Fly-paper spirituality is quite common now-a-days. Like a cartoon character trying to take a step forward we find our feet being snapped back into the gooey, sticky place where we were before. We are absolutely stuck. Stuck in behavior, relationships, situations and sin that we don’t want. Everyday it’s the same old me staring back at me. Where is the progress? Where is the transformation? How do I get unstuck?
There is a recipe for unstuck. But I must warn the reader that it is brutal. Any sympathy toward ourselves will get us nowhere. We must be ruthless and follow the recipe of unstuckness to a T.
1) We must admit to ourselves that our stuckness (whatever it is) is harmful to ourselves, others and our relationship with God. If we minimize our stuckness we will not get free. We must admit (confess) to God that our stuckness is—stuck. We can’t get free and live the abundant life in this state. We must hate it.
2) We must take a our first step forward by cutting off what is creating the stuckness. Jesus says, If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matt. 5:30). Paul says, that we are to take off the old self just like we take off old clothes that are dirty, don’t fit, and don’t look good on us (Eph 4:22; Col 3:9).
3) Then we turn to the cross. I put my trust in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. I am helpless to free myself. I must trust in God’s love to forgive and his love to transform. The believer’s life is a love-life trusting in a God of love.
The cross is not only for forgiveness but also for transformation. The cross will get me unstuck. Here is doctrinal and mystical truth that involves a life exchange; mine for his.
Paul encourages us that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin (Rom 6:6); i.e. no longer stuck. The cross is not only an instrument of sacrifice for sin, but a mystical union of my life and Jesus’ life. I (my stuck self) by faith died with Christ. And my new self rose with him from the dead.
As long as my stuck self is allowed to live and have power and decision making privileges I will remain stuck. But if I believe (trust) in the reality of my crucifixion and resurrection with Christ, then this new reality becomes my worldview.
4) I must regularly embrace and take a step into my new life. Paul uses various metaphors to describe this emerging newness. He commands us to offer our bodies using sacrificial language (Rom 12:1). He reminds us to put on our new person, using the language of clothing (Eph 4:22-25).
I’m forgetful and my old default of thinking and behavior is powerful. So I must regularly see myself as a forgiven, new creation in Jesus, with new thinking and behavior. This is my new default setting.
I can’t be passive in this transformation I must be active in my response to Jesus action in the cross and resurrection. This transformation is powerful but I (my will) is the spark that responds to God’s grace. I must ruthlessly respond to his ruthless grace.
5) I must not do this alone. It’s not a me, but a we. It is the fellowship of the king. I must have friends. I must band together with dwarfs, elves, humans, and hobbits to find my strength in numbers. A water drop alone will evaporate but collectively raging water drops are called a river.
This is not mere church attendance but true friendship—fellowship. It can be any small group of believers that meets anywhere for prayer and support.
6) I must love others. Transformation is not navel gazing or simply defensively getting unstuck. It is not staring into a self-help mirror and asking it who is the fairest of them all. It is moving forward in love toward others. God is love and on the move toward humanity and we must join him. The transformed life looks like sacrificial love.
7) As I love others in word and deed something magical happens. I begin to live the God-life. God gives Himself away in love. In this fallen world we think we grow by focusing on ourselves. Helping, listening, serving, waiting on others is the secret life. It is more blessed to give than receive. Become delirious on love’s love for us and his love for others through us.
This seven-step recipe is a good one. Some have broken it down into ten or twelve steps but that is not the point. Some will find it helpful to have a personal trainer/counselor to move forward.
The good news for modern man is that we don’t have to live stuck lives waiting for heaven. We can begin to live incredible lives moonstruck by God. Now get yourself into your kitchen with this recipe and begin to bake.
One Response to “Help! I’m Stuck”