Man Caves

A man cave by definition is a place where the sacred act of manning it up happens.  Manning it up just means you’re watching TV in your favorite chair while throwing dietary caution to the wind.  The wind is broken on multiple counts in a man cave and no one cares.  Unsuspecting feet won’t step on a fugitive Lego, and a smattering of carpet encrusted Cheeto dust is common, and often overlooked for years on end.  Children and wives are seldom invited into this wholey of wholies.

The kind of man cave addressed in this posting is action oriented as opposed to being a passive noun.  Man, since Adam, has caved in while under pressure.  The first man got caught sampling a delicious red with the promise of becoming wiser than God Almighty, and then blamed it on his wife when God came into the garden for His daily stroll.

Adam caved.

He caved to the pressure of a promise of something more pleasurable than he’d been given.  Just like him, all men cave and have done so, without exception, from when the core got tossed into the bush Adam would hide his naked body behind.

We cave to temptation because we are natural cavers.  

…There is none that hasn’t caved, not even one…

…For the wages of caving is death…

Adam not only caved – he covered.  He covered his shame in a bunch of hastily made fig leaves.  Since the first man, fig leaves have fallen out of fashion, but not function.  We cover ourselves in the fig leaves of false piety.  We wear figgy facades that cover our true faces.

Even the best of Christians don’t uncover themselves completely.  A psychological concept known as the Johari Window gives good explanation on how we live a large portion of our life in covering, or hiding ourselves.

johari-model

This window is made up of four smaller windows.

  • The first window consists of what I know about you and what you know about you.
  • The second is the blind window and this is what I know about you, but what you don’t know about you.
  • The third is the hidden window.  It is what you know about you, but what I don’t know about you.
  • Lastly, no one knows what’s in the fourth.  It is your potential and has not yet been discovered by anyone except God.

The panes are all the same size and dimension in the graph, but that is not how it is in real time.  Based upon circumstances, my blind window may be huge based upon how aware I am of myself and my surroundings.  Yours may be the known window, where you have no problem communicating your vast knowledge of your own character to others.  The hidden window, whether a Christian or not, is one of the biggest windows of the soul.  The shades that cover the hidden window of the soul are sown of the figs of human failing.

The reasons for hiding are many, but most of it boils down to the textbook fear of rejection by God and others.

“If they really knew me, I couldn’t get a job.”  

“If anyone found out, I would go to jail.”  

“If he finds out, he will divorce me.”

“If my cover gets blown, I’m going to kill myself.”

Shame is produced in mass quantity behind the fig shades.  It’s factory has a slave driving foreman who demands the exhausted and collapsing to work around the clock with no lunch break.  Hiding is more work than what it’s worth though.

You can enter into a deeper level of your relationship with God when you discover the difference between professing Christ and confessing Christ.  Professing Christians speak from the known window, and Confessing Christians from the hidden window.  The COVER hides the CAVER.

Let’s get something out in the open.  You and I will continue to cave to sin until we see Jesus face to face.  Maturing in Christ means that you’re no longer a slave to sin, but it never says that you won’t sin.  I heard a mentor of mine say “Some brothers tout their [Christian] liberty as license to sin.  What they don’t know yet is that they’re not free NOT to sin.”  You and I will battle daily with sin which means you won’t always win.  This doesn’t take away the fact that God gets robbed of His glory when we do engage in sin, or that the Holy Spirit grieves, or that God will discipline us after the fact.

Don’t be afraid to confess that you’re a caver.  I cave frequently, and so do you.  I am not glorying in the cave, but I can’t deny that I have a rich history of cave diving.

Professing Christians who COVER say things like:

“I stole a piece of bubble gum in a grocery store when I was 5 and never did it again.”

“I lied to my parents about sneaking out… ONCE.”

“I almost looked at a playboy in an airport one time a loooooong time ago.”

“One time I got tipsy while sipping wine that I thought was sparkling grape juice at my church’s small group New Year’s Party, but that was like in 2008.”

Confessing Christians who CAVE say things like:

“I stole a twix last week from Target, and felt so bad that I went back and paid for it a day later.”

“I struggle with hating my boss and I gossiped about her 30 minutes ago, but I just messaged her and asked if we could talk next week so I can make it right between us.”

“I have a bi-weekly habit of looking at porn and I HATE it, but I can’t stop.  I finally set up an appointment with the counselor at church and threw my phone down face first on 71 south.”

“Sometimes I get so drunk on the weekend that I have to sit out in the lobby during worship on Sunday because I’m still nursing a massive hangover.  I need help but I’m too ashamed to say anything.”

I completely understand that a lot of you reading this post don’t struggle like the confessions you just read, but many of your brothers and sisters in Christ do.  If you feel better about yourself because you aren’t as broken as others, you may have uncovered the most dangerous sin of all.  It’s like the radon of the soul.  It’s there but you can’t smell it or detect it without the help of a professional and it will kill you. It’s called Pride.

The goal is not to stay in sin.  The goal is to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  God wants you to admit fault and seek His favorable response to your sincere apology (1 John 2:1).  The goal is to do battle with sin, but fig leaves don’t make for a good defense against the creative, field-tested, and highly organized adversary who writes a plan of attack while you’re sleeping.

Ephesians 6:12 (AMP) – 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.

Doing battle requires that you stand in a position of readiness and cover yourself with the standard issued gear.

Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18 (AMP) – 10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.

I would like to explain every piece of armour, but for the sake of time and your tea that has been sitting in the microwave for a half an hour, I’ll mention one.  The last one.

When I was 13, my mom and dad gave me a guitar.  I didn’t have a Nintendo or anything else to entertain me so I played guitar.  My friend Eddie showed me how to play One and Sanitarium by Metallica and I played them over, and over…

and over…

…until my sister screamed at me pleading for it to stop.  The good thing about that guitar was that it did not come with a case.  It got dropped a few times and has the marks to show but leaving it out helped me get the hang of it rather quickly.  If I’d had a case, it would have protected it for sure, but I would have gotten bored and found other things to do.

The same rule applies to reading the Bible.  It is the only weapon of offense in the inventory.  Every other item listed is for defense.  If you put the sword back on the shelf you won’t read it, which calls for a point of application.

  1. Keep it out.

And while it’s out…

2. Keep it open.

It has to be in the way.  Yes, your counter, desk, dresser, or coffee table space will not be as plenteous, but it has to be out and open for it to be read.  Just leave it open to the last place you read and you never have to wonder where to read next.

In the End

Man caves.  The struggle against sin will one day be over.  When you and I are “translated” as Paul said, into the very likeness of Jesus Christ.  Until then, suit up and stand in a position of readiness.  Get real about your cave through confessing your sins to God and other Christians.  I don’t recommend telling everyone by airing your dirty laundry in the cafe at church on Sunday, but I do recommend confessing to those you’ve sinned against.  Confessing steals the power of sin.  Once you pull the fig shades back, that sin can’t resist being thrown out into the open.  It will die a very satisfying death but don’t get too comfortable.  It always moves back in.  You just know what to do with it now the next time it happens.

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