A while ago we went out to do ministry and on this particular night I was feeling a little nervous because it had been quite some time since I had been out. But that nervousness soon subsided as we began to talk to a few different men. After a conversation or two that didn’t seem to really go anywhere, one man stopped and seemed interested in what we were doing. As we began to get to know each other there was an opportunity to leave the area and go somewhere with less distractions. So we leave, grab a few drinks from a local convenience store and sit down on a Bangkok sidewalk to continue our conversation.
I always find it interesting that in the midst of a city of millions and in an area where women and temptation abound, that two guys can begin to share honesty and vulnerably. I think most people find this somewhat odd as so many presume that every man is only following the lustful yearnings of his heart and mind. The conversation this night showed me once again that as you sit down and begin to open your heart that whatever may be going on in the heart of the one next to you will eventually come to the surface.
What did this particular man share this evening? He shared such things as going down there because he was curious, liked the cheap beer and simply enjoyed getting lost amongst the busyness of the area. But then at one point of the conversation he lowers his voice and shares that one time he had made the decision to engage in the immorality that is offered. There it is, an invitation to perhaps become deeply personal and personally relevant and speak to his heart. I could choose to yell at him and condemn him for what he just shared with me, for something that we can’t go back in time and change. But I won’t do that. Instead I ask him if he ever felt shame or guilt after all was said and done and he nods that he has. Interesting isn’t it that something that is hawked and promised as freedom, enjoyment and a transaction with no consequences can cause something as debilitating as shame and guilt?
I am not surprised he shared those feelings because I have heard it before from quite a few men that we have had the privilege to talk to. As men share with me feelings of shame and guilt, I can relate too because I have experienced those feelings during certain times of my life, as I think all of us probably have at one point or another. But my life today is different because I am no longer held down by that shame or by those feelings of guilt. He has thrown them aside and instead reminds me that yesterday is gone and that today is a new day – another day where I am His.
So what’s my prayer for this man? It is that more and more men will reject the garment of shame that the enemy tries to throw on them, and instead choose to embrace the white robe of righteousness that He longs to drape over them. Can you commit to praying that for some man that you may never meet until perhaps the day you meet him up there?
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