Band-Aids to Promote Healing
Posted: 23 August 2013
What is a band-aid? Well its a couple of things. Firstly it is an acknowledgement that their is a hurt. This is why my daughter will ask me first for a band-aid, to which my response is "where does it hurt honey?". Secondly, it is a promoter of healing, providing protection for the hurt to be restored again. The larger the wound the larger the band-aid, so that all of it may find restoration again. But once the healing is complete, we can discard the band-aid.
When it comes to our brokenness due to sexual sin (and any other sin one may be battling with), I have found this analogy of the band-aid as a helpful way to speak of the biblical mandates for accountability (getting others help) and avoidance (placing limits on oneself). Many people I have counseled through sexual sin have at times confused the band-aids with the actually healing process. The band-aids are necessary but only in acknowledging the problem and allowing the healing process to begin.
Tim Chester in his book 'Captured by a Better Vision' speaks of 5 A's, helping us have holistic and comprehensive view of change in our Christian lives. The A's are: Abhorrence (hating the sin itself), Acceptance (finding forgiveness in the Gospel), Adoration (replacing sin with the glory of God), Accountability (letting others into your change project), and Avoidance (removing oneself from the areas and places of temptation). The first three (Abhorrence, Acceptance, Adoration) are the actually healing process. They seek to get to the heart of a person and compel change by the Spirit. The last two (Accountability, Avoidance) are the band-aids, means of providing protection for oneself as they seek heart change. Tim Chester helpfully encourages the Christian that if they are to find change in their life, they must find all 5 A's within the change project. But the reason I speak of Accountability and Avoidance as band-aids is not because they are optional, but instead for two significant reasons:
- True gospel change needs to finish with God receiving the boast and not us. The reality is anyone can find accountability or seek avoidance with no reference to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We become our functional saviors instead of Jesus.
- Jesus calls his people to still be a part of the world in which we live (Jn 17:15-16; cf. 1 Cor 5:9-10). Christians should not seek to live in monasteries but on mission in and to our sinful world.
One of the best examples of this is internet pornography addiction. I have meet many Christian men and women who have found amazing and encouraging ways to insert accountability and avoidance into their change project. These include software programs such as Covenant Eyes, OpenDNS, or X3Watch; applying 'restrictions' on mobile device removing the option of internet browsers or installing apps; and accountability groups/friends. If internet pornography is a continuing battle for you, please apply these band-aids ASAP. Personally, I use OpenDNS for our home computers, have removed Safari and ability to install apps on my iPhone, and have a number of friends who regularly pray for me and ask me how I am doing (including my wife).
But in my change project, these provide me with the space and protection to do heart surgery through God's word in my life. They are not the source of change, but are helpful means to helping me seek God's change in my life. I want to be able to use the internet to the glory of God. I want to be able to be away from home on business and not stumble. I also know that I am not sinless but will continue to struggle with sin until my death or the return of Jesus. But I also know that Jesus does produce change in Christian's lives that is deeper than any software program can ever produce.