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A friend set me straight this week.
He did that by shaming me.
We think of shame as a bad thing in today’s society. It’s actually a very good thing. I’m not talking about people going around attempting to hurt and humiliate others. I mean when someone tells you the truth about yourself, and the recognition of that truth hits you. It’s a good thing–or at least it is when you accept it without a fight.
My friend told me that I was one hundred percent to blame for my role in an illicit sexual relationship with a Christian minister, while I was married with a son. And that the minister was also one hundred percent at fault for his role. Both are true!
In other words, we were both grown men and fully responsible for our actions. I could argue that as a minister, God holds him to a higher standard, and that may be true, but it takes nothing away from my full responsibility.
That is the truth, and there is nothing I can do to avoid that truth.
I was to blame for not saying “Hell, no!” as my friend put it, when I was tempted.
He said that I fell in the same way Adam fell when Eve tempted him with the “forbidden fruit.” He’s right.
I was to blame for hurting my family–though I was under this man’s psychological control, as I’ve mentioned, I was still a grown man.
It was WRONG. I was wrong.
And perhaps even more important, I was to blame for failing to help my old friend. My refusal to join in what deep down I knew was wrong, could have provided the “wakeup call” my friend needed to jolt him out of his corruption, and his wrong way of excusing sexual sin.
Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 KJV)
I wasn’t willing to lay down my ego life for my friend. I wasn’t willing to lay down my desire for personal gratification, or my pride, and everything that supported my wrong thoughts and actions, on behalf of actually helping my friend.
I’ve begun to more fully realize that the Devil had our minds at the time. His noise made the “still, small voice” of our consciences barely a whisper.
Yet that conscience was still there. It’s thankfully much louder now.
On our own, we did not mean to harm ourselves and others. In fact, speaking for myself I didn’t even think about the damage I was doing to my wife and son. The Devil fed us delusions (such as that I was somehow “born again” due to the “spiritual breakthrough” of exposing my wrong sexual desires) that supported our depraved actions.
We have all been deceived in one form or another. But this one was major--perhaps because I failed to heed prior warnings in my life.
Yet we still have some sense of right and wrong. It is always there, attempting to keep us safe.
The “blame game” is deadly
My friend (who’d told me that I was to blame for my part in all this) could see from my writings that I did not have closure regarding this sin. And–as I myself was aware–it is impossible to get full closure while we carry any amount of blame toward another person.
And therefore without closure there can be no freedom, though I’ve certainly experienced an increasing measure of freedom through the telling of my story.
It’s a beautiful thing, actually. God has set things up so that we as adults are able to maintain control over our lives. We cannot be taken advantage of without our consent (excluding actual attacks against us, yet even in this case, proper awareness can keep us safe).
If we are taken advantage of as a child, as myself and so many others were, we can forgive once we truly understand that, as Jesus so aptly said, “They know not what they do.”
My friend suggested that I call my old friend and let him know that I was wrong for failing to be a true friend to him and say “no,” and for failing to take full responsibility for my part in this sin. I did choose to call him, and left a message. My old friend actually called me back, and we had a good conversation.
I believe that when we talked this time, he was sincere about being sorry for his part in this sin. He sounds like a more humble man now.
I don’t know if he was happy that I was sorry. Hopefully he was and is. When someone gives up anger for another’s “trespass,” there is no longer any ability to point toward that anger, and use that as an excuse to discredit challenges or accusations.
Yet, I do not want to dwell on that part, because it tempts me to go back into the mode of depending on a “full” apology from another person, as if THEY are to blame for our own anger. This would only serve to pull me away from the knowledge of MY fault in the whole matter!
I did not feel angry when talking with my old friend. This in and of itself is a miracle! To live without the burden of blame and anger? That sounds great to me!
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:30 King James Version
I pray that God keeps me from temptation, and delivers me from evil. I hope that He does that for ALL of us.
Now that I am releasing my burden of blame, I can more easily see the burden others are carrying. It seems so right to be angry at injustice. But a wise man once said that when you hate injustice, you become unjust.
We will know if we have truly let go of blame when we are able to move on with our lives, and not be fixated on an external target. I admittedly have been fixated, but now believe I am ready to move on.
The sin of self-righteousness has plagued me for a long time, and works hand in hand with blame. It seems that once blame is gone, self-righteousness goes away too.
Now I can see other areas of my life where I have been technically right, yet spiritually wrong. I have experienced a fallout with some members of my family (not my wife or son) recently, but the wrongs I see done to me are exacerbated by my self-righteous anger toward those who have persecuted me in one form or another.
“It is easy to love those who love you—even a tax collector can love those who love him.”Matthew 5:46 New International Version
The year is rapidly drawing to a close. The world system is diseased, and in its present state cannot long stand. Times are likely to get rougher–much rougher. It’s time that we throw off our burdens–unresolved blame, pride, self-righteousness–and with God’s help, all forms of physical sin.
We will need to carry a light burden moving forward.
God has a purpose for all of us, and a destiny. By lightening our burden, we have the insight and energy to protect ourselves and our families. We can also see new opportunities–for service to others, and to the Father.
Holding onto useless baggage will only weigh us down, and could cause us to forfeit our inheritance in God’s kingdom.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”Matthew 16:25 KJV
If we want something of real value, we have to give up something else in return. Do we seek “life abundantly”? I always have. Of course I have often sought ego life abundantly–bad move!
…Then it’s time to lighten our load.
It’s time to close the door, so–as my old friend used to say–God can open another one for us.
Am I “cured”? I certainly hope so. At the least, I now am clear that to blame is to ensure that closure never comes.
God willing, I am THROUGH with blaming! I hope you are too.
P.S. To all of you who have supported me and my family through this really challenging process, thank you! I really appreciate your courage in stepping up, while so many were (understandably) afraid to grab the live wire! And thank you to those who have challenged me, and questioned my motives. You too have helped me to look at myself more fully. I thank God most of all, because without HIs guidance I would be totally lost.
I have had to follow through with my warning about censoring some comments that I believe divert too much attention away from the message I am attempting to deliver. I am not focusing on censoring criticism, in fact most of the comments I have had to remove are in support of me. I hope you understand. You can always contact each other to carry on your battle, but one piece of advice I have for you: Be willing to not have to have the last word, and to sometimes to be misunderstood. I believe most of those who have commented have good intentions, and have expressed much truth, but we ALL must keep our eye on the ball–OUR relationship with our Creator, and our willingness to truly be of service to our fellow man.
For me, that does NOT include taking this particular journey any further. I believe that it has served its purpose, and to take it further would end in needless destruction. The people know what’s going on now, and may also be more aware of the dangerous “teacher–student” dynamic I have seen at play. I believe that God will see that more good than ever can be done moving forward, either through or not through my friend’s ministry.
I can’t claim perfection in how I’ve handled all of this, but I do know that God is helping to heal me and my family every day. I hope that this series has helped you to see that the most important things of all, in my opinion, are: 1. Spending time with our Creator every day. 2. Trusting what you see (Do not doubt what you see, just because you may have some anger in seeing or expressing it). 3. Never put ANY man (or woman) on that “pedestal” that is reserved ONLY for God; and 4. Take FULL responsibility for your actions (Do not BLAME, but if you fall to it, realize that it is wrong and let it go!).
If you can find the Grace to do these things, then life will begin to open up to you, as it has for me and those close to me.
May God be with you.
Patrick Rooney is the Founder of OldSchoolUs.com. He communicates clearly and fearlessly during perilous times about natural health, success, and freedom. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].
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