Myth #7 I Can Do It On My Own
My quick response to this myth is, uhhh, how’s that working for ya!? Sure there are some exceptions (very few I might add!), but in general the solo approach to sobriety just doesn’t work. Here’s why, as a counselor once told me, “you’ll give in to the weasel every time!” In other words the majority of us men, if left to ourselves, will succumb to the pressure to act out. Truth is, there’s a “weasel” in all of us. The weasel rationalizes and comes up with justification for our misbehavior. The weasel lets us off the hook when it comes to holding the line on purity.
As much as we resist having someone else in our “business”, we do much better with a co-pilot, a coach, or an awesome friend on our journey toward a pure life. We need someone who won’t let us “weasel out” when things get hard. We need someone or a community of people who will speak truth into our lives even when we don’t want to hear it.
No question, it is natural to want to keep our struggle to ourselves and hope that in time the temptations subside. I get that. I did it for quite a few years myself. But it wasn’t until I began to open up about the sin that so hounded my soul that I began to see real progress toward sobriety. Quite simply, one of the most powerful things that led to breakthrough for me was that as I opened up I found that other guys would speak up too. There was an instant brotherhood and camaraderie in this. Generally you don’t experience this though unless you are first willing to be vulnerable enough to let someone hear your story first.
The Bible sheds some light on the drawbacks to going it alone as well:
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Some might say, well I’m not really going it alone, I have God and it’s something I’m settling with Him. Of course that is part of the process. The Bible says, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” [I John 4:4] But the Bible is also very clear about another way to help those caught up in sin. Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently….” Verse 2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.”
There are other references that I could draw upon. The point is that even with our deepest struggles we are far better off in partnership with others as we attempt to tackle them.
My favorite seen in the movie Gladiator is the scene where Maximus and his ragtag team of fighters are in the arena going up against multiple enemies. Before the great battle begins Maximus says, “Whatever comes out of those gates, we have a better chance of survival if we work together.”
If you’ve been believing Myth #7 you will continue to fail. Find a community, start connecting, and getting accountable. In this arena you will only survive if you work together with others.