Tag Archive: judgementalism

Photo credit: Woman's Day

Photo credit: Woman’s Day

Confession time! The transformation of recovery isn’t complete when Self keeps taking charge.

For the last couple weeks, I have moved, for the most part, into a guest bedroom in my house, partially to study without disturbing my precious bride, but mostly to hide from disappointment. I have repeatedly told the one who loves me that I was giving her “space to have her own way.” The truth is I have grown increasingly impatient, even intolerant, with her decisions lately. I have judged her actions as being based on her whim and emotion, when they are more than likely only lacking what I would deem an appropriate level of consideration of my own will, wish, and way. Either way, I am using isolation as a shield for disappointment, whether the expectations that feed it are realistic and fair or not.

Last night, while I fell asleep alongside her for a change, my mind and mouth were engaged even in the twilight of wakefulness. In the mental fog where the lies that support justifications begin to buckle under the weight of truth, I had some profound thoughts that escaped by way of mumbled, almost hypnotic, verbal expression. I confessed to my precious bride that, more than anything else, I am afraid of her. Not that I am afraid of her intentions or convictions, but that her intellect is not behind the wheel. After acknowledging my fear that her emotional navigation would run us, or more accurately – me, amok, I was forced to acknowledge that isolating myself from her to prevent injury puts my own emotions at the helm of my life, and so, constitutes me becoming the monster of which I was afraid.

The last thought I remember uttering before drifting off was that she is worth whatever pain I may experience, whatever it takes. As I recall what Christ endured for His Church (Ephesians 5:25), I am reminded that I have “not yet suffered to the point of shedding (my) blood” (Hebrews 12:4). I have not done everything I can. I have avoided pain by disengaging. I have behaved according to my own self-interest rather than sacrificing myself “as an act of worship” (Romans 12:1) giving preference to those around me. “As a dog returns to his vomit” (Proverbs 26:11) I have put Self on the throne of God yet again!

“Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity…” (AA, 62).

Holy Father, rescue me from the bondage of self!* I have wandered back into my old cage, and it is dark and lonely in here. Deliver me so I can be relevant to those You have placed in my path, and that You, not me, may be glorified. Make Your light shine on me and reflect onto others, that they may be attracted to You and discover for themselves that You are able and willing to deliver us from our prisons, no matter how comfortable we have made them. Empower me to do Your will only always. Through Christ our Lord, amen!


* (a variation of AA’s Step Three Prayer, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 63)


Ready to Pounce?

Mark 3:2 NRSV

They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.

The religious elite persecuted Jesus. Can you get your mind around that? The ones who were supposedly experts in all things godly, didn’t recognize Him when they had the opportunity to enjoy a personal relationship with Him. They were spiritually sick, as evidenced by their motives. Uninterested in whether the maimed was healed, they were only interested in an opportunity to one-up the newcomer holy man.

Sound familiar? How many times have you heard of, witnessed, or perpetrated such an act? Someone claims a spiritual insight that goes against our understanding and we level both barrels of accusation at them, itching for a reason to pull the trigger. Spiritual sickness doesn’t recognize it is sick, but it sure can’t tolerate the spiritually healthy.

I was a great persecutor of Christians who didn’t do it right or who had mistaken theologies. I was merciless as I lay in wait for someone to slip up on whom I could boost my stature by comparison.

Dear Father, today, help me see what I have in common with my neighbors, rather than trying to elevate myself by crushing anyone. You have given me grace. I can do nothing but accept it and reflect it to others. Thank You for saving me from myself!