Get a Grip
So in one of our youth groups at the moment we're doing a series called 'Get a Grip' and in each part we're looking at different aspects of our lives that we probably would do well to get a grip on! Things like our relationships, our money, food, choices, etc. We often let life happen to us rather than really living it. We often miss opportunities instead of making the most of them. 'Getting a grip' seemed to be a reasonable idea for this kind of discussion.
We've also been learning in church about the effects of sin in our lives (the stuff that God hates because it stops us living life to the full and cuts us off from him). Certain sinful habits can be an addiction and loads of us are gripped by things like this that we can't seem to break out of (and there was a brilliant resource for people to take away about the issues of masturbation and pornography called 'Porn-Again Christian'). I guess getting a grip in these situations might mean having the courage to ask someone we trust for help. Always scary but bringing sin/struggle into the light is the way forward and it can be done! There is forgiveness and strength available to us!
Church ought to be one of the safest places to be honest with each other about real struggles like this but often we feel threatened. Probably because we fall into the trap of thinking that everyone in church must somehow be there because they're really good! Rubbish! We've all got our secrets. Getting a grip on our habits means sharing some of those secrets with people we trust and taking supported strides forward.
Taking this 'get a grip' idea too far can be risky too though. Sure, there's a lot that we can sort out for ourselves just by stopping to take stock and make a few changes and there's somethings we can change by asking for help from others, but Christianity isn't about self help. There will always be things that we struggle with in this life that we haven't figured out yet. There will be sins, struggles, pressures that we just can't seem to shake off. Problems that are just too big for us, even with help from friends. And so we can't really think to much about our grip on things without thinking about God's grip on us. Has he got hold of us yet? Or are we still running away or resisting him? We desperately need his very real presence and peace in our lives if we're to face any of this stuff confidently without it defeating us.
1 John 1:5-10