Guilt, Anger, Fear

guilt_fear_angerGuilt, anger, and fear are powerful emotions that can hold a person in bondage. They are common feelings that fill the hearts of addicts. Let’s not confuse godly remorse, righteous anger, and rational fear for what I’m talking about. Godly remorse is knowing we’ve sinned and feel bad about it, it’s called a conscience. Righteous anger is when you’ve set a boundary and someone has violated it (or you may feel hurt). Rational fear would be a tornado barreling down your street. What I’m talking about is an all-consuming guilt, anger, or fear that paralyzes and defines you. It leads to confusion, regret, and bondage. For an addict it’s a vicious cycle of feeling the guilt, anger, and fear, then acting out to not feel that, but when the “fix” is gone the addict is right back to having those feelings. These feelings are lies to keep us in bondage. Jesus died on the cross for your sins, therefore, removing guilt from the equation. Anger is hurt hiding in a false armor of protection. Then there’s fear. God doesn’t want you to feel fear. Fear is the lack of faith. The opposite of fear is strength. We get our strength from God. He blesses us with the courage and strength to make the right choices. He gives us love, strength, and sound mind to make the right decision every time. He wants us to live as winners not losers, joyful not depressed, peaceful not angry, forgiven not guilty, of sound mind not confused, and powerful not weak.

 

Journal Prompt:

What fears do you have to overcome? What seed of anger is in your heart? What are you not forgiving yourself for? Write them down and ask God to remove these things from you.

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Addiction

AddictionAfter last week’s post on freedom and bondage I felt addiction needed to have a post all its own. Addiction often has its roots in something else. In my profession as a lawyer when people come into my office and have an addiction issue that has stimulated criminal activity, often there’s a root pain. Not everyone’s addiction stimulates criminal activity. Some are socially acceptable or not as taboo, because no one sees it or realizes it IS an addiction. For example compulsive shopping/spending, gambling, over eating, codependent relationships, raging, or control just to name a few. Addiction in its many forms needs to be conquered before an addict or their family can recover. Ultimately the addiction is being used to fill a hole that only God can fill. Faith has to be a major ingredient in the recovery process. Without faith and God the bondages of an addiction are too big a burden to fight. You also have to be committed. The addict, the family members affected have to be all in and no one can give up for it to work. Don’t misunderstand me. If the addict doesn’t want help, the family will be hard pressed to “make” them do anything. Even if you can, they’ll do it for the wrong reasons. It’s at that point I would tell you, seek professional help. There are traditional 12 step programs and Celebrate Recovery (a Christ center 12 step program) that can get you started on a path of healing. Above all trust that God can restore what was lost.

Addictions_Pain

Journal Prompt:

Be honest with yourself, are you addicted to something or is there a family member that is and it’s affecting you and your family? You know the saying “The first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem.” What is it? How is it damaging the addict, you, the family? How has it damaged your heart?

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Freedom

Spiritual_and_Emotional_Bondage_editedBondage is a result of a stronghold such as addiction, unhealthy relationships, and emotional outbursts. Bondage creates a domino effect of tragedy, family problems, divorce, breakage, and destruction. Bondage usually doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of a pattern of unhealthy actions, habits, or thought processes, and usually all three combined. Freedom is the opposite of being tied up and bound to or by something. Freedom is the ultimate currency. I learned to distill the formula into three simple words: Balance, Believe, and Be.

 

Balance – part of obtaining balance is learning to manage our own feelings in a healthy manner and make mature decisions. Spending time with your spouse and children is part of that balance. You can spend time with them now or later in counseling, rehab, or some other unpleasant situation.

 

Believe – believe in yourself and learn to trust yourself. You need to believe and trust yourself and trust God, then your spouse and your children can believe and trust in you too. When you believe and trust yourself and God then you can teach your family to do the same. This applies even if you’re single, have kids or not.

 

Be – be yourself. Simple enough, we hear it all the time. So why don’t we do it? God created each one of us as an individual. He created you with specific talents and gifts, a specific personality. So why do we try to be like everyone else? Be YOURSELF. Be genuine. Be transparent. There is a freedom that comes when you’re authentically you.

 

Journal Prompt:

What do you need to be free from? Is it a past littered with childhood abuse? Is it an addiction or unhealthy relationship? Write down the people or things that you think and feel are holding you in bondage. Then open your mind and make a prayer list. It doesn’t have to be fancy or eloquent, God knows the desires of your heart.

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Persistence

Persistence2One of the most important qualities you can possess in life is persistence (the ongoing ability to PUSH!). Over the years I’ve learned that sometimes the one who wins is the one who shows up the most. Persistence is about being aggressive with your goals and dreams, versus passively waiting for them to come true. Persistence means that when you hit a roadblock, you keep going and find another way around. Persistent people win more often than passive people because they find ways to get things done.

 

Journal Prompt:

What roadblocks keep you from being persistent in working toward and achieving your dreams or your goals? Is it fear of failure, success, what other people will think? List them. Think about reasons. Then ask yourself is there truth in it or am I’m stuck in fear and holding myself back.

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Feature on Michael Crabtree

I’ve had the pleasure of being a friend and mentor to Michael Crabtree. There’s a great article featured on the San Francisco 49ers website about their inspiring wide receiver giving back to his community.

Oh, and “Thanks.” for the shout out.

You can read the full article and see the video here.

Push

Retired_Marine_Gunnery_Sgt_Brian_Meyer

Look at any individual who has achieved a great measure of success and you’ll find they had to PUSH! to make things happen. Successful people PUSH! through obstacles, temptations, and self-defeating thoughts. Winners and champions aren’t quitters. You can’t wake up every morning and PUSH! unless you are persistent and committed to your life. The most important quality you can possess in life is persistence (the ongoing ability to PUSH!). You are going to PUSH! through any obstacle, barrier, addiction, or curveball thrown at you. And not only that – but you’ll change lives in the process. You are going to wake up every morning and say? I can.

 

Journal Prompt:

Make a list of your dreams. Place no fences or limitations around them. If you could have anything, what would it be? If you could meet anyone, who would it be? List all your dreams, old ones that were dead and buried, ones that seem impossible. Once you’ve put them to paper you can see which ones need to be revived and which ones are purely fantasy.