3 Reasons You Need to Stop Being a Loner

If you are feeling stuck and in a rut then this could be the most important advice you’ll read all year. We, as American men, have had this idea of individualism ingrained in us. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and others toughing it out alone are part of our culture. But, individualism makes us lonely, afraid, and feeling like we’re the only one with problems. We need to be in community with other men.

 

Clint Eastwood in Leone's For

 

The Answer

Proverbs tells us “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” You can’t sharpen a sword by waving it around in the air. Men need to come into contact with other men who will smooth out our rough edges and hone us to sharpness.

 

Three Reasons You Need To Be in a Community of Men

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 gives us three reasons to be in community.

 1. Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. (v.9)

Life is work. Marriage, parenting, and career are all work. Thanks Adam. The workload of life may not be less when you are in community with other men, but it will be more enjoyable and rewarding. When I’m not sharing my life with other men, I get self centered. Those other men can help me see the big picture and give me encouragement when I can not. If you want to improve as a husband, father, or in your career you need to be in community with other men who will encourage and challenge you.

 2. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. (v.10)

Mistakes. Sin. Temptation. They are there waiting for all of us. We will give in. We will fall down. This is where being alone will kill you. It will suck the life out of you and drive you further into yourself. Having other men around you will help you get up faster, learn from the mistakes, and propel you towards being a better man. Without that community your failures remain failures. In community, your failure will allow you to help others when they fall. You see, it’s not just about you, but those who are with you too. Your fall becomes a tool to help others up.

 3. And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (v.12)

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Sin wants man alone.” When you fight sin by yourself, you will get beaten down, discouraged, and eventually be broken by it. What if there were a way to not only keep your head above water, but potentially be done with it forever? A community of brothers can do that. The catch? You’ll have to let them in on it. And you know what? It’s not that bad. They’ve probably got the same problem or have been through it too. God has given us community so that we can fight sin together.

True strength isn’t toughing it out on your own. You aren’t being humble by rejecting help when it’s offered. Weak men do life by themselves. Prideful men hide from others when life gets tough. But God is there to help you in to community. Community with other men and with Himself. Remember that cord of three strands? The third strand is God. When He’s intertwined in your community you have true strength. So put on your big boy pants, admit you can’t do it alone, and join in community with other men.

 

Comment on the article or reply to the email:

What keeps you from being in an authentic community of men focused on helping each other become the best they can be?

 

Stay Sharp!

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February 2016 Newsletter

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, Welcome to Lent.

Valentine’s Day is a few days away. Have you gotten your sweetheart something yet? There’s still time. While you’re getting her a Valentine’s Day card, get a bunch of other cards for her too. Get some romantic ones, silly “thinking of you” ones, and some blank ones. Then you’ll have cards on hand to give her at random times.

Read

God Loves Odd Couples – Stephen Altrogge

“Perfect marriages exist only in Nicholas Sparks novels. Every marriage has challenges, hurdles, and seeming impasses. But God loves odd couple marriages.”

I don’t know what a Nicholas Sparks novel is, but I get the idea. The fact is, “God is for you, Jesus is in you, and the Holy Spirit is interceding for you. Jesus can give you power to serve and sacrifice. The Holy Spirit can transform your marriage into a piece of divine art. You only need to ask.”

Looking for a way to strengthen your marriage? Take one of these courses.

 

Some Thoughts For Those Who Are Considering Divorce – Randy Alcorn

“Don’t just trust that God can change someone else’s heart. Trust that He can change and renew your heart.”

A challenging but encouraging article from Randy Alcorn.

 

Saying These Two Words More Often Will Improve Your Marriage –  David Pescovitz

“We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,”

You know those cards you bought because of my Valentine’s tip above? Use a few to give your spouse some random, but specific, Thank you’s!

 

Ministry to Men is More Than Pancakes – Kris Dolberry

 “Haven’t we had enough pancakes? Let’s take those two words found in men’s ministry—men and ministry—and meet each other, engage, learn, grow, challenge, inspire, and love one another. Walk out of isolation into interaction.”

Amen. You older men, just don’t fade into retirement. Use those experiences and lessons God gave you in life to mentor younger men. We need it.

 

The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood – Thabiti Anyabwile

“As men, we can fight the symptoms of a disquieted inner life—anger, lust, insecurity, anxiety, and the like. Such fights are necessary. Or we can wage war against the bunker out of which these enemies come: lack of self-control.”

Self-control or as I like to call it discipline, is key in living out God’s calling in our life. It’s tough, but thankfully He gives us the power to do so. And the grace when we do not.

 

Listen

Friendship – Tim Keller Podcast

“The book of Proverbs says that you will not be a wise person and you will not lead a wise life unless you are great at choosing, forging, and keeping terrific friendships.”

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. That’s verse this newsletter is built on. We need friends and not just “Did you see the game?” friends. We need friends that really know us. A friendship like that is irreplaceable.

 

Do

Your Guide to the Best Day Ever – Matt Rise

Want to have Your Best Day Ever? Download my free guide to getting the day before the day gets you here.  The guide will help you be intentional about your mornings so that you can do those important things first. 3D Mockup I.jpg

Click here to download it for free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for this month’s newsletter.

 

Stay Sharp,

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