Do you have a habit or addiction you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to break? If so, you might unwittingly be using chaos to keep yourself stuck.
Anytime we’re working to grow, we’re going to face resistance. Change, even good change, can be scary. The flesh, or the “old man,” offers a way out: chaos. If life gets too chaotic—if crisis comes, if the bottom falls out, if I get slammed with work—then I can’t keep doing the hard, scary work.
We see this regularly as we walk with men and women seeking freedom from sexual addictions, but it’s true for all manner of habits or hang-ups we try to break.
It is suspiciously common when a person attempts to grow and change to encounter difficulties, set-backs, and crises that seem to dictate he or she cannot continue:
I got a gym membership but work’s been so busy lately.
I dropped out of my support group because I didn’t want to keep disappointing everyone.
I know I need therapy but I just can’t afford it.
I’m going to tell my wife what I’ve been doing, but I need my marriage to be in a better place first.
I was going to ask my friend for accountability, but she’s been so happy recently, I don’t want to bring her down.
God’s been blessing my ministry so much I just can’t take the time to focus on that character issue in my life right now.
Are these legitimate excuses or the enemy whispering rationales to keep you stuck and possibly make matters worse?
As you consider, notice that many forms of chaos and crisis produce feelings very similar to feelings produced by our addictions:
Momentary thrill, excitement, an adrenaline rush
Mental busy-ness, confusion, distraction
Numbness from pain
Loneliness and isolation
Despair and helplessness
To me, these similarities make me wonder if maybe the chaos keeping us from recovery isn’t just the addiction itself in disguise.
Of great importance here is the fact that when chaos or crises strike, we are thwarted in our efforts to stay the course of recovery, of growing in Christian virtue, of practicing holy living. And so, they miss out, taking occasional sips where what they actually need is daily visits to clean water where they can drink deeply.
“Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” – Matthew 26:41.
“But it’s not my fault my car broke down when it did!”
“What should I have done? Quit my job?”
“Was I supposed to make everyone miserable because of my problem?”
“Do you think I asked for this?”
“Am I supposed to let everyone down?”
I’m simply asking you to consider whether the unanticipated busy-ness, crises, difficulties, or “blessings” might be your addiction in disguise. And if it might be, might you be (unwittingly) allowing it to keep you stuck?
Without coming under any condemnation, consider the events in your life that have detracted from your own personal journey of recovery, restoration, honesty, and growth over the years. Would you be willing to ask yourself, the Lord, and trusted others what they think?
Question for you: Where do you recognize chaos in your life in relation to your own “stuckness”? Is this chaos something you could ease or stop fueling?
Regeneration is ready to help you recognize and isolate the chaos that is hindering your progress towards freedom. Let us know if we can help!