Category Archives: counseling

Homosexuality – Questions & Answers to Research

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1. Does Having Homosexual Fantasies Mean You Are Homosexual?

A homosexual is a person who has ONGOING erotic and romantic desire for, and sexual involvement with the same sex. To be ‘gay’ is more of a social (and political) statement, in which a homosexual person embraces a lifestyle and identity that is supportive of homosexuality. There are many people who do have homosexual feelings, but would not describe themselves as `gay’. There are people who have brief, experimental homosexual involvements, but that would not make them ‘homosexuals’.

The presence of routine homosexual fantasies would probably indicate some degree of homosexual orientation, stronger for some, less so for others. Such fantasies need not automatically result in life-long homosexual involvement. There are many people who have never acted on their homosexual attractions. However, like any appetite, the more one ‘feeds’ the urge (through pornography, fantasy and masturbation), the stronger the urge becomes. This will increase the chances for homosexual involvement. Should this occur, many male homosexuals particularly demonstrate an ever-increasing pattern of sexual encounters? It’s a matter of cultivation and conditioning. As sexual involvement becomes routine to frequent, a pattern similar to an addiction emerges: A life centered around sex, and a loss of control resulting in the person taking big risks to reputation and health – yet never really finding the long term love and intimacy so deeply craved. It is a frustrating and typical cycle that can, however, be broken with courage, determination and support.

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2. Are Homosexuals "Born" or "Made"?

Some homosexuals comfort themselves with the thought that their feelings could be biologically programmed within, beyond choice or any personal responsibility. Gay activists claim that homosexuals are born gay, and that homosexuality should therefore be viewed as normal and natural. Yet, others with a homosexual orientation feel trapped by such logic, fearing they are hopeless victims of a genetic fate they want no part of.

Certainly, people don’t choose to develop homosexual feelings. But that does not mean one is born pre-programmed to be forever homosexual. We are not bio-robots. And we cannot ignore environmental influences and our reactions to such influences. Even if some types of homosexuality occur as a ‘product’ of nature, does that make it desirable or normal? Nature produces a host of biologically influenced conditions, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, diabetes … but we don’t consider these `normal’ just because they occur ‘naturally’. So why is homosexuality given a different status? It is also worth noting that there are now some in the academic realm suggesting that adult sexual attraction to children could also be the product of an inherent biological influence. If proven true, would this mean we approve of sex between adults and children?

There are those who also believe that if homosexuality has a biological ‘origin’, then religious prohibitions against homosexual acts should be disregarded as irrelevant in the light of modern scientific discovery. Advocates of this thinking don’t understand however, that when a religion declares certain human behaviors to be wrong, such as homosexual acts, it doesn’t matter if there is a biological origin or not. In fact, such scientific discovery would only confirm what ancient religious writings already state: our present human condition is flawed, both biologically and psychologically. Religious writings make clear that humanity consequently struggles with many inherent and harmful weaknesses. Yet, it is also clear that we are intended to overcome and master our natural tendencies and weaknesses. Rather than justifying and indulging them habitually.

In spite of the many theories and even recent but in conclusive genetic and brain-related research, there is still no scientifically accepted evidence proving that homosexuals are "born gay". However, if science one day confirms a genetic or other hormonal bio-influence encouraging homosexual development, not all those involved in homosexuality would have this influence within them. And as has been clearly stated by genetic researchers, those with such a possible influence would not be obligated to be homosexual. For example, some scientists believe that there are people born with bio-influences toward alcoholism, drug addiction, criminal behavior and even divorce. But does that mean such persons are required to become, and therefore remain addicts and criminals? Biology may influence, but it doesn’t automatically justify every possible resulting behavior. Neither does it eliminate personal responsibility, will, conscience or our ability to choose whether we will control or be controlled by our weaknesses.

 

3. What Would Be Other Factors in Encouraging the Development of Homosexuality?

Science has yet to prove an absolute biological cause of all 10 types of homosexuality, however, there is data underscoring the view that some types of homosexuality are the result of problems in psychological development. Even though homosexuals may have differing backgrounds, many also have similar trends and patterns in their histories

83% of the men and almost 70% of the women reported being victims of sexual abuse or molest, before the age of 12. Additionally, well over 90% reported the sense of being neglected or unloved in childhood especially by the parent of the same sex. 40% reported physical abuse.

Another common trend in is an unfortunate history of being ridiculed and labeled ‘homosexual" during their pre-teen and teen years. Labeling has tremendous power to damage and alter self image. Abuse and neglect don’t necessarily result in homosexuality — but such experiences are universally typical of many who have sexual identity and orientation problems. I agree with many professionals who view stereotypical homosexuality as a symptom of arrested emotional and gender identity development. Why? It is clear from experts in developmental psychology, before children grow into healthy, heterosexual maturity; they pass through necessary "pre-heterosexual" phases or stages. After babyhood, but before adolescence, we must satisfactorily navigate through same-sex identification and bonding stage, (approximately between ages of 4-14 years). Accomplishing this security/identity building phase enables progress toward opposite sex relating.

The same-

sex phase is very observable, especially in boys, who, at the time, are not particularly romantically or sexually inclined toward girls, but are very concerned with and involved in same-sex relationships. Before boys grow up into men who "risk" their egos in pursuit of the opposite sex, they must first be identified with, accepted and affirmed as "one of the guys", by the rest of the guys.

Modern psychoanalytical research has well documented that when healthy parent-child bonding does not occur in early childhood, a deficit or "hunger" for love and security is created. It is especially damaging when the child and parent of the same sex do not effectively bond (for whatever reasons). The child’s identity and security in sender role will not properly develop. This in turn will affect — perhaps even sabotage — future relating with peers of both the same and opposite sex. In such cases, the child is often unable to conform to, or be comfortable with expected gender-role performance. This sense of ‘difference’ further alienates the child from engaging in satisfying relationships which should serve to solidify security and identity.

The resulting hunger for love and security is painful and the need for identity completion makes the child very vulnerable. A child in this situation is driven or compelled to compensate in some way for what is `missing’. Typically, the child emotionally detaches from the same-sex parent (abandons hope) and focuses onto the next perceived source of emotional and identity-securing nourishment: same sex peers. This pre-homosexual condition emerges as exaggerated yearnings toward the same sex: a desire to be wanted, cherished and protected (legitimate needs that the parental bond should have satisfied). Yet due to insecurity and a sense of inadequacy, here to, effective same sex bonding does not occur. The child is attracted to and admires, yet is fearful and envious of the same sex. Consequently, a same-sex fixation develops, resulting in arrested development toward heterosexuality, eventually the exaggerated and symptomatic emotional dependence on the same sex becomes "sexualized" with the onset of puberty, or earlier if the child has been prematurely sexualized due to molest or imprinted exposure to pornography. (This dependence or fixation is not to be confused with typical and temporary teen infatuation.) In this example, this type of psychologically driven homosexuality is a faulty attempt to satisfy legitimate, non-sexual security and identity needs. While this simplified and general view does not represent every homosexual, it is true (based on client histories) for a majority of ‘stereotypical’ homosexuals. Ultimately, homosexuality is not so much about "love" or "sex". It’s about need.

Understanding this, it is obvious then, that rejecting homosexual persons is a tragic mistake. Indeed, love, understanding and affirmation is what they need. Yet accepting and loving the homosexual person does not mean that we, in mistaken compassion, declare homosexuality to be "normal".

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4. There Are Those Who Would Argue That Homosexuality Cannot Be Changed. Nor Should It Need To Be. What Do You Say?

After two decades of pro-gay influence in the American Psychoanalytic Association, the concept of offering treatment for those unhappy with their homosexual orientation has practically been abandoned. Until recently, therapists of the last 25 years were given little training beyond encouraging their homosexually-oriented clients to embrace that orientation as the only realistic route to mental health and happier living. The assumption is that homosexual orientation cannot be modified to any degree. And in the age of western political correctness, gay activists would add that such orientation should not need to be changed. Regardless of one’s life philosophy, the fact remains: not all who are homosexually-oriented want to be. They do not wish to be identified by, nor be driven by homosexual desires which distress them. Relinquishing themselves to such impulses will never be tolerable, due to moral convictions or quite simply an unwillingness to be homosexual for other reasons. Pro-homosexual activists and therapists do not speak for all who have a homosexual orientation.

Some pro-gay therapists insist it is unethical to offer treatment of homosexuality, declaring the condition to be uncorrectable. Suggesting recovery as an option is not only a false hope, claim gay advocates, but is also offensive for daring to imply that homosexuality could somehow be less desirable than heterosexuality. Perhaps with good intentions, and to appear "progressive", many western therapists have unfortunately bought into this one-sided logic at the expense of those desiring and deserving professional treatment toward the goal of overcoming homosexuality.

Regardless of how defensive some are of the "goodness" and normalcy of homosexuality, there are many who have recovered — or who are in recovery — from this condition. This is no different than for other life-controlling problems, such as alcoholism: some degree of relapse risk remains, but behavior and impulses do change, and life is improved — though not perfected. The fact is, many therapists, particularly in America and Western Europe have grown weary with both pro-gay lobbying and one-sided ‘give up and be gay" counsel offered to those with a homosexual orientation.

There are well respected therapists and experts, in this field with recent and long-standing published works underscoring the truth that homosexually-oriented people can:

  1. Change behavior — that is, withstood homosexual involvement,
  2. Modify, reduce, manage and in some cases, practically eliminate homosexual impulses and attraction —
  3. And in many cases (though not all), experience satisfying heterosexual adjustment.

Even if for most, there could not be a complete elimination of possible homosexual attraction, the reduction and management of such feelings could be very desirable and attainable as a vast improvement over a life formerly driven and limited by such impulses. Obviously, the only people who truly feel threatened and offended by the concept of recovery are western gay activists who are pushing for civil rights based on the racial premise of an inherent, unchangeable condition. Such activism has done much to prevent fairer presentation of the facts regarding recovery.

Because some degree of recovery from homosexuality is attainable for those with motivation and support, I and those professionals with whom I work believe it is unethical to fail to offer the option of treatment toward the goal of recovery, when desired. A therapist who may feel skeptical or ideologically opposed to the recovery option should at least be professional enough to provide an appropriate referra

l, rather than attempt to convince the client to embrace homosexuality as the only option.

*To address the concerns of those desiring recovery, to ensure their right to obtain professional treatment, and to counter one-sided pro- homosexual propaganda in the professional community, scores of doctors and therapists have joined a new, rapidly growing Organization: National Association For Research and Therapy Of Homosexuality (NARTH). For more information contact NARTH, 16542 Ventura Blvd, #416, Encino, CA 91436, USA.

5. There Are Critics of Your Efforts Who Say that People Who Attempt To Overcome Homosexuality Are Just "Martyrs", Repressing Their True Sexuality … Or That People Who Did Change Were Never True Homosexuals To Begin With. And What About Those Who Tried To Change but Went Back to Homosexuality?

I’ll answer the last point first. Regrettably, every recovery program has its "failure rate". There are those who begin the recovery journey and then decide it’s not what they want … or frankly, they decide it’s too hard … and it IS difficult in the beginning. Unfortunately, not only do clients sometimes fall back or give up — but counselors, pastors, therapists and psychiatrists are also not immune to sexual desire. Many professionals have been victims of their own misunderstandings, passions and wrong choices. Tragically, when leaders and counselors have moral failures, especially in my specific field, this not only results in personal consequences, but also discredits recovery.

Though sexual feelings are powerful, cultivated to the level of addiction, I find that the real problem isn’t hormones or even desire for intimacy that unravels recovery. It’s usually immaturity. These patterns show up in many ways: as in a lack of self control. Or in unrealistic expectations, where they thinks that he should one day start lusting after the opposite sex to the degree that he did for the same sex. Or that he should have amnesia, as if his homosexual history never happened…

As for the argument that ‘those who changed were never really true gays", many would find this rationale laughable, and could ask, "What would one need to do to qualify as a true homosexual?" I’ve heard the argument before, and it goes on to imply that those who changed were really meant to be straight, and they were just confused and eventually the true preference emerged. Well, if this is so, then the gay underworld must be filled with many confused pseudo gays … who should be straight and they just don’t know it. Therefore, rather than criticize our efforts, gay advocates should encourage us to weed out the pseudo gays from the “real ones ".

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6. The Homosexual Issue Has Also Created Controversy in the Religious Arena. Some Say God Condemns Homosexuals. Others Say Homosexuality Is a Gift from God. What Is Your Opinion?

Many with a homosexual orientation are quite interested in matters of faith, particularly the Christian faith. This is due to the longstanding and global influence of the Judeo-Christian ethic regarding homosexuality. Based on my research of the Scriptures, combined with my exposure to pro-gay theology, and my study of many works by theological experts on the subject of sexuality and homosexuality, here are my conclusions.

  • Homosexual orientation is one of many weaknesses affecting humanity. Those with this orientation are NOT excluded from God’s love, nor are they less of a person in His sight. Those wanting to enter religious service should be allowed to do so, provided they are not homosexually active, and they control, not cultivate their homosexual orientation. It is clear from Scripture that all who claim allegiance to Christ are required to obey God’s general sexual standard: No sex outside of the covenant of heterosexual marriage. Why? For protection of self and others, as sex has the power of life and death. Additionally, those who follow the way of Christ have been purchased by God, and are not free to live in any manner they wish. They are to honor God and the creative/ destructive power of sex by keeping themselves sexually pure. Certainly, nowhere in Scripture can one substantiate the recent claims that God makes people gay, or that God blesses homosexual unions. (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
  • Homosexual acts however are defined as a violation of God’s design and intent for sexuality as is all sex outside the heterosexual marriage covenant. The original languages of Scripture (and use in context) are not vague concerning this point. The New Testament has more specific comments than the Old Testament, but both units are in agreement in regarding homosexual acts as "sin", meaning ‘to disobey", and ‘missing God’s intent". It is obvious from Scripture that sexual sin is pleasurable and can be emotionally satisfying. But ultimately, it is self defeating and can be self destructive.
  • It is also clear from Scripture that forgiveness and reconciliation with God, and opportunity for a different life are available to all who will return to God, submitting to His standards. This is true for homosexuals, as is evident in the New Testament example of the church in Corinth: ex-adulterers, ex-prostitutes and ex-homosexuals were included as members of the church family. (See 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11.)
  • Typical to the "opinionated" and individualistic West, there are two clashing religious views about homosexuality: the fundamentalist view (‘stone them’) versus the liberal view (‘no, ordain them"). The New Testament Scriptures address these extremes with balanced counsel: the harsh and judgmental are warned not to look upon homosexuals with contempt, unless they too wish to be judged as they judge. Yet, there is also a stern warning for those considering a more "accommodating" perspective: beware of those who would teach that God’s favor and ‘grace" allow for sex outside of the heterosexual marriage covenant. (See Romans 1 & 2: 1-4 & Jude vs.4.)
  • As for Jesus, he did not specifically mention homosexuality. But then, he never mentioned incest, rape or bestiality for that matter. He probably had no need to address these concerns as they were clearly regarded as moral sin in his day. However, Jesus did uphold the Old Testament moral law which addressed homosexuality as sin (Jesus only did away with the ceremonial and symbolic aspects of the Old Testament Law … but he made a clear point that the (moral) Law governing human relationships would remain). Jesus showed mercy to those guilty of violating moral law — such as the woman caught in adultery. Yet He also commanded her to obey God with this second chance, and leave her life of sexual sin.
  • The Old and New Testaments provide examples from Hebrew and Aramaic cultures of same-sex relationships that were intense (Jonathan and . David), loyal and s

    upportive (Ruth and Naomi), and affectionate (Jesus and the Disciple John). But, as the original languages especially make clear, these loving, same-sex bonds were not homosexual. To interpret them as such is to misunderstand ancient Hebrew culture and the fact that heterosexual people universally enjoy intimate, emotionally satisfying same-sex relationships without a hint of homosexual interest.

In weaknesses, and honest, confessed struggles with sexuality, need not separate us from a loving, understanding God. In fact, scripture makes clear that such problems should instead, propel us to Him, for His comfort, assurance and help! The Scriptures inspire hope that our sexual problems are indeed understandable, forgivable and correctable with God’s help. Yet, scripture also warns that God will not exempt us from the often painful consequences of our disobedient choices. Neither will He settle for less than first place in our lives: Weakness may not offend Him. But to make one’s lifestyle, relationships, or sexuality of more importance is offensive to the One who desires us to seek Him even more than we seek to please ourselves.

7. Wouldn’t Promiscuity among Homosexuals Decrease If "Being Gay", and Gay Weddings Were Socially Accepted?

Perhaps for some, promiscuity would decrease. The research is clear that it is possible, but probably not for many, especially among gay males. According to research, gay males unlike lesbians are much less likely to sustain faithfulness to a partner. This fact is not the result of intolerant societies. Rather, it is a reflection of the dynamics in the male-male union, and the underlying unmet needs driving the homosexual. A smaller percentage of "lifestyle’ homosexual males do have lengthy and sometimes very stable, satisfying relationships. But many more unions are often admittedly "open" partnerships in which infidelity is considered an enhancement of the relationship. Some who argue for increasing acceptance claim that it will reduce the incidence of promiscuity common to the gay lifestyle. They say that an un-accepting society simply drives homosexuals into a shadowy, promiscuous "underground", but legitimizing and de-stigmatizing homosexuality would end this risky activity. Would it? In general, modern experience, sociological information, medical statistics and historical record reveal just the opposite: when society relaxes the sexual standards and becomes more permissive in attitude, then society becomes more promiscuous in behavior, not less so. As for social acceptance, "lifestyle" homosexuals are an influential subculture in many developed countries. Far from oppressed, they live openly in major urban areas around the world. In cities such as New York and San Francisco, they have "settled" entire city districts and have gay churches, gay clubs, gay businesses, gay dating services, gay theatres, gay parades, gay senior citizens groups, gay travel agencies and more. There are gay weddings. And homosexuals are acquiring the privilege of adopting children in some places. In spite of all this increased opportunity to live as outwardly as they wish, the pattern of promiscuity has not significantly changed. Even in the "progressive" and AIDS-conscious West, multiple anonymous sex encounters are still a way of life for thousands, with or without "protection". In spite of an accommodating culture, this behavior, so typical of many in the "lifestyle", is evidence of either extreme self indulgence, or destructive addiction. Will even greater social "approval" change it?

9. How Do You Help People with Homosexual Problems?

First, people will have to want our help. Obviously, not all homosexuals want to change. Some view their condition as unchangeable and seek to make it a positive part of their lives. However, those contacting us have pretty much made up their minds: They want to change and they want help. Many have attempted to live the "gay life" — sometimes, doing so for several years. Ultimately, they were not satisfied and also admitted to a deep moral conflict within that would not go away no matter how much they tried to embrace a liberal, pro-homosexual viewpoint. In today’s more permissive societies, people generally have the freedom to pursue their homosexuality if so desired. Yet those seeking to overcome a homosexual condition deserve our support in pursuing this option.

To sum it up, recovery from homosexuality is about "growth". Quite literally those in recovery "grow beyond" their same sex fixation and "grow out of" their homosexuality. This growth, however, is a lengthy process — lengthier for some than others. And for many, "recovery" will mean a lifetime commitment. Recovery programs like ours don’t solve every problem. We don’t claim to. We view the recovery process as a gradual progression to and through important goals.

Some of these goals include:

  • Regaining self-control.
  • Unmasking the underlying beliefs and defense mechanisms that block growth and fuel impulses.
  • Learning to recognize, and satisfy needs for intimacy and security in healthy, non-sexual ways.
  • Resolving conflicts stemming from childhood trauma and rejection.
  • Developing beneficial self management skills.
  • Growing in relationship with God and others.

Volumes of books have been written detailing "how" all this is accomplished, from both clinical and theological perspectives.

Relearning ways of living, coping and relating are not easy. Understandably, overcoming homosexuality is a challenge many prefer not to face. Clinical studies conclude that those who do overcome the control of homosexuality need two ingredients for success: a tenacious and persevering motivation, and support of others who believe in their effort.

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Why does God allow failure?

  • failure
  • For the believer, every failure can be a stepping stone to success.
  • Failure is an ugly word. No one likes it. Everyone is subject to its attacks.
  • There are no ideal situations in which failure cannot become a reality.
  • The first man and woman God created were placed in an environment perfectly suited for them. And yet they failed miserably.
  • Throughout the Scriptures, many of God’s servants suffered failures. The most successful men and women in history have experienced failure.
  • Why do some who fail at first go on to succeed while others do not? Those who eventually succeed are the ones who understand the difference between temporary defeat and failure. They look beyond life’s occasional setbacks and refuse to be completely undone by the obstacles that confront them.

The causes of some failures are not quite as clear as others. When we have given our best, why does God allow us to experience failure?

  • God is not the cause of our failure though He does allow it.
  • Even though we are His children and want what is best, why do we still experience failure? We do not always know what is best. Then, sometimes, we allow ourselves to become sidetracked. Our priorities get out of order; our motivation becomes selfish; Christ is no longer the center of our lives.
  • Failure is God’s way of getting our attention, humbling us, disciplining us, and bringing us back to Himself.
  • Sometimes God uses a painful failure to express His fatherly love toward us.
  • Remember, there is a difference between failing and being a failure. It is never God’s intention to make us become failures.
  • However, He sometimes allows us to fail today in order to bring us success tomorrow.
  • God has planted in your every defeat the seeds of your future success.
  • Successful people are those who apply God’s remedy for failure: humbling themselves before Him in repentance, surrendering to His will and His goals for their lives.
  • For the believer, every failure can be a stepping stone to success.

FAILURE

The inability of a system or system component to perform a required function within specified limits.

Some of the Causes of Personal Failure:

1) ARROGANCE

PROVERBS 16:18: Pride Goth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

2) DISOBEDIENCE

DEUTERONOMY 11:28: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

3) DOUBT

JAMES 1:6: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

4) DISCOURAGEMENT

GAL 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

RECOVERY:

Act of regaining the position, regaining, or retaking possession.

1) INVITE JESUS IN TO FAILURE

2) ADMIT YOUR EFFORT FAILED

3) OBEY WHATEVER HE TELL YOU

4) EXPECT JESUS TO TURN THINGS AROUND

These are interesting Thoughts below:

  • The most destructive habit…………………………Worry
  • The greatest Joy…………………………………Giving
  • The greatest loss……………………Loss of self-respect
  • The most satisfying work…………………..Helping others
  • The ugliest personality trait…………………Selfishness
  • The most endangered species……………..Dedicated leaders
  • Our greatest natural resource…………………..Our youth
  • The greatest “shot in the arm”………………Encouragement
  • The greatest problem to overcome…………………….Fear
  • The most effective sleeping pill…………….Peace of mind
  • The most crippling failure disease………………..Excuses
  • The most powerful force in life……………………..Love
  • · The most dangerous pariah……………………..A gossiper
  • The world’s most incredible computer…………….The brain
  • The worst thing to be without…. . Hope
  • · The deadliest weapon………………………….The tongue
  • The two most power-filled words………………….I Can
  • · The greatest asset…………. …………………….Faith
  • The most worthless emotion…………………….Self-pity
  • · The most beautiful attire…………………………SMILE!
  • The most prized possession……………………. Integrity
  • The most powerful channel of communication………….Prayer
  • The most contagious spirit…………………….Enthusiasm

In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP

Young Adult Crisis Hotline and

Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD

                                        (2463)

http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/

http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com

youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Forgiveness: By Grace “Changes our Mind”

If we are to enter God’s rest by experiencing the fullness of Christ’s resurrection power in our lives, we will need to consider whether there are still judgments against others dwelling in our hearts. Obviously, when we received our salvation, we were not required by God, to list, individually, every person who had ever hurt or offended us and then repent of our anger, resentment and bitter root judgments toward each person (Heb. 12:15). But, if we are to mature in Christ through His grace as we continue on in our Christian walk, we must be willing to release these people from our judgments (Matt. 6:12-15).

      We were justified by the sacrifice Christ made on the cross on our behalf so that, through salvation, we might enjoy the fullness of the benefits of sonship with him. These benefits were made available to us through our repentance and God’s forgiveness of our sins. Yet, scripture clearly indicates that if we are to continue as recipients of God’s good favor, we must resolutely adopt an ongoing attitude of forgiveness toward others (Matt. 7:1-2; Luke 17:3-4). Most Christians understand the importance of this basic principle. It is a staple of Christian teaching.

    But there is another, very important aspect of forgiveness that is often overlooked – Our personal repentance for the sinful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have developed in our lives in reaction to the original offenses against us.

How Reactive Judgments can Keep Us in Bondage

    Much of how we think, feel, and act today is derived from our past reactions to both the positive and negative influences in our lives.  Inevitably, ungodly behaviors develop from some of these reactions. For example, if we suffer rejection and hurt, we may form a negative judgment about the one that has rejected us. To hurt feels like weakness; to hate feels like strength. So, in our attempt to alleviate the pain we feel from rejection, instead of reacting with forgiveness, we begin to develop critical, judgmental thinking toward others  (Heb. 12:15; Gen. 4:5-8). From this position of blaming, we often come to believe that we must develop and rely on protective mechanisms of behavior in order to “survive” emotionally. For example, we may become shy and withdrawn, or perhaps bold, manipulative and aggressive.

    Whenever we do not choose the option of forgiveness toward those who have offended us, we are fostering the development of self-reliant attitudes deep within the heart. Rejecting the avenue of forgiveness, we learn to rely on our own efforts to overcome the personal offenses we experience and become well-practiced at trying to maintain control in our personal relationships in order to feel emotionally safe.

    Sometimes, in trying to achieve this control, we develop an acute sensitivity regarding what we perceive to be the thoughts or feelings of others. We come to rely on these hypersensitive perceptions, as distorted as they may be, in order to circumvent conflict in relationships and avoid the anguish of further rejection.

From an unforgiving heart, we will often pursue an emotional compensation for past rejection, placing unrealistic demands and expectations on others and even on ourselves. Of course, by placing this unattainable burden of performance on the people in our lives and on ourselves, we are actually setting ourselves up for further disappointment and rejection. Truly, what we have sown in past judgments to accommodate the sinful nature, we will reap through unhealthy, destructive patterns of behavior in present day relationships (Gal. 6:7-8).

    Over a period of time, we grow to depend on these behavioral mechanisms and they become a fixed system that we regularly use and trust. It becomes daily, monthly, yearly, increasingly difficult to believe there is a better way (Prov. 14:12). Even if we begin to intellectually understand the reality and complexity of our dysfunction that prevents us from healthy relationship with others, we often find that we cannot, of our own power, free ourselves from the sinful inclinations of our souls. Thankfully, our Father God does not expect us to gain freedom from the multitudinous layers of dysfunction that have developed within our souls, by relying entirely upon our own efforts.

    It is, instead, the recognition of our inability to effectively disengage from the judgmental patterns of the old nature and the protective behavioral mechanisms we have constructed in opposition to healthy intimacy with man and God, which brings the opportunity for real change by the power of God! This change occurs through our belief in and surrender to the process of repentance and sanctification, which are both ongoing works of the Holy Spirit within us (Rom. 2:28-29; 8:1-11; Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:23-24).

In the article Overcoming Foundational Root Judgments a working model is given for overcoming the specific root judgments that have formed in our lives and the sinful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that we have developed in reaction to personal offenses from our past. But before we can use the working model effectively, it will be necessary to clear up some of the common confusion surrounding repentance and sanctification.

Grace for Repentance is a Divine Gift that God Wants to Give


    Unfortunately, as a result of our predisposition toward a works-oriented, performance-bound mentality, we often misinterpret what is needed for the process of personal repentance and sanctification to occur. Our tendency is to try to work out our repentance and sanctification by depending primarily on our own efforts and understanding, instead of believing, trusting, and asking God to do this supernatural work within us, according to His understanding (Gal. 3:3-5).

Sometimes, in shame and exasperation, we erroneously believe that God has not freed us from our repetitive sin patterns because we have not felt bad enough about our sin, or we have not tried hard enough by our own efforts to become free (Eph.2:8-9). We often believe that if we could just feel ashamed enough about our sin, God would respond by empowering us to overcome the sin (Rom. 8:1; 10:11).

    But shame cannot purchase grace. Faith is the tool we must use to apprehend the power of God’s grace. Faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross and faith in Jesus’ resurrection power through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts to bring freedom to our souls. Ordinarily, we fail to comprehend this truth, because we have “fallen away from grace” through a persistent attitude of worldly self-reliance that has infiltrated our religious beliefs (Gal. 5:1-5).

    We must make every effort possible to avoid the e

ntanglements of sin in our lives, but we must also realize that we can never, solely by the efforts of our fleshly wills, come to full repentance. William Evans, in The Great Doctrines of the Bible states, “Repentance is not something which one can originate within himself, or can pump up within himself as one would pump water out of a well. It is a divine gift. How then is man responsible for not having it? We are called upon to repent in order that we may feel our own inability to do so, and consequently be thrown upon God to perform this work of grace in our hearts.”  
( Italics mine).

Relying on the Holy Spirit

    When we invite God to perform a work of grace unto repentance in our hearts, we will begin to experience a heartfelt sorrow over our sins. We will desire to turn away from the sinful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that we have developed in reaction to personal offenses from our past.

    But the next step on the journey to complete repentance, the one that we most commonly stumble over, is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, which occurs between our sorrow and our new godly behavior. The Holy Spirit, by the grace available to us through Christ Jesus, has the power to literally separate us from the ways of the old nature, which compelled us toward ungodly behavior in the past. 

       As Evans says: “The Holy Spirit seals, attests, and confirms the work of grace in the soul by producing the fruits of righteousness therein. It is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus who gives us free-dom from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). He is called the Holy Spirit, not only because He is absolutely holy Himself, but also because He produces that quality of soul character in the believer. The Spirit is the executive of the God-head for this very purpose. It is the Spirit’s work to war against the lusts of the flesh and enable us to bring forth fruit unto holiness.”  8  (Italics mine)

    If we do not actively believe in the Holy Spirit to do this work within us, we are missing out on the incredible power of grace that is available to us through our faith relationship with Christ. It is an important part of the foundation of both our salvation and ongoing sanctification. As scripture reveals,
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”
                                                                                         -Heb. 4:16

We Rest in His Finished Work

    When we repent of the sinful attitudes and behaviors that have developed in our lives, Christ’s finished work on the cross is made available to us by the active work of the Holy Spirit within us, in response to our dependence upon Him to do a sanctifying work of inner transformation. This is known as resting in the finished work of Christ. (Heb. 3:16-19; 4:8-11; John 19:30). Rest is rest! Transformation by our own efforts is not transformation at all. It is unbelief – trusting in self more than we trust in God. (See Heb. 4:11, 3:18-19; Isa. 30:1-15).

    The supernatural power for the transformation of our souls is not found in our own efforts and works. It is a work of the Holy Spirit:

    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
                                                                                      -2 Cor 3:17,18

The Influence of Our Old Nature Rebels  Against Believing God


    Mankind’s complex performance-bound mentalities derived from the old nature, rebel against the simplicity of grace (Gal. 3:1-5 and 5:1-5). Believing on God to do for us supernaturally, what we cannot do for ourselves, is both humbling and seemingly too simplistic!

    We struggle with the concept of rest, because resting in the finished work of Christ demands an unconditional surrendering of our complex prideful self-determinations, which we have depended on throughout our lifetime.

    But that which we are unwilling to surrender will inevitably lead to a testing of the quality of our works, in which all that we have done through our own self-directed efforts will be burned up:
“his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames”
                                                                                             -1 Cor. 3:13-15

God Will Remove the Bitter Roots

    True freedom from the sinful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have developed in our lives is accomplished by asking and believing on God to circumcise our heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, (“…and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code” Rom. 2:29) removing bitter roots (strongholds of judgment toward self and oth-ers) (Heb. 12:15), and severin

g the ungodly weeds (behavior and belief systems) which have grown up from these bitter roots. As God does this sanctifying work in us, we will then be able to experience the life of Christ in those previously dark, unforgiving, unrepentant areas of our heart.

     Apart from this reliance on the power of God we will find ourselves wandering through a spiritual desert, searching for rest, frustrated by our inability to gain freedom from our ungodly behavior patterns.
    When we finally surrender to the truth and invite the Holy Spirit to do this work of grace in our hearts, we will begin to experience the peace and joy, confidence, assurance, and fullness of life, which always result from an act of faith in the finished work of Christ.

Look again at Jesus’ words,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
                                                                                         -Matthew 11:28-30

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD

                                        (2463)

theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Family Intervention: Addiction and Life Controlling Issues

intervention-1

An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually concerned family and friends) and an interventionists to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some other life controlling problem.

People sometimes engage in self-destructive behavior, rejecting any assistance others may offer. Intervention, when done correctly, is extremely effective in helping these people accept help.

Long used for substance abuse (alcohol abuse, drug abuse) and addiction (alcoholism, drug addiction), intervention is now also used for compulsive behaviors including gambling, sex addiction, computer addiction, and eating disorders.

The kindest and most loving thing family and friends can do.

Interventions have been used to address serious personal problems, including, but not limited to, alcoholism, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, compulsive eating and other eating disorders, self-mutilation,  "workaholics", and various types of poor personal health care.

Interventions

Interventions are either direct, typically involving a  face-to-face meeting that has challenge to the alcohol, drug dependent person (the most typical type of intervention), or other self-destructive behaviors.

In the same sense, direct interventions tend to be a form of short-term coaching aimed at getting the addicted person into inpatient rehabilitation.

Plans for direct intervention

Plans for a direct intervention are typically made by a concerned group of family and friends,  rather than by the addict. Often the addict will not agree that they need the type of help that is proposed during the intervention, usually thought by those performing the intervention to be a result of denial.  Typically, the addict is surprised by the intervention by friends and family members.

Prior preparation

Prior to the intervention itself, the family meets with a  interventionist. Families prepare speeches in which they share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the target the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Also during the intervention rehearsal meeting, each group member is strongly urged to create a list of activities (by the addict or individual with life controlling problems) that they will no longer tolerate, finance, or participate in if the individual doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment or get intensified counseling for their specific life controlling problem. These usually involve very serious losses to the individual if s/he refuses.

What the person may lose

These items may be as simple as no longer loaning money to the addict, but can be far more alarming. It is common for groups to threaten the individual with permanent rejection (banishment) from the family until treatment is sought. Wives often threaten to leave their husbands during this phase of the intervention, and vice versa. If the individual happens to have any outstanding arrest warrants or other unresolved criminal issues, the threat is usually made that he or she will be turned in to the authorities.

Family and friends present every possible loss that the family can think of to the individual, who then must decide whether to check into the prescribed rehabilitation center and get the prescribed intensified counseling if this an alternative, or deal with the promised losses.

The process of the intervention will have various stages and these are some that I have noted below. I have also noted my personal experience with interventions as a Christian coach and pastor. The experience is extensive and has an extremely high success record. Therefore, I would like to share with you the process and my personal thoughts  behind the process for intervention. This is not a guide written in stone and is flexible because every person is an individual. My interventions are conducted locally and are usually at no cost for my complete participation.  Usually my travel expense, and other expenses are reimbursed if they are needed to travel more than 50 miles. Donations are usually given to our foundation the Young Adult Crisis Hotline for my time, however this is no a condition and not mandatory.

01

Critical Crises often offer particularly good windows of opportunity for motivation and intervention. These usually occur in these stages:

  • Pre-contemplation, in which the individual is not considering change.
  • Contemplation, in which the individual is undecided, weighing the pros and cons of change.
  • Determination or preparation, where the balance tips in favor of change and the individual begins considering options.
  • Action, which involves the individual taking specific steps to accomplish change.

During an successfully conducted intervention, with me as  a Christian Counseling and coach the addict or the  individual with life controlling problems does not feel manipulated, forced, directed, coerced, or advised. Direction is typically accomplished through open-ended questions and selective reflection of past and current behavior rather than through more overtly confrontational strategies and advice giving. This is not like other direct confrontational styles that secular interventionists would rather use in an intervention. I like to personally walk, individuals and their families through a series of what are their future goals and how their current behavior hurts the chances of them attaining their future goals. This is where we weigh out the current state and the future. In interventions that I  participate and conduct, I prefer using encouragement and reinforcement to use the individuals own words, desires, plans, and goals to make a sincere commitment to treatment or long-term intensified counseling. 

The interventions are like this  metaphor, the client and counselor are working a jigsaw puzzle together.

Rather than putting the pieces in place while the client watches like most secular interventionists, the counselor helps to construct the frame, then puts pieces on the table for the client to place. The basic conditions of client-centered pastoral counseling and  coaching  provide a strong foundation, with particular emphasis on the strategies of open-ended questions and reflective listening. Such supportive and motivation-building strategies are employed until resistance abates and the client shows indication of being ready to discuss change.

During interventions I might also show agreement with the client’s points of view which shows empathy and personal care. Then I like to re-frame the initial agreement with the goal of motivating the client to a place of reality and rational thought . The goal is still remains encouragement and reinforcement  instead of  confrontation. This encounter, will slowly  challenge the client  in the sense of bringing the client face to face with a difficult reality and thereby initiating change in their mind about their particular life controlling issues. This encourages a client to have personal responsibility and ownership of their own unwelcome behavior. This therefore with out using a threatening confrontational  approach encourages discussion rather that conflict. We have turned the intense conflict to a place of opportunity which produces unity.   

This final action stage of an intervention begins  of confession/admission of their hopelessness and need for help.  This reveals the individuals sincerity and  begins to remove layers of denial.

The client is in the process to “change their mind” about their behavior, which increases the chances if long-term recovery because repentance was initially involved which produces personal responsibility. This leads to Counseling with Rational expression of God which decreases resistance behaviors and has reframed new meanings of Grace to the individual. Many of these times of God’s Grace takes the form of the counselor giving voice to the client’s behavior to instruct and teach verbalizations of the need for change.

If denial which is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that  are too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimization) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny personal responsibility (Which is transference: characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another). I employ another reoriented approach and have increased family involvement in the intervention.

I essentially have carefully taken notes on the individual’s goals and the puzzle the client has constructed  for us and begin the intervention from the initial stage. The family at this point know that we will enter into weighing consequences for lack of personal responsibility. The family will at this point be the reinforcement mechanism keeping the client as the  central focus of the intervention.

I will begin by explaining essential the part of personal responsibility and action to the client. Then I will encourage the concerned group of family and friends  to begin with their prepared speeches to share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the client the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Then I will discuss what promised loss. At this point I will ask for the  prepared lists of promised loss that the concerned group of family and friends  are willing to stand by if the target doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment or agree to mandatory long-term intensified counseling. These usually involve very serious losses to the addict if s/he refuses.

I re-evaluate the individual and the atmosphere to see which direction the intervention  will proceed toward and ask for feed back from the individual how they will feel when these lists of promised loss are enacted. I again will use motivational methods to show the target how much more they gain instead of lose if the choose personal responsibility and ownership. I will re offer the non-negotiable option to seek inpatient treatment or mandatory long-term intensified counseling.

At this point, have evaluated the target extensively and  learned a lot about the target and have more information to  discern the individual’s the denial factors, their responses or reactions and the authenticity for genuine desire for change.  

discern : rationally recognize mentally and see if can understand the difference responses : usually objective well thought out)

reactions : usually subjective and emotionally driven

This is a vital part of the intervention if we have come to this point because we never want manipulated desire which will never  develop a sincere commitment and genuine repentance.  Without a sincere commitment from the individual real change rarely occurs because they feel  forced to get help and usually never complete the treatment. This is because they have the wrong motivation for going to treatment to begin with.

If the individual remains in denial or refuses to get help at this point I encourage the concerned family and friends to keep their promise of loss and to follow through with them immediately. I then address the individual and encourage them to contact me when they are ready and want to make a sincere decision for treatment.

If the opposite takes place and genuine desire is evident for treatment and the individual is ready after weighing the losses. I encourage action and immediate placement into a program that we have already retained in the preliminary meetings. 

The process of motivational reversal usually does not take place and the loss becomes the eventual encouragement for change of the desire of the individual.  This is because the denial of their self-destructive behaviors runs deep in their sub conscious mind. This is usually is the case in long-term addicted individuals with co-dependent  family members, who  the addict knows lack the backbone for action to fulfill the promised loss. The family members of close friends who will not follow through with their promised losses are only extending their own personal agony and the suffering of their loved who is the target. They have also wasted a lot of vital time that could have been spent with others who need the help that was freely given.

During the next several weeks, I personally will follow through with each individual when ever possible who was at the intervention. I will encourage that the promised losses are followed through and am constantly evaluating  to see when the losses will create the proper sincere motivation for change.

If the intervention was initially successful but the individual however did not follow through with the required treatment options in the time prescribed we will follow through until they do or we enter into another intervention where the promised losses ar

e laid out to the individual. This sometimes occurs because of poor time-management skills and lack of follow through on the part of the client which is a common behavior with the addicted and those with life controlling problems.

Summary of

Intervention Goals:

In an intervention, the goal is for the addict or target to take personal responsibility and make a sincere commitment for action and treatment for their self-destructive habits and behaviors.

An addict or individual with life controlling problems often compares himself to peers and reaches in the conclusion that he is normal. As a result he never realizes that he has lost control. What they need in this condition is honest rational objective feedback that their self-destructive habits and behaviors are dangerous and deadly. A skilled interventionist, with the support of family and friends of the addict or target, can help them to realize the situation through the process of an intervention. The interventionist, who gets an idea of the nature and degree of the addiction through meetings with the addict and family, can make constructive opinions on the addict’s behavior.

Through intervention the addict will understand the limits his concerned friend and family have set and realize the fact that they have a problem. They also will know that because of love they were address by their concerned friends and family. More significantly; they will understand that their concerned friend and family will not continue putting up with their self-destructive habits and behaviors. The beginning of liberation of suffering, for both the addict and the family, is the primary agenda of any Intervention. Changing the self-destructive behavior at the source of suffering is always the focus of an intervention.

The sought after result of the intervention, obviously, is getting the individual with life controlling issues to agree that a problem exists and ask for help. The interventionists, at this time, are required to possess enough knowledge to help with referrals of treatment that would be suitable to that particular person as an individual. No one is the same, everyone does not  fit into a mold and each plan must be specifically tailored to each individual. This is not a “one size fits all” strategy.

Then it is vital to comprehend the variety and efficiency of different treatments so that the recommendation can be individualized.

Advanced and highly effective treatment methods for drug and alcohol addiction are available in a wide range of methods. A number of treatment and recovery program options can be considered for every patient. With a lot of choices, it would be advisable if those intervening on behalf of the abuser agree on the program or method most suited for the addict a preliminary meeting prior to the intervention. The availability of these various treatment centers are always a concern, therefore the selection and eventual placement of an appropriate treatment program a difficult task.

Also, in the preliminarily meeting, after deciding on the treatment intended to be proposed for the addict, is required to contact the chosen facility to see if their is availability. The admittance procedure, financial obligation and mode of treatment must be thoroughly discussed with the family.

This is to determine if there is insurance involved and if cost restraints will also be a consideration of treatment. The cost for inpatient treatment varies considerably for 30 day programs with ranges between $4900 and $13,500. The average cost for a licensed 30 day treatment facility is usually $7,500 to $8,900.

If cost restraints, lack of insurance or no funding is available for treatment from the friends, family members, or their employer it will make it extremely difficult for placement into treatment. It is rare that public beds are available and are usually reserved for those in the various entitlement programs.

Free treatment is rare, however available at several homeless shelters, Christian missions with recovery components, foundation’s adult based recovery programs like the Salvation Army and teen challenge. Remember, the individual usually must be detoxified before admittance is even discussed. Please take this into consideration also in the degree of cost and planning.

Addicts live and die on their chance to recover so this is not a decision to be made on the spur of the moment. Convincing the addict of the effect of the treatment is as important as making him recognize his addiction. Moreover, he can be give valuable opinions while selecting an appropriate treatment program.

Everyone is biologically different and responds to Treatment can be different for each. So, the methods and time of treatment vary from patient to patient as the reaction varies according to the individual stage of addiction. In fact, the roadmap for the treatment program takes shape here.


To get the maximum out of it, intervention needs to be conducted on a sober person that is not intoxicated. More importantly, the one who undergo intervention needs to remain sober throughout the entire process of intervention. In any case, attempting an intervention while a person is on a high or intoxicated will usually not be productive because the addict cannot see many of their problems when in a fog of intoxication.

The broken lives and countless numbers of  young adults are being healed and reconstructed daily by our interventions. We have numerous success stories of Young Adults that have come through the valley and in the end have thanked God for the valley. Today they are helping others and serving God all around the world as missionaries, pastors, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD

                                                     (2463)

theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

True Forgiveness : Is Through Reconciliation

 

wedding rings

 

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

17 Therefore if any man be in 200701handChrist, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Reconciled : In the Greek is katallage

To exchange, have adjustment,

Old word in the Greek language that refers to an exchanging coins.

WHAT IS REALLY FORGIVNESS?

1) FORGIVNESS is NOT CONDITIONAL

· NOT “I WILL FOR GIVE YOU IF”

· OFFERED EVEN IF IT IS NOT ASKED FOR

2) IT ISN’T MINIMIZING THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE

· IF IT IS WORTH FORGIVING IT DID HURT YOU.

· DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING WRONGED AND BEING WOUNDED

· WOUNDS ARE UNINTENTIONAL, BEING WRONGED IS INTENTIONAL

· WOUNDS DON’T REQUIRE FORGIVENESS THEY REQUIRE ACCEPTANCE AND RECOGNIZING THE FALLEN WORLD AND IMPERFECT ENVIROMENT,

· DON’T CHEAPEN FORGIVENESS

3) FORGIVNESS IS NOR RESUMING A RELATIONSHIP WITHOUT CHANGE

· NOT SAME AS REBUILDING OR RESTORING A RELATIONSHIP

· FORGIVNESS IS INSTANT, BUT TRUST IS REBUILT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME.

· IT TAKES MORE THAN FORGIVNESS FOR RECONCILIATION.

· FORGIVNESS IS BASED UPON GRACE, TRUST IS EARNED.

4) REAL FORGIVNESS IS NOT FORGETTING WHAT HAPPENED

· “HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN IT YET?” “I’M TRYING!” —- THE WHOLE TIME YOU ARE TRYING TO FORGET, CAN’T FORGET! WHAT ARE YOU FOUCUSING ON?

· YOU CAN’T FORGET SOMETHING BY TRYING TO FORGET IT.

· THE ONLY WAY YOU FORGET SOMETHING IS BY REPLACEING IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE.

· THERE IS SOMETHING BETTER FORGETTING IT IS REMEMBERING GOD! – ROMANS 8:28

· WHEN I FORGET SOMETHING, I DON’T THANK GOD OR PRAISE GOD!

REMEMBERING HOW MUCH I’VE BEEN FORGIVEN

KJV Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

NO EARNING

NOT DESERVING

NOT FEELING

WE NEED TO IMAGINE HARMONY, EVEN AT THE POINT OF GREATEST CONFLICT.

WE NEED TO LOVE PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE AT AND HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THEM WHEN THEY HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES OR GOD.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION IS EXEMPLIFIEDBY:

1) PERSONAL INVOLMENT

2) PERSONAL ENCOURAGEMENT

Bitterness

Bitterness is loss frozen in resentment. Bitterness grows out of our refusal to let go when someone or something is taken from us.

Cosmic Consequences

You could argue that bitterness motivated Satan to attempt to destroy and thwart God’s plans. You could argue that bitterness motivated the Pharisees to have Jesus put to death. You only have to look at India and Pakistan, Israel and Jordan, Bosnia and Croatia, and Northern Ireland to know that wars are caused by bitterness, and that such bitter disputes fuel even more reservoirs of bitterness that last through generations, and continue to hold people in vice-like grips.

Personal Consequences

There are often physical consequences such as headaches, ulcers, sleeplessness, heart-attacks, anxiety, fear, tension, depression. This, of course, doesn’t mean that anyone with a headache or heart-attack is bitter, but prolonged bitterness will have physical consequences.

The mental consequences of bitterness are continued hypercritical attitudes. Nobody can do anything right. There is usually anger and resentment with things don’t go our way (and they often don’t).

And because of the attitudes that accompany bitterness, there are inevitably social consequences. 

Deuteronomy 29:19

Bitterness is described as a root that grows into a poisonous plant. Bitterness spreads and infects others. They either catch the critical and grouching spirit from the bitter people, or they decide to avoid their company. And, of course, the rejection caused by the bitterness leads to the people concerned feeling even more bitter, and so the cycle continues. They rarely go because they feel rejected. And when they do go, they almost have to make sure that people will reject them. Churches have been paralyzed for years by unresolved bitterness, and so have individual Christians who refuse to deal with the bitterness they feel towards God.

Bitterness is loss, frozen in resentment. And bitterness is also a chain, tying us to the thing of person we want to be free from. Until we deal with the bitterness we cannot escape from the loss. People want vengeance, but end up with a hypercritical spirit, ulcers, rejection, and chains. We hope that our bitterness will in some way influence others, but all that happens is that it destroys us.

And it is not only anger that is a choice. Its close cousin bitterness is also a choice. We respond the people or events by saying: ‘You made me bitter …’ But, as Christians, we are not victims. We are responsible for we do, say, think, and feel. Nobody can make us bitter. We choose to respond to situations in a bitter way.

You know that it is not people or circumstances that make people bitter. What makes us bitter is our attitude towards people and circumstances. Its not the people or the circumstances. But the messages we tell ourselves, and its the feelings we nurture. You know that you can take two people and put them through equally horrendous circumstances, and one will come out riddled with bitterness, and another will come out radiant.

1 TIMOTHY 2:5-6

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be
testified in due time.

mesithi in Greek is defined as mediator , one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant

THE SIMPLEST TRANSLATION OF THE WORD MEDIATOR IS “IN THE MIDDLE.”

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center
410-808-6483
theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Depression

depression

What depression is………………

Depression can be called a disease of the emotions. It’s classification as a mental illness does not make it any less real or painful. It is a common disease and at any time, around one in twenty people will be suffering from it.

Depression is a disturbance in mood characterized by varying degrees of sadness, disappointment, loneliness, hopelessness, self-doubt, and guilt. These feelings can be quite intense and last for a long period of time. Daily activities may become more difficult… but the individual may still be able to cope with them. It is at this level, however, that feelings of hopelessness can become so intense that suicide may seem the only solution.

A person experiencing severe depression may experience extreme fluctuations in moods or even a desire for complete withdrawal from daily routine and/or the outside world. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and is not a sign of weakness. It is treatable, whether by medication, by therapy and counseling, or both. God answers prayer, and persistent prayer facilitates the process of emotional healing.

For the depressed Christian whose world has fallen apart, prayer may not seem like an option. In this case, the persistent prayer of close friends or relatives will help.

depression_test What depression is not?

Depression is not "Just in your mind." It isn’t a made-up illness; it isn’t laziness, or a couple of days of feeling sad or blue. It is not rejection by God, or abandonment. If it is from God, as a result of a specific you will know it. You will not be left wondering.

Eight major causes of depression

(1) Biological factors

(2) Learned helplessness (sense of being trapped and unable to remedy an intolerable situation)

(3) Parental rejection

(4) Abuse

(5) Negative thinking

(6) Life stress

(7) Anger

(8) Guilt.

[Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Josh McDowell’s Handbook on Counseling Youth (Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, 1996), chapter 5; Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, revised edition (Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, 1988).]

Physical Causes:

· Pre-menstrual and postnatal hormone changes

· Some types of manic depression have been shown to have a genetic basis

· Hormone deficiencies (such as thyroid disturbances)

· Generalized illnesses such as kidney or liver disease

· Lack of natural light during winter in some susceptible people

· Alcoholism

· Drug dependency

· Food allergies and strange reactions to medicines, chemicals or food additives.

Mental Causes:
  • Unconscious impulses (from Freudian and Jungian psychology)
  • Learning the wrong way to cope with difficulties
  • Self induced conditioned helplessness (from behaviorist psychology)
  • Overload or stress
Spiritual Causes:
  • Sense of despair/futility of life; death of a loved one.
Symptoms
  • Lethargy (everything seems just too much trouble to do)
  • disturbed sleep (early waking, difficulty getting to sleep)
  • waking up tired after a "normal" night of sleep)
  • lack of concentration
  • irritability
  • exhaustion
  • lack of sexual drive
  • sensation of utter despair
  • sense of hopelessness or uselessness of everything
  • fear of death
  • phobias
  • Obsessive behavior
  • permanent sense of anxiety
  • feelings of wanting to cry, but inability to do so
  • thoughts of suicide, or fear of committing suicide
  • change in appetite and weight
  • other symptoms, this is not a definitive list

depression

Likely effects of depression in Christians

In Christians, spiritual effects follow from the depression, and seldom the other way round. Nearly always the depression comes first, followed by a sense of remoteness from God, rather than depression being the result of "falling away.

Being a Christian does not offer immunity from trials, troubles or illness.

God is making us holy and perfect, and this may involve dealing with your past. It is not an overnight process, and it may be painful. We may have leftover baggage of hurts suffered, wrong attitudes, incorrect information and so on. This can slow us down, and can be a source of depression.

You do not have to feel guilty about being depressed. It is not a sin to doubt what you have been told (this is what everyone does before they become a Christian, and God loved them then too), and the doubting process of can build a strong foundation for you to re-build on later.

We can counsel those depressed with these recommendations:

  1. Avoid being alone. Force yourself to be with people.
  2. Seek help from others.
  3. Sing. Music can uplift your spirit as it did for King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23).
  4. Praise and give thanks. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
  5. Lean heavily on the powe

    r of God’s Word.

  6. Rest confidently in the presence of God’s Spirit. "Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance" (Psalm 42:5).

Depression has been called the "common cold" of mental disorders.

Depression is too complicated to solve with a single pat answer. Gary Collins, in Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide (Dallas: Word, 1988), lists seven major categories of causes for depression, and six major approaches to treating it. Each one has multiple options within each category. In addition, people use the word "depression" to cover everything from disappointment over losing a baseball game to the terrifying gloom that drives people to suicide.

The Bible does not use the word "depression," although it describes people whom we might call depressed. It certainly doesn’t mention antidepressant drugs. However, there are a few general principles I would recommend when trying to deal with depression:

  • Aim to work on the causes of your depression, not just the symptoms.

Scripture points to many issues of sin or conflict that can affect your emotions; most counselors would agree that depression can result from other underlying issues. Don’t just worry about the depression itself; check to see what other problems need attention.

  •  Realize that you can’t base life on your emotions. They just do not think!

Christians base life on truth, not feelings. Philippians 4:1 commands us to rejoice (whether we feel like it or not!). And James 1:2 asks us to "Consider it all joy when we fall into various trials." Notice that James doesn’t tell us to feel joyful; he tells us to reckon, to choose to think about your situation as a spot where you can have joy.

  • Faith

Choosing to trust truth rather than your feelings may require a lot of faith. And if that is what we mean by asking if faith can solve depression, then faith may be enough in some cases. Trusting what God says rather than your feelings is certainly a more realistic approach to life!

  •  Heed God’s Advice

However, many people talk about "faith" and only mean a vague hope that God will somehow pull them through. That’s too nebulous a concept to be reliable. Many of the same people who claim to have faith keep plunging through life ignoring God’s principles for healthy living. If we spurn the good advice that the Bible contains, we won’t escape the consequences – even if we have faith.

 depressionmedication

Is it right to use antidepressant drugs? Or is faith enough to solve the problem?

Chemical Imbalances

Some cases of depression may be caused by chemical imbalances. If that is the cause, then antidepressant drugs may be the answer. God has allowed mankind to learn about many medical tools, and He sometimes uses medicine to heal. There may also be some cases of depression so severe that medications are necessary to bring the sufferer to the place where they can tackle some of the other issues; such cases might require medication, at least temporarily. I know of no Scripture that forbids such use.

 

Unresolved Issues, Root Causes.

However, any medications should be used with caution. Virtually any medicine has some side effects. Drugs can mask the symptoms, allowing you to ignore root causes. Some people may use antidepressants to avoid approaches that require you to deal with other unresolved issues. It seems easier to pop a pill. A general rule of thumb is to try other strategies first, unless the depression is so severe that the person endangers themselves or finds themselves unable to participate in other therapies.

Depression is a complex area, and severe problems of depression deserve the attention of a pastor or other counselor. There are numerous biblical references to depression, one of the human race’s most common and distressing afflictions. It is likely that the first humans to experience depression were Adam and Eve, after they sinned against God.

Examples of people in the Bible who suffered bouts of depression

  • Abraham (Genesis 15)
  • Jonah (Jonah 4)
  • Job (Book of Job)
  • Elijah (1 Kings 19)
  • King Saul (I Samuel 16:14-23, etc.)
  • Jeremiah (Book of Jeremiah)

§ David (Psalms 6, 13, 18, 23, 25, 27, 31, 32, 34, 37-40, 42-43, 46, 51, 55, 62-63, 69, 71, 73, 77, 84, 86, 90-91, 94-95, 103-104, 107, 110, 116, 118, 121, 123-124, 130, 138, 139, 141-143, 146-147) 

Depression due to guilt

CAIN, son of Adam (having disobeyed God)
"Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast (depressed)? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.’"     -Genesis 4:6-7

DAVID, King of Israel (having committed adultery was depressed until he confessed his sin)"When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah.-Psalm 32:3-4

Release from depression caused by guilt came from confession and seeking God’s forgiveness…

"For I said in my haste, ‘I am cut off from before Your eyes’; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried out to You. Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. …I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
     -Psalm 31:22 – 32:2, 32:5 (NKJV)

David’s humble prayer for forgiveness (an example for us all)

"Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving-kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight; That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was broug

ht forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. …For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise."     -Psalm 51:1-13, 16-17 (NKJV)

When you’re depressed, place your hope in God.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. …For You are the God of my strength…"     -Psalm 42:5, 43:2 (NKJV)

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."     -Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.
     -Philippians 4:4-8 (NKJV)

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."
     -1 Peter 5:6-7

Although things may be difficult, Christians can avoid deep depression.

"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

-2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18 (NIV)

Remember what Jesus Christ went through for us. Remember what the apostle Paul experienced, yet remained focused on the eternal rather than the temporary. When we maintain faith and keep our focus on God’s love and the hope He has given us for eternity, Christians can weather the storms of life. It can be done.

Paul — "…I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, and I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches."
     -2 Corinthians 11:23b-28 (NIV)

When the Israelites were depressed, God called them to put their faith into action.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

References:

[Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Josh McDowell’s Handbook on Counseling Youth (Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, 1996), chapter 5; Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, revised edition (Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, 1988).]

In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP

Young Adult Crisis Hotline and

Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD

                                                     (2463)

theodoreawadjr@comcast.net

http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/

http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com

youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Counseling with the Mind of Christ

                 The_Mind_of_Christ

I Corinthians 2:16 "For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

In order to have the mind of Christ, we are going to have to present ourselves to God for a transforming of our very carnal minds. What is the ‘Christ Mind’ … surely it must be the consciousness (the mind) in which Jesus functioned … in which he ‘walked’. ‘He that hath seen me … hath seen the Father’ … ‘I and my father are one’, he said. He knew that He and God … ‘His source’, were One … One and the same. So … HE ‘WALKED’ AS GOD … in God consciousness. He dwelt in the ‘Kingdom’ of God… in the consciousness of being God!


In Phillipians 2:5, the apostle Paul said, ‘let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. In Mathew 6:33 Jesus said, ‘seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’. He was not talking about a place … he was talking about a State of Mind! The ‘kingdom of God’ … IS A STATE OF MIND … the CHRIST MIND! We have been told that it is within us (the Kingdom of God), but we have never been told that it is a state of mind When we realize that we are One with our Source … that each of us is the Source manifesting … we begin to take upon ourselves the likeness of our Source. That likeness, is the CHRIST. To function in that consciousness… AS THE SOURCE… is to function in the Mind of Christ  !

Biblical counseling seeks to lead the believer to the end of his strength – regardless of how productive (or nonproductive) such "strength" may have proven to be – and into the certainty of Christ’s strength through him! The Holy Spirit, often through the school of adversity, always works against the believer’s dependency upon the flesh. Ultimately his flesh becomes nonproductive by Supernatural design at which time many seek counseling.

The counselor who uses techniques generated by unregenerate minds to help such a believer cut his losses is actually interrupting God’s process of bringing that Christian to the end of his personal resources. The more "skilled" and "effective" the counselor, the more he sets God back to square one, having to begin the breaking process all over again.

But what is biblical counseling and what distinguishes it from other counseling approaches?

What is the goal of counseling?
The goal of counseling will often vary, and experienced counselors will tailor their approaches to their clients’ needs.

What is the goal of secular counseling?
Secular counseling is grounded in humanism, and most often seeks to help a person adjust to difficult circumstances. The processes may include client education, behavioral techniques, and cognitive restructuring (changing one’s thoughts), just to name a few. But the end goal will most likely be some type of adaptation that provides surface problem or symptom relief.

What is the goal of Christian counseling?
Christian counseling is grounded in the Bible, and most often seeks to help a person embrace the pain of his experience through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The motivation will be different than secular counseling. For example, a Christian counselor’s goal is to use the Word of God to being healing and deliverance (Psalm 107:20. The Word of God is the Rational Expression of God which itself has creative power and is God’s medium of communication with the human race. John1:1–14, the creative word of God, which is itself God and incarnate in Jesus.

Theos: Which transcribes to "God" in Greek

Logos: Which transcribes "The Word: Rational Process of Thought" in Greek

Counseling with God’s Rational Process of Thought which is Mind of God causes a "rational change of mind" and a process of internal change.  The Logos renewing the mind will be a greater knowledge and enjoyment of God not based on circumstances.

First, what is

NOT necessarily biblical counseling?

1. Simply attaching the word Christian to the counseling approach does not make it biblical. Much counseling that draws on psychological and therapeutic concepts is presented as Christian when in fact it is Christian in name only.

2. A Bible perched on the counselor’s desk corner or on an end table doesn’t mean the counsel being given conforms to the Scriptures.

3. Just because the counselor is a born-again Christian or even a Pastor does not mean his counsel is biblical. He may have been trained in any of a myriad of popular counseling systems that are not derived from Scripture, but rather from secular sources.

4. Using Bible verses to support the coun

sel being given does not mean the counsel is biblical. A Bible passage can be taken out of context and misused to support something the Bible simply does not say.

5. A simplistic dispensing of Bible verses and prescribing prayer is not biblical counseling.

6. A kind, loving, accepting stance on the part of the counselor should not be interpreted as necessarily biblical counseling. It may be reflecting a non-directive counseling methodology that helps the counselee feel better but doesn’t solve the problem God’s way.

THEN WHAT IS BIBLICAL COUNSELING?

How do you spot the real thing? The following will help you identify counseling that is truly biblical.

1. The counselor functions on the presupposition that Scripture is God’s inspired, inerrant, and sufficient Word. He views the Bible as the textbook for everything pertaining to life and godliness (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:3-4).

2. The counselor knows there is always hope for change based on God’s promises and power in Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 3:20).

3. Appropriate portions of Scripture are investigated and discussed to shed God’s light on the problem. (E.g. – marriage problems: see Genesis 2; Ephesians 5; I Peter 3).

4. Biblical directives derived from these passages are applied to the problem. Practical ways of implementing those directives are assigned to help put off sinful thinking and behavior and put on godly thinking and behavior (Ephesians 4:22-24).

5. The counseling process includes the need for regeneration (John 3:3), the recognition of the sinful propensities of the heart (Jeremiah 17:9), the human capacity of habit (I Timothy 4:7), the importance of motivation and thought as well as behavior (Romans 12:2; I Corinthians 4:5), the individual’s responsibility before God to obedience (I John 5:3), and the sufficiency of God’s grace for every life problem (I Corinthians 10:13; II Corinthians 12:9).

6. Biblical counseling emphasizes a God-centered approach to solving problems. The goal is first to be concerned about pleasing God. Deliverance from the problem is secondary to seeing God in the problem and at work in the person’s life (Romans 8:28-29).

7. Biblical counseling is a ministry of the local church. The local church is God’s ordained agency to help His people grow and change into the likeness of Christ. In fact, while church leaders are especially responsible (Hebrews 13:17), God has called ALL believers to counsel one another to some degree (Romans 15:4).

Proverbs 14:12 says there is a way that seems right to men, but it ends in death.

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free:

1-877-702-2GOD

                      (2463)

theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net