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An iceberg takes a long time to melt.
An iceberg takes a long time to melt.
Most everyone knows what pride is. Pride comes in several forms, some being socially acceptable. Feeling proud from a job well done, or being the proud parent of an A+ student is normal. If you’re “Proud to be an American” or strive to be the best you can be by living a healthy life and taking care of yourself, then you’re simply feeling proud, not being proud.
Rather, the pride of which I’m speaking is the pride that Christianity teaches as being one of the seven deadly sins, or vices. This is the type of pride that’s warned of frequently in the Bible. This is the same pride that everyone, whether Christian or secular, can identify, due to it’s proverbial pronouncement as the chief indicator of impending destruction.
Recently God revealed to me that I had pride. I know that may sound strange, since we are all conscientiously aware of pride. However, knowing you have pride and being aware to mask its expression, is itself, pride. The pride that the Spirit of God revealed to me was the root pride in my heart; the pride we can’t see until God awakens us to it; the pride the Psalmist asked God to identify in his own heart. This pride is the part of us we don’t even know is there, but yet seeps into every part of our life and taints all our relationships, including the relationship to ourselves.
Once I had this humbling knowing of pride in my heart, I began to notice its all-encompassing tentacles in most every area of my life. It was very disheartening, saddening and depressing. My life began to come into a sharp focus that was unnerving. The blinders had been taken off, the fog had lifted and the self-deception had waned. Pride is ugly.
I began to journal all God was showing me in this new light. I began to scour scriptures and other literature to get a better grasp of the nature of pride. Then, one morning, as I was waking up, I had a mental flash of an iceberg. God said, “that is YOUR pride.” The vision was very vivid, in full color, and was alive.
With the metaphorical iceberg in my mind, I began to see myself in new light.
Pride is like an iceberg, in that:
· It will keep a life frozen and stagnant
· It has no life and can’t host life. It takes up vast space, contributing nothing.
· Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above water. So, even though pride is easily discernible by others, the real weight and bulk exists deeply hidden
· It is not a foundation for growth
· An iceberg is difficult to approach and chills those who engage it
· An iceberg is isolated as a floating island
· Has no power of motion.
· As ice, it serves no function, but when melted into water it receives total, absolute function to foster life, quench thirst, clean, transport, converted into energy, create unique beauty and sound, cool and warm, heal, renew, etc.
· Pride is the mask worn by fear
· Pride radars and controls its environment
· Pride demands accommodation, or, if necessary, will create a its own fantasy world to ease its discomfort and satiate itself
· Pride exists with a false immunity (above the law, immortal health)
· Pride disfigures every aspect of real life
· Pride determines everyone’s value to itself.
· Pride lives in the future. Proud people are not present and only hear themselves
· Pride breeds contempt
· Pride inhibits maturity
· Pride is expensive and will bankrupt.
· Pride breeds neediness and co-dependency.
· Pride is cancerous and requires constant energy
· Pride will trigger depression
· Pride delights in the distress of others and seeks vengeance
· Pride isolates and tolerates no one
· Pride cannot love
· Pride will blind and dull the senses, stifling creativity
· Pride turns one into an idol and hostage simultaneously
· Pride poisons every relationship
· Pride is the food of addiction and breathes the air of self-condemnation.
· Pride disguises as self-pity
· Pride is never satisfied
· Pride creates competition
· Pride thwarts wisdom
· Pride creates loneliness
· Pride undermines forgiveness as it can’t release and forget (speech)
· Pride inhibits emotional expression
· Pride procrastinate/prevaricates
· Pride stirs enmity
Needless to say, as God began to reveal the rotting pride that was in my heart, it was sobering and overwhelmingly paralyzing. However, true to God’s nature, that of perfect fatherly love, He didn’t leave me there, but empowered me towards a new reality. Whenever I felt remorse because I reacted to a situation or person that had offended my pride, He simply reminded me “…it takes a long time to melt an iceberg.”
He revealed to me that all the pride in my life was really rooted in a deep fear that is intrinsic to my humanity. As I began to release my fear to Him and further trust Him, step by step, I clearly started seeing the numerous indicators of pride in my life.
Everyday brings about a new journey with God. I’m glad His mercies (more than one, thank God!) are new every morning. Everyday the brittle and cold iceberg that is pride drips away, more and more, into rivers of living water.