Some years ago, I wrote a little book for men called Comrades in Arms. The subtitle of that book is: The Power of Pursuing Christ in the Company of Other Men.
You see, about 15 years ago, I realized that I had an anger problem in traffic that did not represent Christ well or treat people with the love He desires from us. I had tried countless times to curb that anger. Whenever it flared, I immediately felt horrible. I was contrite, and repeatedly confessed my sin to the Lord. But my problem persisted.
One day immediately after a blowup in traffic, it dawned on me that I had always been merely reactive toward my issue. That is, I only tried to deal with it after it occurred. Now I knew that the only way to beat this was to actively and intentionally root it out of my life. But how?
The answer to that question was the humbling realization that I couldn’t beat this alone. At the time, I was meeting weekly with my comrade in arms (spiritual partner) Ed. I knew that if I exposed my problem to Ed, I’d be committed to letting Christ change me. This was a very humbling thing to do. After all, I was a pastor at the time and pastors are supposed to be perfect, right? (No way!)
I shared my struggle with Ed and he took me seriously and began praying for me in this regard. In our spiritual partnership, we had already agreed to be open and honest with each other and gave each other permission to ask “tough questions.”
In the following weeks and months, (yes, it took a while for me to shed this anger), Ed would ask me how I was doing with my anger in traffic. Little by little, Christ was changing me. He was replacing my angry outbursts with patience, peace and love.
That experience and the transformation I enjoyed came at the price of disclosing (or admitting, revealing, confessing) my struggle with a spiritual partner. It was very powerful, and I’ve seen it work repeatedly in others’ lives too and with all kinds of issues.
Recently, I’ve been working with those who have been sexually abused or are suffering the emotional damage of an abortion. Here too, we’ve discovered that you cannot heal from something you hide, deny, or ignore.
Especially with issues like sexual abuse and a past abortion, these experiences are fraught with shame, guilt, and self-loathing. Taking the step to reveal your past to someone you trust can be extremely humbling and even painful. BUT, the rewards are worth the temporary pain and humility.
Whether you think you have “issues” or not, I urge you to identify and start meeting with a spiritual partner—another follower of Jesus whom you trust. And if you do suffer from the effects of sexual abuse or a past abortion, please go to: SAVAnon.org or AbAnon.org and join a same-gender small group in order to seek healing.
Remember, healing requires disclosure. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16
©2019 Rob Fischer