I am currently working through a series on dealing with addictions and as we saw in the original post there are 4 steps that we can take to start having victory in our addictions. These steps work! I am in recovery myself with an addiction to porn and I can testify that these steps work. You have to work at all of them in unison. What’s more, you have to work at them over a period of time. If you missed my first three post in the series you can click the links below to get caught up:
In today’s post I will be covering how to draw close to Safe People. To help with this post, I have included a message I gave at church on bonding relationships along with the outline; please listen to it by click the player below and following along with the outline.
Before you listen to the audio, I also want you to consider who to look for as you create bonding relationships (or actually, who to avoid when you start your bonding relationships). there are three types of people you want to avoid as you seek help in overcoming your addiction:
- the critic – avoid people who tend to be critical of life in general and other people. If you open up to them they will probably shoot you down and you will walk away feeling judged and misunderstood.
- the immature – avoid people who are immature in their thinking and approach to life. These folks are very fun to be around (often the life of the party) but you will never get to the heart of the issue with these folks because, relationally they lack the ability to go deep.
- the abandoner – avoid people who tend to abandon relationships when the going gets tough. For some reason, the abandoner cannot stay in a relationship, they prefer relationships that are shallow and stay on the surface.
As you deal with your addiction you will need to pray that God will lead you to people of integrity and character that will hold you accountable to life growth. People who will love you with grace and share with you truth. For this season of your life you will need to avoid the critic, the abandoner and the immature; they will offer no help in your recovery (in fact, they will probably contribute to a relapse).
Now, with that in mind please listen to my message on relationships:
A Fresh Look at Relationships
A Fresh Look At: Attitudes – To be like Christ
A Fresh Look At: Stewardship – To be known for our giving
This Week – A Fresh Look at Relationship – To be known for our Love & character
Intro: We all need help with Relationships Today
- Doesn’t Matter if you are a child in kid’s town or a member of the legacy group.
- In fact what we are learning is there is a huge difference in how relationships work today among the generations in our society and culture.
- Social media is really changing how relationships work:
- Facebook, twitter, myspace, skype, email, g-mail, E-harmony, at least 13 christian dating sites on 1st two pages of google search.
- For some of you – you don’t get it / others here, social media is a big part of your life.
- For me – both (I have embraced social media with a facebook account, twitter account and just this past month a blog). Yet, I am a face-to-face kind of guy. When there are issues in life I want to talk it out face-to-face.
- Again, it doesn’t matter if you are kidztown to legacy we all need help to improve our relationship skills.
- We get hurt by people, annoyed by people, mistreated by people, ignored, disrespected. Sometimes we are lonely, or confused about other’s intentions, or we make assumptions about other people in our life.
- We share our thoughts with others and what we say is not what the other person heard.
It’s time for a Fresh Start with Relationships…
Is there a relationship in your life right now that is out of sync? That needs some attention? Is there someone in your life that you are angry at?
Turn in your Bible to Romans 12…
Romans 12:9-13 (NASB95) READ TOGETHER
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Proposition: do you feel defeated, frustrated in relationships or maybe you are in a spiritually rut or stagnate in your walk with God? This MSG is for you… however, the phases that I will be sharing with you goes against our character and the culture that we live in…
Three Phases of Spiritual (Relational) Growth
Phase 1: Embrace Truth & Grace
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good
Truth – Honesty, transparency, authenticity about reality
Grace – Love or Acceptance of the person (not always behavior)
You got to have both together in healthy relationships
Heavy Truth and you have legalism and condemnation
Heavy Grace and you have acceptance of sin
We need both together in equal amounts
Phase 2: Enroll into Bonding Relationship
10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor…
We’re talking about small group ministry here… it’s where we interact with each other on a level of truth & grace… Where Confession can happen.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor…
So, what about your small group:
- Are you in one or are you trying to live spiritual on your own?
- If you are in one; are you talking about safe topics that stay on the surface or going deeper into the hard issues of life?
Phase 3: Engage 1 & 2 for extended Periods of Time
Look at the Passage Devoted, not lagging, fervent, persevering, devoted…
Sermon in a Sentence
Becoming authentic is scary; because, we have to remove our masks and trust people with whom we really are. Until we can be real with others we will not have victory over our sinful struggles.
Truth; we are not fooling anybody; especially God sees who we really are:
Psalms 139:1-4 (NASB95)
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.