They say that functioning alcoholics can actually lead a normal life on the outside – they go to work every day, have successful careers, maintain their responsibilities, family, and social bonds.
But, on the inside, the functioning alcoholic is unable to control their drinking, they hide drinking and their empty bottles from others, and become angry or defensive when someone questions their drinking habits. They are able to put on a good show, seem to have it all together, while they’re miserably falling apart.
Just like the functioning alcoholic, there are believers in the body of Christ who are functioning as a follower of Christ while bound. On the outside, they walk and talk like a Christian, they seem to know the Word, they may even be teammates in leadership positions in the church. But, on the inside, they’re battling secret sin, hiding the pain of depression and struggles from others, and settling for moments for freedom versus real, true deliverance.
And, as this charade plays out in their lives, it becomes easier to accept the bondage they know than to pursue the unknown world of true freedom through Jesus Christ.
My brothers and sisters… is this you? I’ve been there, too.
How to Tell if You’re a High-Functioning Christian Who’s Bound
Those who are free indeed, having been set free and delivered by the Son, Jesus Christ, journey through life much differently than those who are merely functioning as a follower of Christ while bound. Here are some possible signs:
1. You’re able to hide the bondage and blend in well around others.
Are you an all-around chameleon? No matter how much you’re hurting, no matter how badly you want to be free, to the undiscerning eye you look and act completely fine. You’ve successfully influenced others to think you’re “all good” when you’re really all broken up inside.
2. You have a high tolerance and stamina for running from God.
You’re not tired of dodging God, yet?…nope! You know in your heart that you can find true freedom from that bondage in Jesus, but you’re not ready to surrender. So, you continue running from God and delay freedom. Pride cheers you on, convincing you that you’re effectively hiding your sin from God.
3. You’ve replaced the sword of the Spirit with the sword of Denial.
Whether you find yourself on the offense or defense with others, your sword of denial is always ready to fight against truth when people get too close. When someone catches the scent of your bondage or discovers your real issue, you deny that there’s anything wrong with you and over-explain how “fine” you are.
4. You’ve developed Imposter Addiction.
Sprinkle the act of hiding our bondage with a little pride and you’ve got a recipe for imposter addiction. You’re so good at being an imposter and fooling others that it’s become a game for you – an addictive game that you think you keep winning. You’ve made a sport out of hiding who you truly are and how you truly feel, and you believe you’re so good at it that no one will ever find you out.
5. At the first sight of healing the damage or brokenness, you pick the scab and re-injure the wound.
Very often, we are our own worse enemies. Do you find yourself in a cycle of healing – then you go right into sabotage mode and re-injure yourself? Have you fallen for the trick of the enemy that says you really don’t deserve or need to be healed, whole, and free indeed? Bondage in that area of your life seems more safe and comfortable than freedom.
Are You Free Indeed or Free Sometimes?
The choice is actually ours. I want to encourage you today, teammates, that if you have even a hint of any of the signs above in your life, that you stop, repent, and turn your whole heart to God for complete healing.
When the Word of God says in John 8:36, “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” – indeed implies “truly, with certainty, as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious, false.” Our Father is thorough, He will not half-heal us or give us partial freedom.
But, we have to make the decision to accept His gracious offer and submit to the process. Free indeed may not happen in 24-hours, but the sooner you start the pursuit of freedom, the sooner you’ll overcome. Aren’t you tired of living beneath the privileges of freedom and blessings that are just a prayer away, a choice away, a decision away?
So, What’s the Play Call?
Let’s decide that today is the day we stop resisting Christ and start resisting the devil (James 4:7). Because here’s the difference – when we resist the devil, he will flee. But when we resist God, He fights even harder to be close to us.
Jesus is waiting for us, with our very own “free indeed” in His hands. Leave the bondage behind, stop hiding, and let’s go get it!