July 6, 2021
So many men today walk around as if they have it all figured out and they don’t have a problem in the world. The “strong” silent type, if you will. I know this for a fact. I used to do the same thing.
So much of my life was spent walking like a one-man army, convincing myself that I didn’t need anybody or anything. That’s what the world, the flesh, and the devil would have you believe. They fill your head full of lies and trick you into thinking that it is weak to have feelings, problems, or to admit that you need other people in your life. This plays right into the devil’s hands because it allows him to keep men on the sidelines and out of the game. Instead of being the men that we were created to be, we waste away in idleness, isolation, and addictions. We remain immature selfish boys, who fill our time trying to avoid our issues by drinking to deal with work stress, watching porn to deal with loneliness, experimenting with drugs and countless other things, all the while withdrawing further and further from our faith, family, and friends.
Does this sound like strength to you? Not to me. I know it doesn’t to God.
In fact, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 God tells Paul, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” You see, to God, strength is found in admitting your weaknesses. It’s in our vulnerability that we find strength.
We become truly vulnerable when we admit our shortcomings in three ways. We must become vulnerable to ourselves, to God, and to those around us. This is the pathway of true biblical strength that God calls us all to.
The first step is to become vulnerable with yourself. We have to start speaking truth to ourselves. Many men know deep down that they have a certain problem or sin that is taking hold in their life. The problem is, many they never really admit it. They sweep the thought under the rug before they have any time to really deal with it. This is usually done with the lies the enemy is spinning in a man’s head. If he can make you believe you don’t have an issue, then you will never break free from it. This is why it is crucial for a man to become vulnerable with himself and the reality of his situation. We can never begin to move forward if we aren’t truthful about our sins and the hold they have over us.
The second step in finding strength in vulnerability is to become vulnerable with God. We cannot fix the issues in our lives on our own. Most of the time we have found ourselves with a bigger problem strictly because we are trying to deal with it alone. When God told Paul that His power was made perfect in weakness, he was trying to get him to understand that it is through humility that we find our strength. You see when we come to know how weak we are on our own, we come to the realization that we need God. When we are humbled by our own lack of strength we begin to understand that our strength has to come to from God. It is that dependance on God and the power of the Holy Spirit that he has placed within us that gives us true strength.
God has even given us the perfect sacrament in which to become vulnerable. We need to meet God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That’s right. We need to become vulnerable to God in the confessional. It is there that we can admit our faults and the need for His help. It is there that we can receive absolution and the grace to be able to move forward. We can not get past our sins, our mistakes, and our failures without become vulnerable with Him.
The last step in finding strength in vulnerability is to become vulnerable with others. Now, I am not saying you need to shout all your sins from the roof tops for everyone to hear. That would be foolish. No, we need to find trustworthy men that are walking in virtue and holiness and confide in them. There was a reason that Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. He knew if one fell there was another to pick him up. There is strength in numbers and there is nothing like being held accountable by a brother who cares about you. When you become vulnerable with a brother, it forms a bond that is very hard for the devil to break. It also allows that brother to become vulnerable himself.
Vulnerability is where change begins to happen. When we admit to God, ourselves, and our peers what we are struggling with in life, we take away all power and hold the devil has over us. No longer can he whisper in our ear that we aren’t good enough, that people will hate us, or that we will lose everything. He can no longer scare us with lies about what being vulnerable will cost us. It’s in our total vulnerability that the devil becomes weak. That virtual prison cell that he has built around us begins to crumble. He can no longer threaten us with the idea that others will find out because we have told everyone that matters already. We render him powerless over us. We once again become clay, that in the hands of the great Potter, can begin to be molded into His original grand design. We become free. We can finally experience the peace that God desires for us. We can truly begin to live.
So take a good look at what’s holding you back. Make the decision to become vulnerable with yourself and God in the confessional. Find a group of brothers to become weak with. Follow in St. Paul’s footsteps and become “content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when you are weak, then you are strong” (2 Cor 12:10).
Author: John Edwards is a husband, father, and Catholic speaker. He is the founder of Pew Ministries and the host of the podcast “Just a Guy in the Pew.“