People who know you and the addiction that has ravaged your life, will always judge you.
Some will forever see you as the addict, identify you with the struggles and failings that have plagued your life; then there are also those who will champion you, for various selfish and non-selfish reasons.
But the most important person you have to convince that you are more than the addiction that has consumed you…is you.
I am learning not to allow others to evaluate my value and purpose based on their own limited and flawed set of rules. Because they ALWAYS will. It doesn’t matter if they are your closest relative or most distant acquaintance, it is all the same. Others will neatly categorize you and file you into their system as whatever they feel comfortable with. There will be little or no regard for you as a person, after all, its their agenda they are pursuing and promoting. If you can be of use they will take what they can and discard the rest.
I have had people say to me, “Well, God commands me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and so I have too love you.” Then others, in response to your repeated failures will say that they “prayed” for you, that you would be strong and overcome. Never mind they didn’t take the time to actually talk to you, or make any real and substantial attempts to physically involve themselves in a solution.
This is why I am struggling with the church and the faith I have followed my whole life.
The church preaches forgiveness, and spews their verses and philosophies at every turn, making the forgiveness case; the problem is, they have difficulty practicing it themselves.
I can see why some are turned away and sickened by the hypocrisy of the Christian. Yes, for my part, I have been extremely hypocritical. It is only when I had cast off the shroud that I maintained for decades and became painfully real, that I was also put into a class of person and relegated to infamy.
It has now been over two years since I left full-time ministry in the wake of my sexual brokenness. Never mind I had spent over 50 years in preparation for ministry, the slow rot of addictions curse had been consuming my mind for many years when the opportunity presented itself. What followed was an almost beautiful synchronicity of events that, in less than a year, destroyed a dream decades in the making.
Then came the pile on people, you know the “I told you so’s”. There were the angry people who wanted to punch me in the gut. There were those who thought of me as a pathetic loser. I was left to feel all of those things and identified myself as such.
But no more.
Let me tell you something; and this is for those wrongly labeled as an addict and for those who appear to have it all together.
We are ALL addicted to something.
Your little world in which you must control every detail and outcome. You, who sit in judgement over others, pronouncing it upon them like some cruel dictator. You who use religion to justify your actions and condemn everyone else for theirs. You, who speak the words of Jesus, twisting them to elevate yourself and crush others into the mud.
You are addicted to power, appearance, status, your religious rites, unwilling to acknowledge your own frailties for fear you will appear less superior. You, who secretly collude with hell to get your self-righteous agenda accomplished.
Harsh words? Yes, truth, yes. It is time that we who have had the privilege of recognizing our addictions realize we are way ahead of those who continue to self-medicate with what seems a less harmful “drug.” It is time to see us as the champions of living that we are; valiant warriors who stare down their sworn enemy and battle every day for freedom.
Let those who wish to minimize us say and do whatever they wish, we know the truth.