In my last post, I highlighted the dangers of Double Life Highway. It destroys us. For some, this process may take weeks. For others, they may go years or decades before the full fruit of destruction is born.
For some, the issues are quite horrendous – escapades with prostitutes, high risk sexual encounters, or money laundering. For some, it may be some wound inflicted upon you that drives you into hiding. For others, the issues can appear to be quit benign – cumulative frustration, anger or feeling out of control. Or it may simply be some hang-up such as fear or doubt or worry.
But note this critical point: it does not matter whether marriage and family relationships and friendships and careers and reputations are destroyed by a big bullet or a small bullet. Destruction is destruction. The longer we persist in speeding down Double Life Highway, the bigger the destruction to come (even if it hasn’t yet caught up with us yet).
I feel it is critical to note here that those who have been abused did not ask to be abused nor did they deserve it. If that is you, I must say clearly: it is NOT your fault! You may have believed for years that it is your fault but that’s a lie; it is NOT your fault. That said, the pain of that experience may have served to steer you toward a secretive, isolated, self-protective life. To protect oneself is not a sin; and it is perfectly understandable. The question is this: is there a better life awaiting you? A life of more connected fellowship; a life of more hope; a life of more joy and freedom and peace. With our God, yes, all things are possible. Even though it is not your fault, Jesus is still asking you the same question He asks those who sin: Do you want to get well?
We don’t have keep living the double life – the hidden life; the undisclosed life; the life in dark spaces; the life of self-protection; or the life of self-deception. We have the opportunity – right this moment – to step out of that darkness and into LIGHT. There is help available for people who want to travel a New Path. It literally is ONE STEP away – it is within reach, my friend.
So why does it seem as if we cannot escape? For one simple reason: we are tied up in imaginary chains that wrap around our heart, mind and soul. It started possibly years ago when we stepped across a boundary into sin. We stepped into that sin because it looked and tasted great. It seemed to satisfy. So we opened the next door into the next experience (sin). We looked back and saw there was a doorknob on the door we just walked through – so we knew that we could always turn around and go back toward the LIGHT.
But something deep inside almost compelled us to go forward. So we walked through the next door. We looked back. Saw the doorknob on the door we just walked through. Thought it was still safe – we can still turn around and go back toward the LIGHT. But instead of this security drawing us back toward the LIGHT, the security instead lured us through the NEXT door. And the next one. And the next one after that.
Before long, we are no longer looking back to check for doorknobs. We are just rolling through one door after another until some painful event causes us to momentarily see more clearly or make slightly more sense of our darkened reality. We think, I’ve got to get out of this place I’m in. But we turn around and instead of seeing a doorknob, we see a deadbolt. We’re trapped and now we are compelled and propelled deeper and deeper into our life of sin and deception.
We are on the one hand desperate, but that pales in comparison to our fear of being exposed in our deception. In some kind of warped formula, we desire freedom but we serve the chains. We’re trying to run from our addiction or our double life but the deadbolts keep us running further into darkness…one door after another.
If you have been wounded by others, this model is different but it’s the same. You did not sin and you did not invite others to sin against you; it is NOT your fault. But possibly you have still retreated to hiding your pain and your shame. You have protected your assailant – possibly because he is a family member; possibly because he is more powerful than us; possibly because she is effective at manipulation; possibly because we do not to get her in trouble.
In doing this, however, we hide the truth. Anytime we hide the truth, we enter into a hidden life. This hidden life has power over us; it can largely control us; it can imprison us. While the ‘double life’ is not due to your sin, it is nonetheless a ‘hidden life’ that keeps you from connecting in healthy ways with others. This is a prison. Many are depressed in this place of isolation. Thus, similar principles apply. This is, in a sense, another version of Double Life Highway.
Whether we have a sin problem or someone has sinned against us, we often feel as if it is impossible to escape our pain and the pain we have caused others. We’ve walked through one door after another to try to escape our pain or medicate it. As stated earlier, we one day look back and instead of seeing doorknobs, we see deadbolts. We are trapped; there is no way out.
My friend, I have good news. We are caught in an illusion: that door with the deadbolt on it does not exist. It’s not real! It’s part of the deception. We don’t have to go back through a thousand doors to get back to the LIGHT. We are ONE STEP away – freedom is within reach.
There is ONLY one door in your way and it has no deadbolt: you can simply open it. But you and ONLY you can open it. The door is called disclosure. We exit Double Life Highway through an act of disclosure. We only need to take the first step to tell a family member, a trusted friend, a pastor or a Christian counselor. ONE step. ONE door. OPEN it. And we’re in the LIGHT…
What is the LIGHT? The LIGHT is deliverance. The LIGHT is freedom. The LIGHT is peace. The LIGHT is joy. The LIGHT is coming clean. The LIGHT is starting to face our deception. The LIGHT is bringing into the open how others have wounded or are wounding us. But there is something much more: the LIGHT is God’s embrace upon our soul. He is calling into dark shadows for His children to move toward Him. He is inviting us toward Him: to come to Him.
Jesus invites us, Come to ME all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is LIGHT.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Friend, God does not condemn us: He invites us. ONE door. ONE step. And we’re in the LIGHT. His LIGHT. For when we turn away from darkness, we are not just stepping into some ethereal or conceptual ‘light’…we are stepping into relationship with the Living God.
The Lord is my LIGHT and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling. (Psalm 27)
If the double life delivers but in the worst way possible, the disclosed life delivers but in the best way possible. When we exit Double Life Highway, we chart a New Path toward the waiting, open arms of our Heavenly Father. HE becomes our salvation. Right now, He is calling out to each one of us no matter who we are, what we’ve done or what others have done to us. He’s calling out, Come to me. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Do you want to head toward this New Path? If so, join me for Part 3 of the series.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you would like assistance locating recovery or spiritual resources in your local area, please feel free to call me at (877) 683-6867. I would be more than happy to help. I would also love to hear your story.