sshhhh, the secret is out

November 27, 2014

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Compulsiveness is defined as “an irresistible, repeated impulse to perform some irrational act.” A few common examples of compulsive behavior are: gambling, sex, eating, talking, drinking alcoholic beverages or taking drugs, working, spending money, punishing children, etc.

Some of the activities named are perfectly innocent in themselves and others are nearly always harmful.  Whether an act is intrinsically right or wrong, it becomes wrong, and even dangerous, when performed compulsively. For instance, while there is nothing wrong with eating, the compulsive eater will become overweight and suffer ill health.

 

The operative word here is compulsive, if you feel out of control during any activity then the most innocent activity is fraught with danger, to yourself or to others.

 

The Apostle Paul warns those who are compulsive: “But when you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results. . . ” The list includes eagerness for lustful pleasure, murder, drunkenness, etc. (Gal. 5:19-21). 19 Now the works of the flesh are revealed, which are these: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I previously warned you, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But when the Holy Spirit is in control, he produces such fruit as love, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22,23). Modern English Version (MEV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law.

 

In order to change, the compulsive person needs to first make Jesus Christ his Savior and Lord. The one who has tried on his own to overcome compulsiveness will not find it hard to believe Jesus’ claim that “apart from me you can’t do a thing” (John 15:5). We’ve all tried to be good, but have fallen flat on our face. A relationship with Jesus not only gives us heaven as our home, but also a new power to change. The power that comes from him not from our own will power.

 

But don’t be surprised to find a Christian who still has a problem with compulsiveness. In Romans 7:22-25 the Apostle Paul describes his struggle and how he was set free by Christ: “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is as war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me slave to the sin that is still within me.  In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.  So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.  Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God!  It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Recognize that your old sin nature is dead. “So look upon your old sin nature as dead and unresponsive to sin, and instead be alive to God, alert to him, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).

Thank the Lord for what he has done. “Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free” (Rom 7:25).

Allow the Holy Spirit to control your life. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. . .” (Gal. 5:22, 23).

Cooperate with what Christ has accomplished in your life. “Do not let sin control your puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires. Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God. . .to be used for his good purposes” (Rom. 6:12,13).

 

Cooperation with Christ will include some tough decisions, like being honest and telling people about why you can’t drink, or stay away from betting places or people that bet, use an Internet browser that won’t allow porn or even ads.

 

I had a friend that could only use one checkout lane in the grocery store, because it had no magazines in that checkout. Even seeing a woman in a fitness magazine put him on a downward spiral. He knew that so he avoided the situation.

 

Contrary to the message the world gives, there is still a black and white, a right and wrong, a holy and unholy, sinful or spiritual. We were given free will so our love for God would be real, but we have to make right choices. There is no one we can blame, ultimate responsibility lies within ourselves.

 

Never stop trying, and don’t try it alone, a secret loses all of its power once it is no longer a secret. Find a mentor, a sponsor, someone to hold you accountable, trust someone that you can tell it all to.

 

God bless and keep trusting that one day total freedom will be yours.

 

Prayer requests and questions to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Happy Thanksgiving

 

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