Break the Cycle

Reflections on the Twelve Steps are previously found in the following posts:

The Mirror

Objects in the Mirror

Evidence in the Mirror

Focus in The Mirror

 Turning Away From The Mirror

Into His Hands

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… (Joshua 24:15)

In Kevin Costner’s new movie, Mr. Brooks*,  he portrays a psychopath who is addicted to killing. He is driven to kill by a subconscious presence named Marshall (brilliantly played by William Hurt, who steals Costner’s thunder in this movie). It has been two years since the “thumbprint killer” has acted upon his urges. We first encounter Mr. Brooks reciting the Serenity Prayer. He has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for two years, admitting to being an ‘addict’, but not revealing his addiction to murder. Without revealing any more of the plot, it is his inability to stop killing … and the horrifying influence it has on others … that is the suspense element of this film.

Which brings me to a question. Are we really so driven to our addictions / habits / compulsive behaviors that we have no choice? It certainly sometimes feels like it. Perhaps we all have a “Marshall” who is always with us … urging us to go ahead and fulfill our own desires. If so, our Marshall needs to be killed and replaced.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus….those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 6:11; Romans 8:14).

Making the decision to fall into the hands of God is not an easy one. Many feel that they are falling into nothing. They believe in God, just not that God knows anything about them. God seems very ineffective to many people. After all, most of us have been down this path many times with our addictions / habits / compulsive behaviors. We’ve prayed, asked God to take away the desire, trusted that He has done so, and then raised up our eyes from the other side of failure wondering where our Rescuer was. God doesn’t seem to be doing very much to help us.

In a way the mirror is painful but safe. We can look at ourselves and through our tears realize who we truly are. It’s not pretty. But we can see it, and we can identify the truth. Turning away from the mirror and falling into God’s hands is another matter entirely. He could let you fall. He may not even be there.

These are the kinds of thoughts upon which we ruminate as we think about making the decision. However we will, each and every one of us, make a decision. We will decide to remain where we are. We can gaze into the mirror, see the truth about ourselves, recognize that we do not have the power to make the changes needed, and just stay there. Or we can make the decision to give it all to God.

This is not a new decision for most of us. We’ve all decided to turn it all over to God at some time or another, only to take it back when it seemed that we had gained control. How many of us have avowed to abandon our ‘drug of choice’ and made that known … and then later began to imbibe a little … until a secret life emerged which had control over us once again? Aren’t you ready to break that cycle and make lasting changes? For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry (1 Peter 2:3).

So how do we make a decision and stick with it? Unless we are willing to follow through with this step, we can go no further. It may be the most important decision of your life. More later.

*I really cannot recommend Mr. Brooks wholeheartedly. There is much content in the movie which is objectionable.

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