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. Confessions made in the light of shame lead a person to recover to restore relationships with loving dignity and help develop accurate self-perceptions considering God’s true view of them, which does something better than provide relief from the shame they feel. It gives them a deep sense of rest in their minds and hearts. The cost of not facing their shame is too high a price to pay.
Another way that the loophole of denial keeps the addict from facing the painful truth is by creating an alternative to the truth. Alternatives to the facts are simply lies. Lies help them to maintain the illusion that they can avoid rejection and increase the chances of acceptance by presenting themselves as someone they are not.
The problem with creating alternatives is that acceptance is never fully experienced. A person who has an addiction is never fully known because the truth of who they are remains hidden underneath the lies; therefore, they stay distance themselves from others.
The person held back by addiction shares a false self with others. Those who are closest to them will never experience them as they are. Then, they wind up never trusting or being intimate with anyone. The alternative at first seems like it will increase acceptance and decrease rejection, but in the end, it isolates the person further by taking them away from the truth of who they are, others are, and who God is.
Christ provides a way out of the shame-based loopholes of denial. When prodigals turn from their sin and go home, they find redemption. Not only that, but they will also find the acceptance, love, and relationship in Father’s healing embrace.
The Father celebrates all prodigals returning home by announcing, “for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found” (Luke 15:24, NLT). Begin to discover the True Truth by reading The Life Recovery Bible.
by Fred Feliciano