Tuesday 17th of July 2018
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love, I gain nothing.
I Corinthians 13:3
We need to experience loving relationships in order to heal and grow.
In loving relationships we experience the safety that allows us to face
the truth. In loving relationships we experience the support we need to
begin to change. And in loving relationships we learn that we are lovable
Because we have been wounded in relationships, our instinct is often
to run from relationships. We don’t want to be hurt again. This leaves an
enormous void in our souls. And it is this void which we desperately try
to fill with addictions and compulsions of various kinds. This text focuses
on two manifestations of religious addiction (compulsive altruism and religiously
motivated self-abuse) and sums up the result: I gain nothing. The same could
be said of all of our addictions. "I deliver my body to be burned"
and "I gain nothing" are an accurate description not only of a
particular kind of religious addiction but also of chemial addiction, work
addiction, sexual addiction and relationship addiction, as well as many
We gain nothing for all the time and effort we spend on trying to numb
the pain. It does not achieve the desired result. The void remains.
Although loving fellowship may be frightening for us, it is the path
to recovery. The vulnerabilities of intimacy may remind us of earlier times
of terror in life, but there is no way to recover in isolation. The net
result of compulsions and addictions is "I gain nothing." But
the net result of recovery is very different. There is something to be gained
by all the hard work that recovery requires. Recovery builds in us a capacity
to receive love and a capacity to give love to others. And that is a real
May God grant you the courage you need today to pursue loving fellowship.
Lord, you see my guarded heart.
You see the fears that make me run from love.
What I fear is what I want most.
I want to love and to be loved.
Give me courage to open my heart to love today.
Copyright 2018 Dale and Juanita Ryan
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