In the heart of every man lies a question. It’s a question which tugs at his heart as he prepares for his wedding day and weighs on his heart after a rough day at work or a sleepless night with a crying baby. Every man, whether he is conscious of it or not, has a question deep in his heart: am I good enough?
I have seen this again and again in friends, in men I have counseled, and in my own heart. I’ve seen it in some of the most confident and successful men I have ever met and in those who appear to be toughest and most callous. We go through incredible feats to prove that we are good enough. We experience our faults and imperfections and want to somehow cancel them out through gaining influence, success, or affirmation. Most men simply want to know that they are doing a good job, that they are in fact “good enough.” Perhaps this harkens back to the Fall of Adam and Eve itself. People often blame Eve for being the one to take the “forbidden fruit.” You have to wonder if after the fact, when Adam had time to reflect, he realized that he failed
We attempt to be self-sufficient when, in fact, we need Christ.
his wife in allowing the serpent to tempt her. From that point forward, the hardships of life were a continual reminder that he had failed. He must have asked from time to time: “Am I good enough? Am I a good enough husband? Am I a good enough father? Am I good enough for God?”
Jesus would ultimately be the answer to that deep and burning question. Surprisingly, he would show us that by ourselves we are not good enough. By ourselves, we fall grievously. Jesus showed us that he came because we were not good enough. He came, however, to transform us. Through him, we may become not only “good enough”, but heroic.
Humble Yourselves Before God
Tragically, men in the U.S. and in most parts of the world show significantly less interest in religion then women . (source) Perhaps it’s because, as men, we have a difficult time admitting that we are not “good enough” on our own. Deep down we feel our weaknesses but we try to hide them, even from ourselves. We attempt to be self-sufficient when, in fact, we need Christ.
During the season of Advent, we remember that Christ came into the world for us. He humbled himself by being a helpless infant in a manger. By this he taught us that “whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). My invitation to the men reading this: humble yourselves before God. Speak to the Lord about your struggles and faults. Make a good confession this Advent. Recognize that you cannot be the man you want to be without Christ, but with him, you will become more than you could have ever imagined. May God bless each of us as we humble ourselves before him this Advent.
Written by: Fr. Patrick Burns, St. Francis Borgia Catholic Parish