Hey guys – we sometimes hate to admit it, but there’s things that we can tell ourselves that are not based on truth. These lies aren’t allowing us to grow – they’re holding us back from becoming the men that God wants us to be. There are evident in how we choose to think about ourselves, how we evaluate our roles as dads and husbands, how we think about our friendships, and our futures.
Take a moment as ask yourself: are there fallacies that exist in your life? Probably not a question you’ve routinely asked yourself. So why not take an opportunity now to consider a few of the “Guy Lies”.
Guy Lie #1: I’M Doing Ok – Just Look at THAT Guy
Secretly, guys want to know that in the grand scheme of things they’re getting passing grades. However, sometimes we can have an unhealthy sense of self-justification: “I’m not perfect, but I’m not where THAT guy is at!” It’s a convenient yet unfortunate rationalization. We can very easily justify our current state if we know we’re even slightly better than someone else. And we always can think of someone that we’re better than – so the need to make any changes to our current state lacks priority.
But this is no way to live – to justify my life based on someone else. That’d be like the guy batting .233 saying “Why do I need to bat .250? I’m still better than half the guys on this team!” Refusing to honestly evaluate and refusing to develop a plan for improvement is a pretty self-centered approach to life, guys. Admit it – you don’t have it all together. And the good news is – no one is asking you to. If you’ve trusted in Christ to save you, you’re not under any condemnation (Romans 8:1). But, you’re not asked to be like the guy next door, you’re asked to be like Jesus (1 Peter 2:21).
Guys – we’re all in the same situation. We’re all dirty rotten sinners that need Jesus everyday. Stop pretending you’re better than the next guy to rationalize your behavior. Instead, read about the life of Christ in the gospels and model His life instead. Stop comparing yourself to the next guy and start looking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
For Change: an easy way to identify that you think you’ve got it all together is the absence of meaningful self-evaluation. You obviously don’t have it all together – but in what ways are looking to grow? Can you name one area of your life where you have a current plan for maturity/change?
Guy Lie #2: My Thought Life Isn’t Hurting Anyone
You think your thought life isn’t hurting anyone?
You may not realize this, but your thoughts eventually become behaviors. Maybe not today, maybe not this week, but eventually what we choose to dwell on becomes the reality of life. Life that impacts your testimony, your marriage, your parenting. So no – your thought life is not your own business. You have a responsibility as God’s man to submit your thoughts to others and most importantly to God.
Don’t need to tell you this, but our brains are powerful toosl, and sometimes our man brain can conjure events, words or situations that simply are not true. Is this a big deal? Philippians 4:8 seems to think so:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
This verse had a whole list of things we’re supposed to think on, but the one area that maybe requires the most attention for us as guys is the very first word; whatever is true. So much of what happens in the minds of many people can only be identified as false. Hey guys, we’re not to allow our minds to dwell on “what ifs”, but “what is”!
Guys, when we allow our brains to fantasize or daydream about scenarios that are not true (events that have happened), then we are disobeying, ignoring, and even mocking Philippians 4:8. Allowing sensual thoughts to fester in our minds is not living in the land of “what is” but rather “what if”. When we are flattered by the words of a woman who is not our wife, we can easily go down the road of “what if” and not “what is”. “What if” seems to be fun, but “what if” has also destroyed countless marriages and lives.
Submit your thought life to the lordship of Christ. Recognize you don’t have the right as a bondservant of Christ to think about whatever you want – you’re under His control and He is calling the shots.
Is there an area of your thought life that consistently focuses on “what if”? Turn that “what if” into a “what is” and you’ll begin to think the way God tells us to in Philippians 4:8. That means eliminating all thoughts about yourself or someone else that is not based on the reality of where God has you in life.
For change: what areas of your thoughts life is not anchored in truth…facts? Would you submit those to Christ’s lordship now and choose instead of dwell on the facts of where God has you in life and the reality of who you are in Christ?
Guy Lie #3: Things Go Better When I Just Keep My Mouth Shut
There’s obviously a time to keep your mouth shut, but wisdom tells us when it’s time to shut it, and when it’s time to speak it. Often as guys to avoid conflict we just sweep things under the rug and refuse to use kind, helpful words to deal with issues.
We need to be men who are willing to speak the truth.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Eph. 4:25)
This verse tells us we’re commanded to lay aside speaking falsehood, and it commands us to speak the truth. Speaking the truth is obviously stating that which is factual…but speaking the truth is ALSO refusing to hide the truth. When we hide the truth, we are not speaking the truth….we’re embracing falsehood.
Guys, speaking the truth is not an easy thing to do. We’d rather use the “silent treatment” inside of sharing what we really think. We’re afraid of hurting people…we’re afraid that people won’t like us. We don’t like confrontation. Lots of times, we just don’t like the truth, do we?
We hide the truth when we make statements like this:
“I can’t tell him I don’t want to go to the game with him, it might hurt his feelings.”
“I can’t tell Mark that his interrupting bothers me. He might be offended.”
“I can’t say what I really think to my wife because she’ll fly off the handle, and I have to live with her!”
“I’ll say all day today that I’m doing fine, even though I’m doing lousy.”
When we refuse to speak the truth…we keep things inside us…and eventually, without notice, they’ll gush out. We must come to the realization that speaking the truth also means we refuse to withhold the truth.
But sometimes we make an attempt to share what we’re thinking, but instead of coming right out with it, we disguise the truth…we cushion what we really want to say, hoping that the person we’re conversing with will come to the same conclusions we have! We’re disguising the truth when we make statements like:
“Son, don’t you think your music is a little loud?”
“Honey, don’t you think your hair is a little long?”
“Our television is nothing like our neighbors.”
When we learn to speak directly, by making statements like:
“Could you please turn your music down?”
“I think your hair is a little too long”
“I think we need to buy a bigger and better television”
When we speak directly, instead of with disguising insinuations, we stop thinking of things we wish we had of said. People will never wonder if there’s veiled meaning in what is said, because you’ll always be speaking exactly what you think.
For change: are there people in your life that you need to be more lovingly direct with? Instead of hoping they’ll figure out what you’re thinking, why not tell them instead?
Guy Lie #4: When I’m Struggling No One Needs to Know
There’s no other way to say this guys: that mentality is just flat out arrogant. The “island” mentality is pretty dumb, and you’ve probably given council to someone at some point in their life where you’ve told them that.
Yet, as guys – we usually go to get help long after the time that we really should have. Our arrogance as guys tells us that we are good enough to get out of our own messes and that we shouldn’t bother other people with our problems. Instead, we need to humble our hearts and be willing to have open, frank conversations about our struggles with people we trust.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18
In other words, real love isn’t afraid to deal with reality. Fake love lives in the land of rainbows and unicorns where no one has any issues.
Can I tell you something about you that I know?
You have issues.
Can I tell you something about the other guys that you know?
They have similar issues.
There, now that we’ve got that out of the way, can we begin to dialogue about what’s going on in our lives without any fear of condemnation, knowing we all need grace? Can we stop living with our private struggles and take a step of faith and tell someone we trust about what we’re facing? And maybe in those moments of humility God can use those to plant seeds of restoration and repentance.
For change: you know that issue in your life you struggle with the most? Now is the time to finally talk to someone you trust about it. Who is that person? When are you going to talk to him?
There’s 4 ‘Guy Lies’. This doesn’t just have to be another blog post; how is God working in your heart right now to begin to make some changes in these areas?
Can you think of another lie guys can be tempted to believe? Why not share it in the comments below?
Scott Foreman is the Executive Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. He has been active in full-time vocational ministry for almost 20 years as a Camp Director, Radio Host, Missionary and now Pastor. You can follow him here at The Ministry Dad, and also on Twitter: @scottdforeman.