Lessons From Untangling Yarn

274188732_603e536a16_zMany years ago, when I was around nine years old, my Grandmother taught me to crochet. When I took it up again several years ago, to refresh my memory and teach my daughter, I found it to be quite relaxing. Of late, I have been working on a head-covering for my daughter and decided to try using a lace-weight yarn that came in a twisted skein. I was unfamiliar with this method of packaging and neglected to research the proper method to untwist and use this yarn. Not only did I fail to untwist it properly, I also dropped it in the process and created a huge mess of tangled, super-fine yarn.

Since then, I have been working for quite some time on getting the yarn untangled. Oddly enough, this has also been a rather relaxing exercise as I work to untangle the unruly mass; slowly, bit-by-bit. While working on this project one day, it came to me how this applies to our lives and recovery efforts as we work to untangle the various messes that have developed in our lives. This is particularly true when addicts look to clean up their lives after having spent so much of their lives lying and deceiving others while trying to hide and/or minimize their activities. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

There are likely any number of parallels between the physical untangling of yarn and the efforts required to untangle the webs of lies that have been woven as we struggled to conceal our addictions. However, I am going to focus on just two: The need for good, strong light; and the need for clear vision.

Good Light
Just as light is essential for seeing to untangle yarn, so we need The Light both to see and stay on the correct path, and to point out what areas of our lives require our attention: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 NKJV), and “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23 & 24).

Clear Vision
If you have ever experienced blurred vision or had an eyelash in your eye, you know how hard it would be to see clearly enough to be effective, regardless of your project. In Luke 6:41 & 42, Jesus tells us the same is true on a spiritual level, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”

As Christians, we need to be especially careful and exercise great discernment. We need to make sure we are untangled from our own webs before trying to help someone else, just as we must take care not become too closely involved with them else we may be drawn into their web, leaving both in an even bigger mess. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1); 2 “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning” (2 Peter 2:20).

In General
When seeking assistance in untangling the issues and messes in our lives, we must be careful whom we turn to for help. We need to ensure those who declare to be Christians, claiming to be desirous of providing help or counsel, are fully following God and His Word. In Matthew 7:15 we are warned to, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Likewise, Paul tells us not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14 & 15). We must rely on God, His Word, and His leading us through the Holy Spirit rather than relying solely on the methods and theories of people, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Given enough time, and patient perseverance, even the toughest of knots and the biggest of messes can be overcome through Christ.

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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2 Responses to Lessons From Untangling Yarn

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very good analogy Scott. Keeping our eyes on Christ and striving to be more like him each day.

    Liked by 1 person

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