I still struggle


2 Timothy 1:13 “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me-a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.”



This past year has been a year of deep self-reflection. It has been a year where I finally admit the hard stuff to myself. Humanity has an interesting way of dealing with self-conflict; it goes something like this, “If I do not admit to it, it does not exist.” And we make choices to live this way.

You may not think it is a choice you are making, but by choosing to ignore it you have made your choice.


Here is another way to look at it, “If I never acknowledge it, then I never have to deal with it.” This is why the very first step in any addiction recovery program is to admit and recognize that you have a problem. I have dealt with a destructive eating disorder addiction in my past (10+ years ago), so I know this pattern all too well.


Deny, deny, deny until finally you are so desperate for help that you admit you have a huge and out-of-control problem.


This pattern however is not just for the big and obvious addictions; it is also for the smaller and less obvious addictions or negative habits that we really do not want to talk about or deal with. Think of huge credit card debt from shopping when you cannot afford to shop, or maybe physical or emotional affairs, or sneaking food and eating in secret, or even a social media addiction where your self-worth comes from likes/views/or comments. Lust? No one knows my thoughts or what I look at. Maybe it’s the third glass of wine that has you thinking maybe you are not as in control as you want to be. Maybe it’s always looking for the next big thing to bring you happiness.


This pattern however is not just for the big and obvious addictions; it is also for the smaller and less obvious addictions or negative habits that we really do not want to talk about or deal with. Think of huge credit card debt from shopping when you cannot afford to shop, or maybe physical or emotional affairs, or sneaking food and eating in secret, or even a social media addiction where your self-worth comes from likes/views/or comments. Lust? No one knows my thoughts or what I look. Maybe it’s the third glass of wine that has you thinking maybe you are not as in control as you want to be. Maybe it’s always looking for the next big thing to bring you happiness.


I am a Christian, and I struggle.


There are days that I struggle to take the high road. There are days where I just really want to be full-on selfish and serve myself. There are bad days and there are hard days. I have come to realize that faith is a journey; a hard, tedious yet rewarding and inspiring journey; a journey that has laughter and joy; a journey that has sweat and tears and dark days.


This is why Paul says “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me” 2 Tim 1:13. Holding on to anything takes intention. It takes constant muscle energy to hold on to something. And when you get lazy or passive, that item falls or gets lost. This is the same with faith. Holding on to your faith, is work! It takes energy and intention. It also takes self-reflection to let go of the things we are involved in or holding on to that do not honor God.



Dear God,

Give me clarity to see the areas in my life that I am avoiding or not admitting to. Give me the bravery to face the hard things in my own life. Help me to admit to myself where I struggle and am weak. Help me to hold on to you God, especially when the journey is hard.

Amen.

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