As the new Director for Restoration Path, I wanted to take a few moments of your time to introduce myself. I would love to have an opportunity to talk with each and every one of you and would be glad to answer any questions you have about me.
Tim Tebow is one of the most talked about sports figures on our planet today. You cannot watch an episode of Sports Center without his name being mentioned. Sometimes there is debate about his performance as an NFL quarter back. There is one thing that has never been questioned nor debated and that is his faith and integrity. He is always described as a man of strong faith and character. You would think that someone of his strength and stature could take on all the trials and temptations that life can throw at him without relying upon another human.
Patricia Krentcil was dramatically introduced to the world back in May through the images of her very darken skin that she obtained through extensive use of a tanning booth. For the past month she has reframed from tanning and her images are stunningly different. You could say she looks 100% different. In May the concern was that she had done severe damage to her skin and that there might be dire consequences in the future. You might look at her external appearance now and say, “Wow, the human body really has a way of repairing itself and recovering from repeated abuse.” Through her changed appearance you might come to the conclusion that she has changed her behavior and her obsession with tanning. The truth is the damage to her skin may be deeper than external appearances reveal and her attitude regarding tanning may not have changed at all. Just as her extremely tanned skin did not reveal her heart or inner self, neither does her fairer skin. The same is true with sin. The external appearance or behavior of an individual does not always reveal the real heart of the person.
Romans 5: 3-4 teaches us that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope. If we are consistently trying to bypass pain/suffering then we may miss the blessings that follow. The trials and tribulations of life will wound us and cause pain. My father was part of what has been referred to as the greatest generation. He experienced the hardships of growing up during the Great Depression and fighting in World War II. God gave him and many others of this period the ability to persevere. The character that comes through perseverance produces people of integrity and principle. Principles are things that are worth fighting and sometimes dying for. Integrity is the actions that we take when no one is looking. If we consistently seek out the bypass for Painville then we become a people that lack perseverance and character.
Meek is not the same as weak. Kevin Durant is a not a weak or timid basketball player. He is confident and courageous in his duties on the court. He does, however, know who he is and where his real worth and identity come from. He is a solid devoted Christian believer that knows that all gifts and praises go to his Maker and Creator. From that knowledge and foundation he walks out his life with meekness and humility. We need more courageous men to step up to the plate and walk out the (that) Godly role model. You don’t have to be a sports hero to be a role model. You don’t even have to be perfect. You may be in a place of realizing you have failed regarding your sexual sin. You can still be that humble role model. You can model to those around you what true restoration looks like. We really don’t get to choose whether we are a role model or not. We do get to choose whether we are a Godly one or a worldly one. Choose.
This is a sample of a phone conversation I have had several times throughout the years.
“Hello, my name is Mary Smith and my husband is Joe Smith. I don’t know if you remember my husband but you did an intensive with him about a year ago.”
“Sure, I remember him. How is he doing?”
“Well, he was doing great after he came back from visiting with you but over time he has just gone back to being his old self.”
I remember a colleague of mine at a treatment center I worked at years ago commonly made the comment that we don’t see enough people blushing or weeping over their sin. Weeping is a direct representation of repentance because of one’s sinful nature and the need for God to fill one’s heart. We should allow ourselves to feel the pain of what our sin has done. That is part of the grieving process as well. We should be able to grieve over the consequences of what sin has done. If all you do is smile after you realize what sin has done you haven’t been truly honest. This weeping is part of the shame process from original sin.