oh, to be that real and that true.
Genesis 3 – God comes looking for Adam. “I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” Very revealing. Today, every man you meet is a brilliant disguise, an elaborate fig leaf. We call it our “personality” or “identity” – whatever we call it, it serves a purpose, it has a function to it. Your personality has a motive behind it. A jokester, athlete, strong silent type, outdoorsman, theologian = it works for you and yes, there is a motive behind this façade.
The movie The Kid (0:13 – 5:13) Russell Duritz is an image consultant, a paid poser. See his impact on others. He can’t stand people. What is it with this guy? “What have I become, just another shark in a suit?” (jerry mcguire) Another shark? A nice guy? A heartless man? Where did we lose heart?
The heart is central. Old Testament Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitfully wicked” – that has been pounded into us, we’re wicked, a “sinner saved by grace”. Of course the heart is wicked – just look at the news. The heart is wicked … before … it meets Jesus.
New Testament version…Luke 8:15 “The seed that fell on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart.” The good heart. Ephesians 3:17 “Christ dwells in our heart”
We love the mind. It gives us a sense of control. It becomes an idol and we become men without hearts but the heart is where all the real action is.
Do you ponder these things from time to time? — “This is not the man I wanted to be. How did I become this man? Where did I lose my heart?”
John’s story – married but checked out, brutally driven, angry at older men over him and leading poorly, affair with his work, constant pressure of “it’s up to me”. He woke up at night to fear, dread, the future deeply uncertain. Fear compelled him. It’s where his perfection came from – fear. It also produced his emotional distance and drivenness. John became at Christian at 19 but this was his personality into his 30’s. Being a Christian just doesn’t fix this stuff. We have to invite Jesus into these wounds. This “personality” of John’s came out of his wound…
His father – John spent tons of time with him. Father married a society girl who expected things from his Dad. His Dad took John through the western states during the summer calling on customers. They fished, camped, etc. Great memories. Dad lost his job at some point and turned to alcohol. Quickly became an alcoholic. Painful and eventually his Dad just left. He disappeared and a little boy is ill-prepared to deal with something like that. John acted out and his Dad didn’t even care or discipline him. With his Dad checked out, John made an agreement of “I’m on my own” and “I’ll never need anybody”. From that, John developed the perfectionism, drivenness, distance, etc. = layers, blankets, shields around his heart so it wouldn’t get hurt again.
Back to the movie (1:26:56 – 1:29:28) – we think Russell Duritz is just a driven, jerk. But once you see his story, it starts to make sense. You see what his father does to him as an 8-year old. He tells Russell, “You’re killing your Mom.” Later, he screams at him, “Stop crying. Grow up”
There is always a story. There is always a story.
Behind every posing man is a wounded boy.
The message of your wounds go to your story. They shape you. Anger, driven, rage, passivity, smart-ass, needing to be liked, always needing to be in-charge or get the last word in, money, addictions…
They all come out of medicating the wound. The issue isn’t the wound, it is what we do with it.
Behind every posing man is a wounded boy. (more to come next week)