Category Archives: toxic guilt

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

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The Bending Process :Examination

In the process of counseling as pastoral counselors are instruments to bring specific categories doctrine in helping people examine their heart in light of the Word of God. We help them in their process of bending toward God’s mind instead of their own mind. This process of bending takes time and care. We are to present them unto God in the process of their personal decisions toward the truth. We help individuals realize that absolute truth is the way to begin to think rationally and with sober thoughts. To think with sober thoughts in John 8:32 brings great freedom. Acting on truth releases the power of freedom into your life and circumstances. The turned and changed mind will be a spiritual awakening and source for strength.

The path of surrender and freedom depends upon how we assist them to look at themselves. This is defined as living the life of Faith which is to begin the journey of a yielded life. This process unfortunately is often clouded with worldly introspection and toxic guilt. The reason introspection causes guilt and not a genuine repentance is because it uses the cognition.

Cognition Definition:

The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.Those processes involved in the gathering, organization, and use of knowledge.Reasoning by direct retrieval involves retrieving a known fact from memory to solve a problem. Reasoning involves constructing or retrieving images from conceptual memory and examining or manipulating them to solve a problem.
The internal structures and processes that are involved in the acquisition and use of knowledge, including sensation, perception, attention, learning, memory, language, thinking, and reasoning. Cognitive scientists propose and test theories about the functional components of cognition based on observations of an organism’s external behavior in specific situations.
Cognition throughout life can be broadly described as an interaction between knowledge-driven processes and sensory processes; and between controlled processes and automatic processes. Over time, there is a trade-off between the amount of surface information that is retained in the internal representation of objects or events (bottom-up processing) and the amount of meaning that is incorporated (top-down processing).
The process of cognition which the mind acts and states. This reflection depends upon self-consciousness instead of God-consciousness. A reflective looking inward is the spy of self that looks to condemn instead of building and bending toward the will and Rational expression of God.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

When we examine ourselves, we try to test the quality of our hearts with the Word of Grace, not the word of self-condemnation. The Word of Grace develops God’s character in which God’s nature rationally through the Word of God helps our mind to prove and ascertained the quality of one’s own state. This also through Grace internally changes us from within which then changes our conduct. This process has to start with our motives which is developed first in the Battleground of our Mind. Motives particularly cause action concerning our feelings. The reflective examination reveals with the mirror of living water the true state of our spirit, soul, and body. The process of examination does not produce toxic guilt or shame because it is God centered and not self-oriented. The examination produces the consciousness of who God is and what he has done not who we are and what we have done.

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

References:

REV. C. H. Spurgeon is these excerpts below from the New Park Street pulpit sermon # 218

“Stand not only on the mountains of your public character, but go into the deep valleys of your private life. Be not content to sail on the broad river of your outward actions, but go follow back the narrow nil till you discover your secret motive.Look not only at your performance, which is but the product of the soil, but dig into your heart and examine the vital principle. “Examine yourselves.”

Examine: that is a scholastic idea questions him, to see whether he has made any progress,—whether he knows anything. Christian, catechize your heart; question it, to see whether it has been growing in grace; question it, to see if it knows anything of vital godliness or not.

A military idea. “Examine yourselves,” or renew yourselves. Go through the rank and file of your actions, and examine all your motives. Just as the captain on review-day is not content with merely surveying the men from a distance, but must look at all their accoutrements, so do you look well to yourselves; examine yourselves with the most scrupulous care.
And once again, this is a legal idea. “Examine yourselves.” You have seen the witness in the box, when the lawyer has been examining him, or, as we have it, cross-examining him. Now, mark: never was there a rogue less trustworthy or more deceitful than your own heart, and as when you are cross-examining a dishonest person—one that hath bye-ends to serve, you set traps for him to try and find him out in a lie, so do with your own heart. Question it backward and forward, this way and that way; for if there be a loophole for escape, if there he any pretence for self-deception, rest assured your treacherous heart will be ready enough to avail itself of it.
And yet once more: this is a traveler’s idea. I find in the original, it has this meaning: “Go right through yourselves.”

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

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

Pride and Shame: Strongholds of the Self-Centered Soul

Pride and Shame:
Strongholds of the Self-Centered Soul


Strongholds of pride and shame can keep us wandering aimlessly through a desert of unrest leading to confusion, anxiety, depression and despair.


Pride is a little god-maker. It is the most effective attribute of character available to us for the fashioning of little gods. Pride is not patient, it is not kind. It does envy, it does boast; for it is – pride. It is rude, it is self-seeking, it is easily angered, and it keeps records of all wrongs. Pride rejoices in evil and avoids the truth. It protects for selfish reasons, it cannot afford to trust, it is its own hope, and it perseveres only for personal gain. (Compare to love in 1 Cor. 13:4-7) Man’s first sin was pridefully self-centered. Man’s first reaction to his sin was shame. Shame is also self-centered. Just like pride, its central focus is self.

Pride led religious leaders to want to kill Jesus (Mark 11:18). In order to flourish, pride must conquer what it perceives as competition. And yet, it was also pride that caused men to want to raise Him up as King of Israel (John 6:15)! But Jesus resisted them. Jesus knew the method by which He must be lifted up in the eyes of men (Jesus predicts His death in John 3:14-15). Scripture tells us that Jesus “would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men” (John 2:24).

Pride caused the Israelites to reject God’s institution of judges in favor of a king to represent them as a nation. God told Samuel, “…it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you” (1 Samuel 8:7-8). Pride promotes self. Shame demotes self. But, both are increases to self-centeredness. To demote self is not to decrease self. It is simply a different, though negative, view of self. Pride encourages a persistent focus on self-gratification. Then, as self becomes gratified, pride is ratified. Thus, pride becomes the cause and the protector of selfishness.

Pride encourages self to believe that personal performance can overcome unpleasant negative feelings of shame. Shame insinuates to self, “Sure, Jesus died on the cross for you, but don’t you still feel shame?” Then pride exhorts self, “Therefore, you must rely on what you have done, or what you are now doing, or what you are able to do to feel acceptable to yourself.”

Where there is much pridefulness, there is powerful judgment:

“On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man.’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)

But, where there is little pridefulness, there is powerful grace:


All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:32-33)
Shame often legitimizes its self-centered focus by promoting self’s victim status. Unrepentant pride and shame are circular allies. When shame is tired of its suffering, it often turns to pride for relief. When pride’s shallowness is exposed, it often turns to shame for absolution. Thus, they perpetuate one another allowing self to avoid true repentance. Shame is a great impetus for both action and inaction. Shame can bully a person to works requiring tremendous effort or intimidate a soul to virtual impotence.

Shame resides in the relative safety of loneliness. By avoiding honest intimate relationship, shame shields self from the possibility of further rejection. But, by avoiding intimate relationship, it also shields self from love. Shame and pride are like a dog and a cat. They both determinedly desire to be stroked. Pride and shame are fraternal twins. Though they do not look alike, they were born one right after the other. Pride was the firstborn, and then came its inevitable brother, shame. Shame is sometimes the primary method of establishing and managing religion. When this happens, pride is the governing body of that religion. In the end, shame will be the great equalizer for those that are unrepentantly prideful. Self is the captain of the ship christened Pride and Shame. “Sink or swim” is its motto. Through stormy seas, it endlessly sails. It has no homeport, where it may rest from the winds of selfish determination.

Shame is a thief, stealing the treasure of life from self. Pride selfishly buries the treasure where only he can find it. The rich may have pride and the poor may have shame, but each is merely vanity. They are both mirrors used to unrelentingly gaze upon self.

An attitude of worldly shame denies the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and is in direct conflict with the proclamation of scripture:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1,2).

Pride looks for who’s watching. Shame watches for who’s looking. Both are in bonda
ge to the opinions of others. Pride and shame are like merry-go-round horses; one goes up and the other goes down, but they both keep going round and round. Shame may be deep and pride may be shallow, but both are only holes in the souls of men. Pride and shame are the bodyguards of unrepentant self. They will do whatever is necessary to protect self from healthy change.

Shame is like a tree with many roots underground, but very little trunk and few branches above the surface. Pride is like a great tree with long branches reaching upward from a portly trunk, but very little root structure. The wind comes and blows mightily against the shame tree. Some dead branches are blown off, but the roots remain firmly entrenched. Then the strong wind comes and blows against the pride tree. The whole tree comes crashing down, with its shallow roots exposed for the entire world to see. Which tree is more resistant to the Spirit of God? The one that displays itself boldly to the world or the one that hides itself safely beneath the surface?

Shame for our sins was a choice Jesus once made. Jesus chose to bear our shame by dying on the cross. Pride is a whip in the hands of the arrogant. Shame is a shovel in the hands of a fool. The shameful fool digs an emotional hole, too deep to climb out, and then jumps in. The arrogant, prideful one lashes the fool for jumping into the hole. The shameful fool accepts the lashing as appropriate and deserved. The arrogant, prideful one leans back and smiles in satisfaction.

It is easy to see that having much pride is shameful. But what is often hidden from our sight is that having much shame can be prideful. The person with much shame often believes that harboring a sufficiently large quantity of shame is a necessary self-punishment before God (and others) and a means by which he might earn some degree of personal acceptance. In this way, his shame has become a self-determining, self-dependent, work of atonement, denying the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for his sins. This is pride.

Shame denies light to the dark places within the soul. The soul cannot grow without the light. Shame denies air to the empty places within the soul. The soul can not breathe without the air. Shame denies water to the dry places within the soul. The soul can not live without the water. Shame denies while the soul dies.

Pride is a source of false hope. But Shame is a source of false hopelessness. Shame is like a flower that grows up out of the ground and then refuses to bloom in the sunlight. But place it in the shade and it will open.

Worldly shame is an active rejection of God’s forgiveness based on feelings of personal unworthiness. If you have rejected God’s forgiveness, whose worthiness have you really rejected, yours or Christ’s?

It is not easy to stop being prideful and it is not easy to stop being ashamed. The way to stop being prideful is not by being ashamed, and the way to stop being ashamed is not by being prideful. Both are overcome by humility. And humility is perfected by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is sin to believe pride and shame’s definitions of self. It is humility to believe God’s definition of self. If you truly wish to stop believing the lies; God will set you free, unto humility. You must choose to go there, but only God can bring you.



In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center
410-808-6483

Wounded Heart of Shame

Wounded Heart of Shame


Shame Synonyms:
humiliate reject neglect
ridicule disrespect abandon
dishonor slight demean
insult taunt put down
beat abuse punish
hurt loss of face soul-murder
worthless prejudice racism
numb dead cold
hell joyless suffering
poverty
Antonyms:
pride confidence dignity
self-esteem self-respect self-love
malama bood

Isa. 42:17,44:9-11- The 3 elements of shame: exposure, revelation and consequences involves the element of trust as well. Trust is giving up our soul to another with the hope we will not be harmfully used. This power we give to another is the power to determine whether or not we are acceptable and desirable which empowers another to determine whether I am acceptable or not.

This can be misconstrued and becomes idolatry which is placing our longings to another for which only God can provide, putting this longing in the hands of a creature rather than our Creator.

Shame or folly comes about when our false god fails to meet our needs and heal our wounds, then we begin to rely on our own strength rather than on God or anyone else. All of this represents illegitimate shame.

Legitimate shame is when we acknowledge God, God is the One who determines our acceptability. Thus, legitimate shame is facing our failure to trust in God. Trusting God means relying on Him to keep our body or our world intact and to maintain the intactness of our soul. Shame of the flesh tries to deflect sin through contempt and blame shifting as with Adam and Eve.

Contempt/Deflection:
The enemy is ultimately the evil one, and the path to Satan’s vision is rebellion or autonomy, or in other words, sin. Self-contempt and other-centered contempt is a mean by which we maintain a
semblance of control over our lives that protects one from dependence on God, and this keeps one from dealing with the problem of sin and God is the only One Who can deal with sin, the flaw of our fallen nature.

Functions of Contempt
Ps. 1:1-3 -To deal with this problem requires more than behavioral change. The issue here is sin, salvation and sanctification. Contempt serves us in 4 ways:it diminishes our shame, it deadens our longings, it makes us feel in control, and it distorts the real problem. Self-contempt is satan’s counterfeit for conviction of sin. All abuse is a violation of the sanctity and wholeness of the human soul.

Prerequisites for Growth:
To move toward loving God we begin to alter the process of self-centered stagnation and decay.

John 12:24-25 -Trusting in God involves the loss of our agenda, so that we die to our inclination to live a lie. We forfeit our rigid, self-protective, God dishonoring ways of relating in order to live life as it is meant to be lived. In order to love God’s way, we must both honor the dignity and expose the depravity of the person with whom we are in relationship.

Honesty
Heb. 2:10, 5:8-9 – Real life requires death. Death involves the experience of suffering. Suffering is required for growth. Christ’s sufferings was in bearing the disgrae and shame of the Cross. As we take up His cross, we can then really see what we are meant to be. The purpose of regaining memories is removal of denial, reclamation of the self, and a movement toward real change.

Ps. 139:23-24-Reclaiming the past is a lifelong endeavor.

Repentance:
Repentance is an about-face movement in the mind from denial, rebellion to truth, and surrender from death to life. Repentance is an internal shift in our perceived source of life, and it involves the response of humble hunger, bold movement, and wild celebration when faced with the reality of our fallen state and the grace of God. This leads us toward coming alive for the explicit purpose of having more to give to others for their well-being and to God for His glory.

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center
410-808-6483
theodoreawadjr@comcast.net

Why are Young Adults leaving the church?

Why are Young Adults leaving the church?

“Americans in their twenties are significantly less likely than any other age group to attend church.”

86% of the Young Adults in the evangelical church leave at age 18 and ever come back. Thisfigure sounds incredibly high to me but even if it is in actuality, only a fraction ofthat amount it still shows there is a real problem in the Church today.

“These statistics suggest that the church is heading toward extinction.”

If churches do not “modify the approaches they use to influence the faith development” of this group, teens who grow up to be young adults will be “the least churched generation.”

A new study from LifeWay Research shows that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Protestant church in high school will drop out of church for at least a year before their 22nd birthday.

More than 1,000 adults (ages 18-30) were questioned for the survey. Each said they had attended a Protestant church for at least a year while in high school. But 97 percent of those surveyed listed one or more reasons for becoming what LifeWay refers to as a church “dropout.” For example, 27 percent of those individuals said they left church because they wanted “a break from church.”
Other reasons cited for keeping them from attending church included: the transition to college (25%), increased work responsibilities (23%), “too busy, though still wanted to attend” (22%), moved too far away from the church they had been attending (22%), and wanted to spend more time with friends from outside the church (17%).

Gone are the days when young adults attended church because they’re “supposed to,” said Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research.

New research has confirmed speculation that young adults are leaving the church in droves.

LifeWay Research released study results that showed that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Protestant church stopped attending church regularly (at least twice a month) for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22.

While many do return and attend church at least “sporadically,” 34 percent said they had not returned by age 30.

“Lots of alarming numbers have been tossed around regarding church dropouts,” said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, in the study. “We wanted to get at the real situation with clear research – and there is some bad news here, no question. But, there are also some important solutions to be found in the research.

When we know why people drop out, we can address how to help better connect them.”

Most of the young adults who stopped attending church had not planned in advance on quitting the church. Only 20 percent of the church dropouts said that while attending church in high school, they planned on taking a break from church once they finished high school.

Almost all church dropouts were related to life changes. The top reason in this category young adults listed was “I simply wanted a break from church” (27 percent).
Transitioning into college was also a major reason for quitting church (25 percent); 23 percent said “work responsibilities prevented me from attending;” and 22 percent said they “moved too far away from the church to continue attending.”
“It seems the teen years are like a free trial on a product. By 18, when it’s their choice whether to buy in to church life, many don’t feel engaged and welcome,” said McConnell, according to USA Today.

“When life changes, reshuffle priorities and time in young adults’ lives, church doesn’t make it back on that list for a lot of them and I think that maybe tells us where we’ve prioritized those things,” commented Stetzer in a LifeWay podcast.
Two out of three young adults reported attending church at least twice a month through the age of 16. The percentage drops sharply at ages 17, 18, and 19, with only 31 percent attending at age 19. And attendance remains low through age 22. Attendance rises slowly afterward.

Although some still wanted to attend church, 22 percent said they “became too busy” and 17 percent “chose to spend more time with friends outside the church.”
More than half (52 percent) said “religious, ethical or political beliefs” contributed to their departure from church. More specifically, 18 percent said “I disagreed with the church’s stance on political or social issues;” 17 percent said “I was only going to church to please others;” 16 percent no longer wanted to identify with a church or organized religion; and 14 percent disagreed with the church’s teachings about God.
On church or pastor-related reasons for leaving, 26 percent said they left because “church members seemed judgmental or hypocritical” and 20 percent said they “didn’t feel connected to the people in my church.”

The research poses some great cause for concern, said Stetzer who recognizes the frequent criticism toward youth leaders regarding the high dropout rate.
“People have been beating on youth ministry like a low-hanging piñata on cinco de mayo for a few years now. I think we’ve got to ask some hard questions and I think it’s okay to ask those hard questions,” said Stetzer in the podcast.
“This research should not just say ‘Oh, the sky’s falling,’ but ‘What do we need to do differently?'”

Why some return

Most church dropouts, however, aren’t gone for good. Among those who stopped attending church regularly and who are now ages 23-30, 35 percent currently attend church twice a month or more. Another 30 percent attend church more sporadically.
The primary reason church dropouts eventually return to church is because of encouragement from family or friends. Thirty-nine percent returned as a result of their parents’ or family members’ encouragement and 21 percent attribute their return to their friends or acquaintances.

On a more personal note, 34 percent return because “I simply the desire to return” and 28 percent said “I felt that God was calling me to return to the church.”
Other reasons for returning include “I had children and felt it was time for them to start attending” (24 percent); and “I got married and wanted to attend with my spouse” (20 percent).

Some stay

Some still decide to remain in the church through ages 18-22. Most (65 percent) said “Church was a vital part of my relationship with God” and more than half (58 percent) said “I wanted the church to help guide my decisions in everyday life” as reasons for staying in church.

Half said they felt the church was helping them become a better person; and 42 percent said they were “committed to the purpose and work of the church.”
Those who stuck with the church during their young adult years largely remain a churchgoer. Only 6 percent of young adults who stayed do not currently attend church.

“When, by God’s grace, young people see the church as essential in their lives and choose to continue attending, their loyalty remains strong,” McConnell said in the study.

Stetzer noted, “Teens are looking for more from a youth ministry than a holding tank with pizza.

“They look for a church that teaches them how to live life. As they enter young adulthood, church involvement that has made a difference in their lives gives them a powerful reason to keep attending.”

LifeWay researcher directors stressed the importance of relationships that can keep people in the church and parents in passing a robust Christian faith to their children.
LifeWay conducted the survey in April and May 2007 on more than 1,000 adults ages 18-30. Each indicated that they had attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year in high school.

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The Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center are helping to encourage discipleship and growth in each individuals walk with the Lord. Our personal vision of The Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center is rapidly expanding into creative, effective and fruitful outreaches. The Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center is a unique extension of our vision of “Impacting Young Adults World Wide.” The combination of tremendous personal discipleship, patience, divine encouragement and constantly pointing people to the Cross is producing fruit that is not only remaining but “Taking the Word to the World” as well. The purpose is now to cast our nets and fish for others.

The Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center is a unique extension of the vision of the TOPEC Foundation. The vision of the Total Personal Care Foundation is to expand to working and developing this Generation. The Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center are therefore helping to encourage discipleship and growth in each individuals walk with the Lord.
The Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center has become a Christian Outpost that helps individuals who have life controlling problems to become responsible, productive and caring individuals through its personal development program with intensified Grace Rational Therapy. This program ministers to the spiritual, psychological and physical needs of its clients.
This ministry will serve as a bridge to the local church community by preparing and training the individuals to live Christ-centered lives. It will facilitate these goals by teaching and presenting them the biblical alternative to life challenging problems by offering the biblical solution to freedom based upon “The Finished Work” of Jesus Christ and His principles.

“What we’re hoping to get the churches to see … and to really understand is that losing one to Jesus was more important than staying with the entire flock. He would go after the one lost sheep and leave the 99 behind.

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

This information above is from various sources and the research was done by LifeWay Research .
http://www.lifeway.com/

Follow Link for more research :
Young adults aren’t sticking with church
By Cathy Lynn Grossman – USA TODAY
To read the entire article, click here.

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LifeWay Research Uncovers Reasons

18 To 22-Year-Olds Drop Out Of Church

By LifeWay Research Staff

To read the entire article, click here.