How NOT to Lead a Double Life

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SUMMARY

My sinful behavior is acceptable as long as no one I love is there to witness it, right? When it comes to “getting away with something,” we can often feel that if we’re not caught, it didn’t happen. That can be dangerous if applied to one’s lifestyle.

The Bible makes it clear that the inside of our life and the outside of our life have to match. In other words, what we believe and what we do needs to be in congruence with one another; it needs to match up.

Now why is this consistency of belief and behavior so important?

When your inside and outside are in opposition to one another, not only are you breaking your commitment to the Lord, but you’re also missing out on becoming a whole person — one with a true sense of Self and purpose as a follower of Christ.

As Christians, we have a greater responsibility in this world to be lights for the Lord, regardless of location or audience. Whether a Sunday morning or a Friday night, our character is a direct reflection of our connection with God. If someone knows you are a Christian, but thinks your lifestyle is hypocritical, that could deter a nonbeliever from the message of Christ. There must be conscious effort to make sure the inside and the outside match.

Here’s the deal —

If the inside of our life and the outside of our life don’t match, we’re going to live lives of extreme frustration with very little progress and some of us feel that now.

What do we do to keep these things from happening? What do we do to take a temptation or a sin or a challenge in our life that we don’t want there, and get it out?  

How NOT to Lead a Double Life:

1. Stay in the Word of God

Stay in the Bible, get in the Word and allow that truth to seep into every scintilla of your being and guide you in the truth so you can apply that truth rightly to your life.

2. Stay close to a friend

We’ve got to find a true friend that cares about our wellbeing and wants to see us grow in our relationship with God. They care about us and love us.

3. Stay away from temptation

Don’t try to get close to it as best you can; try to get as far away from it as best you can. 

4. Stay alert to your weak spots

Sit down with a friend and find out if you’re fully aware of some of those weak spots in your life.

Until we talk again, live passionately, give generously, and impact the world for God.

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TRANSCRIPT

Hey, this is Todd Phillips, your online pastor and personal life coach. Here to talk about a very challenging subject today: How not to lead a double life.

This is tough, because most of us have what I like to call, “sin of choice” — it’s something that continues to be a thorn in our side; that we can’t seem to get beyond. A lot of people talk to me, even lately, about this reality, and this has been going on for years, in the pastoral work I’ve done and in my writing and teaching online — it’s a huge deal. And I’m not going to talk about that subject specifically today, but that’s just to give you an idea.

For example, there are a lot of people suffering with an addiction to pornography. They can’t seem to get it out of their lives. They can’t seem to move away from that reality. Regardless of whether or not that’s a challenge for you, or you have another, what again I call a “sin of choice” — it’s a temptation that continues to beset you, if you will, it continues to dog you and you can’t seem to get free from it.

I want to talk about what we can do, how we can, create borders and boundaries in our lives so that we don’t lead a double life.

I’m going to work from two assumptions. I want you to hear these; these are important:

Number one that God is real.

Number two that he has given us clear instruction inside the word of God, through our relationship with him to understand how to live this life to the full potential that God’s given us.

Right? He knit us together in our mother’s womb. We were created for a purpose. And the Bible is a guide that helps us to understand exactly how to live our life with the purpose that God gave us. So, those are my assumptions walking into this.

As I talk about this I want you to know that we’re going to be talking about the word of God; we’re going to be talking about how to apply that rightly to our lives. But even if you’re watching this and you don’t believe there is a God or you’re questioning whether or not he’s there, and if he is, does he want to have a relationship with you…

Listen, even if that describes you today, I want you to hang with me. Three out of the four things that we’re going to talk about today are going to help you in some of the more challenging areas of your life. I hope they’ll bless you and they’ll serve you and you’ll be able to apply them the minute you turn the video off today.

Ok, so here we go. We’re talking about today this idea of not leading a double life.

Why is that so important?

Well, number one, the reason it’s so important is because the Bible makes it clear that the inside of our life and the outside of our life have to match. In other words, what we believe and what we do needs to be in congruence with one another; it needs to match up.

Here’s the deal —

If the inside of our life and the outside of our life don’t match, we’re going to live lives of extreme frustration with very little progress and some of us feel that now.

We’re like, yeah, I’ve got this challenge in my life — it’s pornography, or it’s gambling, or it’s just dishonesty with my wife. Whatever it might be, right? We’re struggling with that and we can’t get it out of our lives and so it’s destroying our lives. These things left in our lives too long they can become a cancer they can destroy not only us but also everyone around us. The shrapnel, the unintended consequences of an exploding life, based on these kinds of issues, can be so devastating — again, not just to us but those around us.

We owe it to ourselves, but we also owe it to the people we love to address these issues, and try to get them extracted, like a cancer, out of our lives. So, what do we do to keep these things from happening?

What do we do to keep these things from happening? What do we do to take a temptation or a sin or a challenge in our life that we don’t want there, and get it out?

Number One: Stay in the Word

I’ve told you this: whether you are a follower of Jesus or you’ve never looked inside the Bible before in your entire life — getting inside the Word, we call it the Bible, call it the Word — getting inside the Bible and reading truth from the Bible allows us to gain wisdom from God and then apply that rightly to our lives and avoid some of the more challenging and destructive things that we can find ourselves in.

So, one of the greatest ways to avoid sins, and temptations, and challenges, and failures in our life — falling into those things we don’t want to fall into; relationships we shouldn’t be in, decisions we shouldn’t make that we know aren’t good for us; they are destructive to us and those around us — is to be in the Word of God.

Not just every Sunday, going to church and listening to someone else talk about, but it’s actually getting into the Word of God, the Bible, everyday. It’s just spending time in the Bible everyday. And I believe this with all my heart: it really doesn’t matter where you open the Bible to; there are so many incredible stories, insights, and truth. There’s an eternal wellspring of wisdom and insight you can always gain from, always. If you’ll just open your heart to it, right?

You may be watching this right now and go hey that doesn’t apply to me. I‘ve never read the Bible. I doubt I ever will. Well listen, the next three things we talk about are still going to be applicable if you’ve got a challenge in your life and you want to get out of it.

First one — to avoid leading a double life, letting the inside and outside of our life match — is to stay in the Word of God.

Number Two: Stay close to a friend

One of the easiest things in our life to do is to get entangled in sin, to get involved in something that’s destructive to us and to those around us. One of the easiest ways for that to happen is if we’re on an island by ourselves. If we’re not holding ourselves accountable, if we’re not sharing our life with someone that loves us, and cares about us, and has wisdom in their life, and speaks truth to us — that loves us enough to speak truth into our lives.

One of the greatest ways to stay away from those challenging decisions, those bad decisions that hurt us and destroy us and others, is to stay close to a friend that we can trust, that we have faith in, who will listen to who we are, listen to our challenges, and they won’t run.

Life is full of disappointing relationships, right? People fail us, but before we get too busy going, “Yah, people do!”— we fail others too. Yes, people fail us, but we fail others. It’s a two-way street.  But we do need someone in our life, even though that’s a reality. We’re going to fail each other. We need someone in our life that truly loves us and cares about us and wants the best for us. We’ve got to find someone that legitimately cares about our wellbeing, wants to see us grow and move into new chapters of understanding, new depths of wisdom and insight with our relationship with God. They care about us and love us.

When you’re looking for that person, you’ve to find someone that loves you enough to speak the truth; they’re not just going to tell you what you want to hear. The world is full of people that are going to tell you what you want to hear. Especially if you’re a boss, if you’re a leader. Alright, it’s lonely at the top. A lot of times we find ourselves, the more we get promoted in our jobs the less people we have to talk to. But we all desperately need that one person. A cousin, or a brother, or just a friend, or a coworker we’ve known for a long time — a peer relationship, someone who’s going through the same things we are. That we can talk honestly to.

One of the greatest things we can have is that true friend. A friend sticks closer than a brother. The Bible makes that really clear. We need that one friend that we can talk to, that we can be honest with, and they won’t run. And they won’t run.

Listen, I want to say this, too. Many of us have been disappointed in relationships. We’ve shared ourselves with other people and they did run. Right? But it’s worth the risk. Finding that kind of a friendship is worth the risk. So even if someone ran before, don’t let that cause you to be so gun-shy that you never open up to anyone again.

That’s my prayer for you. If you’ve been through that and most of us have, and you haven’t yet found that person, keep trying. Don’t be satisfied living on an island. Ok, find that one friend.

So, stay in the Word of God, the Bible, and stay close to a friend who knows everything about you and won’t run.

Number Three: Stay away from those temptations and tempting situations

Most people I talk to, when it comes to sin or temptation — most people when they are looking at a challenging situation — they tend to kind of shove themselves as close as they can to that problem, that destructive decision, that destructive relationship — they get as close as they can to that relationship without going over the line.

Saying, “How close can I get to that without calling it sin?” “How close can I get to that relationship without getting totally swallowed by it?” Which is just crazy! It’s nuts thinking, right?

But a lot of us, all of us probably, if we’re honest with ourselves, have done just that — especially in a relationship with a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  We’re trying to be physically pure; we’re trying to save ourselves for marriage. (If that’s an example that we can use right now.) What we do is we find ourselves trying to get as close as we can without saying that we’ve crossed the line, rather than turning this way and trying to be as pure in that relationship as we can.

See, this is the danger zone when we get close to those situations. If we’re alcoholics we no longer go to a bar. If you’re struggling with alcoholism, going to a bar and trying to be good is not a wise move. I think we all know that inherently. So we want to stay as far as we can away from alcohol and build friendships with people that will support us in that effort.

I know that seems obvious, but that applies to every area of life, not just alcoholism. If we’re in destructive relationships on a regular basis, we want to move away from those situations, physically. Get into relationships with friends who will call us out when we get into those unhealthy relationships. That’s a really important thing.

Number Four: Stay alert

Stay alert to your weak spots. Now this is very similar to number three, but I think it’s worth talking about. It’s just being alert; it’s being self-aware. One of the greatest things I ever heard from a mentor of mine was, he told me, “Todd, you need to know yourself. You need to understand not just your strengths, but also your weaknesses. You need to have friends that will tell you things that you don’t know about yourself.”

Blind spots, right? Many of us are just blind to some of our greatest foibles, our greatest challenges. We need other people to tell us about that so we don’t live our entire lives with those problems. So when I’m talking about staying alert to your weak spots — Look if you don’t know them, it might not hurt to just sit down, even if you think you know your weak spots, this is my challenge today.

Even though you may think you know your weak spots, you’re like, “Todd, man, I’ve been living life for 40 years, 50 years, I know my weak spots; I know my challenges; I know when the inside of my life and the outside of my life don’t match.” You might. You might be right about that. But hear me out on this.

Here’s my challenge: Why don’t you sit down with someone that you do know, maybe it’s that friend that I told you to stay close to. Just sit down with that friend and go, “You know what, I’m really wanting to know my weak spots, and I think these are them.”

Hopefully you have a friend close enough or a spouse that you can talk to about it, or even a brother, or a dad, or someone like that. You sit down with them and say, “Look, this is what I think are my weak spots, my challenges; these are the things that I have the most challenge in, things that if I get into them they’re the most destructive to me and the others around me. Are there other things, though, and this would be the question, “Are there other things that I don’t know about?” Just give them permission to talk into your life; give them permission to love you enough to speak truth into your life. You may find that you know exactly what’s going on, and often that’s the case, but there are times when we open ourselves up to those kinds of questions, and that person will say something to us, and we’ll go, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea!” We may even be so shocked by it that we say, “That can’t be!” But upon reflection, we might say, “You know what, he’s right!”

We live a life that should be a constant process of self-discovery. So we can know ourselves better, and for Christians understand how we relate to God and to other people so we can have the greatest impact on this Earth, while we are still alive, in the days that God has given us. But a lot us miss out on that if don’t have friends that can tell us the truth.

How to avoid living a double life:

1. Stay in the Word of God

Stay in the Bible, get in the word and allow that truth to seep into every scintilla of your being and guide you in the truth so you can apply that truth rightly to your life.

2. Stay close to a friend

3. Stay away from temptation

Don’t try to get close to it as best you can; try to get as far away from it as you can

4. Stay alert to your weak spots

Sit down with a friend and find out if you’re fully aware of some of those weak spots in your life.

Until we talk again, live passionately, give generously, and impact the world for God.

[after video]

Hey, it’s Todd. Did you get something out the video you just watched? I really hope you did.

I mean, that’s my passionto give you something that can be applied rightly to your life, right now.

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One thought on “How NOT to Lead a Double Life

  • I totally agree with the teaching about lies. For so long I struggled with lying. Even after accepting Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I knew that God’s Word said that He hates a lying tongue and a false witness who speaks lies. Lying is my sin that ensnares me and God had to show me that in order for me to be the person He wanted me to become. Since I am a little on the stubborn side, my Heavenly Father had to show me the hard way. Lying destroyed family and friend relationships. Got me in trouble in more ways than I wanted. So lying for me is like alcohol or drugs to others, it is a daily struggle. I have confessed that sin, and it is with God’s love for me, His grace and mercy that I can lead a life that brings Him glory. Thank You for your message on staying in His Word regarding lying. Betty Armstrong

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