For two decades I lived a secret double life. No, I wasn’t a stripper by night or committing crimes or having an affair. By day I worked hard at making my outside sparkle, assuming others would think I had it completely together. I had the right job, wore the right clothes, and associated with the right people. Yet, behind the scenes I’d retreat into a dark, depressing dungeon where I fought the battles with my demons—with my hidden addictions. My specialty: trashing my own life. I held many secrets no one could know about. The humiliating behavior and degrading consequences I wore as my identity.
Skilled at walking in a counterfeit light, I donned a fresh new cover girl mask each day. The day came when I couldn’t take living with these monsters any longer. Then something happened on my way to hell…I got saved. I said yes to Jesus Christ and stopped fighting God.
Jesus saved me from destruction—both present and future. To “save” in the Greek (sozo) means deliverance from danger and suffering; to heal, to deliver, and to make whole. God knew everything,horrible things, about me; yet, he still sought, loved, and accepted me as his very own. How could I not say, “Yes, Lord, yes!”
I wish I could say the sky opened, the angels descended, and I magically changed into a completely new and different person, a person set free from the pull of addiction. Held hostage by lies for decades, I said yes to God and yes to Christianity, but I hadn’t been set free from myself.A “saved” person, I was no longer destined to the hell the Bible speaks of. But I continued, by choice, to live in my own self-made hell. The same negative emotions and addictive behaviors that came out of a consumption-fixated culture still held my soul hostage.
Learning to break free of a multitude of negative and unhealthy coping styles has been a major challenge. Not until I asked Jesus to come and invade my life more deeply and I became hooked on the Word of God did I grasp God’s healing grace. My life began to change positively, a direct result of God changing my desires and my mind as I developed a relationship with him and studied the Bible. I have learned to cultivate contentment, stop harmful practices, and challenge inaccurate beliefs. I am dependent on him every day because I knowChrist in meis the only hope of ongoing positive change.
Why would anyone not want this? Missionary J. Hudson Taylor said, “There is a living God. He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He says and will do all He has promised.” Many people resist the Word of God because it feels too rigid and restrictive. It has been said, to be a Christian is to wear a straightjacket. My response is, “Not true!”
Think of the Bible as an owner’s manual. For example, if your automobile’s manual tells you to fill your car with unleaded fuel and you fill it with diesel fuel, the car will not run properly. It works the same way with us. God, our Creator, provides precise instructions on how to care for and protect his created. If we don’t follow his instructions then there’s usually a price to pay…as my life story will demonstrate.
We need to believe in the sufficiency of the Bible, trusting that Scripture has all the answers we need to run our daily lives. God’s desire is for us to listen to his voice speaking to us through Scripture. The Bible says,
The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. (Psalm 19:7-8, NLT)
I don’t believe the saying that to be alive is to be addicted. We need to get away from the idea that only bad or weak or sinful or diseased people have problems with obsessive behavior. I have confidence in a God who won’t let us ruin our souls. He can make something new out of our fragmented pieces. You may have had a rocky start but what’s important is how you finish. There is no area in your life so painful, no offense so heinous, that God’s grace cannot heal it. God can bring beauty out of your darkest secrets.
W. E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996), 547.
David Jeremiah, Turning Point, “When You’re Floundering,” November 8, 2012.
Kimberly Davidson, Author ~ Become a Facebook fan Kimberly posts encouragement daily!