Beware of Open Gates

Many of us have set up boundaries between us and a possible relapse. And those boundaries are like gates along a path. As long as we keep those gates locked and do not go down that path we will remain safe.
At times we are tempted to go down the path. And if we give in what happens? As we start down the path we begin breaking our boundaries and we unlock each gate one by one. We lie to ourselves saying, "I'm only going to go a little way down the path."
Hopefully, at some point, we come to our senses and ask ourselves.  Wow!!! What am I doing???  And we immediately stop and get off the path. We do PMS -- We Pray to Heavenly Father, Move away from the path, and reach out to others for Support.  We admit to God, to ourselves, and to others what we are doing and ask for help.
Now here is where the unexpected happens. Hours or even days later we may come back to that path. And instead of running into closed gates, we find that the gates we previously opened are still open!!!  And at that point, we find that we are already close to relapsing.
If we are not extremely careful in hours or even days after the first experience we will find ourselves in a relapse. And we might not even remember how we got there. That's how relapses and binges happen. And Satan is more than happy to whisper to us, "Hey you've already messed up, it doesn't matter anymore, so just keep going."

So what is the solution?  The solution, as requested by President Nelson, is daily repentanceMany of us have the mistaken idea that we don't need to repent until we actually relapse. WRONG! We need to repent each time we open one of those gates! Those gates don't just close by themselves. If we consciously repent the same day we open that first gate, we won't need to worry about subsequent gates. 

Once we repent for an open gate we can close it. In that process, we should pray more intently, be more honest, and ask Heavenly Father for His help.  At the same time, we can reach out to trusted friends for support.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved the idea of taking time to close and lock each gate, and doing it through repentance. I imagined taking a walk with my Savior through a pasture and closing and locking a series of gates: not in a rush, not as a lazy stroll, but just part of routine work. The kind of work that is better with a friend, a mentor, someone who loves you.
This visual had been really helpful for me in the middle of quarantine, where it's easy to justify opening some gates. Thank you for sharing.