Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire . . . Proverbs 18:1
There are addicts who seek out the company of other addicts, and then there are those of us who isolate. Ashamed by our behavior, we hide it with darkness, lying and sneaking, in an attempt to maintain a facade that conceals who we truly are.
If others only knew the real me . . . If my wife found out . . . This is, of course, not just about drugs or alcohol. This is about any behavior that we hide in the dark. This is about the fast food wrapper that we throw away before anyone sees. This is about the deleted history on our computers. This is about those bitter, hateful thoughts, which we may never speak, but which exist in the dark recesses of our minds.
We know the shame and consequences of discovery, but still, we cannot stop doing or thinking the thing. This is addiction, to know the destructive power of something, but to do it anyway, and then to hide it.
At the heart, this is an honesty problem. I desire to do something that I don’t want others to know about, so I face a choice. I can choose not to do the thing, or I can do it and hide it, which is the moral equivalent of a lie.
In our addictions, we almost all become liars, hiding our corruption in the closet. The answer then, is to embrace painful honesty. Most of us just want God to remove our destructive desires without anyone ever knowing. This again, is inherently dishonest as we continue to hide our struggle.
We don’t need to confess our failures to the local newspaper, but to truly transform, we must be honest with a close group of friends who are willing to be honest themselves. Isolation breeds destruction, dishonesty, and death. Community breeds honesty, transformation, and life. It is only in embracing honesty and light, that we come to know this blessed life that God desires for us.