Men have a tendency to isolate themselves. Our culture admires independent tough-guys like Dirty Harry, Rambo, Terminator, Robocop, and James Bond. Nobody gives an inch. Nobody opens up. Nobody gets hurt. (I looked for some current tough-guys and Wesley Snipes, Tom Cruise, Russell Crow and Mel Gibson came to mind but they don’t seem to measure up to the older guys–maybe that’s just my read. What do you think?). Yet, while we may be respected for an indifferent and tough facade, it doesn’t lead to intimacy–but it does protect us from rejection. Nobody wants to disclose their real fears and true feelings to a friend and have them walk away.
It fascinates me that we tend to not only hide from each other, but from God. We talk to him as though he’s supposed to be impressed with a tough-guy act. We’re so afraid of rejection that we try to conceal ourselves from the one who already knows everything about us. By hiding from God we reveal that we don’t trust him to accept us as we are and to help us move forward in the process of becoming more like him. Such a fear of rejection is a powerful impediment to faith.
Jesus would have nothing to do with such hiding. In Gethsemane he called out to God with loud crying and tears (Mt. 26:36-46; Heb. 5:7-10). He didn’t hide the fact that he didn’t want to experience isolation from the Father. He expressed his desire to somehow bypass the suffering of the cross. Jesus did this because he knew that his Father could be trusted with his life. Three times he told his Father, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus willingly opened his hand and offered his Father his most valuable possession–his life. While God’s will often goes against the grain of our personal wishes, it’s never second best. No one who gives God their prized possessions will ever regret it.
Since that’s the case–doesn’t it make sense that we can be open with God? We don’t need to hide–we can trust him with our deepest fears and feelings? (I talk about this in Week Four of the Jesus Experiment – this chapter is transforming how I deal with fear).