I have a friend who is a real blessing to me who came to me tonight and we started discussing hard times going through and I got told something along the lines of “Do you still see me as this kind of person even though I’m suffering now?”
Honestly, I’ve thought the same kind of thing before. It’s amazing that we’ve got this view of life that we’re supposed to be invincible in Christianity. Are we still having Job’s doctrine, one doctrine specifically refuted by God himself in the Bible, that if we’re having problems, we’re less than Christian?
I think of what G.K. Chesterton said. The stoics of the time prided themselves on concealing their tears. Christ never concealed his. Christ was extremely forward with his emotions. He’s the one who went into the temple and drove out the merchants and who asked the Pharisees how they would escape Hell.
Would it not be great if we would learn from that? Does it not help you whenever you see your heroes in the faith admit their weaknesses and problems? I really am blessed when the men I want to be like and feel so distant from admit that in many ways, they are just like me.
Friend. Christ never told you to be invincible. Christ never told you to be ashamed of yourself or your emotions. Christ told you to be real. He came to give you a whole life and not part of a life.
No. Don’t be overcome by emotion either of course. Self-control is a Christian virtue. Do not become devoid of emotion however. Share your struggles. Share your sins.
And guys, this is probably harder for us. We men are taught that real men don’t cry. We learn to conceal our emotions and shut them off. Look at Jesus. If you are a Christian, will you not say real men ought to be like Jesus? Look at your idea of masculinity and look at Jesus. Do they match? If they don’t, and mine sure doesn’t, then our views of masculinity are wrong.
And to my friend who knows who they are, you rock entirely. I believe one thing that’s shaped me be the man that I am today is having a friend like you in my life. Thank you.