Are you any good at “fixing” things?
As men, we all like to know we are good at something, (read more here)
and finding a solution to problems often comes naturally for us.
When this happens though, there are times when it IS NOT the best answer.
Such as when women talk about their issues, many times we want to provide advice.
Sometimes we jump in and try to “fix the situation.”
And to our dismay we are surprised when the women in our lives reject our plans,
at times even becoming bitter with us!
What the heck happened?!?
Ok, so if there is a problem with the lawn-mower, computer, car engine, or taxes, perhaps we should step up to lovingly help our female counterparts.
But even then, have we given them the chance to solve the issue on their own?
When men listen to problems, we want to take action, not sit by and wait.
Watching our loved ones struggle to do something is not our “way” of showing we care.
We want to do it for them!
Thereby relieving them of the burden, and showing them WE can handle it on their behalf.
To this we feel manly - like a provider!! And we gain a huge amount of self-worth in the process.
Maybe this is the why few men become counselors or therapists,
and fewer still volunteer to feed the homeless, mentor other men, and to help the needy.
Maybe it is just not how we are built, because in these circumstances
there are no immediate fixes.
When it comes to people-problems,
few men have the patience to listen and wait
for another person to discover, learn, and try,
to repair their lives on their own.
Let me be clear,
providing helpful ideas is wonderful!
But sometimes the best answer is to just be there
walking alongside another person,
while they make the journey on their own.
You may not be willing to enter a prison to mentor a criminal offender
nor may you have the time each week to volunteer with a fatherless boy
but when these same young men grow up in your church,
or return from prison to try & rebuild their life,
can you take the opportunity to walk alongside
and when necessary teach them how to make a life built on Christ?
In Jesus, the former things are no more
but without helpful instruction and someone who cares
how can anyone learn to build something new that is worthwhile?
Where would the Apostle Paul be if Barnabas hadn’t come alongside and vouched for him before the church leaders in Jerusalem? (Acts 9:27)
And then, what kind of impact do you think Barnabas had on Paul after spending a year together? (Acts 11:25, 26)
What do you think would have been the outcome of Timothy’s life had Paul not taken him along on his mission? (Acts 16:1)
Where would YOU be had a Barnabas or a Paul not reached out and offered to encourage you on your spiritual journey?
Thank the Lord this week for the Barnabas’ and Pauls in your life.
-Dennis Deardorf, New Hope Community Church in Portland, Oregon
The “fix” isnt easy or convenient. And it will take more time than you ever imagined,
but isnt the kingdom of God worth the effort to reach one more for Christ?