Sometimes you read a verse or two from the Bible and it gets you, as if God was saying it for the very first time and that it was meant specifically for you. This happened to me recently when I read the following words from 2 Corinthians:
“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened our hearts wide to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us…” 2 Corinthians 6:11-12
I am, in many ways, a typical bloke. I get on with life. I handle stuff. I do my best not to whinge or moan. I try not to spend too much time naval gazing. And, somewhere in my dim and distant past, I made a type of vow that I would always do my best to make things happen.
Now none of this ever presents itself as that much of a problem UNTIL…. Until events stop us from getting on with life. Until we find we’re not handling stuff that well. Our manly pride stops us from talking about this stuff to our mates, and at best we whinge and moan to our wives or family. Sometimes I do feel great sympathy for those closest to us when the wheels begin to fall off our chariots.
The descent into isolation for most blokes happens really slowly and its grip on our lives ends up being as tight as a vice.
When I recently read the verses above, it was like I could see clearly for the first time in ages. Most of us have got more people around us who are opening their hearts wide to us than we realise. There are more people around us who are offering brotherly love and affection than we possibly know. But the enemy’s biggest lie is that we are on our own and that we have to make things happen for ourselves. This lie is so widespread. Really! I mean, how easy do you find it to ask for help?
When we make agreement with that lie, we settle for isolation and we withhold our hearts from everyone around us, the very people who only want to help.
The next verse that follows on from the ones above reads like this: “As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.”
Don’t buy into isolation. Don’t be like a wildebeest that gets itself singled out and mauled by a lion. Understand that you are part of a band of brothers. These are brothers who have already opened wide their hearts to you, and you just need to open wide your heart to them in return. There is so much freedom when we live from a wide open heart.
As I am beginning to learn how to live from a wide open heart I am also learning to respond to whatever God is doing, even in the very difficult moments, as opposed to always trying to make things happen for myself and for those closest to me.