Rough Cut Men: The Face-Off

What kind of man do you see when you look in the mirror?
What kind of man do you see when you look in the mirror? (iStock photo)

He was in the bathroom shaving when I decided to let him have it.

“You’re such a freaking poser, dude.” 

He looked back at me with this blank “What do you mean?” stare.

“You call yourself a Christian, bro?” I lit into him. “You judge everybody. You walk into church and avoid the people that you don’t like. You mumble under your breath about how irritating or how annoying people are. Dude, you complain about slow drivers and even slow shopping carts at the store. Everybody is an idiot or a jerk.”

He didn’t say a word as I continued my full frontal assault. “You talk a good game, but look at your life, man. You counsel guys on how to be God-honoring husbands and you can’t make it a week without having a verbal brawl with your wife. I’m surprised she doesn’t just pack her bags and leave sometimes. And your own children hardly even talk to you anymore, but you think you can tell some other guy how to raise kids.”

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Now I was on a roll, so I kept hammering. “You talk about faith, but every time the money runs low or things don’t work out like you want, I half expect you to jettison everything and just walk away from God. You can hardly pay the bills half the time, and you never even know where the next money is coming from! You’re in your 40s, and you don’t even have a retirement plan, a weekly paycheck or a real job. How can you live like that? You call yourself a man?”

At the end of the character assassination, I decided to move in for the kill. “And look at you, bro. You’re overweight, balding and gray. You were doing great with your gym regimen, but you blew it and got out of the habit. And not just working out, but your diet and even your Bible disciplines suck.”

He looked up at me, his face still half-covered in shaving cream, completely dejected. “But I just got that email from that guy who said that he wished that his walk was perfect like mine,” he objected.

“Really?” I retorted. “Who do you think you’re kidding? That guy just doesn’t know you the way that I do. If he did, he would probably just stop talking to you altogether. You’re nothing more than a wannabe Christian with a cheap plastic cross.”

I looked back into the mirror and wiped the excess shaving cream off of my face. Yet another morning facing my own worst enemy—me. Not a day goes by where I wish I hadn’t said this or done that. Mornings often consumed by worry and regret detract from the real miracle that occurred in my life over a decade ago: My salvation. My rescue from the pit of hell. The debt was paid in full, and I am free.

Sanctification is a journey. It’s a process. And it takes a lifetime—and even then, I won’t be made perfect until I am in the presence of Jesus Himself, seated on His throne. I need to stop beating myself up every morning and start focusing on how far I’ve come, not how short I fall.

So today, I confess that I will fail. I will say something stupid or think something even worse. But lest for the grace of God go I. It’s a new day, and His mercies are new again today. Yesterday has been removed from the record books, and God has again push the holy “reset” button.

Have you ever felt like this?

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

Glory to God!

David Dusek is founder and director of Rough Cut Men Ministries and author of Rough Cut Men: A Man’s Battle Guide to Building Real Relationships With Each Other and With Jesus. Rough Cut Men has been presented to NASCAR teams, at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy, at military bases around the world and at hundreds of churches and men’s conferences of every denomination. To find out more about the Rough Cut Men or to book David for an upcoming men’s event, please check out

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