Today on the couch we are continuing our series on personal holiness.
I am excited to introduce you to my friend Justin Falls. I have the privilege of knowing Justin and his wife from church where we both serve on the worship team. I really value Justin, his friendship along with his heart to know and love Jesus. He will be sharing some thoughts and insights on purity as it relates to personal holiness. I hope that you will give Justin a warm welcome to the couch.
Posing Prolongs Healing…
I spent too many years allowing pain, shame and guilt define me. I grinded through life with that shame – and made some very poor decisions with regard to how I cared for myself. In Ephesians 5:29, Paul says “No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it.” I allowed my child abuse to define who I was – bad, ugly, dirty – shameful. So I lived my life this way – disregarding boundaries for myself and others. The concept of purity and holiness was not something in my realm of thinking. I didn’t feel pure, so why would I pursue it – even know how to? But, after years of counseling and setting my shame at the feet of Jesus I began to see how important crucial this is to the life of any human being – not just for those who play for Team Jesus.
Here are some examples from my life of how good and bad decision making can either draw us into a more healthy (holy) lifestyle or keep us bound up with the uglies.
When I was living a life of shame and guilt – I would project that crap onto others. Manipulation of situations to get my way or ensure things went smoothly so my shame didn’t get exposed. When you’re in protect mode – and hiding from the dark places you’ll do what’s necessary, like manipulating situations and people. This was the only way I knew how to keep the pain inside. I was the one that chose this method of coping with my abuse – nobody else forced me to do life this way.
This way of living prolonged my healing – and kept Jesus at arms length.
After being violated, trust is gone – but I was the only one responsible for getting help and learning how to do life in a way that was healthy for me – and those I was in community with. It took some very painful life experiences for me to turn from my shameful living. In his book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge explains “Until we are broken, our life will be self-centered, self-reliant; our strength will be our own. Only when we enter our wound will we discover our true glory. As Robert Bly says, “Where a man’s wound is, that is where his genius will be.” Eldredge continues “There are two reasons for this. First, the wound was given in the place of your true strength, as an effort to take you out. Until you go there you are still posing, offering something more shallow and insubstantial. And therefore, second, it is out of your brokenness that you discover what you have to offer the community.”
Personal holiness can only come when we choose to move away from living as the poser – to living transparently.
This means difficult decisions that may involve speaking out about your wounds – and how you’ve wronged others. I had to surround myself with people I trusted to help nurture and speak truth about my wounds and mistakes. I balked at doing this several times – because of the risk that was involved. I desired to lead a holy lifestyle, but until these things were uncovered, I was just broken – expecting a different outcome. I’m learning that a healthy (holy) lifestyle takes balance – our own human effort with the work of the Spirit brings deep, lasting change – but we have to choose it.
If you want to check out more of Justin’s work, you can follow him @ Justinfalls.com
Grace & Peace ~ Karen