July 31, 2022
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore...”
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“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” Hebrews 4:15-16
There is an unwritten rule: Men don’t ask for directions. Maybe it’s our primal hunter/warrior instinct. Maybe, it’s our stupidity, but it’s hard to get men to admit they don’t know where they’re going. It threatens both their manhood and their on-time arrival.
Women generally ask for help. In contrast, women’s lateness is more related to getting dressed than getting lost! Arriving in style often trumps arriving on time.
At the risk of further over-generalizing, I have observed gender-specific trends when it comes to spiritual directions, as well. It is hard to get men motivated about Bible study. We would rather compete, joke around or build something. On the other hand, women can put together a Bible study group with a few phone calls.
While women may be more inclined to congregate, image-shattering honesty is often missing from the group. If you could ever get men together, they’re usually pretty open and honest about challenging one another. As I said, I’m over-generalizing, and I’m sure none of this applies to you…Ha!
Bottom line: We all have weaknesses. Just because we don’t share the same weakness doesn’t make one gender superior or inferior. It simply means we’re different yet equal in our need for mercy and grace.
People tend to gravitate to communities of faith that support their moral strengths and deemphasize their weaknesses. This is not a healthy approach to seeking a church family. Nobody wants to be judged all the time, but part of a loving community is the honest assessment of our spiritual conditions, which leads to a plan of healing. As they say in recovery, “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.”
Satan uses the fear of “being exposed” to keep many Christians “in neutral” when God is calling them to “go forth” boldly. Today’s passage is an empowering challenge for us to take courage and approach the throne of mercy & grace with boldness! Jesus is familiar with our weaknesses and has overcome them all. He is sympathetic, which means He relates to us on the level that He knows how it “feels” to be us.
By virtue of His sinless victory over fleshly weakness, we can trust Him to lead us out of our bondage into the life He has prepared for us.