I recently broke a promise to Jesus. I am deeply troubled by it.
I should not have promised to do something I have been trying to do for years, but have been unable to do so far due to an addiction. What a blunder. My broken promise has left me more vulnerable than before.
It was a promise born of ego and pride. I must have thought at some level it was in my power to break my addiction without His help. How wrong. How deluded. I’m on my knees. I make choices, but I am not always in control.
It is not in my power to break my addiction, unless God wills it to be so. Perhaps instead of being angry with myself I need to trust in a divine purpose. Perhaps my broken promise has served me — spiritually — in some way that I cannot understand. Perhaps it has saved me from something much worse, such as judging or looking down upon the people in my life who have also had addictions. Or perhaps it is a learning experience to teach me a spiritual lesson that God wants me to get right before I can move on.
And maybe, if I am honest with myself, I thought that by making a promise to Jesus to stop my addiction, it would increase the probably that God would answer my prayers to break it. A pathetic attempt at manipulating God’s mercy and trying to hustle Jesus. Not intentionally, but that was the effect. The only one I fooled was myself.
My broken promise has left me humiliated and humbled and on my knees before God and Jesus. Ashamed and sheepish would be an understatement. I have been exposed for the fool and self-delusional liar that I am. And for the addiction I bear.
But there is a rainbow ending to my story. The experience has also given me a better understanding of who I am and what I must change about myself to become the person God wants me to be. It has given me a better appreciation for the relationship that Jesus offers.
Long lesson made short: It’s not my addiction that is my primary problem. It’s my relationship with God. It’s my relationship with Jesus. After all this time, I’m still trying to do things on my own.
I am so sorry that I lied to Jesus. My broken promise reflects what I have always believed about myself: That I feel unworthy of love. And maybe I am… unworthy, I mean. Maybe we all are. But that doesn’t mean we’re unloved. To the contrary, God and Jesus love us all.
Maybe we don’t all struggle with addictions. Or maybe we do. Maybe we all have our addictions, but just different ones. Maybe our addictions are money, power, beauty, fame, popularity, notoriety, drugs, alcohol, food-related, exercise-related, or pride in not thinking we are addicted to anything at all.
Yet despite our possible addictions and our arrogance, pride, and foolishness; despite our lies and self-deceptions; despite our flaws; despite our mistakes and the certainty we will mess up again… God loves us — and Jesus loves us — and Their love does not go away. They love us and always will.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are — high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean — nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he dies for us.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Thank you, Jesus, for keeping Your promise to me — even when I could not.
Photo: Rainbow by Jazzdat