12 Steps to Growing Your Faith

12 Steps to Growing Your Faith

  1. Confess any shortcomings.
    Confession means “to agree with” God what is true about one’s condition. One must stop blaming others and excusing themselves. When an individual asks God for forgiveness, “He is faithful and just to forgive” them (1 John 1:9, NLT). Only when someone confesses that they are stuck will they begin to get unstuck and start to grow in their faith.
  2. Admit any failures.
    No one can save themselves. One must come to the end of themselves, admit their failures, and say, “God, I’ve failed in my attempts to change and to get better.” But if someone tries to overcome their problems by willpower alone, they will fail. Instead of trying harder, they must admit they are weak, and then they’ll find strength in the Lord. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says Christ’s “power works best in weakness.”
  3. Get help from God. (more…)

Are You Chasing the Wind?

Are You Chasing the Wind?Ever turn to a toxic habit to escape? Steve Arterburn describes it this way, “Addiction is a radical commitment to escape reality.” In many ways, addiction is like chasing after the wind—one can feel the wind but never hold it.

Addiction always begins as an experiment. Someone starts by trying to taste life’s pleasures and find fun and excitement to escape their pain. They attempt to find fulfillment by using drugs, alcohol, overeating, shopping, porn, working excessively, or something else.

Though they find temporary relief from the pain by using what they believe they can control, the pain returns, and it’s much worse than before. (more…)

We Repeat What We Don’t Repair

We Repeat What We Don’t Repair“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…)

Forgiveness Lightens the Load

Forgiveness Lightens the LoadBe 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…)

Writing Off the Debts People Owe

Writing Off the Debts People OweSome 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…)

Recovering Accountability

Recovering AccountabilityWhat’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…)