"Why don't you just quit?" That's a question an alcoholic has never heard before...right. The addict has never thought of that either. People that do not suffer from either of these problems make statements like this. They really think they have no bad habits or addictions. They do. Somewhere on this list, they are found.
Somewhere YOU are on this list, maybe more than once. I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the fallen human race. We all have parts that need replaced or repaired. (If you are sure you have NO addiction and completely well, professional help is advised.)
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Rom. 7:18
On the above list, which of these do you think God disapproves of the most? (probably the one you don't have) In Proverbs 6, the writer give a short list that covers the above. He hates sin. The playing field is even for us. No finger pointing, not even toward heinous sins unnamed above. Why don't we just quit?
There are three things I feel that lead the list for our inability to live in freedom. Each character defect, sin, short-coming, and vice have to be dealt with individually. For that to happen, we need to see them first. That can only happen through admission that we need to be free, finding what it takes to obtain that freedom, then "name it and claim it." Don't hide it any longer, make the move, get the help, take the road to freedom.
Why the Failure
The three things I see are: 1.) Denial 2.) No desire 3.) Pride
You may see three different things and that's cool, this is just the three I seem to deal with personally, as well as those I work with in recovery.
Denial is our attempt to hide the problem from everyone, including ourselves. Sometimes it is hidden well. A chronic complainer or someone who talks negative all the time don't know they are complaining or negative. Another aspect of denial is we know about an issue but if we address it, people won't think we are perfect. "The family has flaws." They already know...you think they don't.
No desire to get well is simply the pain has not reached the unbearable point. The alcoholic/addict doesn't dream of help without pain through loss of relationships, jobs, things, or no way to feed that addiction. Incarceration doesn't do the trick for most of these. When the cell door swings open to freedom, they go back to the habit. The codependent's pain doesn't reach miserable until their addiction lands them in bankruptcy or divorce court.
Pride driven by fear makes sure we do not seek help. We know about the problem, but we are sure we can will-power it away. Pride tells anyone and everyone they don't need help, they fly solo.
Followers of Christ have two ways out. Prayer and the Word. When we pray for God to expose anything that displeases Him, He does. We may not like the method He uses, but if after we pray, a brother or sister in Christ may come to us and shares something in private they think we need to address about ourselves, don't kill the messenger. Remember, you asked God to beam a light on anything displeasing to Him.
The second thing is the Word. Ps 119:130 says, "The entrance of Your Word gives light; It gives understanding to the simple." The light of the written word shines a light on us, exposing the sin that besets us. Making the Living Word and prayer a part of our daily life, will give direction, and keep us from failing to overcome these sins and defects. Don't ask anyone, "why don't you just quit," anymore. It exposes your own failure to find freedom.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Most times it is good to just be you, no façade, not trying to impress anyone, just you. If you want others to like you, be real. Most people can smell a phony a mile away. There is something unearthly about a phony. Most people considered to be phony only really fool themselves. Being you, however, implies honesty, integrity, someone trustworthy.
There is a problem with being yourself all of the time. If left to my own devices, I carry being myself right into complacency, no thought of anyone else. "Sorry, that's just how I feel, and I don't feel like it." These statements can take an individual having success in recovery down into a dangerous neighborhood...their mind. This statement is a big sobriety killer; "I cannot help it, that's just the way I AM."
Graced with sobriety gives the recovering from addictions a wonderful sense of "mission," something they need to accomplish. Often this feeling comes from the gratitude of freedom from the enslaved way of living for drugs and alcohol. Suddenly, helping others becomes easy and desirable. Yet, many in recovery forget, and become slothful, and return to self-serving...being themselves.
Short Hall of Fame
If Bill Wilson had just been himself, AA, those twelve steps to recovery may have never developed. Similar steps used by so many different recovery programs. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, had she been herself, a generation would have never known her kindness, let alone her example set for others to follow serving the poor and destitute. Name others? Paul, Peter, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Patrick, Florence, and on, and on, people who lived selflessly.
Insert Humor Here:
The song playing in hell right now, and for eternity: "I've Got to Be Me."
"Sorry, that's not the way 'I AM." Really, 'I AM just not that type of person. I don't go into hospitals to visit. That is not my calling."- complacent believers
"I am what I am... that's all that I am." - Popeye
"I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam I AM."= Sam, I Am. (Seuss)
The True I AM
"God replied to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." Ex.3:14 (NLT)
..."I AM the Bread of Life, whoever come to Me will never hunger again." -Jesus Jn.6:35
"I AM the Light of the World"... -Jesus Jn.8:12
Being yourself is admission that "I'm no different than you." That is not being phony or self-serving. Looking for a job, joining a group, or just fitting in...be yourself. In recovery, or helping others, or donating time and money, don't be you. That's much less than impressive. Be Jesus, bring Him into everything you do.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Taking the time to think can be good for anyone. Seldom does spontaneous reaction lead to anything good. When it does, it normally makes headlines. I doubt that my blogs, or anything I do would be of that caliber. I have something brewing in my inner-self that I may have per-maturely mentioned a couple of posts ago regarding M25 project.
..."I was in prison, and you visited me." Matt.25:36
I have been in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction for eight years now. Throughout those years, I have become acquainted with many ex-cons, as well as several inmates, and those who are working with the like. This may or may not shock you, but there are 7,200,000 people in the USA, that are either incarcerated, or on parole or probation. There are 2,000,000 children that have parents in the prison system, their average age is eight years old.
I want to help. Many of these inmates are just like you and I. Some people think, "if you are in prison, you belong there." I think, "if you think you're better, you are in a prison of your own making...in your cold, judgmental heart." I understand that many belong in prison, and it is God's grace that many are there. His grace to law-abiding citizen's, and even to prisoners an opportunity to rehab their criminal ways. It works for some, not for all.
My time to think has brought me to the realization that blogging, book-writing are all fine and good, and I intend to continue to do so on a limited basis. My wife Judy and I are purposing to get involved with Prison Fellowship, helping where we can.
We are of the understanding that prisoners are full of desire to be released, but fearful of release as well. They are scared of returning to old friends, neighborhoods, and habits. Few places offer jobs to felons, even though their felony was not violent, or related to anything that could be considered a reason not to give them a job. No job, no prospects for one, no place to live, no help, no hope.
I do not expect everyone else to feel as we do. Please do not judge the convicted. They have been judged and sentenced. If doing as Christ said those who enter into His kingdom will do is motivation enough for you, stay tuned. Perhaps we can work together. Or, you may consider visiting the sick, or elderly, or donating to the needy. We all can have a part in being doers of the Word, and not hearers only.
If you have interest in helping, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and it may take a few days for me to respond, but I will do so after I the idea we have in letter form. If you want to remain anonymous, say so.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
In a hurry, trying to make things happen is definitely a character defect I struggle with. When I was younger, I loved to read motivational books, listen to motivational speakers...they seemed to give me a "YES I CAN" attitude, instead of the, "geez, I don't know if...
One problem these books and tapes presented for me was that I could easily jump the gun, and make snap-decisions without playing out the scenario. Projects, no matter how noble, could never be finished because "I Can" had no knowledge of "how to." Starting a project, even if it is a God-given idea, does not guarantee success if the idea isn't mapped out, discussed with the wise, and researched.
"The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces." Prov.10:8 NLT
"If you ignore criticism you will end up in poverty and disgrace. If you accept correction, you will be honored. Prov.13:17 NLT
When I was in the process of writing "Under The Influence," I had several friends read over what I was writing. My daughter-in-law Lora, also read quite a few pages, and my wife Judy, read most of the book. That help was key, and needed badly. Did something happen after the book was published, that I no longer need advice?
I am still a work in progress, as we all are. A lesson learned, may need to be re-learned. I still have knee-jerk reactions to ideas, even God-sent ideas. So it is with my previous blog regarding the M25 project. This idea, as important as it may be to families, individuals, and communities, needs the wisdom of many. So, if you expected me to spill the beans, I cannot just yet.
I rolled out of bed this morning, landed on my knees, and asked for help...."God, will you please fix me today?" I really need His help, His wisdom, His will, not mine. Nothing else matters.
God isn't first on my priority list. The motivational guys and gals have that wrong. God is not reduced to a list I make. It is GOD EVERYTHING, everyone else can be on my list.
Patience, counsel, and prayer far out-weigh positive motivation for a guy like me.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!
Of the many, many, many good things Christians do, some are only relevant to their particular local church community. There is nothing to criticize when a program within a particular church is began to promote the gospel, edify members to grow spiritually as a family, and bring glory to God. Despite the constant abuse from secular media, Christians are vital to this, and every society globally.
Christians are first at the scene of major disasters. Their donations dwarf those of secular social groups. They are in the urban areas with soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, and food banks and free stores with clothing. This is fulfilling Christ's commission doing the Word, not merely reading and hearing the Word.
M25: The right hand, or the left hand.
Jesus knew His time was short, and was giving His disciples some final teachings. In Matthew 25, this about what their reward would be, from their, and our following His example, believing in Him, and reaching out to others in His name.
"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you cared for me. I WAS IN PRISON, and you visited me.'
Then these righteous ones will reply. 'Lord, when we ever find you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty....naked, a stranger, sick in prison?'
And the King will say, ' I tell you the truth, when you did it to the LEAST of these, my brothers and my sisters, you were doing it to ME!" Matthew 25:34-40
All of the programs we develop in service to others, must come second fiddle to the words of Christ. Also, we cannot say, on that day we stand before God, "we gave at the office, the government took it right out of my check." As followers of Jesus, the priority is in the passage above, the hungry, thirsty, the needy, the prisoner, the sick.
The one that is on my heart the most is probably the most ignored, are the prison inmates. I feel strongly for those in the "system", those being released, and those already released. Those released have major issues finding employment. They may be completely re-habbed, but are undesirable to most employers. Employers don't really understand that they have people working for them that belong in jail. The ex-con has done their time and want to prove themselves worthy to any company that is willing to take a chance on them.
Those in prison want to know hope more than anything. Most inmates have had no father in their lives...ever. And the greater portion of inmates have landed in their cell resulting from drug use and alcoholism.
M25: An idea, to be a doer of Christ's words.
My greatest concern is for those nearing release. They are scared, not so excited. "How can I stay out of here?" Or, "When I leave here, the only place I can go is back to the old neighborhood, the old friends, the old behaviors...nobody can help me." These are true concerns. These want to do better, live normal, like you and I.
I feel strongly that we can have a part in helping them. I wonder how many of you would be interested in helping a prisoner? An idea I has been in my head to help all three types mentioned above. I call this idea "The M25 Project." I hope that you, like me, have wanted to help all of these Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25. Here is an opportunity.
Today, I am prayerfully putting this idea together, and have sent an email to Prison Fellowship. Tonight, or perhaps tomorrow, I will post the idea here, and on my other site. Please pray that how I present this is received in the right manner to the readers. Stay tuned.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!