A post like this usually goes in the dated entries, but I thought I’d write more about it generally, and not so much as a “diary” dated post. I had a big goal of really stopping a sinful behavior/thought pattern, and set out to complete eradicate it from my life in 140 days. If you’ve read anything on this site, you know I do keep something private, so “what” it is, isn’t that important… although you’d like to know, just as much as I would like to know what is on your list of sins. What is truly important is the journey these 140 days took me.
It could be a low level of confidence which causes you to constantly put down others. Maybe it’s the challenge of telling the truth, where you create this false world around you to project an image which you think impresses people. For many people, addictions would be on your list. Too many people struggle with drinking and alcoholism, and some even do it while still doing there 9-5 jobs, or raising a family the best they can. Maybe you wrestle with other substance abuses which just don’t include the “hard” stuff like cocaine and heroin anymore, but a long line of legal pharmaceutical drugs which docs prescribe.
Many people don’t notice, but they might use food as a drug. They feel stressed, and everything from yummy candy to 1500 calories in fast food usually does the trick. Others use shopping, regardless of if can afford it or not, to dull pain. No need for high end stores either these days. Hording from Macy’s to Wal-Mart, internet to garage sales are much more common then you think for those who are addicted. Maybe your sin revolves around the misuse of sex. Using strippers at a club, or random people you pick up in bars is no different than the people you use for your “viewing pleasure” on porn sites. I know you probably picture a man just doing these things, but can’t even wives who have been married for 25+ years use sex to control and manipulate their husbands? Sin can paralyze you through your emotions of negativity, depression and obviously more serious diagnosis of everything from schizophrenia or bi-polarism.
Gossip seems harmless, as you do it thoughtlessly while getting together with your girlfriends every Wednesday at the coffee house. However, when you take a second look at it, your words hurt and are meant to really raise your life up on a pedestal. Greed has been around since the start of time, and will continue to do so. Greed triggers thoughts of money swindling or overly material build up, but you can be just as greedy with your time or opportunities at work. Speaking of work, sin can disguise itself in working too much, and ignoring more important things like your health and family.
Do you see yourself in any of these examples? If not, what is yours? We all have our hang ups. Turn on the news, and you’ll see an array of sins paraded in story format in order to entertain… as they rarely have any true news value. Examinations into our own lives are first to build awareness. As one of my favorite movies once said, “The greatest thing the devil ever did was convince the world he didn’t exist”. Is there a sin you’re not even aware of? Maybe there is one you never thought of being harmful, and now you can see how it hurts yourself or others. Darkness in our lives hides what is truly in it, just like walking into a dark unknown room makes us clueless on where the furniture is which we can trip over.
Light exposes what we need to see, not what we need to be fearful of. The dangerous step we all take (me included) is that we choose many times to live in darkness just so we don’t expose the true nature and consequences of our actions. Self admitingly, more light exposes more of our personal darkness, but instead we numb ourselves with more of our drugs (food, shopping, gossip, people controlling, sex… whatever…), in order to lock out the light. We might use “softeners” in the words we use telling ourselves it is not “that” bad, or diminishing the impact it has on others (“they’ll get over it”). My dodge of choice is comparing myself to others, making sure my challenges don’t seem as bad.
It hit me one day, when I just said, “Hey, this is wrong”. No softeners, no comparing, no escaping to ignore it.
I’ll continue to write more next week… hang in there with me…