I started off gun ho about everything, knowing that if I could stay away from this sin for 140 days I could really nip it in the bud, and probably stay away from it for several more months – and hopefully years. Just like with most of our challenges, mine started with this particular sin early on in life. It built in to my identity, and although there were times where I stayed away from it for lengthy amounts of time, I found myself returning to it. Sometimes I returned to it out of boredom, but many times out of stress. Curiosity was a good excuse I used to use, but at the end of the day, no matter how much I rationalized, it was still an excuse.

Just like all shortcomings, we get good at hiding it, and I call it “Image Management”. People passing us on the street would never guess it. Our acquaintances couldn’t pick it out of a short list, and our close friends might even swear that there is no way it is a serious part of our life. The killer is that those who are close to use might be duped too. Yeah, they might see signs, but some of us have gotten very good at teaching them how to numb the truth, or completely lie about our recovery. If we think that is a complete list of everyone it affects, containing anonymous strangers to close family, we’ve left out one very important person it affects the most: You.

Many times we get so good at our image management, that we hide the truth from ourselves. We might even acknowledge the pain, but not where the story is going. A pastor once said in a sermon that we must play the full movie out in our minds. If we continue to do what we do, where is it going? How do you expect the movie to end? I was watching one of my favorite law enforcement reality shows about gang life, and a counselor was explaining to a young gangbanger that this lifestyle is either going to lead to jail or death. Dealing drugs, robbing people, fighting daily puts the odds so much against you, that it is predictable where the end is.

Next week we’ll look more into where YOUR story is going….