True Repentance

I need to be candid for a moment here for those who may be dealing with the consequences of past addictions. One of the most common features among people who struggle to stay clean or sober is oddly enough a sense of entitlement. We skirted the issue a moment ago but let me deal with it directly for a moment on two fronts. To the person who has been a drunk or addict and to the person who has a drunk or addict in their life who is now clean or sober.

If you have been an addict or drunk and your actions have cost you, that is where your thinking needs to end. Your actions have cost you, it wasn’t anyone else fault and you are not like a recovering cancer victim who is recovering from a disease. While dependency can certainly be created all drunks and addicts begin their journey with a personal decision that lead to the dependency and all it’s ramifications. Does God forgive you if you confess and repent? Absolutely! Does He remove all this life consequences for forgiven sin? No, and that “no” includes some broken relationships and lack of trust. So my forgiven friend who now has victory over their addiction, do not seek reconciliation and forgiveness and the restoration of trust from those you hurt as though they owe it to you. Earn it, prove it, fight for it and never give up doing so!

For those who may have had someone’s self-inflicted wounds wound them too because of their addiction or drunkenness or infidelity or anything else, remember the words of Paul to the church at Corinth who had broken fellowship with a young man who committed grievous sin and would not repent and was cast out of the church family;

But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent — not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.” – 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Let me summarize the words of Paul here for those with wounds that may be considered collateral damage, reaffirm Christian for the consequences of forgiven sin is sufficient in the lives of those who have truly confessed and repented. That means, treat them like a Christian and be concerned lest they be swallowed up with too much sorrow. It doesn’t mean necessarily restoring the relationship or rekindling the marriage or even extending unearned trust, it means offer them the comfort of forgiveness when true repentance has been shown. 

Do not live as a prisoner of self-inflicted wounds and when the devil comes at you with the truth about your past, come back at him by obeying the truth in the present.

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

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