Now What?

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:37 AM

You wake up with breathe that smells like a brewery for Crown Royal, you slept in your clothes, you have no idea how you even got to your room, your stomach feels as if someone has punched it several times, your eyes are scratchy red and basically you feel a little less than human. Perhaps this is how Josh Hamilton felt when he woke up in January after falling off the wagon.

Then what; the mental games begin. As you start to realize what you have done the mind goes to work. What did I do? What will my wife think? Who will find out? How did I let myself do this? Why would God give me another chance since I already did not deserve the second chance he had already given me? What about the kids, the employer. I have ruined my life; again!

For anyone who has woke up beside someone who was not your spouse. For anyone who has ended up in jail on a DWI or drug possession. For the person who has looked in their pocketbooks and found someone else’s money or for someone who has gambled the family rent these thoughts are real, very sickening real.

The thought of disappointing our kids, our friends and our family breaks most people’s heart. Then on top of that for those who profess to be Christian there is a whole other issue in disappointing God and negatively affecting your witness. For those of us both Christian and sinner these disappointments come a little too often.

The first move is the most important.

I do not know how Hamilton woke up but I do know he took the right steps after he got his head together. He immediately called his wife, his mentor, his team and Major League Baseball. Basically he called the people who were going to be most hurt by the breakdown. Those are the people who needed to know and in that order. His first move was the right move.

Let me play skeptic for a second, because I can hear the skeptic already:

The skeptic says he was covering himself, that he knew there were pictures and that he was just trying to save his hide. That he had blown it again and was attempting damage control. Here is what I say to the skeptic: what is your point?

Getting yourself right after you have broken fellowship with God, hurt yourself and those you love is all about damage control. You have damaged your life you need to control it. Ignoring it, not admitting your sin and going on as if nothing ever happened is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. The longer we go without dealing with our sin the worse it gets.

When we choose to ignore our sin and hide it this is what we stand to lose: Support. How can someone pray for you if they do not know your struggle? How can they even begin to forgive you until you have asked for forgiveness? This is hard business and no one likes it at first but in the long run it is best.

For example, Josh said he thought the pictures would have come out by now. I too am surprised they waited nine months to come out. But he said that he and his wife had been praying about it ever since. They were spiritually prepared for last weekend and Katie admitted this made a difficult situation a lot easier.

Josh said the thought of taking another drink has not crossed his mind since that night. I believe that but I also know that addictive sin creeps back in at the weak moments. How can his mentor and friend help him if he did not know that he had fallen? You see his secrecy in just those two cases would have hurt him as opposed to help him. We all need a support system, that’s why God created the family and church.

You ask what the point is; I am not a superstar athlete or politician. Perhaps not, but you are probably a mom, dad, aunt or uncle. You are someone’s co-worker and/or employer and more than anything you are a child of God. I know the odds are stacked against us and eventually many, most fall. God does not intend on us staying down, he is the God of the second, third and fourth etc. chances.

This story is real and it happens in the lives of people we love and at times to us. In order to be the people of God that he wants us to be we have to be prepared to do the right thing after we have done the wrong thing.

Remember the first move is the most important.

Scripture: All of Psalm 51 is a great blessing for the ‘repented sinner’. It was written by David after Nathan had confronted him about his sin with Bathsheba. 19 verses that heal the soul take a moment and read it today.

He took it to the God who all sin hurts; Psalm 51:4a, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight-…” You sin against God and you cannot hide it from him.

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” God can renew your heart and set you back on course! Check out verse 12.

Psalms 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” God is at his best when he is in the business of giving our joy back.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to lean on you, to stay close to you and to avoid the life crushing sins that are near us each and every day. We are so thankful that you forgive sin, that you love us enough to give us chances the world would never give us. We thank you for your loving-kindness and unconditional love. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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