A Vicious Cycle

January 12, 2014

Don't miss a single post! Subscribe below and receive them in your Inbox!

Do you find yourself going around the same issues over and over in your Christian walk?

Do we employ new and better strategies for breaking that certain sin’s hold on us?
Are we always pushing the reset button after our latest failure?
Does it actually seem like the harder we try to live for God, the worse we do?

Does it seems like we can often be like a mouse on a wheel, going round and round, running as hard as we can but never really getting anywhere. Are you stuck in the revolving door of life with no exit point?

In Grace Walk by Steve McVey, he gives three words to describe a vicious cycle we are all too familiar with.

The first part of the cycle is we mess up or decide to get serious with a habit, sin, or just our walk with God in general. McVey says, “Even when I had done nothing wrong, I would feel guilty for not doing all the things I believed I should be doing.”

We may be attending a worship service, a special retreat or summer camp, or perhaps even in the quiet of our own home when this moment comes.

The bottom line is, we are fed up with where we are and want to see change and growth. McVey calls this the “motivation” phase. We determine and commit ourselves to change.

We embrace our latest strategy with zeal and vigor. This works for some length of time. Days, weeks, perhaps if we are in a really good season; months.

But eventually, we will find ourselves face to face with our greatest enemy.

Failure.

We do it again. We slip back. We, for whatever reason, are not able to live up to our most recent commitment.

This failure brings guilt. Guilt leads to condemnation. While wallowing in the phase of condemnation, we may go on a binge in the area of our struggle. After wallowing in self-pity, we come to our senses. We see the futility of staying where we are.

This leads us to the third and final phase of rededication. We repent. We grovel. We promise never to do it again. We may throw up some extra prayers, dip deeper for money in the offering, or read a few more chapters in our Bibles to show God we are serious. We recommit and head back to the motivation phase of our cycle, hoping and believing this time will be different.

But it won’t

Not as long as our effort and works is the source of our growth and change. Repeating this cycle too many times, may lead us to give up on this thing called Christianity.

Our intentions are good, but our focus is misguided.

Works don’t change us. Only grace does.
Guilt will not motivate us to a better life, but grace gives our best reason not to sin.

Grace doesn’t focus on what we can get away with, it motivates us to trust in the Giver of the gift.

If God can save us, surely he can help us break out of this cycle. We will never be perfect this side of heaven. But, through walking in grace each and every day, we should see growth and change as we focus on the Giver of the gift.

Slowly, little by little, by falling but getting up again we can break the vicious cycle.

Interested in reading more about growth in grace? This is what NoSuperHeroes is all about. Browse around. Leave a comment or question and I can point you to an article which might deal with the topic in question.

Don't miss a single post! Subscribe below and receive them in your Inbox!

Chris

Posts Twitter Facebook

A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God