It’s our overwhelming need for being free from blame that drives us into a weak place when something bad happens to us. For peace of mind we seem to need the reassurance that we are not to blame and so it is natural for us to Read the rest of this entry
|Eric Kounssays, “And finally, even as God is able to forgive only those who recognize their need of His forgiveness and call upon Him for it, we are able to offer forgiveness only to those who acknowledge their offense and request it (Luke 17:1-4). “Forgiveness” which is not acknowledged and received by the offending party is not genuine forgiveness at all. It may make us feel better, but it is not really forgiveness.”One of our discerning readers has raised an important and very practical question which needs to be considered, “How would you counsel a Christian who has been sexually abused by his father, for example, where the issue has never been reconciled?”|
Some years ago, when I was pastor of a small, rural church, the wife of one of our elders developed a serious illness from which she died within two years. At an elders’ meeting shortly after her diagnosis, her husband shared with us the difficulty he was experiencing in dealing with this situation. At that point another elder put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and said something like, “I know what you must be feeling just now.”
- How To Be Offended, Resentful and Forgiven All At Once. (citesimon.com)
- Can You Forgive Abusers You've Escaped? (authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com)
- The Elusive Hobgoblin of Self-Forgiveness (recoveringwayward.wordpress.com)
“If ya knew what’d happened to me yer’d stop all that sissy pretty talk! Life’s tough so I can’t take the risk of change.”
Sometimes we have to tightly grip life, doing whatever we feel we must to survive. “I’m living in a prison of my past – what others did to me – how can I ever let that go?”
Like Brian in our last post we have formed our self-image on our own. People tell us things and we immediately filter them through our perceptions, rejecting what doesn’t fit. They say we are so good at doing something but we know better and continue to flog ourselves because it isn’t perfect (on our standards.) They say we are gifted, we know we are a klutz. They say we’re beautiful, but we think they’re just trying too hard to be nice. Ever noticed that our strongest self-perceptions tend to be negative? We have this need to hear positive things yet immediately reject what we hear as being untrue or too candy-coated. Why does the beauty queen struggle with anorexia? How small must she get before she realizes that she isn’t even close to being overweight? What she hears and what she thinks are worlds apart. She doesn’t hold the monopoly on that problem of perception versus reality. Apparently asking or selectively listening to others provides little help in cross-checking our perceptions of ourselves. Read the rest of this entry
Seven reasons to get buzzed:
- I like the feeling
- It helps me feel good about myself
- It just happens when I don’t pay attention to what I’ve had
- It helps me socialize, relax and beat my natural shyness
- It’s what my friends expect of me
- It’s my habit
- It’s my way of rebelling against parental and peer control
You can probably add other reasons that push a person to drink too much alcohol. We don’t have to agree with a person’s reasons but we are forced to recognize that its reasons like these which govern our choices. Some see the decision to drink alcohol as an open / shut case based on a predetermined position of right or wrong. Others see it as being more nuanced and situational. Some simply throw caution to the wind.
Last blog raised the issue that we all need a transformational encounter with God. It sounds so easy but it is also messy and personally challenging. We will never beat our own alcohol issues or be able to help our family and friends with theirs until we begin the process of personal transformation. Facing our issues instead of hiding them is the reality of faith. Such an encounter demands a confidence in Jesus – conditional love doesn’t hack it.
But letting go is hard to do! How do you let go? It can be incredibly hard for those who have been hurt to ever let go of it and risk getting hurt again – this becomes a barrier to faith and a prison to life. We are locked into the past and unwilling to take the risk of breaking free from it. What is ahead is not clear to us, others say it is ok but they haven’t experienced what we’ve been through and they are not risking what we must risk.