Making amends is painful. Doing nothing is painful. But nothing is as painful as keeping everything a secret.
In Life Recovery Step 8, it says, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Unfortunately, individuals stuck in addiction try to do damage control by trying to hide their addiction and not making amends to those they’ve hurt. Full of shame and self-condemnation, they avoid making amends at all costs because they think it’ll spare themselves—and those they love—from more hurt.
Here are four core shame-filled beliefs that keep a person stuck:
- “I am a bad and worthless person.”
- “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.”
- “My addiction is my greatest need.” (more…)
Denial is a loophole that leads a person stuck in addiction to avoid the light of God. Denial provides them a way of alleviating the stress of their shame by refusing to face it. Shame is an intense fear of being—it is a corrosive belief that one is fatally flawed, unlovable, and deserving of rejection from others who are deemed worthy and perceived as merciless all at once.
If a person with an unhealthy habit does not face the pain that their addiction has caused themselves and others, they will not confess or own up to it. As a result, they will continue to turn to their addiction to find momentary relief from the burden of their shame.
Shame, however, may allow a person struggling with addiction to focus attention on the welfare of God and others above their own. (more…)
“So then, putting away falsehood let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry, but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not make room for the adversary.” – Ephesians 4:25-27
The Bible gives us a great strategy in Ephesians for dealing with our anger in a godly manner. It says there are appropriate times to be angry. In the original language, the word for “anger” in Ephesians 4:25-27 is in the imperative – meaning it is a command. At times, we are commanded to be angry. But it holds in tension that the anger must be expressed in a way that is not sinful or destructive to the person who is offended, or to the group or individual with whom we are angry. (more…)