“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Of all the words that come to mind in relation to personal faults, I can’t imagine that “ownership” would top the list in the minds of most people. The majority, I imagine, would claim to be at the mercy of their faults, feel weak if not powerless in relation to them and would likely see them as permanent fixtures rather than a temporary state. Such a view couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
Your faults are something you have, not something you are. Regardless of their provenance, you always have the option to let go of them, one by one or occasionally en masse, and resolve to rise up. Some love to wallow in their personal faults, displaying them at the opportune time to attract attention, garner sympathy or stir up trouble while others work assiduously to cover them up. Neither approach solves the matter, in fact, both exacerbate the problem.
Let’s assume you care enough about your time here on earth and the lives of those to come to do something about your faults. You cannot be cleansed of secret faults if you are unwilling to deal first with those of which you are aware. One of the best ways to get started is to look for the low hanging fruit, those shortcomings which would be most easily shored up.
There are as many ways to clarify a fault as there are ways to end up with one, but one of the most effective means I’ve found is to work on two fronts. On the one hand, you must resolve not to do whatever it is ever again. On the other, you must consecrate yourself to a higher standard. If you content yourself with trying to stop doing something, you will likely hit a wall when the pressure comes on. If, however, you combine the decision to stop doing something with a deep and complete sanctification you can make hallow the womb through which the new you is brought forth.
There are many complicating factors, as with physical addictions where brain chemistry may be altered to the point that it is no longer simply a matter of resolving away the fault. Medical assistance may be required, but don’t be fooled, the success of any medical intervention depends significantly on the level of courage and resolution present in the heart and mind of the man or woman seeking to be free of the fault at hand.
On that note I read the other day that in recent years deaths from prescription drug abuse have dwarfed those due to illicit drugs in the state of Georgia. In fact, the article noted that “Xanax [a prescription drug used to treat anxiety or panic disorders] overdoses alone killed more people in Georgia in 2010 than cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin overdoses combined, according to information from the GBI’s Medical Examiner’s Office.” Houston, err, ah, Atlanta, we have a problem.
But I digress. The majority of faults are easily mended if and when you approach them with sufficient courage and resolve. Your resolution must hold over time, for even a moment’s inattention can allow sufficient space for the fault to reassert itself in your life expression. Likewise, the process of sanctification usually works out in predictable phases: (1) courage initiates the process of change, (2) internal pressures will rise in your heart and mind, just as physical pressure builds in an abscess when your skin is working to remove toxins from the body and (3) pressure will climax, followed by a release as the fault is expelled from your person and (4) healing will occur, filling in the void.
If you hold steady through the entire process, healing occurs and you regain ownership and control of a part of you that had been under foreign occupation. You become whole, or at least, more integrated, aligned and ready for action than you were prior to stepping up your game.
I am assuming that if you read to this point, you do care deeply about the quality and scope of your contributions in this lifetime as well as the fecundity of the future. Faults limit your capacity for creative function. Faults unaddressed make you infertile, impotent and impaired. Address the obvious faults, build momentum and the secret faults will be brought to the surface in due course. Such is the nature of healing. Such is the way of life.
You either stand in life’s way or you allow it to flow freely to the blessing of your fellow man.