I think we stumble along desiring to be known, to be vulnerable, to be real, but being in control seems to trump wholeness most of the time. Control is the trump card we play, but it in itself is an illusion. So we stumble along, pretending, masking and hiding. We believe the lie that we are in control.
God gives us many examples to show us that we aren’t in control, but instead of surrendering to Him, we experience fear and find ourselves living in it. Fear kills any hope of being vulnerable and thus leads us into hiding, mask wearing and shallow living with others. Fear denies the gift that God has given us….here is what the apostle Paul says to young Timothy, a young man he mentored in his faith journey;
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
(2 Timothy 1:6, 7 ESV)
I think most often men fall into a fearful guarded life because of past relational hurts and pain. Oh, we’d never talk about it honestly, but it is real and it affects our relationships. We choose to live on the surface instead of exploring the deeper parts of our iceberg. Here is what author/pastor Max Lucado says about his experience with living through his hurt.
Look at What You Have
by Max Lucado
Linger too long in the stench of your hurt, and you’ll smell like the toxin you despise. I spent too much of a summer sludging through sludge. Oil field work is dirty at best. But the dirtiest job of all? Shoveling silt out of empty oil tanks. The foreman saved such jobs for the summer help. Thanks boss! My mom burned my work clothes. The stink stuck!
Your hurts can do the same. The better option? Look at what you have. Your hurts and pain took much, but Christ gave you more! Catalog His kindnesses. Everything from sunsets to salvation—look at what you have.
Let Jesus be the friend you need. Talk to Him. Spare no detail. Disclose your fear and describe your dread. Will your hurt disappear? Who knows? And in a sense, does it matter? You have a friend for life. What could be better than that?
from Facing Your Giants
Can you relate? Will you choose to live in the gift God has given you, the spirit of power. love and self-control? Choosing to live by the Spirit will lead you into a very different life, a life that has something to offer to this fearful world.