As adults we all have issues we struggle with. For some it is really obvious, substance abuse, laziness, abusive behavior, etc. For others it is very internal, lack of self-esteem, inability to form meaningful relationships, loneliness, etc. I have never met an adult that did not have some weakness or struggle, and if they said there was nothing, I soon found they were lying. This is the reality of the human condition. We simply live in an imperfect world and we are all imperfect people. So does this mean we should all just give up and give in to our whims? Should we just accept failure as our fate? I would argue absolutely not.
Recently I have found myself feeling convicted to work with my children. All three are nearly grown being 18-19 years old. As I have prayed for them I felt led to explore what they struggle with and what could hold them back later in life. The process has been overwhelming. What started out with discussions soon led to a deeper look at their upbringing and what they were struggling with. What was exposed were issues they were carrying into adulthood that were completely unnecessary and potentially debilitating. It would have been so easy to just go on and continue to laugh and have fun, to have a normal relationship. Looking for better, looking for more has resulted in an opportunity to free them for a joyful, free life. How amazing is that? They certainly have to be willing to address those things, but at least they are in the light and not hidden away. In my experience it is the hidden things that eat us up inside.
This process has renewed my commitment to real, honest relationships with those I know. Sometimes this openness puts people off and gets them defensive. I understand that and I respect their desire for privacy in their thoughts and actions, to some extent, people have the ability to control that. I do, however, believe it is an enormous mistake. It is worth fighting for more and fighting for a healthy mental freedom. People do not have to live a life of oppression, ruled by their habits and desires. They do not have to live a life driven by their obsessions. It is possible to find peace and joy.
When you look at your children, realize that there are things building up in their young lives that can affect them forever. When you look at your coworker, see him as a real person with real problems. When you you look at a friend, consider what would help her grow as a person. I really like the way I have heard it described: there are not simply good and evil people in the world. There are those who can admit they are wrong, and those that will not. (The Biblical version is: there are those that are repentant, and those that are not.)