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The Relapse

Sin is like relapsing. I’d imagine that the way I feel after I sin is similar to the way the drug or sex addict or alcoholic feels after they’ve relapsed.

When I sin, I feel like all my hard work has been thrown out the window for a moment of temporary pleasure at best. When I sin I feel like I’ve wasted that year’s worth of efforts to do better. I feel like I’ve secretly thrown away all hopes and dreams of being better. I feel like who people see me as is nothing more than a façade because I’ve sinned and I know I have.

And after a year of being so careful not to commit that sin, it’s all gone. It’s all wasted away.

I’ve relapsed and now the goal looks so far away. My 12 steps have to be re-implemented. I’m back into recovery mode. And instead of being on day 377, I have to start over at day one. Post relapse.

Three hundred seventy-seven is so far from day one. And when I think about the distance between the two I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t see how I cannot relapse. I don’t believe I can reach it. I don’t believe I can.

I can’t forgive myself for backtracking. I can’t forgive myself for backsliding. I can’t believe I’ve relapsed into sin. That extra drink was poured. That wall was punched. That complaint was ongoing all day. I can’t believe what I’ve done. I can’t forgive what I’ve done.

But…

To be forgiven I must live a forgiven life…

God knows about my relapse. To my shame, He knows. I am embarrassed and He knows. I don’t believe I can recover and He knows. I don’t believe I am worthy of anything because of it, and He knows.

How could I not feel any way other than guilt, shame, and remorse? I’ve hurt God’s feelings. God isn’t hurt because He has to be. He isn’t hurt simply because I disobeyed Him. God is hurt because He knows that what I’ve done is going to hurt me much more than it hurt Him. God hurts on my behalf.

But He has forgiven me on my behalf as well.

So, why do I think I am greater than God that He can forgive me and I can’t?

My name is Chanel, and I’m a recovering sinner. But God has forgiven me.

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