Expensive Lessons

Working with drug addicts and the like, you get a real picture of what selfishness really looks like. Unfortunately, the damage and the regret that most leave behind could be compared to a train wreck; long after the engine has stopped the cars of the train keep coming from the inertia. I have experienced the reaping and the sowing effect myself from poor choices and missed opportunities because of my self-will running riot. In addition, the pain I felt myself became more important than the pain I caused others, a cycle of misery and regret. Making amends for those I hurt and caused pain, became a full time job, however it really helped me see just how selfish and self centered I really was.

I really like to keep things simple, not because I don’t like a challenge mind you, however when you have convoluted the truth it makes walking in integrity difficult and fluid-NOT GOOD! I had an encounter the other day with a a brother who relapsed and I was completely caught of guard at the hardness of heart and the bitterness. The excuses were endless and the justifications for his choices were plentiful. He could not get honest because of the fear of this and the fear of that. If the atmosphere was better, or the people nicer and more friendly. It was always someone else’s fault and if they would have “helped him better” things would have been different.

Having played those “records and tapes” myself in the past, I could almost lip sync what he was going to say next! I don’t want to seem sharp, but repentance was not even on the radar screen. The most beneficial theme for anyone in recovery is honesty at all times, with yourself and with your accountability group. Keeping things “under cover” is a ticking time bomb with no timer, it explodes when you least expect it and it devastates those you are in relationship with. We had a string of several different people in leadership have major failures in their life and it can be traced back to “under cover” junk and FEAR. The old saying, “you are only sick as your secrets” has merit in any persons life but it seems especially true in a Christian’s life.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NIV

The light always depicts being visible. Darkness always depicts the what cannot be seen. “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20

I have learned some powerful truths at a tremendous high price. Sin is simple; IT STEALS and KILLS and DESTROYS YOU! Being free from destructive addictions is not complicated as well. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. IT IS A DONE DEAL!

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Belief equals Action

So, what gives when you know with your mind that you should be free but on a whole other level you act out your mis-beliefs and actually DO “what you really believe?” I do not claim to be a theologian or some kind of puffed up pontificate that knows the “deal,” yet, I have found that what I believe is what I do. I can not escape this fact, and no matter how much I know “logically” know what “I should do,” it does not change the fact that I have some deep rooted heart beliefs that conflict with my “believing mechanism.” In Romans chapter 7 Paul discusses this dynamic, he called them ” laws that wage war” and there is a little nugget in the middle in verse 18 “…For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out..” Romans 7:18 (ESV) and then in verse 21 it says, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” Romans 7:21 (ESV) Wow, the things they never taught in Church, so what Paul is saying is that soon as I desire to do “right” evil lies close at hand.” AWESOME, (sarcasm intended) and yet the power struggle is not so much on the outside (what bombards us on a daily basis) as it is on the inside (what I choose to believe). In verse 22 “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Romans 7:22-23 (ESV) Paul described two laws or different forces that opposed each other, one that rested in the regenerated man or mind, the other in the natural inclinations of man or carnal mind. Then Paul topped off this chapter with this statement, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25 (ESV) In conclusion, I am a mess and totally dependent on God and through Christ Jesus I serve God with the regenerated mind. I am constantly aware of my sin, thanks to the Law, but I am free from the penalty because of Jesus. I am not there yet by any means, yet it helps me to write it out so I can see that I can be free and free indeed through Jesus’ truth!

Peace,
Rick
Free From Meth 11 years