By now, it seems like everyone on the planet has seen the new “Texting While Driving” public service announcement (found HERE). It’s this graphic portrayal of what could happen when one is not focused while driving because they are texting. Recently California enacted a new law stating that all texting if forbidden on public roads while driving. Due to the ever increasing number of teenage deaths, this video makes sense. Perhaps though, we can use this video as a jumping point for the conversation we need to have here.
What happens when we succumb to our struggles, whatever they may be? Not too many people are putting out videos on that sort of thing, especially not the extent the texting video illustrated. But are the consequences any different? I have seen many a family ruined because of some serious sin issues, and that’s not about to slow down or change. So the issue becomes, what can we do to better prepare ourselves then we become entangled in our struggles? What is the game plan. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In order for us not to perish, let’s start out with having a gameplan.
1. Admit your sin – This seems almost like a misnomer or something of the sort, but the first step to growing beyond your struggle (sin) is to admit you have a problem (sounds a little like a 12 step program). Romans 3:23 says that we have all messed up; no one is perfect but Jesus. The Bible also says that if we confess our sins, He (God) will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The first hurdle to overcome our struggle is often times the hardest part of the plan, but perhaps the most essential in moving past it.
2. Bring others on board in your struggle – We’re talking both God and your friends here. Start with those closest to you in whom you trust the most. These are the people you know will cry with you when you are hurting and who will slap you in the spiritual face when you are seriously dropping the ball. James 5:16 says to, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you
may be healed.” It’s that whole iron sharpens other thing (Proverbs 27:17): a good friend will make you a better you.
Besides bringing other people on board with you, you need to invite God into the equation and allow him to renew your life by accepting His grace. Romans 6:14 tells us that, “Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God’s grace.” It can be the hardest thing in the world to disappoint someone, especially God. But if there is anyone out there that is as loving as Him, I don’t know if them. God will be your rock through this time.
3. Pursue God – “But you Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow that is right and good. Pursue a Godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11).” In a world where it is so easy to pursue anything and everything, the pursuit of God gets left in a fog of confusion. Perhaps it’s that people don’t know how to do so. Or maybe it’s that it just becomes to hard to do. Whatever the reason, pursuing God is the final and most critical piece of the pie (a delicious pie too).
To make pursuing God simpler, start by setting up boundaries that work for you. Make those boundaries known to those you have brought alongside you in your struggle. If your struggle is internet related, get rid of the internet or set up an accountability system online, like x3Watch. If you are in the midst of a sexual addiction, start with something like x3Pure and work through that with your accountability partners. Again, if you don’t have a gameplan in place, you are sure to fail.
If there were anything else to encourage you in this, I would encourage you to get real. Get real with yourself, with your friends, and most importantly, with God. Make your struggle known. Struggle with it (like Paul talks about it in Romans 7). Make every effort to conquer it (for we are more than conquerers). And every day of your life, pursue God with everything you have, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline,” (2 Timothy 1:7).