REFORMERS UNANIMOUS 10 PRINCIPLES (PART 3)
When we look into the Reformers Unanimous ministry, most people will ask “What is it”? Reformers Unanimous is unapologetically a Christ centered faith based addictions ministry that helps those bound in addictions get victory through Jesus Christ. The way that we facilitate this is through a few resources:
A. Three Talks
B. Ten Principles
C. Dynamic Testimonials
D. Spirit Filled Biblical Application
Today we will focus on the ten principles and how we can apply them to our lives as we seek to a clean, sober victorious life in Christ.
PRINCIPLE #3 “IT’S EASIER TO KEEP THE HEART CLEAN THAN IT IS TO CLEAN IT AFTER IT HAS BEEN DEFILED.”
(Click the link above to play the video of Principle#3)
Telling someone, in the midst of a crisis, that “the bible contains all of the answers that you need” is like telling a person trapped in a burning building “you have to exit, your house is on fire”. You would almost expect the receiving party to look at you and say “Well, no kidding Sherlock”. It’s not good enough to tell them where the answers are, we must show them and put it in a way that they can understand. Again, if we fail to do this simple task, we risk creating an atmosphere of self-righteousness and better than thou conditions. That’s like telling a person suffering from an asthma attack to relax and breathe. DUH!!! That’s what they are trying to do, they need to be told what to do, in detail, since their actions aren’t effective.
Here is something that I would challenge you all with today:
Cleaning Agents Work The Best Before The Mess Has Set In
One day I gave marital advice to a young couple that attended our church and it almost seemed to fall upon deaf ears. The wife had a stubborn streak of pride while the husband had a very specific besetting sin that most people would flee from in any relationship. This couple opened up to me about their very specific needs and that the other party seemed to not understand the other like I understood. I asked questions and provided “SMART” answers that they could understand as help.
S – Specific – This answer or solution needs to be applicable to their immediate situation, in which they are in, and not all over the place. They need help in one area of the bible and they DON’T need to be given bible doctrine at this time. There is plenty of time for that later. It’s almost like trying to teach a drowning man how to swim because you know how to. They need something that will bring them to the shore and not further into the water.
M – Measurable – This needs to be something that they can look at and track progress or failure. At this time the person is seeking something that they can tell is working, for them, and not something that has worked for you. There will be plenty of time to share practical logical things but they need something that will help in two to three days not something that will help them years down the road.
A – Achievable – This is something that most people fail to value and quite often fail to apply in counseling. Everything looks good on paper until a real human begins to utilize it. If I tell someone to stop smoking cigarettes cold turkey, when they have smoked for years, this could cause them to experience a rollercoaster spiritual experience. They will severely struggle with giving up this habit and because they will see themselves as a failure they will quit trying. Small goals achieved are better than halfway achieving large goals.
R – Realistic – This spins off of the aforementioned goal. The same scenario would probably work out to be something like this: You need to stop smoking cigarettes but let’s start out by having you cut out 5 cigarettes a day. This goal is small enough to achieve but challenging enough to push them to try. Putting a real achievable goal in front of someone and encouraging them to reach it will begin to start the motivation in their hearts that “I can, through Christ, do this”.
T – Timely – All of those goals have to have a timeline on them. We have been created to measure success and failure by time. If I tell someone that you have to turn in a document but never give a timeframe, which it has to be submitted, then most people would delay it until they were given a deadline. It’s our nature! Providing a timeline will act as motivation.
The married couple told me that their marriage was over since they both disrespected each other and there was no remedy for the pain they caused each other. The wife likened the failed marriage to a carpet that had dirt swept underneath it for years. At the same time, the family still walks on the carpet with the trash underneath it. She said that it was rough and unstable to walk on and it even seemed uncomfortable. After years of trash under the surface, the carpet was finally pulled back to discover that there were issues unresolved. This destroyed the surface of the carpet because the underlying issues, along with daily life had worn down the pretty surface. She said that there was no way to get the pristine surface back to normal. She also said that the worn down carpet would never return to it’s original condition, no matter what they tried.
I indicated that this was a serious condition and if they were serious about saving the carpet, their marriage, then they had to invest in some serious cleaners and equipment. I indicated that the dirt that was under the carpet had to be removed and the carpet couldn’t be dealt with until the underlying issues were addressed. Once they were addressed we had to clean the carpet with the cleaning solutions and the cleaner. Usually the carpet will have dirt coming into the carpet fibers from both directions. The cleaners would remove the dirt from the fibers which caused them to fall down and make the carpet look worn out. Had they treated the carpet with a dirt repelling agent, it would not make the carpet look destroyed. It would allow the carpet to repel the dirt and thrive longer
In a nutshell here is the story:
It would have been better if they would have prevented the issues from happening in the first place. They swept the issues under the carpet instead of dealing with them at that moment. We often refuse to deal with issues because it hurts and threatens to make us dirty. Over the years we will learn to tolerate the things that we see as dirty objects all the while we know that it’s unacceptable to us. Then later when we can no longer deal with this issue we will want out because it has become unbearable for us. At this time, our hearts have become so hard that nothing, short of God intervening, will change it.
This principle speaks about keeping the dirt and trash from becoming an issue before they get out of control. When we allow the dirt or sin to abide in our dwelling place we will eventually get used to it. Then it will take a great deal of effort to clean house then it would had we dealt with it immediately. If we refuse to keep out house clean, we can’t logically complain to others when it is too dirty for us to live in. Today as you walk with the Lord remember that cleaning agents clean afterwards but they are often used to keep something from becoming dirty in the first place as well. Tomorrow, we will talk about our fourth principle and how it helps us in our walk with God. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.