The Gospel, Coke Zero, and Self-Disclosure
I was informed recently by my 16 year-old daughter that I have “Dad-body.” I had never heard of this, so I asked for an explanation. “Dad-body”, at least from the perspective of a 16 year-old, is the condition that plagues many men in the mid-section. In short, my daughter is telling me that I have a little extra in the mid-section, even though I am generally in shape. I put her “condition” to the test by asking a fitness instructor at our local Y if she had ever heard of “Dad-body.” She looked at my daughter with a grin, and sheepishly acknowledged she has heard the term (or is it a condition; genetic, nature, environment…what is it???) “Dad-body.”
My daughter and I decided we would lay off carbonated beverages, namely Coke Zero for me. I am using this as part of my assault against “Dad-body”, along with a seemingly endless number of crunches. Why do I bring any of this up? Because as silly as it all may sound, here is what I am recognizing; I am more likely to stick with something when I walk it out with someone else than on my own.
I am not on a fitness craze. I have no plans to start posting pictures of myself to show my “progress”. But I do want to lay off the carbonation. I “confessed” to my daughter that I watched Jurassic World with a Coke Zero in hand. She reminded me of our goals, and I got back on track. She spurred me on.
Ok, I get it. In the big scheme of things, a Coke Zero, a couple of extra pounds in the mid section, and things like this, are not the most crucial things going on in my life that reveal my need for others. But here is another realization; the more open I am about even the little things inspires me to be more open about the more significant things. I have a group of men who know my in’s and out’s, warts and temptations and all. I need that. But that isn’t all I need or all they provide. Throughout the New Testament we have so many encouragements to living life in community, self-disclosure, journeying together, spurring one another on, praising what is good, etc. I grow more and love Jesus more when I am in life transforming relationships with others. That includes accountability, but so much more. Paul said it this way,
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.” - 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2
Bringing people into my life isn’t just for when things are wrong, but also when things (at least some things) are right! Who do you encourage? Who do you spur on? Who do urge on in the grace of Jesus Christ? Who do you speak the truth in love with? Who can do that for you? Let’s be a church full of people like that.