“God did not bring you to this point of life to make you His first orphan.” – Wes Yoder
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about three reasons from Ecclesiastes that we need to be in community with other men. This week I’m going to dissect some of the lies we tell ourselves and others to not join that community. I’m going to tell you straight off this one is not going to be easy to read. It is going to be convicting. I’m going to call bull on your arguments for why you’ve been going it alone. And before you start saying “judge not” and “it’s easy for you to say”, I’ve given all of these excuses too. I’m right with you brother. I need a dose of reality too because, as of this writing, I’m not in a close community of men either.
Lie 1 – I’m Too Busy
The most frequently given answer to “How are you doing?” (aside from “Good”) is “Busy”. Busy is an answer we use to give an impression of importance, to justify our lack of self control over our schedules, or to avoid having to say no to something else. But, we’re not too busy. We make time for what’s important. How much TV do you watch? How much time do you spend on Facebook ? Don’t get me wrong, there are seasons of busyness in life. What I’m calling out is a lifestyle of chronic busyness.
There is no such thing as time management; there is only self-management. – Rory Vaden
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to realize the brevity of life so that we may grow in wisdom.” The truth is life is short. We’ve not been guaranteed another minute. Want to be a better father? Husband? Want to grow in your relationship with Christ? Those can not be done in isolation. Put your time where your heart is. Stop lying that you’re too busy. You’re not.
Lie 2 – I Don’t Need To
You may honestly believe this. But the easiest person to lie to is yourself. We were designed to live in community. We are at our best when others are looking out for us and we are looking out for others. How many healthy (mentally, spiritually) loners do you know?
Men, we’ve got it tough. Think of the roles you have in life. Father, husband, home IT support, mechanic, domestic groundskeeper, domicile maintenance, counselor, mentor, friend, neighbor. It’s a ton! Don’t make it harder on yourself by thinking you can do it all alone. Still not convinced? You’ve been given experiences, skills, and talents that need to be shared with other men. Stop robbing the rest of us of that help by living in community.
Lie 3 – Only The Weak Do Stuff Like This
The reality is that real weakness is hiding our “weaknesses”. You are truly weak if you believe this lie. Pride in turning down help is weakness. True strength is being humble enough to accept that you might have it wrong. True strength is trying out something scary, doing things that you don’t “like” to do but “need” to do.
We all know that we’re not perfect. We all know that the rest of us aren’t as strong as we make out to be. We’re not hiding anything. And when it comes down to it, we are all weak in comparison with the only truly strong man to have lived, Jesus.
Society tells us we don’t need community. We tell ourselves that we don’t need it. But we’ve been given a model in Jesus that community is where we need to be. When He started his ministry on earth, he gathered around him 12 “brothers”. He mentored them, taught them, and they were there for each other. In the dark days they were there for each other. In the celebrations they were together.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another
Hebrews 10:25 NIV
Next time we’ll look at what makes up a community of men.
Are any of these lies valid excuses? Let me know in the comments below.