A simple talk on masculine spirituality
When a man begins to take his faith seriously, which entails a deepening, personal relationship with Jesus Christ; how will that change, or challenge, how their masculinity is expressed? To be a man of Christ is not an easy task, for when Christ talks about a death to self, he is not speaking lightly, but about a deep healing process that will take a lifetime to grow into. This relationship will have a profound effect on all of ones relationships in life. For when the Gospel becomes alive and the life and sayings of Jesus become ever more central to how the world is experienced and ones relationship with that world is lived out…. it brings about not only deep conversion but also struggle, failure, growth in humility as well as joy. This can bring healing to relationships that were perhaps strained, or even broken, before the process began. For the fire of the Holy Spirit wounds as it heals at ever deeper levels, ones soul.
It is not enough to just seek to understand what Jesus said, but also to delve deeper into how he actually related to those he came in contact with in the Gospels. The bottom line is that human beings are relational creatures. We have relationships of course with everyone we know and love. We relate as well, though at a different level and intensity, to those that we meet perhaps only once, those we even drive by on the highway, the poor man or woman on the corner asking for help, and those who serve us everyday behind counters and in restaurants. Then there is how we ‘see’ and experience those who are different from us, dress differently, believe differently and who may also be on the fringe of society.
In all of these meetings, which are more important that we perhaps realize offer us a way of seeing Christ Jesus in others, in an ever deeper and more profound way. It is easy to objectify others, not only strangers, with whom we just want something from, even if it is as simple as ordering a meal, but more importantly with how we interact with our families and loved ones. It is about allowing the Spirit of Christ Jesus to gives us His eyes to see the world in a different and more profound way. It is part of the healing that the Holy Spirit seeks to instill in us. Slowly allowing us to drop the barriers, the fear and distrust of others, that works instinctually and often to our harm. Perhaps you can say, gradually it allows us as men to step outside of the self destructive cycles that mankind seems to have been tied to for thousands of years, and to bit by bit to be able to love as Jesus Christ loves and loved while he walked this earth.
Whenever a choice is made to begin a new life, it opens up doors of inner perception that bring to consciousness many turns and forks in the road that may not have been noticed, or understood, before the journey began. The deeper in one goes, the more profound the healing of the wounds that allow fear and distrust to rule ones life.
Self-knowledge leads to humility, the ability to accept truth about oneself without becoming defensive. This brings forth compassion for others and deepens our ability to actually see others and to listen and see them on an ever deeper level. Again this is a life long journey, in allowing the Holy Spirit to heal us at ever deeper levels. We let go of becoming victims and instead become healers of those around us.
We each carry our past with us. It is our past that will often dictate how we relate to those around us. Men often carry a great deal of anger and those with whom they relate to, will often be targets of that anger. Anger restricts focus to the point that it becomes the judge, jury and executioner, without recourse to mercy. It is only when another life is possible and desired that this anger can be a force for healing and true justice. When it is understood that we are called by Christ Jesus to see Him and love Him in those before us, it is then that self reflection begins. When failures are encountered, humility grows, and a conscious trust in Jesus Christ is developed. The death to self is a call to move away, to die to, a life that is ‘me against them’ to a life of loving ones neighbor as ones self. This is also true for those who are perhaps very fearful or anxious about life, there is the call to trust and move beyond what was once thought impossible. For inner healing leads to deeper faith and the desire to grow in love and freedom.
The new life that Christ Jesus wants us to experience as men, narrow though it is, is found to be freer, more joyful and filled with love and freedom than thought of before the journey began. As men we are called to love, heal and to be just to those around us. All men of Christ are called to in some way I believe, to lead.
Edited by markdohle, 27 April 2013 - 06:44 PM.