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Family & Recovery

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What is an addiction?

There are many, many definitions of addiction. Most definitions share three characteristics:

1) A person feels compelled to participate in a particular behavior,

2) This behavior disconnects the person from their life, relationships and work, and

3) Faced with negative consequences of this behavior, a person is unable to stopped the behavior.

There is one significant difference between someone who is addicted and someone who is not. When an addicted person has a problem due to his addictive behavior, he doesn’t change his addictive behavior.

                     Addiction in the Family        

enable

What is enabling?

Enabling is doing for others what they are capable of doing for themselves. When we enable addicts, we prevent them from experiencing the consequences of their own actions. When we do this, we discourage them from learning from their own mistakes which, in turn, prevents them from realizing they have a problem.

The addict has made addiction their whole life. The normal, natural things every person needs to learn have been put aside. When we continue to reach in and do even the simple things for people we love, how will they learn to do for themselves?

How do we enable?

We enable addicts by doing things such as:

  • Paying their bills, making car payments, covering bounced checks, paying bail, paying traffic tickets;
  • Making excuses for their behavior, changing appointments, calling employers on absenteeism, writing late or absentee excuses to schools, covering up for missed family functions;
  • Providing the addict with money, clothing, housing and food;
  • Caring for the addict’s family by allowing them to live with us, taking their children to school, babysitting, etc.

What does enabling do for us?

Enabling gives us a false sense of control. We do what society tells us a "good" father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter or friend should do, but we are not getting the results we desire. We feel frustrated and resentful. Because the addict’s behavior does not change, we think we have failed.

Our actions, done with the best of intentions, have back-fired. We have not helped the addicted. The addicted is farther away from accepting their hopelessness and personal responsibility

What is the difference between helping and enabling?

We need to look deep inside ourselves to determine the difference between helping and enabling. "How do I feel when I offer my help? What’s in it for me?" Checking your motives will help you decide when you are truly helping or when you are enabling.

Can you enable an addict (or anyone) who is not using?

We can enable anyone, using or not. Our enabling behavior patterns are not directed solely toward the addict and/or the addict’s sobriety. Enabling deprives anyone of experiencing the consequences of their own behavior to have personal responsibility.

Remember, when taking personal responsibility for our own behavior each one of us must find our own path. Experience teaches us that it is useless to lay out a path for someone else to follow. We must each make our own way to our goal.

When we enable, we put other people’s needs before our own.

Here are a few ways that addiction impacts a family.

title01

Addicted parents are distracted.

Let’s face it. An addicted person is much more interested in their addiction than they are with almost anything else. Children need attention and care from their parents. If a parent’s attention is focused on something other than the child, the child might never get the care he or she needs to develop a healthy sense of self. Further, human predators (sexual and physical abusers, pornographers, kidnappers, etc.) prey almost primarily on children whose parents are distracted. Further, distracted parents are less likely to notice the change in their children after a human predator has hurt them.

An addict uses up family resources.

Often when a person becomes addicted, the family rallies to help the addict get back on track. They might pay for alcohol and drug treatment and attorneys to clean up the wreckage created by the addiction. They might spend month’s worrying, caring, and attempting to help their family member “recover”. Still, every family has finite resources and addiction is not s

omething that is easily solved. More times than not, as the addict works through their individual recovery including multiple relapses, legal involvement, loss of work or what ever path his addiction takes. Eventually, a family’s resources – including money, patience, kindness and time – are used up. In the meantime, as the family focuses on rescuing an addicted person, family resources are taken from other children, siblings and relationships. This leaves children without their parent’s attention, siblings disconnected from sibling support, and parents separated from each other. Families, who use all their resources helping the addict, are left with only exhaustion, frustration and financial strain.

For every addict there is a codependency.

Co-dependent people are the nicest people you will ever meet. They are giving and loving. In fact, that’s the problem. A co-dependent person will give of himself/herself until all of his/her personal resources are gone. Often he/she will change himself/herself to become what he/she believes you want him/her to be. Inside, a co-dependent person usually feels invisible, unworthy and completely alone. He/She might believe that he/she will only be loved for what he/she does, instead of who he/she is. HE/She will then exhaust himself/herself doing and never understand if someone loves him/her. His/Her internal world is filled with resentment, self-loathing, shame and anxiety. At his/her worst, he/she must control every person, place and thing in his/her life.

Who becomes co-dependent?

Children and families of addicts.

Playing a role for life

Addicted families organize around addiction. Children know to look for their parents at the bar. Wives work to support their alcoholic husbands. Husbands buy drugs to keep their addicted wives “happy”. Children who grow up in alcoholic and addicted families learn to behave in predictable roles to keep the family functioning. Addicted family roles include: the scapegoat, little parent, hero, mascot, chief enabler, and lost child.

Most children, who grow up playing one of these family roles, continue in that role as adults. Children who played the role of mascot become adults who struggle for someone to take them seriously. Many family heroes get to the end of medical school, law school or business school and wonder “Is this all there is?”. The child who is the family scapegoat will grow up to be scapegoated at work. Lost children often disappear from families never to return. And little parents often choose not to have children, significant relationships or long term work because they are exhausted from raising their siblings.

These roles are most often seen in the workplace because we tend to recreate our childhood environments at work. Lost children are usually the people who get “forgotten” on their birthday and overlooked for promotions. The work hero is the person who strives to be the very best employee the company has ever had. While the mascot’s ideas are never taken seriously, he does continue to facilitate fun and games. Of course, the little parent sends around birthday cards and arranges the work picnic. We have all seen the chief enabler working late, never saying “no” and facilitating even the most unreasonable deadline. Remember that guy that “needed to be fired” so that everyone else’s job was better? Well, after he was fired, someone else took his place as the scapegoat. It happens every time.

Children of alcoholics and addicts will continue to act out their family role as adults. If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, you are probably continuing to act out your childhood role as an adult. This only leads to disrupted relationships, difficulties at work and long term unhappiness. Further, many people suffer and stay stuck rather than shift their family role.

How to heal

Addicted families have their own set of problems. In order to heal, you must first acknowledge the addiction. Talk with your family. Other family members may be ready to talk about it.

Look at your childhood family role. Are you continuing to act that out? These roles were very adaptive when you were a child growing up in an alcoholic or addicted household. Playing your role helped you fit into the family and survive. As an adult, this role is no longer necessary or helpful.

Once you have acknowledged that you are playing a role, it is important to learn and understand why you are playing this particular role. Spend some time reviewing material about addicted family roles. Use your journal to write about the disadvantages of playing one of these roles and the advantages to not being authentic. Look at your extended family. What other roles do people play? Who plays a role similar to yourself?

Some prefer to adopt the motto “Never look back.” Others cling to the past or use it as an excuse for today’s dramas. This can be good or bad, depending on the situation.

Though often unrealized, help for codependency, alcohol and drug addiction should many time be a family affair. As people read through the addiction family roles presented they can often identify the person in their life who plays each role. Roles though present in situations without addiction, often become more apparent when an addict is present. Members will unknowingly take on specific stereotypes that can many times be classified as:

The Addict.
The Hero.
The Mascot.
The Lost Child.
The Scapegoat.
The Caretaker (Enabler).

The following information on each role, defines how many people are instructed when taking basic steps to begin overcoming roles individually. Each role is given a brief description for understanding one basis of family addiction recovery. A summary follows with information on how and why the roles lead to codependency. In a more functioning household, children often move fluidly between roles. When a parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs, the entire family is set up around the addict and their addiction. Children tend to follow designated roles as the family acts out the drama of addiction. Children develop these roles due to family dynamics. For a child in an addicted household, he or she will usually only fulfill one role. The parents and family will not acknowledge any behavior outside this family role.

FRC2

                                Family Role’s

So what are addicted family roles?

They are:

Addiction and the Family Role 1, The Addict

The person with the addiction is the center, and though the key to alcohol and drug addiction recovery, not necessarily the most important in family recovery. The "world" revolves around this person, causing the addict to become the center of attention. As the roles are defined, the others unconsciously take on the rest of the roles to complete the balance after the problem has been introduced. Recovery many times on this person.

Addiction and the Family Role 2, The Hero

The Hero is the one who needs to make the family, and role players, look good. They ignore the problem and present things in a positive manner as if the roles within the family did not exist. The Hero is the perfectionist. If they overcome this role they can play an important part in the addiction recovery process.

The underlying feelings are fear, guilt, and shame. Hero. This child fulfills the family values. If the family values emphasize the need for advanced education and careers, this child can be the perfect student. If the family values are criminal in nature, this child can become a professional criminal. Addicted parents often brag about the hero child.

Inside, the hero feels tremendous pressure to achieve. It feels as if the entire family is depending on them to be successful. They will often put aside their needs in order to achieve. This child is particularly vulnerable to addiction due to the disconnection from himself/herself.

Addiction and the Family Role 3, The Mascot

The Mascot’s role is that of the jester. They will often make inappropriate jokes about the those involved. Though they do bring humor to the family roles, it is often harmful humor, and they sometimes hinder addiction recovery.

The underlying feelings are embarrassment, shame, and anger. Mascot. This is the fun and funny child. They are the life of the party. In fact, many family occasions cannot begin until the mascot arrives. The mascot child often “lights up” the room.

Inside, the mascot is terrified of family conflict. This child feels responsible for everyone getting along and will often intercede in family arguments with jokes to distract from the argument. While popular in school, this child struggles with any form of intimate relationship due to their fear of conflict.

Addiction and the Family Role 4, The Lost Child

The Lost Child is the silent, "out of the way" family member, and will never mention alcohol or recovery. They are quiet and reserved, careful to not make problems. The Lost Child gives up self needs and makes efforts to avoid any conversation regarding the underlying roles.

The underlying feelings are guilt, loneliness, neglect, and anger.

This is the forgotten child. The lost child is often left places or otherwise forgotten. In turn, this child becomes involved in their own world of books, fantasy or television. A lost child may have an entire world filled with friends and activities that the family knows nothing about.

Inside, the lost child feels very sad and alone. She is invisible to almost everyone in the family. Often, in adulthood, the lost child may completely disconnect from the family literally creating her own world.

Addiction and the Family Role 5, The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat often acts out in front of others. They will rebel, make noise, and divert attention from the person who is addicted and their need for help in addiction recovery. The Scapegoat covers or draws attention away from the real problem.

The underlying feelings are shame, guilt, and empty. o Scapegoat. This is the

problem child; the child who absorbs the family conflict. As a young child, the scapegoat might be blamed for things that he has not control over. This teaches the child that they will be in trouble no matter what they do. Therefore, by adolescence, the scapegoat acts out the family anger through aggressive acts, criminal behavior and difficulties in school. This child seems to always be in trouble.

Inside, the scapegoat feels hopeless and trapped. There is very little this child can do without getting into trouble. The scapegoat believes that something is significantly wrong with him.

Addiction and the Family Role 6, The Caretaker (Enabler)

The Caretaker (Enabler) makes all the other roles possible. They try to keep everyone happy and the family in balance, void of the issue. They make excuses for all behaviors and actions, and never mention addiction recovery or getting help. The Caretaker (Enabler) presents a situation without problems to the public.

The underlying feelings are inadequacy, fear, and helplessness.

As with any recovery, it is sometimes necessary and helpful to gather information, to better understand what others are seeing or feeling. For a family, information and help must be sought for the whole family before the recovery can be complete. Information and understanding may be all that are necessary to bring about recovery, but a specialist might also be necessary, since there may be grief and loss to overcome in the process. The quiz section outlines some of the negative effects roles have and leads into codependency.

The chief enabler is person who makes the addict’s life work. They generally absorb the consequences of the addict’s behavior. While the chief enabler is usually the other parent, it is not uncommon to have children fulfilling this role by working jobs to provide for the family, buying drugs or alcohol for the addicted parent, and enabling the addict to continue in his or her addiction.

Inside, the chief enabler feels very out of control. Their life revolves around the addict and the addict’s behavio
r. Because the chief enabler lives in response to another person, they are unable to live out their own wishes and dreams.

Addiction and the Family Role 6, Little Parent

This child usually functions as a surrogate parent. While the parent is immersed in their addiction, the little parent may take on the parenting of younger children and sometimes begin to parent the parents.

Inside the little parent feels overburdened by the responsibilities they have been given. While they gain esteem from the love they give and receive, they miss opportunities to be children themselves.

Addiction and the Family Roles – A Short Quiz

Healthy Family System:

Self worth is high.
Communication is direct, clear, specific and honest and feelings are expressed.
Rules are human, flexible and appropriate to change.
It is natural to link and be open to society.
Each person has goals and plans to get there, and should be supported by the family.

Rules in a dependent or addicted family

Dependents use of drug is the most important thing in a family life.
Drug use in not the cause of family problems, it is denial which is the root.
Blaming others, don’t make mention of it, covering up, alibis, loyalty of family enables.
Nobody may discuss problem outside the family.
Nobody says what they feel or think.

If the second set of rules describes your family, please continue.

Family Roles Lead to Codependency

Addiction and the Family Roles How the They lead to Codependency

The parts played by family members lead to codependency. Members make decisions concerning what the other person needs. Codependency leads to aversion and lack of self orientation in a situation where an addiction is present. Ultimately people "become" the part they are playing.

The goal in alcohol and drug addiction recovery is to bring each member as a whole into a situation where the problems can be dealt with. Individual talents and abilities should be integrated into the situation, allowing emotional honesty about the situation, without guilt or punishment.

The overall goal in overcoming codependency is to make each person whole. That wholeness is only truly found in accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

People become familiar with and dependent on the role they play in families. In overcoming the family roles, you will begin to overcome issues, and what could be classified as the addiction to the role. While the conquering of the substance is important to the person with the addiction. A point to remember is the substance(s) is not the key to family recovery, removing the underlying roles are.

In beginning recovery, each family member must become proactive against the addiction to the role, and learn to become their true self. The goal is for each to person to become independent, and then approach the substance addiction recovery as a group of individuals, rather than as people playing a part. Whole, independent people can freely contribute to the recovery of the person overcoming the addiction, while a person playing a part can only perform the role.

Starting Points:

Begin with yourself.
Find, and write a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
Build on what you have.
Let go of trying to be perfect and realize all people have some weaknesses.

A true person utilizes strengths, while building up their weaknesses.

Addiction recovery for the co-dependent role, is tough. You must be personally honest and decide what you like or dislike. This may be as simple as defining how you wish things were, without playing the part, and adding support or friends in areas, or as encompassing as rethinking the path of your life.

Refraining from forcing yourself to engage in activities, because of the codependency, is important to successful recovery from the addiction. There are many resources for co-dependent roles and overcoming these roles. Please, be honest in deciding if you have an addiction to a specific role in a relationship and find resources to help you in your recovery.

As you begin to understand, breaking the family role should become easier. Remember to be understanding of others also.

How much a family is affected by a substance use problem depends on how long they have lived with it, how advanced it is, how much shame and secrecy surround it, and the roles and responsibilities of the person with the disorder. If the problem is left untreated, family members will also develop destructive behaviors, such as denial, enabling, and co-dependency.

Because certain behaviors become routine, you may have trouble seeing how unhealthy they are, and how they contribute to the problem.

DENIAL

Denial occurs when family members do not recognize, or refuse to admit, that substance use is causing serious health, work, school, relationship, or financial problems. Family members are prone to denial about how serious the problem is, how it has "spread" through the family and affected family relationships, and how they themselves may contribute to the problem. As addiction in the family becomes more severe, the family’s denial may also, until the truth becomes so obvious and the crises so dramatic that denial doesn’t work anymore.

ENABLING

Enabling includes behaviors by family members that allow people with substance use problems to avoid the negative consequences of their actions. It can include many things, such as:

  • collecting money from family and friends to pay the person’s bills.
  • repeatedly covering up for someone at work.
  • moving someone when they pass out in the living room.
  • staying silent in the face of repeated inappropriate or destructive behavior.

Enabling can be done by parents, siblings, co-workers, supervisors, neighbors, friends, teachers, doctors, or therapists. Although enabling begins as a way to protect the person from harm, the enabler eventually becomes part of the problem.

CODEPENDENCY

Like enabling, the term co-dependency refers to being over-involved in another person’s life, having a preoccupation with other people’s behavior and a sense of guilt when not tending to the other person’s needs. the "rules of codependency" as the following:

  • It’s not OK for me to feel.
  • It’s not OK for me to have problems
  • It’s not OK for me to have fun.
  • I’m not lovable
  • I’m not good enough.
  • If people act bad or crazy, I’m responsible.

In His Grace Forever,

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:

http://www.hopelinks.net/

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Understanding and Developing Christian Influence

personal responsibility

What is Christian Influence?

Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 24:6; 27:17; 2 Corinthians 12:19-13:6; Galatians 6: 1-10; Ephesians 5:21; Colossians 3:9-10; James 5:16

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

What is  Christian Influence?

It is a check and balance system to protect us from harm from ourselves and others. We do this by being open to what we are thinking and doing so we can receive encouragement and reproof, when needed. Christian Influence is accounting for what we are up to. It is the realization that we are liable, personally responsible, and answerable for our actions in life to God (Matt. 12:36; Rom. 2:16; 14:2; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10), as well as to key Christians in our life (John 13:34 Gal. 6:1-2; Philip. 2:4; Heb. 10:23-24; James 5:16). Thus, we need to hold to our beliefs and keep in line with what we believe so it does not distract us from God’s path for us or discourage others from their path.

Influence allows us to be personally answerable to one another, focusing on key relationships such as with our spouse, close friends, colleagues, coworkers, a boss, small group members, and pastor. It is sharing, in confidence, our heartfelt Christian sojourn in an atmosphere of trust. Then, we can give an answer for what we do and understand where we need help in areas where we are weak and struggling, where and how we are growing, what we are learning, and to be encouraged. These precepts help us to stay on track, and get prayer, care, and support when we fail. We can also model guideposts for one another in order to keep going.

Influence enables us to share our lives with one another. This helps us to get to know ourselves and others in a deeper manner. Even though most of our relationships in life tend to be casual and superficial, we need deep connections; that is what God has made us for (Eccl. 4:10-12; Rom. 12:5; 14: 13-23; Eph. 5:21; Col. 3:9-10; 1 Peter 3:15). In this, we can have a place to open up, share, and be challenged beyond sports, weather, fashion, or makeup. The goal is our spiritual formation which is Christian maturity, growth, and character derived from God working in us and our working out our faith with one another.

Some Christians have seen in Christian influence groups as a place to vent all of their frustrations in life. Yes, we need a place to vent, but if all we do is vent, we accomplish nothing. Real growth cannot take place, as the venting will be all consuming and will leave no time for instruction or feedback. The group will merely become a place to gossip. Having Spiritual Influence is also not a secular group to find our inner child, inner warrior, or warrior princess. Influence is not about just complaining about how life has dumped on us or a place to put others down; rather, it is a “compact” (a deeper agreement beyond a contract) and system on how to become more Christ-like (Psalm 133:1). A good Influence group will have questions, Bible study, prayer, listening, and support at its core.

Influence is not about confrontation. We may, at times, need to be confronted and to confront another, but Influence is more about challenging one another to grow in Christ, so there is no need to rebuke people. Influence helps instill the warning precepts that God has given us, but it also has the necessary support, counsel, encouragement, and affirmation we all need. Influence enables us to be …in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Rom. 12:5). This enables our connectedness to lay aside the island mentality. We do not stand independent of one another. Because such interdependency exists within the Body of Christ, we are responsible to one another to do our part and to help others do theirs.

As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don’t need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don’t need you!" . . . If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it

(1 Cor. 12:20-21, 26).

Why Do We Need

Personal Responsibility?

We are responsible to God and to one another (2 Chron. 19:6-7; Ezek. 34:2-4; Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Pet. 2:10-11). We are all fallen creatures; as Christians, we are still fallen, but are saved by His grace. We are declared clean before God by our Lord’s work; however, we are still full of sin. We all have items and thoughts in our lives that diminish our relationship with God and our effectiveness with others. There is still a process on which to embark to become cleaner (which I believe we never totally become); this is called sanctification. As Christians, we are in the process and practice of our faith, growth, learning, and maturity all the days of our lives. At the same time, we are still sinners and susceptible to temptation, spiritual warfare, and our misplaced desires. We have blind spots and need input from others to find them. If you really want to grow in faith and be effective in ministry, you must be held personally responsible; otherwise, you will fall, backslide, or be ineffective because of imbued pride. Sin will get you; maybe not today, but tomorrow is still coming. Influence is essential for every Christian to help reach his or her full potential; it is a mandate to those in leadership and ministry!

Having other people around whom you can trust and get to know more deeply will enable you to know yourself—your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities—more deeply. You will be able to see in the mirror to your inner being and desires and see if they line up to what God has for you. You will become more aware of issues, relationships, and life as life’s purpose and God’s call are unfolded before you. Because you see life and God’s Word more deeply, your behaviors and response to others will also change for the better (Eccl. 4:8-12; Rom. 15:7; Eph. 4:9-13; 1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:24; James 5:16).

The pages of the Bible are filled with stories of people leaning on others for growth, personal influence, personal responsibility, and spiritual development. Deep connections from influence help great leaders overcome their struggles and see what they cannot see on their own. Most prominently in the Old Testament are Moses and Aaron (Exodus), and David and Jonathan (1 Sam. 18-20). In the New Testament are Paul and Barnabas, and then Paul with Titus, Silas, and Timothy (

Acts 11-14; 2 Cor. 2:12). And, of course, our Lord Jesus, while He walked this earth, had His twelve with an extra connection to the inner three, Peter, James, and John.

Thus, we can surmise that personal responsibility and influence is not for just for those who are weak, needy, or for wimps; it is for the strong who want to be stronger and the unconnected who need to be connected. If you think, as a man, this is still just for the weak, consider that greatness and authenticity cannot come about without humility and connection (James 4:7-12; 1 Pet. 5: 1-11)! “Real men” will be personally responsible to other real men, and real godly women will be connected to other godly women (Prov. 31). There is no way around this vital call! God gives us the call to be deeply connected to one another because we need it. The leaders in the Bible knew this well, Jesus modeled this for us, and the only hindrance is our willingness to comply. Leaders and pastors who are not personally responsible will eventually fall, and, until then, be very ineffective! God has called you to be the iron that sharpens others’ iron, as their iron will sharpen you (Prov. 27:17)!

Influence is nothing new, although it seems it is by the topics of sermons and books or from some popular movements within the last ten years; however, it was practiced by pious Jewish teachers before Christ. Influence was insisted on and practiced by Christ, Himself. Just observe how Jesus led the Disciples and how He modeled to the Disciples. This was picked up by the early church; the Reformers all had men in their lives who held them to account, in whom they trusted, took advice from, bounced ideas off of, and who prayed for them.

Calvin was especially a proponent of Influence and insisted all of His leaders be held in personally responsible, “believers (who) seriously testify, by honoring mutual righteousness among themselves, that they honor God.” It was the system he established that became the model of the “check and balance” system of modern governments, first established in the U.S. in our Constitution. The Methodist movement, founded by John Wesley, was started as an Influence and prayer group. Every effective minister, leader, and growing Christian I have ever met was in some form of an Influence group, including Billy Graham and my mentor, Francis A. Schaeffer. In fact, I have never met an effective Christian, pastor, or leader who was not in an personal Influence group. For every bad and ineffective leader I have ever met, none of them believed in or practiced Influence! This should communicate to us loudly.

Thus, the bottom line of why we need spiritual Influence is, we will be tempted; and, unless we have a system to protect ourselves, we will fall to that temptation (Prov. 6:27; 1 Cor. 6:18, 10:14; 1 Tim. 6:9-11; 2 Tim. 2:22)! The world is rich in temptations and we cannot fight against them effectively unless we allow the One who overcame the world to infuse us (John 5:4), and not love the world (1 John 2:15). It comes down to having trusting faith in Christ, and allowing His work in others to help keep us connected to Him. His empowerment will be the  synergist when we are connected with others whom we trust and who can warn us of coming dangers in our pursuits and thinking, encourage us when we are down, and who will hold us responsible. The love of God is often best reflected in the love and care of others. Allow that care to shield you from the wrong pursuits in life.

Many Christians think, all I have to do is leave Satan alone and he will leave me alone so I do not need Influence. The response to that is no, he will go after you even more! We will be tempted by Satan and by his Influences that seem enticing but will only hurt us. Satan seeks, not to give us what we want, but to steal from us all that which God has given. Thus, if we submit to God, then the devil flees; if we run to Satan and his ways, God is far off from us. We can try with all of our might and effort to have Influence, but unless others are there for us, and unless we are headed toward God, it just will not work! The only thing that can thwart Satan is God. So, be in Him and not in the world (Eph. 6:10; James 4:7-10; Rev. 12:11).

James is saying to first turn to God and surrender to His ways. If not, the ways of Satan and the world will gladly take up that role. We need others in our lives to point out to us the pitfalls before us, as we may not see them ourselves, blinded by desires and wanderlust. We cannot do this solely by our own efforts and strength; we need others, too. Others will see what we refuse to see, or what is blocked by our desires. It is about the insight of others and the power of the Spirit working in us all. It is not the strength of others; rather it is their eyes, words, and assistance, and our allowing God to be our strength. To remove Satan from our lives, we have to fell him—not just ignore him, but run away from him and to God, and allow others to help us in our scurry.

Objections to Influence and personal responsibility

Influence and personal responsibility may seem to go against our self-sufficient, individualistic mind-sets and fear of conviction. Most cultures and individuals like to be “my own person,” and thus do “my own thing.” Most people do not like being told what to do or how to do it. But, we need godly people in our lives to do just that—with love and care. Thus, we have to learn to overcome our barriers of conviction so we can grow more in Christ and with one another.

Many Christians see Influence as meaningless because conviction is the role of the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; Acts 1:8; 4:31; 10:45; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 3:16-17; Heb. 13:5-6). Yes, they are correct about the conviction part, and wrong to say that it does not matter. Why? Galatians tells us to carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). The meaning refers to moral issues and guarding weakness (Rom. 15:1-3; 1 Cor. 9:21).Take heed, we are also personally responsible and answerable for our actions in life to God and to other key Christians. Thus, we need to be held to our beliefs and kept in line about what we believe so it does not distract us from God’s path for us or discourage others from their own path.

The other typical objection believers give is that we are not under any kind of law, and now we have liberty and Grace, so it does not matter. A prominent Christian leader a few years back asked me, after I had done a workshop on Influence, Why is this important? Can’t I just live my Christian life as I please? After all, I have liberty in Christ! I answered him to the best of my ability, but he just would not get it; shortly thereafter, he fell and fell hard. It turned out he did not like spiritual Influence and personal responsibility because he has been having a long-term affair. He did not want to be convicted! Our liberation is not to protect us from conviction; it is to enjoy our Lord so we can pursue His precepts as we realize our indebtedness to Him.

Liberation simply means Christ has set us free (John 8:32-36; Rom. 6:3-23; Gal. 5:1). Paul was overcome by his liberation in and by Christ (Mark 7:18-19). He stressed that we must behave and be personally responsible in the correct manner. We many enjoy our freedom, but freedom does n

ot entitle one to do anything one wants, just as living in a “free” county like the U.S. does not, as we cannot steal or murder or not pay taxes. What about free will? Yes, we have “free will;” Calvin spent most of his writings discussing this fact. He taught that we have personal responsibility, and duty to faith and prayer, three areas that require free will. We are still to allow His work to continue in us; the Holy Spirit will lift our sin and our will out of the way. If you truly give up your will to God, will you be liberated or would you be obligated as a servant/slave with no real life as you would see it? The fact is that you are free in Christ! The question is how will you live your life of freedom?

The liberty of the Christian life is by surrender. It gives us:

1.      Freedom from law. (Rom. 3:19; 6:14; -15; Gal. 2:20-21; 3:23-25)

2.      Forgiveness, acceptance, and access to His presence. (Rom. 5:1-2)

3.      Freedom from having to base our acceptance on our performance. (Rom. 7: 7-11; 10:3)

4.      Freedom from sin, and declared cleaned! (John 8:34-36; Rom 3:19; 6: 3-23; 1 Cor.15: 16; Gal. 3:10-20; 4:21-31)

5.      Freedom from our own faulty thinking and superstitions. (1 Cor. 6:12-13; 8:7-13; 1 Tim. 4:1-5)

Because of these five reasons, we respond with obedience—not out of obligation (as a slave does), but out of gratitude and love. This new obedience is because of a changed heart and will. We are enabled to respond and continue in our new life by the Holy Spirit. Influence helps us in our freedom in Christ, because we give up on our self will and focus on His. Like driving a car in a strange unfamiliar area and making Christ a passenger, we, as human beings, spend most of the time arguing, complaining, and debating the destination. Yet, we do not have a clue to where we are going. If we would allow Christ to get into the driver’s seat, He would be able to take us where we could never have gone before. In addition, if we sign over the “pink slip” to our Lord Jesus Christ, then He will take us to places that, even in our wildest imaginations, we could never fathom. Then, perhaps the love we are to receive and exhibit will flow ever so much more freely! The bottom line is: Influence is letting Christ drive! Influence becomes the map to keep us moving on His road to His destination; if we throw away the map, then we go in the wrong direction; we will never get to the destination, and perhaps, even crash. It begins when we stop to ask for directions, His Directions!

We are not to allow our liberation and freedom in Grace to cause people to stumble by our actions or inactions. Our faith and actions are monitored closely by God as well as by other people, and we must realize that our actions are more influential than our words. We will either lift people up or bring them down! Hypocrisy is perhaps the most deadly threat to new or weak Christians who fall victim to it, and is a heinous sin against Christ and His children by those who cause it! We, as a body of Christ, must seek to show right actions to one another, to be cautious, and to act with charity, humility, and self-denial within our Christian liberty. We are still called to be responsible in the correct manner. We may enjoy our freedom, but freedom does not entitle us to do anything we want.  A true Christian will never destroy another person’s faith so he can have his own way! Our freedom must not bring dishonor, division, or disrepute to the church.

The first two objections are from theological standpoints, but what most of us struggle with is emotional—our fears and cultural hesitations. Connecting with others and exposing our feelings may be much easier for most women; but, for men, this is sometimes a seemingly impenetrable barrier. It can be a scary business to share your feelings and be open and transparent, as people may betray us, belittle us, or ignore or step on our heart. And to tell you the truth, yes, that can happen. It has happed to me several times, as close Influence partners have betrayed confidences and spread rumors. However, the benefits have far outweighed the few times I have been wronged.

Women tend to be better at opening up than men, especially generations born before 1965. We were brought up to think that a man is to show no emotion or share feelings—the John Wayne type. This makes a good movie character but is not good biblical character. So, we become fearful of sharing our lives with our spouse, coworkers, or even a trusted friend. These fears debilitate relational connections and the support we need in life and in ministry as well as hamper trust (Rom. 8:15). Another factor that ties in with this is shame. We feel embarrassed or that we are the only one going though this. We may feel they will reject me when they get to know me. Or, we feel no one will understand or they will think less of me. The fact is, as growing Christians in Christ, when we get to know one another, we get to know ourselves as well; love supercedes judgment and care overpowers fear. This leads to forgiveness and openness. If we let our shame and fear rule our emotions and ability to be held responsible, we will not be able to share or receive godly instruction. Thus, sin will rain upon us. When we start to realize that the love and care we send and receive is far better than the isolation we build, it will allow us to grow more in maturity and faith because we will be open and honest. As a result, all of our relationships and our ministry will vastly improve.

We need to realize we are already accepted by Christ. He no longer condemns us, as, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus… nothing can separate me from the love of God (Rom. 8). Thus, to be in a Christian Influence group, you are in a group with sinners who all have been wounded, all who fear, all who are saved by grace, and who all are together exercising the faith. We are all in the same boat here. We learn of one another’s battles which helps us with ours, and ours helps with theirs. Insights are gained and shared, and the transformation from fear to maturity commences. Together, we are not to be ashamed of who we are in Christ, living out our faith with passion and conviction. The real shame is a Christian who does not seek help from God and others. Being Personally responsible will promote healing and growth in all aspects of your life!

Remember, people will hurt you, because people who hurt are usually hurting themselves and they do not know how to relate (which an Influence group can help with). What can we do to overcome this obstacle? Be vulnerable, yet discerning. Only allow people whom you already know and trust to be a part of your support group, and advance slowly. Start off with a few of the simple questions and prayer; as you get to know one another, you will build the trust. (I did not do this with the people who betrayed me!) When we feel safe, we are more apt to share; this goes for both men and women. When we feel safe, we better receive essential positive feedback, listen to constructive criticism, and have a longer and deeper prayer time.

The key to effective spiritu

al Influence is to allow our pride to yield to the necessity of being personally responsible to one another. Our justification in Christ is no escape from bad things happening, because the world is still full of sin. It is a starting point to build and develop character, patience, and dependence on God’s grace, as Abraham did by faith; we are responsible for our choices. God approves when we are walking in Him! God does not approve when we are walking by ourselves, comfortable in our own petty presumptions, and ignoring His love and truth!

 

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/

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Heart and Mind Defined: Biblical ViewPoint

heartmind

A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

It is vital to look at  word definitions in the original language, the root word that the word is derived from, the use or context of the word,  when looking at the old and new testaments

HEART (lebh, lebhabh; kardia): The different senses in which the word occurs in the Old Testament and the New Testament may be grouped under the following heads:

Bodily Organ Various Meanings:
It represents in the first place the bodily organ, and by easy transition those experiences which affect or are affected by the body. Fear, love, courage, anger, Joy, sorrow, hatred are always ascribed to the heart–especially in the Old Testament; thus courage for which usually ruach is used (Ps 27:14); joy (Ps 4:7); anger (Dt 19:6, "while his heart is hot," lebhabh); fear (1 Sam 25:37); sorrow (Ps 13:2), etc. Hence, naturally it came to stand for the man himself (Dt 7:17; "say in

1. Heart and Personality:
As representing the man himself, it was considered to be the seat of the emotions and passions and appetites (Gen 18:5; Lev 19:17; Ps 104:15), and embraced likewise the intellectual and moral faculties–though these are necessarily ascribed to the "soul" as well. This distinction is not always observed.

2. Soul and Heart:
"Soul" in Hebrew can never be rendered by "heart"; nor can "heart" be considered as a synonym for "soul." Cremer has well observed: "The Hebrew nephesh ("soul") is never translated kardia ("heart"). …. The range of the Hebrew nephesh, to which the Greek psuche alone corresponds, differs so widely from the ideas connected with psuche, that utter confusion would have ensued had psuche been employed in an unlimited degree for lebh ("heart"). The Biblical lebh never, like psuche, denotes the personal subject, nor could it do so. That which in classical Greek is ascribed to psuche (a good soul, a just soul, etc.) is in the Bible ascribed to the heart alone and cannot be otherwise" (Cremer, Lexicon, article "Kardia," 437 ff, German edition)

3. Center of Vital Action:
In the heart vital action is centered (1 Ki 21:7). "Heart," except as a bodily organ, is never ascribed to animals, as is the case sometimes with nephesh and ruach (Lev 17:11, nephesh; Gen 2:19; Nu 16:22; Gen 7:22, ruach). "Heart" is thus often used interchangeably with these two (Gen 41:8; Ps 86:4; 119:20); but "it never denotes the personal subject, always the personal organ."

4. Heart and Mind:
As the central organ in the body, forming a focus for its vital action, it has come to stand for the center of its moral, spiritual, intellectual life. "In particular the heart is the place in which the process of self-consciousness is carried out, in which the soul is at home with itself, and is conscious of all its doing and suffering as its own" (Oehler). Hence, it is that men of "courage" are called "men of the heart"; that the Lord is said to speak "in his heart" (Gen 8:21); that men "know in their own heart" (Dt 8:5); that "no one considereth in his heart’ (Isa 44:19 the King James Version). "Heart" in this connection is sometimes rendered "mind," as in Nu 16:28 ("of mine own mind," Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) ex proprio corde, Septuagint ap’ emautou); the foolish "is void of understanding," i.e. "heart" (Prov 6:32, where the Septuagint renders phrenon, Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) cordis, Luther "der ist ein Narr"). God is represented as "searching the heart" and "trying the reins" (Jer 17:10 the King James Version). Thus, "heart" comes to stand for "conscience," for which there is no word in Hebrew, as in Job 27:6, "My heart shall not reproach me," or in 1 Sam 24:5, "David’s heart smote him"; compare 1 Sam 25:31. From this it appears, in the words of Owen: "The heart in Scripture is variously used, sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principle of moral operations, as they all concur in our doing of good and evil."

5. Figurative Senses:
The radical corruption of human nature is clearly taught in Scripture and brought into connection with the heart. It is "uncircumcised" (Jer 9:26; Ezek 44:7; compare Acts 7:51); and "hardened" (Ex 4:21); "wicked" (Prov 26:23); "perverse" (Prov 11:20); "godless" (Job 36:13); "deceitful and desperately wicked" (Jer 17:9 the King James Version). It defiles the whole man (Mt 15:19,20); resists, as in the case of Pharaoh, the repeated call of God (Ex 7:13). There, however, the law of God is written (Rom 2:15); there the work of grace is wrought (Acts 15:9), for the "heart" may be "renewed" by grace (Ezek 36:26), because the "heart" is the seat of sin (Gen 6:5; 8:21).

6. Process of Heart Renewal:
This process of heart-renewal is indicated in various ways. It is the removal of a "stony heart" (Ezek 11:19). The heart becomes "clean" (Ps 51:10); "fixed" (Ps 112:7) through "the fear" of the Lord (verse 1); "With the heart man believeth" (Rom 10:10); on the "heart" the power of God is exercised for renewal (Jer 31:33). To God the bereaved apostles pray as a knower of the heart (Acts 1:24–a word not known to classical writers, found only here in the New Testament and in Acts 15:8, kardiognostes). In the "heart" God’s Spirit dwells with might (Eph 3:16, eis ton eso anthropon); in the "heart" God’s love is poured forth (Rom 5:5). The Spirit of His son has been "sent forth into the heart" (Gal 4:6); the "earnest of the Spirit" has been given "in the heart" (2 Cor 1:22). In the work of grace, therefore, the heart occupies a position almost unique.

7. The Heart First:
We might also refer here to the command, on which both the Old Testament and New Testament revelation of love is based: "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Dt 6:5); where "heart" always takes the first place, and is the term which in the New Testament rendering remains unchanged (compare Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30,33; Lk 10:27, where "heart" always takes precedence).

8. A Term for "Deepest":
A bare reference may be made to the employment of the term for that which is innermost, hidden, deepest in anything (Ex 15:8; Jon 2:3), the very center of things.
This we find in all languages. Compare Eph 3:16,17, "in the inward man," as above.
J. I. Marais

HEART

The heart is the center of the physical, mental, and spiritual life of humans. This contrasts to the normal use of kardia (“heart”) in Greek literature outside the Scriptures. The New Testament follows the Old Testament usage when referring to the human heart in that it gives kardia a wider range of meaning than it was generally accustomed to have.

First, the word heart refers to the physical organ and is considered to be the center of the physical life. Eating and drinking are spoken of as strengthening the heart (Genesis 18:5; Judges 19:5; Acts 14:17). As the center of physical life, the heart came to stand for the person as a whole.

The heart became the focus for all the vital functions of the body; including both intellectual and spiritual life. The heart and the intellect are closely connected, the heart being the seat of intelligence: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross… lest at any time they should… understand with their heart, and should be converted” (Matthew 13:15). The heart is connected with thinking: As a person “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). To ponder something in one’s heart means to consider it carefully (Luke 1:66; Luke 2:19). “To set one’s heart on” is the literal Hebrew that means to give attention to something, to worry about it (1 Samuel 9:20). To call to heart (mind) something means to remember something (Isaiah 46:8). All of these are functions of the mind, but are connected with the heart in biblical language.

Closely related to the mind are acts of the will, acts resulting from a conscious or even a deliberate decision. Thus, 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give.” Ananias contrived his deed of lying to the Holy Spirit in his heart (Acts 5:4). The conscious decision is made in the heart (Romans 6:17). Connected to the will are human wishes and desires. Romans 1:24 describes how God gave them up “through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies.” David was a man after God’s “own heart” because he would “fulfill all” of God’s will (Acts 13:22).

Not only is the heart associated with the activities of the mind and the will, but it is also closely connected to the feelings and affections of a person. Emotions such as joy originate in the heart (Psalms 4:7; Isaiah 65:14). Other emotions are ascribed to the heart, especially in the Old Testament. Nabal’s fear is described by the phrase: “his heart died within him” (1 Samuel 25:37; compare Psalms 143:4). Discouragement or despair is described by the phrase “heaviness in the heart” which makes it stoop (Proverbs 12:25). Again, Ecclesiastes 2:20 says, “Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun.” Another emotion connected with the heart is sorrow. John 16:6 says, “because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.” Proverbs 25:20, describes sorrow as having “an heavy heart.” The heart is also the seat of the affection of love and its opposite, hate. In the Old Testament, for example, Israel is commanded: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17 RSV). A similar attitude, bitter jealousy, is described in James 3:14 as coming from the heart. On the other hand, love is based in the heart. The believer is commanded to love God “with all your heart” (Mark 12:30; compare Deuteronomy 6:5). Paul taught that the purpose of God’s command is love which comes from a “pure heart” (1 Timothy 1:5).

Finally, the heart is spoken of in Scripture as the center of the moral and spiritual life. The conscience, for instance, is associated with the heart. In fact, the Hebrew language had no word for conscience, so the word heart was often used to express this concept: “my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live” (Job 27:6). The Revised Standard Version translates the word for “heart” as “conscience” in 1 Samuel 25:31 (RSV). In the New Testament the heart is spoken of also as that which condemns us (1 John 3:19-21). All moral conditions from the highest to the lowest are said to center in the heart. Sometimes the heart is used to represent a person’s true nature or character. Samson told Delilah “all his heart” (Judges 16:17). This true nature is contrasted with the outward appearance: “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 RSV).

On the negative side, depravity is said to issue from the heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said that out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:19). In other words, defilement comes from within rather than from without.

Because the heart is at the root of the problem, this is the place where God does His work in the individual. For instance, the work of the law is “written in their hearts,” and conscience is the proof of this (Romans 2:15). The heart is the field where seed (the Word of God) is sown (Matthew 13:19; Luke 8:15). In addition to being the place where the natural laws of God are written, the heart is the place of renewal. Before Saul became king, God gave him a new heart (1 Samuel 10:9). God promised Israel that He would give them a new spirit within, take away their “stony heart” and give them a “heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). Paul said that a person must believe in the heart to be saved, “for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10). (See also Mark 11:23; Hebrews 3:12.)

Finally, the heart is the dwelling place of God. Two persons of the Trinity are said to reside in the heart of the believer. God has given us the “earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). Ephesians 3:17 expresses the desire that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” The love of God “is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).

I) HEART DEFINED IN THE BIBLE

[Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, [W.E. Vine, Edited by F. F. Bruce, Fleming H. Revell Co. Old Tappan, N.J., 1981, pp. 206-207]:

"The word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements…

As to its usage in the N.T. it denotes

(a) The seat of physical life, Acts 14:17; Jas. 5:5;

(b) the seat of moral nature and spiritual life, the seat of grief, John 14:1; Rom. 9:2; 2 Cor 2:4; joy, John 16:22; Eph. 5:19; the desires, Matt. 5:28; 2 Pet 2:14; the affections, Luke 24:32; Acts 21:13; the perceptions, John 12:40; Eph. 4:18; the thoughts, Matt. 9:4; Heb. 4:12; the understanding, Matt. 13:15; Rom. 1:21; the reasoning powers, Mark 2:6; Luke 24:38; the imagination, Luke 1:51; conscience, Acts 2:37; 1 John 3:20; the intentions, Heb 4:12; cp. 1 Pet 4:1; purpose, Acts 11:23; 2 Cor 9:7; the will, Rom. 6:17; Col. 3:15; faith, Mark 11:23; Rom. 10:10; Heb. 3:12.

The heart, in its moral significance in the O.T., includes the emotions, the reason and the will.

II) HEART FAITH VS HEAD FAITH

[Robert N. Wilkin states, ‘SAVING FAITH IN FOCUS’, Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx, Robert N. Wilkin, Editor, p. 49-50]:

"HEAD FAITH, HEART FAITH, AND MIND GAMES

How do you convince someone that saving faith is not just faith in the gospel, that it includes commitment, turning from sins, perseverance in obedience, and the like? Since there is no verse in Scripture that identifies saving faith as anything other than believing the gospel, you’d have a hard time proving your view from the Bible. However, there is an easier way.

The best way to sell the idea that saving faith includes the kitchen sink is through the use of pejor

ative terms like intellectual faith or head faith. Then they espouse the idea that the Bible teaches that the faith that truly saves is heart faith.

There is a tract called ‘Missing Heaven by Eighteen Inches.’ It argues that you would miss heaven if you believed the gospel with your head rather than with your heart. Head faith is dangerous, it suggests, because you may think you are saved simply because you believe the facts of the gospel. Yet without the heart commitment, that ‘faith’ is not saving faith at all.

Heart faith can include almost anything. However, heart faith raises potential problems. How much commitment, turning from sins, obedience, and the like is enough? The biblical evidence demonstrates that this supposed distinction between head faith and heart faith is really a mind game.

First, the Scriptures never refer to the head as the source of thinking and feeling. In addition, the word head is never associated with faith in the Bible.

The word head occurs approximately 330 times in the Bible. Of those, the vast majority refers literally to the head. The figurative uses include lifting up the head, which refers to being placed in a position of honor or having one’s former status reinstated (Genesis 40:13; Job 10:15), blood or wickedness being on the head, which refers to a guilt and judgment coming against persons for their wicked deeds (1 Kings 2:37, ‘Your blood shall be on your own head,’ 1 Samuel 25:39, ‘The Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head’), and head as ruler or authority over others (2 Samuel 22:44, ‘head of the nations,’ 1 Corinthians 11:3, ‘the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God’). There is absolutely no biblical warrant for speaking of head faith.]

Second, of the two remaining words, heart and mind, the Scriptures often use them interchangeably.

For example, ‘Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind‘ (Psalm 73:21). There is synonymous parallelism here. That is, the two halves of the verse are saying the same thing using synonyms. To be grieved in your heart is to be vexed in your mind. The same thing is evident in Hebrews 8:10, ‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.’ Mind and heart are used synonymously there.

Another example is found by comparing Luke 24:25 and Luke 24:45:

‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken.’

‘And He opened their understanding [lit. mind], that they might comprehend the Scriptures.’

Those two passages are talking about the same thing. The disciples were slow of heart to believe the prophetic teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures regarding His resurrection. So what did Jesus do? He opened their mind that they might comprehend those Scriptures. There is no difference whatsoever here between believing in the heart or believing in the mind. Compare also 1 Samuel 2:35; Psalm 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20; 20:12; and Ephesians 4:17-18]

Both [expressions] refer to the inner self where one thinks and believes and feels.

The mind is associated with believing in at least three passages (Luke 24:45; Romans 14:5; Ephesians 4:17-18). In these three passages the words believe and faith do not occur. However, synonyms are present. Luke 24:45 [was previously discussed]. In that text, opening of the mind is shown to be antithetical to being ‘slow of heart to believe’ (verse 25). Romans 14:5 reads, ‘Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." Ephesians 4:17–18, which, like Luke 24:45, equates the heart and mind, says, ‘The Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened… because of the blindness of their heart.

Third, the mind is not viewed as being inferior to the heart in Scripture. In one of the most famous verses on sanctification in the Bible, Paul exhorted the believers in Rome, ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind‘ (Romans 12:2). Similarly, he exhorted the Ephesians believers, ‘Be renewed in the spirit of your mind‘ (Ephesians 4:23), Paul spoke to the Corinthian believers of having ‘the mind of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Luke said that the Lord ‘opened [the disciples’] understanding [literally mind in Greek], that they might comprehend the Scriptures,’ that is, the Old Testament Scriptures, concerning His resurrection (Luke 24:45).

Fourth, while the words believe and faith occur approximately 450 times in the Bible, only a few passages specify where belief takes place. They speak of believing as though the reader of Scripture knows what that means and where it occurs.

One passage, Romans 10:9-10, directly speaks of ‘believ[ing] in your heart.’ That is set in contrast with ‘confess[ing] with your mouth.’ The former is internal; the latter external. The former is by faith alone. The latter includes works. ‘Confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus’ is the action that involves commitment, obedience, and turning from sins, not ‘believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.’ Nor is believing with your heart defined as some special kind of faith that might rightly be called heart faith. Paul is merely indicating that saving faith takes place internally, as opposed to confessing Christ in word and deed, which takes place externally….."

{Incidentally, re: [Ro 10:9]:

(v. 9) "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."

"If you confess" = The word confess in the original text, ("homologeses"), comes from the root words ‘homos’ meaning ‘same’ (from which we get the English word homogeneous), and the Greek word ‘logo’ meaning ‘to speak’. It literally means to say the same thing, i.e., to acknowledge what is evident already on the mind. In this case what is evidently already on the mind is that Jesus is Lord. An individual will have it in his mind that Jesus is Lord when he becomes born again through faith alone in Christ alone as Savior, (1 Jn 5:9-13). Then and only then does an individual have the potential of having Jesus Christ as their Lord – only after He becomes his Savior unto eternal life.

The confession when it does occur, (i.e., the acknowledgment that), one’s Lord is Jesus Christ – can only come after having been saved not before. It must first be received as a truth by faith alone in Christ alone unto justification, (Ro 10:10a), before it enters the mind as being something one can express with one’s lips making it known that one is saved.

The order of faith unto eternal life and then confession is confirmed by the grammatical construction of verse 9: Verse 9
is a reverse cause and effect statement with the effect, confession, coming first – in the subjunctive mood and the cause, (believing), coming second. We know this because the conjunction "ean" which precedes the clause "’confess with your mouth" is the conjunction which is used to introduce the effect in the third class "if" condition and the verb is in the subjunctive mood both of which project a possibility of maybe one will and maybe one won’t confess:

So the first part of the verse is the effect, the result: some will and some won’t confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord as a result of believing unto eternal life. Thus the second part of the verse, (cause & effect are in reverse order), is the cause, the ‘if’ portion: if you believe:

"If you… …believe in your heart." = When you believe then you may or may not confess that Jesus is Lord = if you do then the cause of that confession is that you believed!

Finally, the third part of the verse: "..you will be saved" is connected with the second part: believe. It is not connected with confess such that confession is required and its omission will block salvation.

So to paraphrase this verse with the meaning that the original language provides, we have the following: ‘The possible result is that you will confess (maybe you will and maybe you won’t) with your mouth Jesus as Lord as a result of the cause that you believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead which belief alone is what results in your being saved.’}

"Four other passages, none of which is dealing with saving faith, indicate indirectly that belief takes place in the heart (Mark 11:23; 16:14; Luke 8:12; 24:25). However, in each of those verses the point is just that belief takes place internally. And, as we have already seen, in the last of those passages believing in the heart is equated with believing with the mind.

Believing in Christ is the sole condition of eternal life. There is no such thing as special types of faith called heart faith and head faith. Saving faith doesn’t include commitment, obedience, or turning from sins. It is merely the conviction that Jesus is speaking the truth when He says, ‘He who believes in Me has everlasting life.’ (John 6:47)."

II) SAVING FAITH DEFINED IN 1 JN 5:9-13 AS ACCEPTING THE TESTIMONY OF GOD

A) [1 Jn 5:9]:

(v. 9) "We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son."

1) THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IS GREATER THAN MAN’S AND IT IS ABOUT HIS SON

This verse states that the testimony of God is superior to any man’s because God is Who He is:

He is Sovereign and Almighty. And the particular testimony that author John points to here is the testimony of God which He has given about His son relative to trusting in Him unto salvation unto eternal life to which the next 3 verses attest]:

B) [1 Jn 5:10]:

(v. 10) "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."

1) BELIEVING IN THE SON OF GOD IN THIS CONTEXT = BELIEVING IN HIM AS CHRIST, AS ONE’S MESSIAH TO SAVE YOU UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

The context of this has already been established in the first verse of chapter 5:

a) [Compare 1 Jn 5:1a]:

"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…."

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, (‘Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament’, Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Mich, 1963, p15):

“Christ” is the transliteration of christos which means ‘anointed’….

…In the Church Epistles, the word does not refer to our Lord in His official capacity of the Messiah of the Jewish nation, but as The Anointed of God, the Person chosen from the Godhead to be the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King to accomplish the purposes of God in the plan of salvation."

So to believe that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that His purpose as the Christ = to be your Savior unto eternal life, is true resulting in the reception of becoming born of God, i.e., saved unto eternal life:

b) [Compare Jn 1:12-13]:

(v. 12) "Yet to all who received Him [Christ, (v. 1)], to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God –

(v. 13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."

2) BELIEVING IN THE SON OF GOD AS CHRIST = MESSIAH TO SAVE YOU PRODUCES THE RESULT OF HAVING THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IN ONE’S HEART, I.E., ONE’S MIND

"Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony [of God] in his heart."

Believing in the Son of God [to save you, (vv. 1, 11)] produces the result of having this testimony of God in one’s ‘heart’, (i.e., in one’s mind, ref. Heb 4:12). This means that one accepts the truth in what God has said, i.e., His "testimony" about His Son relative to eternal life. And Scripture teaches that God will then deliver on His promise of eternal life to that individual who believes, (Jn 3:16; 36; 5:24; 6:47; etc.). Notice that there is no stipulation made that the acceptance of the testimony of God about His Son, i.e., belief in Christ as Savior had to occur in the heart as opposed to the head or mind.

3) ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE SON [TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE FOR HIM] HAS THIS TESTIMONY OF GOD’S IN HIS HEART = MIND = MENTAL UNDERSTANDING

"has this testimony in his heart" = in his mind, (Jn 12:40; Eph 4:18; Mt 9:4; Heb 4:12, etc.). Scripture equates the expression ‘in his heart’ with ‘in his mind’.

Anyone who believes that the Son will provide eternal life for him has this testimony in his ‘heart’ such that it is a part of his mental understanding that he is now saved unto eternal life.

(v. 10 cont.) "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe
God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."

4) ON THE OTHER HAND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE GOD’S TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS SON MAKES GOD OUT TO BE A LIAR

"Anyone who does not believe has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."

Disbelieving the testimony of God that eternal life is secured solely through believing in the Son of God is tantamount to calling God a liar. So to be saved one must believe in the testimony of God about His Son relative to eternal life. Anything less and anything more than a one time moment of accepting the testimony of God about His Son relative to eternal life, i.e., believing in it would make this verse untrue. And the next verse tells us what that testimony is which individuals must believe in order to have eternal life]:

C) [1 Jn 5:11]:

(v. 11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

1) THE TESTIMONY OF GOD ABOUT HIS SON IS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE TO MANKIND THROUGH HIS SON

Notice that eternal life is described as something that is given, i.e., a gift, (cp Eph 2:8), to mankind and that gift it is established is in the possession of the individual, i.e., given to him, when he believes the testimony of God about eternal life being through His Son. So believing the testimony of God about His Son incorporates such testimony within the mind of the individual, (v. 10), resulting in that individual having the Son, i.e., having eternal life]:

D) [1 Jn 5:12]:

(v. 12) He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

1) HAVING THE SON = BELIEVING IN THE TESTIMONY OF GOD ABOUT HIS SON = HAVING ETERNAL LIFE

"He who has the Son has life" = He who believes in God’s testimony about His Son – that the Son will provide eternal life for him if he merely believes in the Son doing this, has eternal life, (Ref. v. 10)

2) HE WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE SON = HAS NOT BELIEVED IN GOD’S TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS SON = DOES NOT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

"He who does not have the Son of God does not have life." = To have the Son means to believe that He will provide eternal life for you. To not have the Son is to not take God at His Word, (i.e., believe), that the Son alone will provide eternal life for you. And he who has not believed in Christ as Savior "Does not have [eternal] life."

a) [Compare Jn 3:18]:

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already [unto condemnation], because he has not believed in the name of the One and only Son of God."

"believed in the name of" = believed in the capacity and willingness of God to grant eternal life as a gift – just for trusting alone in Him alone, (Jn 3:1-18; Ro 3:21-24).

3) IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT GOD HAS TESTIFIED TO ABOUT HIS SON THEN YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE GOD SAYS SO

If you believe what God has testified to about His Son, then you will have eternal life because God says so. God being Who He is as it is clearly indicated in verse 9: a sovereign God Whose testimony is greater than man’s, He will deliver. And John writes these verses about eternal life for the following reason]:

E) [1 Jn 5:13]:

(v. 13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you many know that you have eternal life."

1) JOHN’S MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE WAS WRITTEN SO THAT ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF, I.E., THE CAPACITY OF, THE SON TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE FOR THEM MAY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

So, taking God at His Word about eternal life through His Son provides assurance that you do NOW possess the gift of life everlasting in heaven never to lose it, (cp. Eph 1:13-14).

Consider if one could know now at the point of faith alone in Christ alone that one is absolutely saved, then it obviously would not depend upon any future thoughts, words, or deeds of the believer only on the faithfulness of God to keep His promise. Man needs to add nothing to the Gospel of Grace.

GRACE + NOTHING

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

 

 

Whole Solution for the Whole Community

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We are a faith-based organization for at-risk young adults. We are committed to helping families in crisis with troubled loved-ones through a referral network of Christian ministries that provide diverse services complimenting each other for the purpose of healing and restoring broken families. We also provide immediate support and crisis counseling at the moment of the call. We help process the individual through the crisis they are involved to a place of personal responsibility and the depth of a rational mind change.

Oftentimes people in crisis can be defiant, have numerous overlapping life controlling problems, because of frustration are unmotivated, involved in immoral lifestyles, including promiscuity, drug abuse, alcohol and other facets of outright rebellion that are directly connected to idolatry. The underlying root cause of sin (to choose to turn off the mark) is idolatry (1 Cor. 10:1-14). Idolatry can be defined as: When we hold in high esteem, regard, honor the created and not the creator God. We begin to ask the questions that take the individual from a place of irrational thoughts about themselves to a ration thought process that causes them to be convinced about their state and want a change. We get enslaved to what we love more than God. How do we define our individual idolatry? What are we giving our allegiances, value, time, energy, money, life to? It is also important for us to consider that also Good created things we can give ourselves over to, for these things we love. Things such as family, employment, our pastors, and numerous other good things can enslave us, people could gladly choose Good things to enslave themselves. Good things do not mean that they cannot become out little gods.

It is important for us to find out what enslaves us so we can define what the underlying root cause of the surface problems that is evident in our life. Answer these questions and they will lead to what enslaves you?

· What are your greatest fears?

· What do you care about most?

· What are you passionate about?

· What motivates you every day?

· Where do you run for comfort?

· What do you complain about?

· What makes you the extremely angry?

· What makes you the most happiest?

· How do you explain yourselves to people or introduce yourself to people?

· What are you mad at God about?

· What are you mad at your selves about?

· What do you Brag about?

· What do you sacrifice to with your money, time, and energy the most to?

· What are our greatest hopes and desires?

· What are you waiting for?

The combined services and collaborative efforts of our network of ministries help to begin to address the needs of the whole person by providing a whole solution through spiritual nurturing re-pattern of the mind, emotional health and social enrichment. We are convinced that this is the solution to strengthening families and communities throughout America. The inner Transformation is because of the working of Grace, which does not demand nor modify a behavior changes with only unreliable temporary irrational solutions. Inner transformation is an inner process of integration in our mind to pattern our thoughts with God’s mind which causes transfiguration by joining the human and the divine through revelation of absolute truth internally. Behavior modification is the process of forcing external change of self-defeating behavior. To cause change only on the external is only to provide Band-aid solutions for an individual’s surface problems from the outer. This external behavior modification comes from secular reasoning and humanistic counseling in the form of behaviorism that is prevalent in recovery models. It will work in the short term to cause a ceasing of external surface self-defeating and life controlling problems. Behavior modification is only impermanent because the source is temporal and methods are not focused on changing the mind rationally. The underlying primary root cause of the self-defeating and life controlling problems are not defined as irrational thought patterns and habits therefore the idea of personal responsibility is never considered because of the diseasing of behavior.

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The Grace of God ( Who God is and What God has performed) teaches us the rational expression of God which internally convinces us in our mind, deals with the underlying root issues that caused the surface self-defeating behaviors by internal re-patterning of the mind. The battlefield in our mind needs to change from patterns or habits learned from outer and external stimulation from our past experiences, billions of projections per second from the world system, and from our adversary the devil who goal is to enslave out thought patterns. God, the Holy Spirit works through our human spirit to re-patterns our mind by God’s amazing abundant Grace as the source that reliably reconstructs our mind from the irrational to the rational from the inside. The transfigured mind will cause a metamorphosis, transfigures our free will(Volition), rebuilds our value system in our conscience, and restructures our reacting emotions to responding from new Christ mind. The new Birth of our mind occurs at the moment we begin our relationship with Christ. New Birth birth plants the person, the Holy Spirit whose primary role in our life is to convince (convict) us. Our newness is the new birth given to those who choose life of Grace. Grace does the work and patterns our mind actively inside of us because everything about God’s Grace is constant, reliable, authentic, dependable, unbroken, unceasing, devoted, and therefore eternally continual. This symphony of Grace has that refer frequently and usually initially only to our personal salvation. It is defined as the favor

of God meaning that we did not deserve and could not ever earn the non-meritorious Gift of God. The frequent missing of the daily life giving constancy of grace, to realize all of who God is, performed and continues to reveal himself as the source in His character and nature in our daily life.

The results of this network of ministries are proving to be a solution to strengthen people, families, and their communities throughout America and overseas. After 15 years and over 11,000 hours of working with troubled young adults and families, we have discovered that the common thread woven through the diverse fabric of our nation’s people is the lack of purpose and identity.  There are many people of all ages, from the inner cities to suburbia, who are wandering aimlessly in search of the answer to the same question man has asked for thousands of years, "Who am I, and why am I here?"  Unfortunately, drugs, gangs and other negative influences are competing heavily for the hearts and minds of America, with a heavy impact on young adults everywhere.  The availability of such overwhelming negative influences in every sector of our society is a deadly mix for everyone.  Our non-profit is on the forefront of working with such difficulties, and has united and brought leadership to a unique network of Christian organizations, bringing real solutions for young adults and families! 

 

OUR VISION

Our vision is to reach multitudes of young adults and their families, and to produce a remnant of people that will glorify Jesus in and through their lives. We want to assure that these young adults to become a blessing to their local Churches as well as their communities. This is vital because the church is suffering from the eventual extinction with 86 percent of young adults leaving the church by their 18th birthday and never returning. This generation is in utter crisis becoming more and more post-Christian in their world-views. Our society needs to be build upon the young adults who are the future of our society. The unreached and un-churched young adults are reachable through non-judgmental, relevant non-traditional contemporary methods which are authentic and real without the appearance of hypocrisy.

From among these young adults that we have reached, God will separate some for the work of the ministry. Our society is no longer producing morally healthy young adults on a large scale; it is also our goal to establish a community of strong families, which are hopefully the partial purpose of local churches. Eventually, neighboring Churches will catch on until the whole city is filled with strong living organisms of believers, thus creating a strong city. Strong clusters of cities won to Christ will inevitably restore a strong and mighty nation under GOD, which in turn can impact the whole world.

Our vision is to reach multitudes of young adults and their families, and to produce a remnant of people that will glorify Jesus in and through their lives by God’s Grace. The living remnant cannot occur by self focused and behavior modification which secular traditional treatment of life controlling problems has predominately focused on in recovery programs. This will provide assurance to themselves and many others that Christianity is not a bunch of rules and behaviors. The personal life of Grace in their lives can and will build depth of capacity. Living epistle’s will emerge and display God’s masterpiece to encourage each other and attract those still in the world surrounding them.  It is the duty of every person to be a servant of Christ, and a spiritual leader to the lost and dying generation. It is a challenge to become less self-serving and self-sacrificial. This is God’s eternal purpose is to establish a family in light of the fact that it will serve as a catapult to produce a godly seed. Through the perfection of succeeding generations, we will one day become that glorious church without spot or wrinkle for which Jesus will return. This occurs only by the working of Grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness and this present temporal world values.

This is our eternal dream. We understand that this is definitely not a quick fix solution to the problems of this generation. On the contrary, this process is one of much time, great cost, sacrificial commitment and a life time of dedication. Although the task may seem too big to tackle, we are convinced that it is our most noble duty to do that which is right in the eyes of Almighty God. He alone can take our small sacrifices and efforts to magnify them to the magnitude of a worldwide revival. It is our hope that in our life time we can see this dream come to pass. If for some reason we don’t, we together at the least will sow a sure seed for the salvation of future generations. Nevertheless, whether in our lifetime or in the lifetime of our successors, we are convinced that this dream will come to pass.

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Services

· Addiction Recovery & Treatment
Biblical Counseling and spiritual treatment for those battling life controlling and self-defeating behaviors of any kind

· Crisis Intervention
Serving those who are facing a crisis situation and need immediate help

· Family Counseling & Restoration
Individual and Family Biblical Counseling

· Friendship, Dating & Marriage Education
Healing from past relationships and preparation for future challenges

· Parent Coaching & Workshops
Valuable resources to families with children of all ages

· Recreation & Fitness Programs
Achieving or maintaining physical health with encouraging role-models

· Social Maturity & Emotional Health
Building healthy relationships through planting high impact churches across America to reach this generation in crisis.

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Mission

Our mission is to reach our nation for God while restoring godliness and morality in America. We work alongside and in cooperation with networked churches, agencie

s and community based organizations in orders to provide specialized services to those in self-defeating crisis and others who have life controlling problems trapped in idolatry. Teaching personal responsibility and teaching the rational whole counsel of God’s Grace.

Our goals and efforts are fueled by the desire to strengthen families and communities by providing healing to emotionally disturbed and behaviorally defiant young adults; who find themselves trapped in the web of drugs, alcohol, fornication, violence, and rebellion. These life controlling or self damaging behaviors are simply a set of complex surface problems that have slowly formed in response to unresolved and underlying deep seated issues in their mind. The lack of internal mental harmony results in irrational actions on the surface. They emerge from lack of control of emotions and therefore the free volition is compromised by corrupted value systems and integrity. We look at everyone as an individual because God has made us with wonderful uniqueness and are completely beautiful in His divine design. We must encourage this uniqueness and make religious cultural demands to have them conform to what we believe is a reflection of Christ. No one is the same and can be helped by the same strategies over and over. Our observation is that this is why most young adults have revealed in numerous statistically proven studies to have honest desires to never return to church or traditional Christianity. A very small percentage does return later in lives which are usually second or third generation believers.

This mass exodus with over 9 million young adults is growing by the hour and young adults are one of the largest Christian un-reached group in America today. These unreached young adults will not go to church before the reach 18. This generation is becoming extinct and lost more than any other generation in the church today.
We are convinced that these problems in our society root back to the sinful nature and the compromising of Christian values in this present post-Christian world system. We believe that a sure solution can be found in and only when God, family, and church join in a collaborative effort with singleness of purpose to bring about healing and the restoration of authority in the lives of troubled young adults. Young Adult Crisis Hotline is committed to spiritual nurturing the whole person. We also provide seminars and training methods to develop relevant young adult ministries in local church and in Christian community centers at no cost.

Our Ministry

Young Adult Crisis Hotline is a faith-based, nonprofit organization for families in crisis. We offer help through an established network of ministries. Oftentimes those we help defiant unmotivated young adults that are involved in immoral lifestyles.

The Young Adult Crisis Hotline provides an accepting non-judgmental place to call in the midst of crisis caused by these self-defeating and life controlling behaviors:

Anxiety, Depression, Abuse, Addiction, Relational Issues, Family Abuse Or Assault, Addictions, Aggression, Anger, Anxiety & Panic, Attention Deficit Disorder, Behavioral Problems, Depression, Eating Disorders, Emotional Problems Gender Identity Issues, Grief, Loss, Inner Conflict, Learning Disorders, Life Issues, Life Transitions, Medical Problems, Suicidal, Active Military & Veteran Issues, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Self-Esteem Problems, Sexual Issues, Stress, Women’s Issues, Gang Intervention, Gambling And Other Life Controlling Problems And Issues That Lead To Crisis.

With our family discipleship and our biblical counseling ministry we believe in including family members so that they are integrated in the process of biblical education and equipping. This is vital to the progress of patterning that they can model after and build upon the disciplines taught in the Word of God. This is accomplished through Bible based counseling that helps to have a rational integrated mind of Christ. Biblical Coaching and Counseling can be arranged via phone-conference, in-person or at the family’s residence. Organized parent workshops allow interaction between families who face similar situations. Participants are able to encourage one another as they walk through the healing and recovery process of their loved ones.
All of these different services combined address the needs of the whole person by providing spiritual nurturing, recreation, vocational training, academic achievement, health and social development all in one program. We, at the Young Adult Crisis Hotline and Biblical Counseling Center, are convinced that this is the solution to strengthening families and communities throughout America.

Young Adult Biblical Counseling Center offers families a therapeutic rational spiritual treatment plan. Rather than subjecting our students to the limitations of behavior management models which primarily have an effect on the outward man, the focus is on spiritual renewal resulting in inner-transformation through a personal relationship with the integrated mind of Jesus Christ.

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

Homosexuality – Questions & Answers to Research

 homosexuality

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.

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

Biblical Counseling to the Addicted

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INTRODUCTION

I. Establish Involvement

A. Biblical Examples

Acts 20:31 — “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.”

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 — “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”

B. Definition

Building a relationship with the counselee where you put yourself in a position to help

Proverbs 27:6, 9b — “…So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”

The counselee needs to see the counselor as a trusted friend or advisor.

Recognize that the counselee may never have had such a relationship before.

C. How Involvement Is Established

1. Be available (Acts 20:31; but keep balance of Gal. 6:2 and 6:5).

2. Show compassion.

3. Take counselee seriously.

4. Express confidence in counselee’s ability to obey Scripture.

5. Receive counselee’s disagreements without being defensive.

6. Observe confidentiality.

7. Be honest.

8. Model fruit of the Spirit.

9. Communicate clearly.

10. Be a good listener.

11. Be solution-oriented.

II. Gather Data

A. Why Gather Data

1. Which one? 1 Thess. 5:14

2. Which approach? John 4:7-42

3. What is true issue? Jer. 6:14

B. What Kind of Data to Gather

All categories of life

P—Physical

R—Resources and Relationships

E—Emotions

A—Actions

C—Conceptual (Thinking)

H—Historical

C. How to Gather Data

Ask proper questions:

1. Extensive and intensive

2. Relevant

3. Questions that find facts

4. Open-ended

5. Specific

6. Withhold judgment.

7. Mark important areas for further questioning.

8. Observe countenance.

9. Information from others

D. Importance of Listening

1. Necessary (Prov. 18:13)

2. Requires self-control

3. Listen for:

– Wrong goals

– Expectations/lusts

– Blameshifting

– “Can’t,” “unable,” “too much”

– Victim mentality

– Calling sin sickness

– “Rabbit trails”

– What counselee doesn’t say

– Hopelessness

– Evasiveness

– Exaggerations

– Defensiveness

– Judging another’s motives

– Willingness to accept responsibility

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III. Make a Proper Interpretation

A. Example of Interpretation

Mark 6:45-52

B. The Process of Interpretation

1. Compare all data and responses to God’s Word and example of Christ.

2. Look for themes and patterns.

3. Use biblical labels and terms (Mk. 7:21-23; Gal. 5:19-21).

4. Put data on “witness stand” and ask it questions.

5. Prayerfully study data.

6. Form tentative interpretations (USE SCRIPTURE).

7. Pray.

8. Gather more data.

9. Get input from another counselor.

10. Explain to counselee and get feedback.

11. Form a strategy—prioritize.

IV. Provide Instruction

A. The Nature of Counseling Instruction

1. Biblically based and accurate

2. Christocentric

3. Action-oriented

4. Differentiate between biblical directives and human suggestions.

5. Make method appropriate to counselee’s learning style.

B. The Development of Counseling Instruction

1. Topical work lists

2. Personalized chain-reference Bible

3. Become familiar with particular teachers and material

4. Take advantage of training resources

V. Give Homework

A. Reasons for Homework

1. Translates what is discussed into action.

2. Puts responsibility for change where it belongs.

3. Helps decrease dependence.

4. Saves you time–finds those who mean business.

5. Continues counseling between sessions.

6. Says you believe things can be different today.

7. Provides data for future.

B. Mechanics of Homework

1. Be specific.

2. Make it involve knowing and acting.

3. Review at next session.

4. Examples:

– Scripture

– Pamphlets

– Books

– Tapes

– “Log” lists

– Journals

– Devotions

– Church attendance

– Loving deeds

VI. Give Hope

A. The Need for Hope

1. Generally…everyone (2 Cor. 4:8)

2. Specifically…those who:

– Have had problems for a long time

– Have serious or difficult problems

– Have had life-shattering experiences

– Have failed

– Are spiritually weak

– Are elderly

– Experiencing marriage diffic

ulties

– Are facing marriage

– Are depressed

– Are suicidal

…ALL COUNSELEES

B. True Hope vs. Empty Hope

EMPTY HOPE

– Due to wrong goals

– Denying reality

– Due to mystical thinking

TRUE HOPE

– Result of salvation (1 Pet. 1:3)

– Based upon Scripture (Psa. 119:49; Psa. 130:5)

– Realistic (Rom. 8:28)

C. How to Inspire Hope

1. Share the whole gospel.

2. Help them grow in relationship to Christ.

3. Teach counselee to think biblically.

– About God’s character

– About possibility for good

– About divine resources

– About nature and cause of the problem

– About language used

4. Be solution-oriented.

5. Be a model.

CONCLUSION

The bottom line of biblical counseling:

Gather information, make a biblical interpretation of the issues, and give a biblical answer (along with true hope that living to please God is possible). All this is done in the context of genuine love and concern for the individual.