The big news in the auto industry surrounds new, required technology that will offer vehicle early warning systems that include 360 degree exterior sensors, vehicle-to-vehicle (V to V) communication, automatic braking and seats that vibrate to help the driver avoid crashes.
Who knows, maybe someday they will come up with an automatic pilot setting for cars too…But wouldn’t it be nice if we had similar detection systems in place to help us avoid a major “life crash?”
Guessing actor Philip Seymour Hoffman would have appreciated such a protection system. How about Tiger, Cory Monteith, Miley, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan or Justin Beiber, or closer to home, your neighbor, close friend, your pastor or family member?
Troubling times are inevitable for everyone. And sometimes, trouble comes out of nowhere exposing our blind spots. Fortunately, God set up a V to V system for our lives, but it’s more of a B to B — believer to believer. The difference is that a B to B system requires you take preventative action to surround yourself with men who see you the way you can’t see yourself.
We all need a man in our blind spot. David had Nathan. You need one, and someone needs you. You are that man.
Here are five ways to avoid a life crash:
1. Schedule Preventive Maintenance
First, take time out from the race to spend with other men, to learn about God’s plan, seek answers and support others. There’s strength in numbers, and adding God is like adding the ultimate expert to the mix. Men are not islands, but unfortunately, we retreat to our man caves and often avoid men’s groups. Instead, schedule regular and frequent maintenance for your life to surround yourself with men who will check your blind spots.
- 2. Discuss Performance Questions
Men need men, perhaps more than anyone realize. Unlike women who naturally connect with other women, men must swallow their pride to sit down and talk turkey with other men. Lowering their walls, public facades and opening up in front of other men is counter-intuitive. But men need to talk with other men to gain male perspective, learn from other’s mistakes and benefit from Godly wisdom delivered through male counterparts.
The fact is, if we don’t know where someone is at then we can’t help. Talking is like creating that V to V awareness of your location, situation and blind spots. The value must be on authenticity, and willingness to confess.
- “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” — James 5:16
- 3. Open the Hood
Over time, a group of men will be able to dig in and dive deep with each other. Male bonding has benefits, if there’s transparency and confidentiality. There’s safety when there’s trust. The Bible puts a premium on transparency, but men struggle with maintaining their image. In a small group of allies, however, we can open the hood to heal, grow, learn, find encouragement and ultimately get where we want to go. The fact is men bring experiences and spiritual gifts you don’t have, but need.
In I Corinthians 12, Paul writes the “body” of Christ is made of many parts, each with a purpose and role which are necessary for the other parts to function optimally.
- “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” – I Corinthians 12: 27-28
4. Check Your Sensors
Like the V to V system with 360 degree exterior sensors, men need men who can empathize, care, share and listen — sensing trouble and communicating with grace and truth. Women may be intuitive, but men have senses too. Emotions can run high and traumatic events require understanding. Men who care will dare to add blind-spot mirrors and step in when a friend is in need.
- “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” — James 5:19-20
5. Make Upgrades
Men know the power of making upgrades to their vehicles, homes, and technologies. So, it’s logical that if you have taken the time to be with other men, talk about issues, lower the walls to go in depth, and allow empathic support that you will want, perhaps need, to make changes. It’s the value of transformation and principle of maturity. God is working on our character, and uses trials and other men to mold you into the best you can be.
Today’s new safe-cars with V to V systems are designed to eliminate accidents. God’s B to B system is designed to eliminate life crashes. You might not see trouble coming because everybody has a blind spot. But the question is, does anyone know where you are really at?
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Kenny Luck is the president and founder of Every Man Ministries. As the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in California, Kenny has found the proven way to improve men’s ministries around the world. Sleeping Giant is this blueprint, and gives men the tools they need to lead and understand their own men’s ministry. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com and start your men’s group today.