Who knows the worst thing you’ve ever done? Seriously.
One of the traps of singleness and especially (although not limited to) as you get older is that of isolation. This affects all sorts of things. What we’ve got to start realizing is that it is now normal to be 30 and single. I’m not saying that is the way it is supposed to be (I’d lean no) but that is the reality. Here’s a crazy number – In 1940, 59% of men and 68% of women between the ages of 20-34 were married. In 2010 66% of men and 56% of women in that same age bracket have never been married. That is a whole different ball game.
One of the advantages to being married, if you do it right and fight for your marriage, is that you have another person who is there ALL THE TIME. Now sometimes, according to my married friends, this can be extremely difficult. But it also has huge advantages – not the least of which is that you have someone who has seen you at your worst and stuck around anyway.
As a single person it is fairly easy to never have anyone see you at your worst. Think about it. You are set up to “get away with” sin. Especially if you live alone, which according to Time Magazine 28% of Americans do (if 28% of Americans do – what % of singles would that be – it’s big).
Sin festers in isolation because it stays secret. And if it’s secret it’s wrong. We end up rationalizing some sin, giving ourselves pep talks on others, and mostly feeling guilt ridden with most. There is often no one to call us out, stop us from doing it, or walk us through it. Sin is almost impossible to root out by ourselves. We need people in our life who know the worst about us. This is really, really hard to develop.
The only way this really changes is to have people that are in it with you no matter what. People that are more than just “running buddies” or “going out buddies”. People that know everything, good and bad. The main reason most people don’t have this is that we are not intentional with it. We don’t actually go to our friends and say let’s do life together. We don’t trust people will stay and of course half the time the last thing we want to do is actually deal with our sin in the first place.
We need more than a small group, bible study, or accountability group, although that is a great starting point. But one or two things almost always happens. Most people switch small groups at least every couple of years (which is fine – as long as this type of “in it togetherness” is not the goal) and/or they become a place where you can share stuff but no one actually does anything about it. While these can be somewhat helpful at some point it dies out.
The first step is admitting that even though we are created for it, we don’t naturally gravitate towards this. I think the second thing is to pray for it. Then we have to actually engage it and fight for it when it presents itself. Most people don’t have this because it’s hard, not because it isn’t possible.
Who knows everything about you? If you died who could tell me everything about you, sin and all? Is there anyone you can trust? If so – engage it. If not pray for it. We can’t fight the battle against our flesh alone. It will kill our heart, wreck or spirit, and limit our ministry.