This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has on one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:12-13
What is love?
Theologians, musicians, writers, and even Hollywood directors, have attempted to define, explain, and quantify love throughout history. But there has yet to be a consensus reached so far.
When it comes down to it, however, love is a choice.
A person can choose to act lovingly toward others or selfishly toward them. There is no mistaking that the foundation of genuine love is not feelings that change from day to day, from week to week, and sometimes even from moment to moment. There is no doubt that true love requires effort because it is a decision—one must be willing to do their part to build a lasting relationship. (more…)
Shame 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…)
Are you going through a crisis right now? Though your circumstances may seem bleak, take heart—there’s hope! You may be discontent right now during these hard times you are going through. The Apostle Paul struggled with difficult days, too, but he learned that it’s possible to be content with very little. 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” Here are some tips to help you find contentment in a crisis.
1. Ask for Help.
Since going through a crisis is difficult, if not impossible, you may need to get help. If you need resources, whether it is financial, spiritual, or something else, your church may be a good place to start. (more…)
Have you taken an inventory of your life? The purpose of taking an inventory of your life is to face the truth about yourself. Truth is the opposite of denial. By putting the truth in writing, you demonstrate that you are ready to break free from the patterns and behaviors of denial.
But taking an inventory isn’t easy. Facing the truth is painful because you must also face the reality of what you have lost in your life due to your shortcomings. It’s never easy to look at your deceits, abuses, shame, and disappointments. But even though this is a time of discomfort, know that the steps of recovery will lead you to humility and to live a life full of happiness. It may not feel that way as you work on your inventory, but those who have made the journey before you will testify to that truth.
When Jesus came to earth, He brought with Him “grace and truth” (John 1:14, ESV). Here’s how the New Living Translation puts it: (more…)