From Denial to Reality

Mitch Cariaga

"Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.  For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us."  II Corinthians 7:9

I was at a banquet in China a few months ago.  Everyone around the table was speaking Chinese.  The only English speaker was my translator who happened to be a Christian.  During the middle of the dinner, she told me that she had been engaged, but recently had ended the relationship.  I asked her what happened.  The story she told was painful and all too common.

She had been dating this certain guy for quite some time.  It was a normal relationship.  But all her friends kept telling her that he was not a good guy.  Even her pastor took her aside one day and advised her to consider the wisdom of the relationship.  She appreciated everyone’s concern, but she felt that their comments were not valid.  It was her life and this was her decision.

They became engaged and she was making plans to bring him to her home town for the two families to meet.  In China, when the families meet, the purpose is simply to iron out the financial details.  But one day before their trip, she was using his computer when she noticed that he had been chatting with two different girls.  These conversations had overtly sexual overtones.  She confronted him.  He told her that he liked to flirt and that she needed to get use to it.  This was his personality.

His actions, and then especially his comments, sent her into tailspin of deep pain.  What she couldn’t see before about this guy was now very clear.  So she ended the relationship.

God saved her, even from her own denial.  Only after the pain could she see that there were lots of signs about this gentleman’s character.  But she chose to ignore them blindly plowing forward in this illicit relationship.  But God saved her.

We all know how denial works, and when we finally wake up, we think about how could we have been so stupid. But when we’re in denial, we’ll do just about anything.

How was she able to go from denial to reality in 5 minutes?  How was she able to throw away her past and start a brand new future when everyone had been warning her?  She wouldn’t listen.

It’s called PAIN!

How many of you are living in continual pain?  Pain from poor choices, pain from inferior relationships, and pain from the natural consequences of a life lived without God.  The pain is God trying to get your attention.  The pain is God trying to save you from a life of regret.  The pain is God’s wake-up call!

So if you are living in constant pain, quit masking the pain, quit covering up the pain, quit taking pain relievers and pain managers.  Today is your day to go from denial to reality!

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