Dropping the H-Bomb

Dropping the H-BombThere’s no crying in baseball,” said Tom Hanks’ character (Jimmy) in the movie, A League of Their Own. Sadly, it’s not just baseball where people are encouraged to be strong and push their emotions down but in all areas of life.

For example, in recovery, help is a challenging word. Why? Most people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. The fear of the H-word goes back to the Garden of Eden. Adam told God, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid” (Genesis 3:10, NIV).

From the world’s perspective, a person who asks for help is weak. But from God’s perspective, a person who asks for help is brave—after all, they are courageous enough to admit they can’t make it on their own. (more…)

The Loophole of Denial

The Loophole of DenialDenial is a loophole that leads a person stuck in addiction to avoid the light of God. Denial provides them a way of alleviating the stress of their shame by refusing to face it. Shame is an intense fear of being—it is a corrosive belief that one is fatally flawed, unlovable, and deserving of rejection from others who are deemed worthy and perceived as merciless all at once.

If a person with an unhealthy habit does not face the pain that their addiction has caused themselves and others, they will not confess or own up to it. As a result, they will continue to turn to their addiction to find momentary relief from the burden of their shame.

Shame, however, may allow a person struggling with addiction to focus attention on the welfare of God and others above their own. (more…)

6 Tips to Dig Out the Roots of Bitterness

6 Tips to Dig Out the Roots of BitternessAt some point, everyone gets victimized. While a victim is not to blame, they must take responsibility for their own healing. If not, a root of bitterness can spring up. Hebrews 12:15 (NLT) offers this warning, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” If bitterness has already taken root, is there any hope? Yes! It’s not too late to dig these dangerous roots out!

  1. Identify the Wound That Planted the Bitterness.
    Bitterness can develop from hurt or a wound that has never healed. Look inside to determine what damage may be causing resentment toward someone or something. (more…)

Beauty in the Broken Places

Beauty in the Broken PlacesAt that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.
So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” – Genesis 3:7

One of the blessings that came from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden was brokenness. How can brokenness be a blessing? As a natural outcome of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, shame caused Adam and Eve to want to hide. When God discovered Adam and Eve’s sin, they ran from Him. Adam and Eve moved out of the light and into the darkness to conceal their sin and shame. But God sought them out to redeem their brokenness.

Adam and Eve put on fig leaves to hide their nakedness until God gave them animal skins to wear as clothing. God provided lovingly for them in the depth of their shame. But they weren’t the only ones to put on fig leaves. Since then, every person after them has also tried to cover their shame. Why? Because people hide in the wilderness instead of seeking God’s presence, thinking they are too broken. It simply is not valid.

When it comes to addiction, a person stuck in addiction will first try to hide from God. That is because of shame—it makes people judge and condemn themselves. (more…)

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…)