Whenever a disappointment in life remains unresolved, a thin layer of pain is formed over the heart. Over time, and as more and more layers of pain are added, the heart grows heavier and harder. Eventually, a person ends up with a heart of stone.
Anyone or anything that attempts to penetrate its exterior is met with harsh, cold rage. These disappointments range in size—from smaller ones, such as a mom forgetting to give their child a promised ice cream cone, to larger ones like a dad telling a child that he is ashamed of them and wished you had never been born.
But even after a lifetime of mismanaged disappointments that have turned into anger, there’s hope to calm anger.
The actual object of anger must be confirmed. Most of the stuff that creates anger isn’t what a person is furious about. Those are just the triggers that set in motion the wheels of angry behavior. A driver might falsely accuse some out-of-control motorist of their anger when, in fact, it often goes much deeper than that. (more…)
Many people want to change their lives, but there’s a difference between wanting to change and taking steps to change. Change is possible. But first, a person must be willing to change. When obstacles arise (and they will), it’s tempting to throw in the towel altogether. Instead, by changing one’s mindset, it’s possible to change one’s life for the better.
When someone sees the need for change, they have reached illumination. It is, to be precise, a light-bulb moment—the point at which a person finally understands their situation in a whole new way. As Ephesians 5:8 (MSG) says, “You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So, no more stumbling around. Get on with it.” (more…)
At 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!
- 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…)
Many 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…)
Grief can be misunderstood by many. But the most important truth about grief is that the grieving process is not going to end all of the pain. It can be devastating to lose a person who is very significant in someone’s life. People can also go through a loss of the way they view themselves or the way other people are going to view them.
When Steve Arterburn, founder of New Life Ministries, went through a divorce, he experienced a great deal of loss. In his grieving, he had to address his insecurity and fear of the future. But more than anything, it was the loss of a safe and intact home for his 12-year-old daughter that hurt him.
While he describes his sadness as feeling different now than it did then, he acknowledges that it’s still there. (more…)