The dictionary defines “friend” as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.”
This definition is accurate, as far as it goes. But when one examines the deeper meaning of friendship, many more descriptors come to mind such as trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, encouragement, humor, and cheerfulness, to mention but a few. A trusted friend can help someone discover God’s unfolding purposes for their life. Seek a friend who is wise, honest, and encouraging.
Suppose one genuinely wants to strengthen one’s character. In that case, one must build closer relationships with people who want to do the same. (more…)
Is it time to make amends? Does it seem intimidating? It can be hard to make amends because pride, shame, and embarrassment can get in the way. However, the Bible commands us to make amends. Matthew 5:23 says, “If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar and…someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”
Not only does the Bible require making amends, but so do the 12 Steps. Life Recovery Step 9 says, “We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Here are some suggestions on what to do—and say—when making amends.
1. Start with a heartfelt apology. (more…)
One in 8 children live in households with at least one parent who has a substance abuse disorder, according to the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. A child who grows up with a parent who has an addiction must deal with it as best they can—even if it means developing unhealthy ways of coping that lead into adulthood and are hard to let go of.
But where there seems to be no way, God can make a way! Isaiah 43:19b (NLT) says, “I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Here are some common struggles adult children of addicts face, and how to overcome them. (more…)
Ever wonder why God forgives a person who puts their faith in Him and wipes their slate clean but doesn’t instantly change their character?
God doesn’t automatically transform a person’s character because He expects them to do the demanding work it takes to follow Christ.
The life of a follower of Christ is often depicted in the Bible as a field to cultivate:
Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you. — Hosea 10:12, NLT
Likewise, a follower of Christ must work hard to grow spiritually and become fruitful. (more…)
Self-control is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “restraint exercised over one’s impulses, emotions, or desires.”
But self-control doesn’t come naturally for most people. It can be difficult not to give in to triggers and temptations. Old habits die hard; healthy habits take work. It’s easy to get through the end of a hard day and feel entitled to spend the evenings escaping by turning to overeating, watching porn, or on the couch binge-watching television or playing video games.
Where does self-control come from? The Bible teaches that self-control comes from two things.
First, it’s a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (more…)