“1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NKJV)
Men, like yourself who are part of a healthy, Bible-based faith community, understand all too well what sin is. However, if asked to identify the “weights” in our life, many men, if not most of us would scratch our head. Some might ask, “Isn’t that the same thing as sin?” Great question, but no they’re not. The weights we wage a constant war against aren’t sin but are the result of living in a sinful, fallen world. Let me explain.
Sin is the willful actions, thoughts, or words that we knowingly do in disobedience to God’s word or teaching.
Weight is sin’s effect upon your life caused by both, the sin of others and the fall. For example, growing up in an abusive alcoholic home creates weights caused by the lack of nurturing. Being born with ADHD or Bi-Polar Disorder creates weights caused by nature.
Also, there are the weights of our tainted masculine culture. Satan inspired, today’s masculine culture glorifies the “self-made” man. A culture that reveres power, control, fame, and respect above all else, and at any cost. A culture that compels men to live lives of isolation, ignorance, deceit, and self-gratification.
In Greek mythology, the Titan Atlas was responsible for bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders, a burden given to him as punishment by Zeus for leading the Titans in their battle with the Olympian gods. These weights and this culture described above leave men burdened and broken much like Atlas of old.
Even the good things like hobbies, career, home, investments, or retirement can become an additional weight if our pursuit of the good overshadows our deepest need for an intimately abiding relationship with God.
Consequently, for most men, the weights in our life create more challenges and barriers to healthy intimacy than sin ever will.
In upcoming blogs, I will address most common barriers that men struggle with in developing, expressing or receiving healthy intimacy. The good news is that all of these barriers can be overcome, which I will be delighted to share.
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