How You Can Climb Out of the Pits of Life

Don't get comfortable in the pits of life.
Don't get comfortable in the pits of life. (Lightstock )

Are you in a rut in life or even worse—in a pit?

One of my favorite writings is An Autobiography in 5 Chapters by Portia Nelson, because it relates to how we practice addictive behaviors:

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

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Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Many people get stuck living out chapters 2 or 3. They keep falling into the same old pits.

We all fall into pits in life at times. That is not the problem. The problem is that we don't get out.

Once we recognize we are in a pit, we are responsible for seeking the way out—and taking it.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if someone threw you into the pit, like Joseph in Genesis 37, or if you put yourself into the pit.

What matters is that make up your mind to get out because you don't belong there.

Unfortunately, some try to make the pit their home. They believe the lie that they are meant to live in the pits. So they decide to settle and get comfortable.

But that is not the best God has for you. He never intended for His people to live in dark pits:

Again, Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).

And in another place, He says:

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a basket, but on a candlestick. And it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:14-16).

Our purpose as believers in Christ is to serve as a light to others. So if one of us chooses to live in darkness, then the kingdom is dim in that specific place, affecting those who reside near it.

So what are some steps to take to get out of a pit?

1. Never get comfortable in pits. As God's child, your place is as a "city on a hill," a place where His glory in you is clearly seen. You are not meant to live in a pit. However, you will remain there unless you can see where you are meant to be. Put your mental focus on how to get out of the pit rather than how to get comfortable in it. To get out, you must want to get out.

2. Ask for the Holy Spirit's wisdom to get out. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit came to live in you as a Helper (John 14:26). He is the ultimate source of wisdom, strength, and power in a believer's life. If you do not know how to get out of your particular pit, then ask Him. Many times, the problem isn't that we don't know the answer of how to get out of the pit, it's that we don't like the answer! So we don't do it because we don't like it. However, freedom is on the other side of the answer and that fact won't change.

3. Identify mental resistance to getting out. I read a story once about a man who negotiated freedom for two women caught up in prostitution. He paid the price for their freedom. Yet when it was time to go, one of the women ran back into the place of her bondage because she forgot her cell phone! She refused to leave unless she had it. Many refuse to leave the pit because they have been deceived into thinking the pit has something they need to live. If you are resisting getting out of the pit, then ask the Lord to show you the source of your resistance so you can deal with it.

4. Take the first step out. Once the way out is revealed, fear or feeling overwhelmed may try to convince you that it is safer to stay in the pit. Once again, remind yourself that the pit is not your home. Some people may not leave the pit unless they can see the entire path out first. However, you don't need to see the entire path to get moving; you just need to be faithful, stand up and take the first step you do see. Once you stand up, you can see more than you could just sitting there.

5. Get assistance from someone who has found the way outIn our culture, we celebrate an independent, go-it-alone, I-did-it-my-way attitude. But that is not God's way. God's way is that we live in interdependence with other believers. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, "For if they fall, then one will help up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has no one to help him up." We have a support group in the Take Back Your Temple program because we recognize that we all fall sometimes. To make progress, we need others who can encourage us and assist us in getting back up.

Remember this freeing mindset: "This pit is not my home." Refuse to make living in pits your normal way of life. Take the place that God has prepared for you.

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may declare the goodness of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9).

Get out of that pit and proclaim His praise!

 Kimberly Taylor can testify of God's healing power to end binge eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

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