This week Chrissie Swan (Can of Worms presenter on Channel 10 and Mix FM Melbourne radio presenter) admitted to smoking while pregnant with her third child. If you missed the story, her confession came after she was caught smoking by paparazzi and then lost a battle against Woman's Day for the images.
It's rare to have a situation in life where everyone agrees an action is wrong, yet it feels almost impossible to stop.
Why would you smoke when pregnant when you know the risks to you and your baby? Why would you smoke when you'd quit before? This is some of what Chrissie said...
"It feels not like a choice"
"It defies logic"
"All the whole time I was having these cigarettes I couldn't believe I was doing it"
"I'm so deeply embarrassed and ashamed about this"
"I can't explain it other than it must be addiction"
Chrissie highlighted what so many of us know to be true about our own failings. For some of us it's anger management, gambling, infidelity, gossiping, overeating... you name it. We all know we have more than one skeleton in the closet and we hope it doesn't get out.
Chrissie's solution was the same as many of ours:
"You have to keep it secret because you are so ashamed of what it says about what sort of a person you are"
This is a classic case of what Christians call sin and what it's like to live with it.
Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament and is heralded as a great Christian man has much in common with Chrissie when he explained living with sin
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
He describes and try's to explain the dichotomy between knowing and wanting to live God's perfect way (God's law) and where hope can be found
"So I find this law at work: although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:21-25)
In a small way Chrissie's situation highlights our cry for help. We all struggle with actions we'd rather avoid, addictions we can't budge. We all want to hide the failings which will inevitably come out. Until we admit where we struggle we can't get help and we can't get forgiveness.
This is the Bible's solution to the dilemma
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9)
So go on, admit your faults to God and get help to make changes. The same God who has the most perfect set of standards which we fail, has provided a way for us to be clean through Jesus death on the cross.
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