Tuesday, January 28, 2014

INTEGRITY - from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, NOT FOR MEN ONLY

INTEGRITY
Many of us — and I include myself in this — can be overly concerned with how we appear to others. This can get us trapped into living in ways that are inconsistent with how we truly want to live. We can find ourselves more concerned with looking good in the eyes of others, than being good no matter who is watching us. Integrity is impossible without interpersonal authenticity. Reputation without character is an illusion. We have to get real with ourselves and with others, no matter what others may think or say about us, if we want to recover.

The hidden realities of our innermost thoughts and feelings manifest themselves in the way we live. Continued movement away from our addictions requires that we be aware of our motives and the innermost thoughts and feelings behind them. We must surrender our counterfeit self-perceptions and appearances to God, honestly express who we really are, which means preferring His plan for our life more than our own — in every way. Moving forward requires that we never forget that we are powerless over our sexual addictions and that our lives are beyond our ability to manage on our own. In addition, let us never forget that when life seemed most hopeless, we saw how other people were recovering from their addiction and —
because of the miracle God was doing in their lives — we came to believe we could recover from our addictions too. We then made the decision to trust God with our lives the best we knew how, recognizing that our relationship with Him must always grow as He directs. We accepted the opportunity for recovery as a gift and a responsibility. In other words, we worked to obtain a more honest understanding of ourselves and our failures.




We began admitting to ourselves, to God and to well-chosen people who and what we really were inside and out. Sharing ourselves with others honestly, we found ourselves becoming more and more dissatisfied with the pathetic way we had masqueraded through life. We knew we needed God’s help to change our character defects, and we asked Him for it. Over time, our character defects weakened and our eyes opened, which made us more aware of how we had hurt people around us. We now do our best to reconcile with others, starting with forgiving anyone who has hurt us, and helping anyone who has been hurt by our addictions. This simple recovery plan has been taking us, step-by-step, on a journey where we have begun to see a new character, and a new life within us. But we won’t stop now. We can’t stop now. What benefit would we have, what usefulness could we offer to others, if we abandoned our recovery journey incomplete?



I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.


Philippians 3:12-14 NLT




This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only 
~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011


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