The late Dean W.D. Turkington told of the little girl who was later than usual returning from school one evening. ‘You’re late tonight, Honey’, her mother said. ‘Yes, I met another girl who had broken her dolly’, the daughter replied. ‘Did you think you could help repair her doll?’ the mother asked. ‘No, Mother, I just stopped to cry with her!
~ Speech for Persuasive Preaching, by Ralph L. Lewis
Transparency as Discipleship Quality
One of the worldly tendencies toward which men are particularly prone is artificiality. We try to project a culturally defined image instead of revealing God’s workmanship — our real, humble self as it is transformed in Christ. Men call this being “macho.” A real man, we’ve been told, is aggressive and invulnerable and has no soft, “feminine” feelings. Emotions are for women, we say. We wear a “tough guy” mask, call it masculinity, and preserve our shallowness and superficiality. In reality, such hiding is blatant cowardice that keeps us from becoming involved with others and their weaknesses under the pretense that we ourselves are strong.
For some reason, appearing self-sufficient is very important to most men. Much of our so-called masculinity is tied to the idea of strength, physical and otherwise. Any sign of weakness is seen as undermining our manhood. This is one reason why religion is far more popular with women than with men. Religion implies a sense of need, an ability to own up to our weakness and dependency. It requires petition, adoration, humility, caring, and other expressions of emotion that seem threatening to many men because they expose our weaknesses. Most of us Christian men have much to learn about true strength, the willingness to appear as we really are, secure in the knowledge that who we are in Christ is adequate.
We will be seriously tested when we take a stand on a biblical principal that is opposed by a statute of the state, or when we attempt to proclaim our faith publicly or evangelize people of other faiths. To endure such testing, we need practice in transparency — the understanding that the kingdom of God is the realm where truth prevails, and thus motivating honest and open relationships.
Read Luke 12:1-12
Excerpt from MasterWorks, Inc. Copyright © 1996. These studies are on-line versions of the companion workbook to “Follow Me, The Master’s Plan for Men”, written by David Schroeder.
Dear Lord, could it be, as C. S. Lewis says, that if I think I have not met Satan it may be because I am going his way? Am I oblivious to the real enemy, and the spiritual warfare battling for men’s souls in the world today, mine included? Help me to understand that Satan’s chief weapon is deception. Remind me that all it takes for evil to succeed is for it to gain acceptance from “good” people. Oh Lord, open my eyes before it is too late. Help me to walk more closely with You, and to stay in Your Word daily, that I may have Your truth as my plumb line. Surely now is the time for me as a Christian to stand firmly on my convictions. Help me, Lord, for I am often anxious, confused and weak.