Each year, the average American male eats approximately 1,095 meals. The same man, if average, will dine out twice a week, logging 104 of those 1,095 meals at a restaurant of some sort. If I had to bet, of those 104 meals, more than half are spent with someone on the other side of the table. That’s if you're average and YOU are not. I believe you are reading this blog because you are on a pursuit to better your life by growing a deeper relationship with God and others. That's what today's post is about, a pursuit to better conversation.
For me personally, I meet with two men each week, my mentor every other week, and the three young men I discipline who make up my HI5 Team. Whether I am talking or listening, something for sure is occurring in these conversations:
- Love – Follow-up on what is being shared and what needs to be shared based on the conversation.
- Listen – Hear and discern the conversations so things are real and honest.
- Lift-up – Encourage!
Several years ago, I was not Loving, Listening, or Lifting Up the person across the table from me. Instead I was "making an agreement" (source: John Eldredge) with the enemy and believing what he was telling me. I was allowing the enemy to replace God's Truth with his lie. The positive, energetic, and loving person I was slowly became someone who did not deserve a seat across from anyone. Life was all about me and what I was going through, I took, but did not give. I was in hell and living out this quote from Geneen Roth.
“. . . hell is wanting to be somewhere different from where you are. Being one place and wanting to be somewhere else . . . . Wanting life to be different from what it is. That's also called leaving without leaving. Dying before you die. It's as if there is a part of you that so rails against being shattered by love that you shatter yourself first. (p. 44)” ― Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.
WHEN MEN ARE REAL, LIGHT OVERCOMES DARKNESS
Luckily for me, I had men in my life that looked past my darkness and were the light in my world. They were conversational, caring, and they refused to be like these men from the movie clip Nebraska below. Thankfully the men in my life did not stay on the surface or listen and leave. They got involved, they got intentional, and they got real. Their hard truth softened my heart, cleared my mind, and saved my life. These Men of God made a choice to give, rather than receive. They gave their love, they listened, and they lifted me up. As a result, I am here today writing you.
IT MATTER'S, YOU MATTER, THEY MATTER!
The year is new. The choice is yours. Will you break away from the surface level conversations and get real across the table? Will you dare to love the person you're looking at, listen to them, even when they're not talking, discern what is going on and lift them up? They need to hear from you and you need to hear from them. Will you say: Let's Talk!
A FEW QUESTIONS FOR YOU...
Will you brainstorm with me? I am looking for any feedback that may improve HITOP LIFE. Do you have topics you are struggling with? Do you have something to share that all young men need to hear? Are there things frustrating you and you need help figuring out what to do? I'd love it if you reply and let me know.
I invite you to encourage others by responding with a comment, quote, or scripture. Start a conversation. Invite someone to lunch this week.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
I look forward to hearing from you!
Chris Hewitt, the WOE Writer