We are designed for brotherhood, not isolation. This is why it is so harmful for us when we walk alone through life, as mentioned in Never Walk Alone, Part 1.
In order to avoid self-destruction through stubborn independence and an insistence that we can handle things on our own, we must become convinced of the necessity of brotherhood. And we must make it a priority.
A key component in the lives of men who see serious progress, healing and — dare i say — victory over sin of any kind is the presence of Real Brotherhood. This is all the more true in the battle for purity and freedom from the snares of pornography and lust.
Perhaps there is something in us as men that desperately wants to be able to single-handedly overcome all obstacles and threats in life, but it really doesn’t work like that.
Men become men in the company of other men. We must become men in order to experience freedom and healing. We must become men in order to slay the dragon of pornography use.
We need each other.
While there may be seasons of isolation or aloneness in a man’s life as he takes his journey of healing, Real Brotherhood must be the major theme. Those other seasons are just that, seasons.
When i was in my addiction, i faked my way through “accountability” groups and men’s meetings which were supposed to be about developing brotherhood. As it turns out, i could get away with that because the commitment level of the other men was pretty low concerning how “real” the brotherhood was.
The irony is that all the time i was playing at brotherhood, i actually desperately wanted the real thing. The thing is, i wasn’t willing to be vulnerable, which is requirement No. 1 for Real Brotherhood.
There are many obstacles to Real Brotherhood. In fact, there may be too many to mention. However, fighting through those barriers is always worth it.
That’s how it is with the most important things in life: they must be fought for. They are always worth it.
It can be very hard to remember any of this when the stresses and temptations of life are raging. A brother helps you remember who you are and what your life is about.
To walk alone is to risk great harm to ourselves.
But it’s more than that. Through Real Brotherhood we not only avoid great harm, but we also find our voice and our strength to live out the greatness of our calling.
In Amazing Grace, the 2006 film about the life of William Wilberforce, we see the crucial roles played by Wilberforce’s good friends William Pitt and John Newton.
Wilberforce led the fight to abolish the slave trade in England — no small feat. All along the way, as he battled seemingly insurmountable odds, Pitt was his confidant, friend and encourager. Wilberforce met frequently with Newton, the former slave owner who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace” after he was convicted that slavery was wrong. Newton provided needed wisdom along the way.
Wilberforce needed all the support he could get. In his moments of doubt; in his moments of heartache; and in the moments when he had given up, Pitt was there. So too was Newton.
Eventually, Wilberforce prevailed. On his own, he wouldn’t have.
The greatness of our calling may not be to conquer something as monumental as slavery, but that does not diminish the truth that our lives are incredibly significant. We are called to great things. Remember: the context of our lives is war and we are needed.
If we walk alone we will miss the greatness of our calling.
When we risk vulnerability within the context of Real Brotherhood we find the strength, life and freedom to defeat the enemy of our souls and step out to fulfill our calling.
Never walk alone.