10 Truths About Forgiveness

10 Truths About ForgivenessIs it possible for a person to forgive the unforgivable by someone they once trusted and loved? Yes! Through the grace of God, it’s possible to ignore even the worse of offenses. But because there are many myths out there, it’s essential to understand the truth about forgiveness.

  1. Forgiveness always involves the moral side of life. It consists of a sense of right and wrong, fairness and justice. It also includes a sense of love, compassion, and mercy. When someone violates a person with a seemingly unforgivable act, at least some of the victim’s values have been broken.
  2. No matter how just it may seem, revenge can never bring satisfaction. After all, it can never replace what has been destroyed. It also brings the offended down to the level of the offender. Staying with vengeful thoughts is like playing an endless—and painful—video repeatedly. (more…)

Shame vs. Conviction: Knowing the Difference

Shame and convictionShame and conviction are two different concepts, but they can be hard to differentiate. Shame can easily masquerade itself as a conviction. In addition, both produce powerful emotional reactions that result in changed behavior. Shame is a negative emotion that combines feelings of dishonor, unworthiness, and embarrassment, while true conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion. Knowing the difference is at the heart of the battle in dealing successfully with addiction. Therefore, it’s essential to understand where the resulting behaviors come out of shame and conviction lead.

In some ways, the effects of shame can be like the effects of erosion. Over the years, water can accumulate and create erosion. For example, the impact of corrosion on a dam is easy to see because the water can tear away the dam’s walls, making a small canyon for the water to escape through. (more…)

Recovery and Spending

Recovery and SpendingMany in recovery find they need to set limits on their spending habits. Often, they will include financial accountability as part of their commitment to healing in general. Although addictions have dramatic effects on some individual’s finances, for many, their influence is more subtle and may lie ‘under the radar.’

Financial issues often surface when the person with the addiction begins to gain some control over their recovery by maintaining more extended periods of sobriety. As they start to feel victorious over their unhealthy habits, they may increase spending on gadgets, hobbies, or other compulsive purchases. In recovery, a relationship with God must become the primary focus. If someone is pursuing materialism, their financial idols will come into conflict with their spiritual walk.

Just as people handle finances reveals their true values, it also shows how they manage their lives. (more…)

Making Amends With Family

Making Amends With FamilyWhen someone is in recovery, how do they begin to restore relationships of those hurt by their addiction? Life Recovery Step 8 says, We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” Making amends is a requirement in recovery. Yet, the person offended can choose to accept or reject the amends and restore the relationship.

Remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son? When the prodigal son moved home, he had to make amends. He left home to find his freedom and hurt his family as he made this choice. He didn’t handle that kind of freedom well, though, and “he wasted all his money in wild living” (Luke 15:13, NLT).

No doubt, as the prodigal son headed back home, he rehearsed what he would say. He may have identified what sins he had committed against God and his family, then he confessed it. Finally, because of his betrayal, he saw his unworthiness, an accurate picture of himself. It was no longer about him; he no longer cared just about himself. He was ready now to see the reality of his condition. (more…)

Surrendering

SurrenderingAt the point of surrender, one stops doing all that is within their power to do to fix their problems and asks God to give them His power to recover. They stop trying to control other people. Get into recovery. Address childhood traumas. And allow God to heal the wounds of their souls.

Surrendering means no longer fighting, pushing, or justifying—in other words, it is the refusal to stay in denial or blame another. Here’s another way to put it: Surrendering is giving up all excuses for their problems and looking to God as the ultimate resource. A surrendered heart no longer looks for justification to use a substance or have an unhealthy habit.

When someone eventually realizes that the road they’re on is hurting them more than the false comfort and help they’re receiving from it, they realize that to stay on this road is to choose further heartache and destruction. (more…)