Over Indulgence equals Addiction

The American Culture has been sending us subliminal messages via marketing firms for decades that more is better and bigger is better.  Over Indulgence sounds manageable, but the more accurate term of addiction is avoided like the plague.  What makes addiction so dangerous is that it thrives in the darkness.  Addiction is cloaked in lies.  If we do not think so, ask yourselves if you wait until your spouse to go to bed before you go back to the refrigerator.  That little self test speaks to the secrecy.

In that we love secrecy and prefer the cover of darkness for these addiction, is it any wonder that we find ways to avoid the light.  We know that when our addictions are brought into the light, that they can be cleaned.  Instead we lie to cling to darkness.  While we love God, in many ways we have a more personal affinity to our addiction.  When it is taken away, then we actually grieve it like have lost a dear family member.

Addictions are what we wake up thinking about and what we end our day thinking about. it could be work, vanity, food, pornography, alcohol or drugs.  What is does is rob us of our ability to truly live.  When we think of healthy living, we hear about balance.  When we hear about leadership training it is again about balance in life.  When we think of diet or anything else, many things are permitted in moderation.  What happens when we lose the concept of moderation. That is when we need the truth, we need accountability, we need repentance and forgiveness.  This is captured in 1 Johns 1:5-9

Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 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[b] sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Life is fully of trials and tribulations.  We all get into fender benders or near fatal accidents.  The response is what matters.  If you are in an car accident, everyone accepts that as being part of normal life.  You just call your local towing company and give them the location and they send out a truck for accident recovery.  When it is us and not the car, why do we have trouble calling for help.  1 John tells us the process.  the only other thing is to tell someone else that you have been in a personal accident.  It might be a fender bender it might be quite serious, but it is imperative to contact someone. That is what accountability requires, it is what living in abundance while being free of addiction demands.

 

NO, I am Good

I have decided to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem.  I want to help change the culture at our church.  I want to encourage men in our church to meet with other men and to be accountable to one another.  I want to encourage each of us to be vulnerable and weak so that God can be made perfect in that weakness.

The group dynamic is a crazy thing, because it only takes one or two to kill the trust in a group of men.  I meet with men at a men’s bible study every week.  I have many men new to the faith and they are trying to figure out what it means to be a man of God.  We are literally doing studies on that very topic.  In the group we have many salt of the earth mature Christians that are quick to hear and slow to speak.

Then we have a man that should be part of the marketing campaign of our church.  He is an attractive guy with beautiful younger kids.  At our big Christmas show or in our church talent shows, these young children recite long pieces of scripture from memory flawlessly.

The Church is profoundly impressed with the kids, but also the example of Dad in encouraging them both into this practice of memorizing scripture.  So when we are at the conclusion of the Bible Study we go around and ask for prayer concerns.  Part of walking as a man of God is to walk alongside of your brother and also letting your brother walk along side of you.  Every time this brother takes a pass and says he is good.  It is my understanding that this brother has been approached several times about being open at even the most basic level and he opts out.

The exciting part is that everyone else is opting in.  i was concerned that this was going to create a culture of distrust, because of others not wanting to be open with other men.  Much to my surprise, the rest of us are moving in a healthy direction.  As to how to approach this brother in particular is of significant interest.  I could force the issue, but I want to see how God moves and see if this too will change.  I will defer to grace and continue to do as God has called me and hope that God is Glorified.