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Merciful Refusal

Too many people have the unfortunate problem of managing quite nicely.

Quite nicely is nice when all things are well, but when there’s a secret moral failure, a destructive pattern, a relational problem, or a long-buried wound, managing quite nicely is a problem.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s a silent misery.

As a 19 year old Christian college student, I was harboring secret sexual sins I’d never told anyone about. Outside, I was managing quite nicely—a good guy, known for my faith, my friendships, and my humor. I prayed God would change me, but he didn’t seem to be answering. I didn’t want anyone to know. I’d be utterly humiliated. I thought I’d lose my friends. I’d never outlive the shame.

I asked God to show me another way.

He didn’t.

By His mercy, He didn’t.

Do you carry something in secret?

Whether a shameful thing you’ve done or something shameful done to you, a lie you’ve fostered or an addiction that has you, or maybe something you carry from long, long ago, secrecy is not your friend.

Secrecy promises to keep us safe. It whispers of threats outside, of certain shame and ruin that await us in the open.

But secrecy is a dragon itself to be feared.

All that beckons you to darkness is that which thrives in darkness. You, on the other hand, were created for light.

If you’ll ever be free, ever be healed, ever be able to maintain health, you need to be walking fully in the light with at least a few trusted and trustworthy people.

Ask Jesus who.

There is only one way to clear out a dark and dank room, no matter who is responsible for its condition. It is to throw open the windows and swing wide the doors, to let sunshine pour in and the fresh outside air to blow through. Only then can real restoration begin.

If God has not shown you another way, it is a merciful refusal.

Find your way to a trusted pastor or priest. Or begin with a 12-step recovery group or a good counselor.

Or come to Regeneration.

Door’s open,
Josh

3 thoughts on “Merciful Refusal”

  1. I thank my wonderful Lord Jesus Christ for the open door! Funny thing is I am getting ready to clean out an unused room in my home today (so that I can use it more)! This letter is a perfect reminder! By getting honest, I connected with more friends than I ever imagined. My relationships grew in number and in depth, so that isolation was no longer an issue. Letting in the light is the foundation of my transformed life.

  2. Thank you; I managed “quite nicely” for decades, although haunted by secret sexual sins that (now that the Lord has liberated me by his divine grace and power) I am sure stunted my life and my ministry. After I opened the door and talked with two different people, marvelous freedom came, and I have not been the same since, and my marriage has grown in depth and joy.

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