Men don’t like to ask for help. We don’t like to ask for directions, money, advice, and lots of other things. No, we prefer to be self-sufficient, powerful, and in control. Many of us would rather take a bullet than be seen as needy or weak. We want to be the rugged individualistic, go-it-alone, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of man. John Wayne. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Clint Eastwood. Never needy. Always in control. Of course, some independence and self-sufficiency can be a good thing, especially for those who struggle either with accepting their God-given responsibilities or freeloading on others. But total independence isn’t an option for the Authentic Man. Total self-sufficiency is a fantasy. And trying to achieve it always ends in disaster. God created us to be dependent on him, to walk with him daily in reliance on his provision and grace. God also created us to be interdependent on others. To live in community with other men who can encourage us and rally around us.
If you try to be totally self-sufficient and independent, you’ll find yourself going against the grain of God’s design for Authentic Manhood. At work, you’ll find yourself on a performance treadmill and you’ll be tempted to define your value and worth by what you do. You’ll become a human doing rather than a human being. At home and in your friendships, you’ll be tempted to never let anyone in and to never share your struggles, emotions, or fears. But a life of truth, passion, and purpose is not found in total independence but in dependence on Jesus and in interdependence with other godly men.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, we hear Paul not only admitting but even boasting in his weakness because it magnifies the power and sufficiency of Jesus in his life. He’s sharing this with the same group of guys whom he challenged to “act like men” earlier in 1 Corinthians 16:13. For Paul, manhood and dependence upon Jesus were not at odds. In fact, “acting like a man” means admitting your weakness, your daily need for Jesus’ grace, and then relying on him to work powerfully in your life.
Ask Jesus for help. Ask him to strengthen you at work and enable you to labor faithfully and diligently. Trust Jesus to strengthen you at home and enable you to engage fully as a husband and father. Ask Jesus to strengthen you in friendships and to help you have the courage to be vulnerable with trustworthy men. Tell Jesus about your fears, anxiety, depression, struggles, and weaknesses. Follow the advice of King David, a man who could kill a giant, rule a nation, but also say “trust in [the Lord] at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).
What is the promise that Jesus makes in John 7:37-38 to those who admit their weakness and look to him for their strength?
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