One thing about people with addiction that I have seen over the years is, they usually don’t know why they do the things they do.
Once I saw that, I began to see it in other people. They don’t know why they do the things they do.
Clearly, we all do wrong and we all (protest if you must but I will guarantee you do, too) keep doing it. Oh, we may stop doing this or that but often we must substitute a lesser wrong for a big one.
I guess you call that baby steps.
Baby steps are good but as I grew older and my legs grew longer, I had to stop taking baby steps. Just doing things less wrong yet not right was not for a big full-grown man. It became time to take big full-grown man (I’m talking about me here, you ladies should not behave like full-grown men, there are quite enough of us running around mucking things up) taking big steps that babies can only dream of taking.
God doesn’t bring from death to life to crawl and toddle through the rest of my life.
He brings me to take big steps and that involves coming to big realities in my life that I did not know existed. That means I have to figure out why I do dumb stuff, wrong stuff, evil stuff and just plain start doing more things right in the first place and going back to try and fix things a lot less.
The problem is that when I look back to attempt to see why I do the things I do, it is clouded by guilt, shame, pain, hurt and all sorts of other stuff that I’d rather not deal with.
Not dealing with it, though, means it is always there. It doesn’t just go away over time.
Until someone suggested (told me and assumed I would go) I attend a step study at Celebrate Recovery, I was blasting away at the bad things in my life pushing them far enough out of the way that I could take one more baby step.
After a lot of pushing and shoving I was basically right where I started, just on the other side of the room. Recovery was wearing me out and I was pretty tired of the whole thing.
John 2:25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
No one needs to tell Jesus what is in our hearts. He knows.
He knows when I doubt him. He knows that I think evil thoughts, that I lust for things I shouldn’t, that I am crying inside and don’t understand why, that I feel like exploding and letting the carnage happen.
That used to scare me. God knows how bad I really am. He KNOWS.
He can’t love me. I must be defective and not useful at all. I’m lost.
Oh, but even as Jesus roamed this planet, he knew every man. He knew their hearts. He knew the evil, the decadence, the unworthiness and the hopelessness.
Yet, he went through with it, loved us, died for us, made a way for us, even though no man deserved it, not one!
So, there is no fear in knowing that Jesus knows. He has proven that he loves all of mankind and like it or not, I are one (I know that is bad grammar but I think it sounds funny if you say it out loud).
I sat down in that Celebrate Recovery step study, I went to the town of “Why” with some strangers, a friend and the one that knows my heart. We dug around and found out that I am not just some evil person randomly doing acts of treachery, deceit, violence and lust.
I learned to push aside the curtains of guilt and shame and go past the point I made bad decisions and became a victim of my own actions.
Yeah, I learned a little bit about how I think and how to recognize when that thinking is going off the rails. I learned to spot when depression was taking over my reality.
Oh, there are lots of things I still have to learn. But, I am learning a lot about why I do the things I do and that helps a LOT to keep me from doing them in the first place and not spending all my time trying to fix everything I have broken.
There’s a lot more time to smile, a lot more time to feel peace, a lot more time fixing a problem head-on rather than trying to fix it by worrying.
It is hard. Lots of people quit when the curtains of guilt and shame close in on them. But if we persevere, those curtains are torn down and burned in the fire of redemption.