The hit, made-for-Netflix, series “House of Cards” exhibits how men craving power will don a public mask in order for private gain. It’s a story about men living with two faces: a public persona and a private will; an image vs reality; a means to an end.
Two-faced men live with the imminent tragedy that their house of cards will crash. One final straw can destroy everything, breaking the camel’s back. Men living this way, will do virtually anything to protect their polished myth. Inner turmoil ensues. Character gets twisted. Relationships suffer. Self-protection takes over. Private division and destruction follow.
This dynamic can become even more oppressive for a Christ-following man. We want to present Christian, play the role and rarely, if ever, let anyone look under the hood. There can exist a disconnect between identity and activity; resulting in a synthetic versus authentic Christian witness that is one card away from collapse.
God’s men often compartmentalize their faith and become “consumer Christians” sitting in the pews waiting to be served, or convenient Christians with a Las Vegas mentality that says “what happens outside of church stays outside of church.”
Jesus taught about, and confronted, this naïve mentality among men in Luke 6:46-49 saying:
- “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Did you see it? More to the point, did you feel it? This is a stop the music, enough is enough, Bible certified “come to Jesus” meeting born out of frustration. Jesus is frustrated with the posers and fakers (synthetic). The flip side is that Jesus wants real followers (authentic). The “house” in the Bible refers to our life. The “rock” refers to God and living according His plan. The “flood” and “torrent” refer to tests that challenge our faith. Synthetic, compartmentalized Christianity is always exposed by pressure because pressure reveals substance.
The difference between a “House of Cards” man, and a man with a house built on the rock, according to Jesus, is a real LOVE within a man. “The most important one (commandment),” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” —Mark 12:29-31
Love is the antidote to a synthetic life. Love is honest, kind, caring, empathetic. It serves, protects, feeds, and nurtures. It’s transparent, like living in a house of windows for all to see.
But notice Jesus didn’t say some of your heart, PART of your soul, PART of your mind and a PART of your strength. No, he said, “ALL.”
In other words, Jesus says: Don’t compartmentalize your faith! A house built on a rock of faith-filled, loyal, and grateful obedience beats a house of cards exactly 100% of the time.
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Every Man Ministries was founded by Kenny Luck, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. Kenny created the Sleeping Giant program as a way to give men the tools and resources to make the most of their own men’s ministries and make the most of their walks with God. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com. and start your men’s group today!