A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN
When we face the true facts about ourselves, we are equipped to confront the self-deception that has hurt us and others. Admitting to ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs disarms the deceived and idolatrous parts of us which have dominated our lives. In effect we tell ourselves, “The game is over; there is a new sheriff in town.” It’s a revolutionary change within. Personally, I’ve had to be very direct with myself in order to turn my allegiance away from my addictions and toward God. My admission to myself was both a personal surrender and a claim of personal defiance to that faker-impostor part of me.
I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves,
measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.
Romans 12:3 NLT
If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins – make a clean break of them – he won’t let us down, he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all our wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God – make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance.
I John 1:8-9 MSG
Recovery requires that we accept ourselves and admit that which is the worst about us, and when we do this, there is a discovery of grace as only God can give. Grace is only grace when it’s unwarranted. In grace we find permission to surrender the outcome of a war that is impossible to win. The war is over, we surrendered our illusions and ourselves and survived our addictions and lived.
I quit focusing on the handicap and began to appreciate the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take my limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition and bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 MSG
The heart is the deepest essence of a person. It symbolizes what’s at our core. The heart of the matter is that we can know and be known only through revealing what’s in our heart.
Brennan Manning, Posers, Fakers & Wannabes pg 147
One of the great returns on the investment my honesty brings to me is when others in our fellowship say “me too” to me. When someone says “me too,” they are in effect telling me that “they too” have suffered from similar conflicts, shortcomings and sins as I have. In doing so, they help heal my perspective and how I relate to other people.
A timely “me too” helps deliver us from the power of our secrets. Identifying and admitting shared destructive patterns breaks down the walls of isolation. The experience of being heard, observed, known, included, loved and embraced, in spite of our addictions, sins and mistakes, is transformational. When a person gives the power of love through an understanding ear, compassion and understanding soak in deeply, washing away the poison of self-hatred and condemnation. Without the establishment and re-establishment of trust with other people in this way, spiritual and emotional wholeness cannot happen.
Personal admissions of weakness and failure to another person may seem like a surgery of the soul, but doing so results in the freedom of a new way of thinking about ourselves, God and other people. To not risk honesty, to not trust, to not heal, to not become relationally and emotionally whole, leaves us alone and at the mercy of sexual addiction, inevitably leading to more failure and destruction.
When we lose the foundation of trusted relationship, we have no one to trust but ourselves, and yet it is the self that feels most foolish and incapable of making safe and solid decisions. We are in a trap. We are cut off from others. We hate our desire. We want relief from our pain. We want someone to care and comfort us, but we also want justice, vengeance. The dark desire to make our betrayer pay places us in a strange position of being both a victim and an abuser.
Dan Allender, The Healing Path
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