WHAT IS A REAL MAN? – by Dr. Charles B. Brown – Parts 4 and 5
The Addicted Man and The Crucified Man
[Here’s some real meat and deep truth for men who have the courage to accept the challenge” is what I wrote when I posted the first part of this article about The Lonely Man, then Part 2 on June 10, The Passive Man. The challenge still stands. Here’s another short excerpt, revealing some significant truths. Every man should read this whole message and take it to heart. It will be life-changing for anyone who does. Before reading the passage below, go back and read the first three installments. – Ray E Horton ]
The Addicted Man
Almost from the moment of birth the undertow of life threatens to drag us under. To avoid being pulled out into the ocean we need an anchor. Men know their souls are unanchored and off-center. So, we look for something to grab hold of, a “fix” – something to stop the drift, something to make us feel secure.
We Seek Anchors for Security
Sooner or later we attach ourselves – to something – work, sports, exercise, food, money, sex, fantasies, fetishes, masturbation, power, alcohol, nicotine, aggression, intelligence, politics, religion, position – or to someone – women, lovers, prostitutes, pornography, the seductive voice of an anonymous phone sex solicitor, cyber-sex… whatever stops the drift even for a moment.
Anchors have chains. And what anchors us controls us. What secures us imprisons us. Our attachments become our addictions. Paul lamented his anchor to sin: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do l do not do, but what l hate I do” [Romans 7:15]. Sin is an anchor. It’s also addictive. And every man sins. Therefore, every man is addicted to something or someone.
But all addictions aren’t obvious. I know skinny men addicted to food and healthy men addicted to exercise. And all addictions don’t appear harmful. I know men addicted to religion, power and to themselves. But all addictions enslave.
And once anchored (attached), we’re hooked. Once hooked, we have to have it and we have to have more of it. It eases our suffering when we do it, but we’re frustrated when we don’t.
Not a pretty picture. Is there any hope? Where do we go for help?
How do addicted men cope? Not too well. The addicted man usually makes one of three choices: (1) He gives in and indulges himself – “To hell with it!” (2) He goes under and depresses himself – “I’m hopeless. I’ll never get any better!” or (3) He gives up and destroys himself – “I can’t take it any longer!”
The Crucified Man
The Real Man, offers a no-nonsense invitation to the masculine soul: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” [Luke 9:23). “Sounds tough?” It is! The mask comes off. The soul is stripped. The selfish center of life dies.
The Real Man is not always literal, but He is always realistic. Jesus didn’t ask us to carry a wooden cross on our shoulders or wear a gold cross around our necks. But He did ask us to stare death in the face every day. Death is the choice of desperate men. “Take up your cross” is a volitional choice. It’s His demand, but it’s my choice. I choose to die or I choose not to die. I choose against my selfishness or I don’t. It’s that simple.
I Choose Against My Selfishness
Every day the selfish man breathes this prayer, “Lord, bless me real well.” Every day the crucified man breathes this prayer, “Lord, give me the courage to die well.” Crucifixion brings deliverance and freedom. The cross destroys my hiding places, melts my rage, and ends my addictions. The cross frees me to begin my journey toward real manhood. Real manhood begins in the valley of the shadow of death. “Take up your cross” is a gut-wrenching decision. Who dares to take the first step toward death?