Do I have what it takes?? That is an essential, fundamental question every man faces nearly every day of his life. It haunts us. We can’t escape it – it is part of masculinity and it has been assaulted with “no, you don’t have what it takes”. From that question and our doubts about it, we all pose. Today is a Divine disruption. Today, God is coming after your pose.
What lies beneath your surface? What I see – what you’re willing to show me – when you present is about 10% of the real you. What lies beneath? What is it that you are covering up? What do you fear? What about you nags at you that you truly don’t have what it takes? Why do you pose? What motives lie beneath this false front you’ve created? Say that again – what motives lie beneath?
Motives. Think about that. What is your motive for presenting this “I’ve got it figured out” false self? What is your motive for snapping like a rattlesnake when your wife questions you?
We all have this false self we present. It is elaborate, sophisticated and practiced. It is habit. It is habituated – like software, it just boots up. We’ve worked so hard to create this persona, this image that we want to present that our default is that it is automatically going to boot up and run. We have to work hard to stop it. We need to disentangle.
The false self becomes less and less efficient at producing life and it doesn’t draw people in. It pushes people away. We present this image and in reality, it is a buffer, a shell to keep people away. We desperately fear letting people in to see the true self. So we hide and we present.
It is an addiction and like any addiction, it never truly delivers. Just like booze or drugs or porn or an affair – they all promise an end to the pain and a deliverance but in reality, they snag you deeper into despair and isolation. So it is with the pose. It draws you in and – at all cost – you will maintain it lest anyone see you as a failure. The more you nurture it, the more addicted you become to it and the less and less it works. And, the more isolated you become.
A friend recently shared with me this – “I’ve got about 10 guys all across the country that I can get on the phone or take a trip with and just be real. I have no one here locally. Why is that? What’s wrong with me? Why is it I have no one here locally that I can be real with, vulnerable with? You know I can call up any of these guys around the country and lay it out and confess I’m really struggling with _____ and yet, even with them, right before I hang up, I can toss out this great closing that covers it up and smooths it over and makes it look like life is just great for me. What’s that all about?”
Why is it that some men always present that “life is great for me”? They always seem to talk about their money or their success or how their kids are straight-A students? Or the man who tends to walk around with his shirt unbuttoned showing off his chest hair with a 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 are hiding. Each and every one of us.
We are all deeply aware that we are not what we’re meant to be and desperately afraid of exposure, terrified of being seen for what we are (or are not), we run off to the bushes to hide and emerge with a shell around us. We hide at work. We hide at the gym. We hide behind our spirituality or our rigid, rules-based life. We hide behind our income or our title or our “manliness” of rugged, hard-scrabbled, hunting, country boy-ness. Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a façade, an elaborate fig leaf. A brilliant disguise.
You only see the very tip of the iceberg.
Everything we are after in Manschool – everything is about one thing, being fathered by God. That’s it. By knowing, I mean really, truly knowing you are God’s beloved. That He adores you. That He’s proud of you and dreams great dreams for you. To truly feel that – to feel and know God loves you – that’s what we’re after.
Part of our tag line in our logo is “Authentic Manhood” – that comes from dropping the pose and believing what God says about you. It comes from developing a conversational intimacy with the Father and asking him, repeatedly, “What do you think of me Father?” It is feeling the Father’s love for you – His creation, fearfully and wonderfully made. It is believing it.
What God cares about in that iceberg at the top of this page is not the 10% above the surface that you let everyone else see. No, He wants the 90% below the surface. In fact, He wants the deepest, most painful parts, those parts buried in the very deepest waters of your soul. He wants the pain, the shame and the hurt. Drop the pose and offer up to God your deepest pains and your deepest longings and let Him father you in those.
Freedom, great freedom, lies on other side of dropping the pose and no longer having to present this false front. It is honesty and transparency and integrity. Carrying the pose is exhausting. It will wear you slap out.
Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you ready to give up the pose and be authentic? Aren’t you ready to be washed clean and know God adores you? “Be still and know I am God.”
To be, to truly be — “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?
Posing began in the Garden in Genesis 3. Adam & Eve made this intense effort to hide. The fig leaf is their pose so their true self could not be seen. The issue isn’t the fig leaf, the issue is the hiding. The issue for you is your hiding. Where do you hide? Where are you false?
Just about anything can be a layer, a pose. Posing is a counterfeit life. You’ll never move from the counterfeit to the real thing if the counterfeit is working. The tragedy is that it can work – for a while. So you stay with it. Leaning on the pose creates a dependency on it. It won’t go away easily.
Christ is genuine, true, deep and real and to get to me to break the pose, Christ will disrupt my life. He exposes the fake to turn us to the real. As he breaks you, at some point you just get tired of posing and you simply want the real thing. You crave the authentic – “What would it be like to be an authentic man for a change?” So many of the disruptions in our lives are God inviting us to another way to live life.
Today is a disruption. All this talk about the heart, the “who told you that you were naked” and the talk on shame … Perhaps God is using them in you for a divine disruption. They are chipping away at the false self. They are challenging the poser.
Have you been living a lie? Have you been presenting a false-self? Doesn’t it wear you out? Aren’t you tired? Don’t you feel how the false-self separates you from God and others?
It’s time to be authentic. Real. Transparent. The kind of man who knows it is OK to say, “I don’t know”. To raise his hand and say, “I need help”. The kind of man that admits that he needs friends. The man that goes home and tells his wife, “I’ve screwed up. Life’s been all about me and I’m sorry”.
Moses – he ran and hid. Shame followed him. He literally buried his past. 40 years in the wilderness tending sheep. God comes to him. Moses argued all the reasons he could not be effective – his failings, his shame and the fact that he stuttered and no one would listen to him. And all God ultimately said to him was “Go and trust me”. God took Moses’ misery and made it a ministry. Moses’ life was filled with broken pieces. God used all of that for a purpose. Once Moses quit posing and embraced who he was, God used his misery as a ministry. And so He will in you. If you will let Him.