“A physical wound must be cleaned and medicated rather than ignored.
Emotional wounds also need attention. They don’t simply just fade away.” – Steve Arterburn
Many children are taught to stuff their emotions down. They’re often told to stop crying. And if they do reveal their feelings, anger is the emotion that surfaces, usually in the form of a big tantrum. This might’ve worked as a child—it doesn’t work as an adult. Yet, some adults still haven’t learned to deal with the wounds causing their outbursts.
If someone doesn’t repair the damage done to them, they repeat it. For example, parenting will trigger unprocessed emotions from childhood. Just ask any parent! Adulting, many times, displays the unhealed wounds of the past, even if someone isn’t a parent. Recognizing there is healing to be done is the first step to a better life. (more…)
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32
What’s one of the hardest words in the Bible to hear? Forgiveness.
It’s painful for most people because it involves releasing someone who has hurt them. However, when someone holds onto their hurts, it is a burden that becomes very heavy. But when people learn to forgive themselves and others, it lightens their load.
Jesus came to provide a way to receive forgiveness for sins. One can be free from the weight of their regrets and mistakes, and yet, they can still struggle with the idea of extending that same release to others. They either want justice or revenge. And the offender should understand the pain they caused those they’ve hurt. (more…)
Some people keep a long list of all the wrongs that people have done. They are still holding others accountable for the debt they owe from years ago. Another way to describe this is unforgiveness.
For the person who holds onto unforgiveness, the one they’re hurting the most is themselves. One must learn to let go and erase that ledger of debt; then, and only then, will they be released from the pain that has held them captive all these years.
Jesus told a story to address this situation:
A king wanted to make his accounts current. So, one of his debtors, who owed him a million dollars, was brought before him. When the man begged for forgiveness, the king felt pity for him. (more…)
What’s one of the biggest challenges in trying to overcome addiction? It’s when the person suffering from addiction believes they know what is best for themselves. So, they detach from others because they don’t want anyone telling them what to do. As a result, they continue blindly down the same road of destruction that brought them under the power of dependency.
To get off the road to destruction, a person must recover accountability in their lives. The Webster’s Dictionary defines accountability as: “the quality or state of being held accountable: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” In other words, it involves a willingness to be held accountable to an expressed outcome—purity and integrity.
Accountability is when individuals struggling with addiction and dependency connect to others so they can fight against something that, at least for a moment, is more powerful than they are. Ultimately, it provides support in a battle to be fought together. (more…)
What will a person battling addiction do to stop using? The first thing they may do is try to correct their behavior. Therefore, they will white-knuckle it, try another weight loss program, read self-help books, or turn to another addiction.
Most programs, self-help methods, and diets often only focus on one thing: correction. While correcting behavior is very important—including lifestyle changes getting enough rest, exercising, and growing spiritually—very few focus on the one key element that needs to occur for all the other steps: connection!
Without connection with other people, it is almost impossible for anyone battling an addiction to change their daily routine behaviors that have become rituals and patterns. Connection is more important than correction because it brings accountability, support, awareness, and growth and deepens a person’s relationship with God and others. (more…)
What is courage? Mark Twain described it best when he wrote, “Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”
In recovery, one must have the courage to look inside. Is it scary? Yes. But someone stuck in addiction must face their authentic self. Their real self is lurking in the dark underneath whatever it is that they’ve tried to ignore, deny, or cover-up. It’s so much easier for someone to focus on the darkness of other hearts, but it’s much harder to look at the darkness of one’s heart.
Psalm 32 mentions freedom comes from facing the darkness inside and letting it out into the light. The release comes from having the courage to look inside. In the New Living Translation, verse five says, “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (more…)