As we’ve looked at the challenges of addiction, we’ve affirmed that the key to experiencing freedom is knowing that we are loved in our brokenness. While machines need fixing, human beings need healing, and healing comes through relationships, specifically through deep bonds with others.
All of us are subject to the sickness of sin in our lives, but bonding is the medicine that makes us better. You see, to bond with someone means that they know you deeply and love you just as you are, the same way that Jesus does. Hear me say that you need this; in fact, your soul is made for it. While it isn’t safe to bond with everybody, it’s critical to identify those in your family and circle of closest friends who see you, accept you, and don’t change the way they relate to you when you struggle. However, it’s also important to not “cast your pearls to swine,” as the Bible says. What I mean by this is that you should be prayerful and discerning as you determine who you do and do not open up to. For instance, if you are in a relationship with someone and you feel drained and defeated when you spend time with them, they are not the right person to bond with; to try and do so would only cause more harm. Why? Unfortunately, when people are insecure, they tend to take the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of others and use them to prop themselves up, which often results in putting you down. This can happen through direct insults, sarcasm, shaming statements or direct commands. Indirectly, it happens frequently through gossip. Whatever the source, it’s crucial to set boundaries and limit your time with those who reaffirm the messages of guilt and shame that originate with the devil and keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns!
Friend, nothing heals your soul like bonding, first with Jesus and then with His people. When you courageously open your heart up to others and allow them to receive you in your brokenness, you see the reality of your Savior through human experience — nothing is more powerful! While it is wise to steer clear of those who try to fix you, hold to those who offer empathy, grace, encouragement, and acceptance. They are a huge part of your story of deliverance, healing, and discipleship because they are demonstrating the most transformative truth of God — His unconditional love.