CCEF recap: David Powlison’s “Escape to Reality”


Sunday morning, David Powlison gave a plenary talk entitled, “Escape to Reality.” He used 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 as his launch text. It was vintage David, chalk full of many examples of both soft and hard addictions. One could easily take his 10 points (which I don’t have exactly because I was sitting with my son who was lounging across me) and turn them into a 10 week bible study or SS class. As I remember them, he made the following points about the path back to reality:

1. Wake up (to see God, self, and other)
2. Own up (without excuse)
3. Stop the Death spiral (sin, guilt, and shame all tempt us inward. But we see in Christ, someone who is able to stay connected to God and other on the Cross even with the pain)
4. Connect to others (We need others to talk to so that we hear ourselves and get good feedback) SO, ask for help!
5. Ask for forgiveness (and none of that, “If I hurt you…” kind of half hearted repentance)
6. Forgive those who have hurt you
7. Rethink the problem of pain (pain shouldn’t be ignored or used as excuse)
8. Rethink the problem of pleasure (we vacillate between workaholism and overindulging in pleasure. We are made for pleasure but within bounds)
9. Re-evaluate the struggle. When someone shows signs of stopping addictive behaviors. Maybe they only go into a rage 3 times in a week instead of 12. That’s something to celebrate. But of course the struggle continues and there’s more to repent.

Um, I’m missing the tenth. Someone there remember what it was?

4 Comments

Filed under addiction, biblical counseling, Biblical Reflection, counseling, Forgiveness

4 responses to “CCEF recap: David Powlison’s “Escape to Reality”

  1. Tom

    Point number 10 I believe was: Don’t just fight – Build. Squeeze sin out by the good.

  2. Heather Deans

    10. “Don’t just fight. Build.” One of the ways sin leaves our house is by being squeezed out by good. You see that people are changing when they start helping others; those people have become real to them instead of objects to be feared, used, ignored. Also, my favorite, “the sweet taste of the light tastes so good that sin flavor begins to taste bitter”.

  3. Ellen Lee

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks so much for presenting at the conference. I appreciated your talk. Here are my notes from point #10 of Powlison’s talk. Enjoy.

    10. Don’t just fight, Build!

    Sin just doesn’t get removed by pushing it out, but by being squeezed out!
    As you do something different that’s good, there’s just simply less room for the sin to remain.
    As you fill the room with light, there’s less room for darkness.
    Start to care for other people –> then I start to notice other people, to know them, love them and begin to have something to give away.
    “Seek the good of your neighbor.” – do to this we need nothing less than the Savior and the resurrection power of the Lord.
    As you see what is really good by caring for people and seeing new things, the taste for bad things lessen. Why would I want the junk food when I’ve tasted the truly good?

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