True Beauty Comes From Within Part 3

Your true innate beauty is a marvelous gift from the Lord. It comes forth from a cavernously vast inner depth. Here you are encouraged to live life to the fullest with purpose. God has placed within our souls a void that only He can fill. So, make it a top priority to get to know God intimately. Life with the Lord becomes a wonderful journey. Always strive to be the “Best You with God by your side!” Then whatever comes your way instead of crumbling when adversity arises, life will thrust you to delve deeper in the Lord.

“True beauty comes from the inside out…”

God is utterly amazing. I can never say enough God things about the Lord! He can provide a marvelously blessed sure unshakeable sound “Solid Rock” foundation.

When you have God in your life and a crisis arises you are better able to momentarily journey within and ponder. When you seek him diligently He will reveal your path forward. Always seek the “Will & Way” of the Lord above all others. Be patient, because this requires a walk of faith. Your faith will help you shake off any doubt, anxiety or fear. Trust comes to the forefront. ( Be prayerful and selective from whom you receive your spiritual counsel… ) You won’t have to act happy; because you can be happy. You can also be disappointed at times but this does not become the theme of your life. You assess the situation and are able to bounce back… The LORD will HELP you to become resilient! Your desire to respond properly then naturally emerges. You will then embark upon a quest to rise to the occasion and seek a favorable resolve to persevere. Self-control is a marvelous virtue.

True Beauty goes far beyond the surface. Yes, we can wear beautiful clothes but that does not make us beautiful. It is merely a preferred style of clothing we select to cover our bodies. It’s your choice but be mindful of the message you are sending… Ladies not everyone needs to see your jewels. So be mindful of those low necklines as well as those extra short hemlines. Be mindful how tight you wear your clothes as well. This is true regardless of your size.

What message are you sending in wearing your clothes extra skin tight? Now if you are going deep sea diving of course that is quite appropriate. Of course it is always your choice? Being classy and discrete is far better. As you age do so gracefully… This varies depending on the individual. Classic designs don’t tend to be trendy. There is a vast assortment of fabrics and styles to cover yourself tastefully… That allow you the freedom to express you. In this day and age people wear some of everything everywhere. To be fashionable nowadays some even buy torn up clothes to wear. Go figure? So don’t dress for other people.

Nor should you live for other people. If you really want to truly be happy, live each day to please God. Then you will not so readily jump to conform to everything and everyone. The Word of God is powerful it transforms your mind from the inside out. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. It is wise to dress for the season, the weather or the occasion and how you feel. Each of us have or should develop our own personal style.

Our body is a human temple that temporarily houses our souls. We have the freedom to artistically express ourselves outwardly and inwardly. What is really most beautiful is when we are adorned with the spiritual armor of the Lord regardless as to what we put on. It helps us to protect who we are in the Lord from the environment and others. Instead of conforming to this world our minds are renewed and transformed by His Word. Your senses are sharpened. This then reflects His presence within our lives. It also helps to deflect all the fiery darts that are often thrown at us. Always be aware that God is totally aware of what’s going on…

Guess what when people talk behind your back? They are talking in front of God! Be willing to stand upon God’s principles regardless as to what they say or don’t say. God does not consult people to determine how He wants to bless us… Always keep in mind who’s you are; we serve and omniscient God. He will show you what to do and what not to do. Listen more to Him and less to them. God is true to His Word. Know without doubt; God always takes care of His own.


True beauty is not worn it cannot be put on nor taken off. It is from this rich place deep inside from which a wellspring comes forth. Here one discovers and retrieves the veiled beauty that has been pre-positioned in one’s soul.

I believe as a woman you should remain strong yet feminine. There should be no confusion to your gender or identity in the Lord! Men and women are different yet of equal value.  Yet there is a unique inner beauty in both. It is a wonderful thing being a woman or a man who knows the Lord! There is nothing to compare to it. It is within the depths of our soul one can encounter this precious internal, eternal spiritual fountain. From here springs forth godly wisdom and understanding which emits the deeper beauty that has been coded into our souls by our Creator. It was knitted into us before we were even in our mother’s wound.

Each of us are uniquely created

God has made us tri-dimensionally. We are body, mind and soul. We are created in His image. God has given each of us an innate temperament. No two of us are alike. So don’t be a chameleon. There is a reason why we are not comfortable just any and everywhere. Please don’t follow the crowd. God did not make us to fit in everywhere and with everybody.

“For you created my inner most being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. ALL the days for me were ordained…” Psalm 139

Yes, there is also a surface beauty that one can see but sometimes you will find that it does not always go very deep. Learn to spend some quiet time in the presence of the Lord. Momentarily from time to time deny yourself spending time in the world. This will increase your objectivity as well as sharpen your discernment. Then notice how when you are in the world, look around and you will see things more clearly that you had not paid much attention to.

Don’t let others control you by remote and push your buttons. Learn to respond rather than to impulsively react. When you do this, you are not suppressing how you feel. You are simply putting yourself in check. You are exercising self-control.

In times like these you do want to be cognizant of what is going on around at all times. Truly we are in the “Last Days” and some of anything and everything is going everywhere. Nothing is no longer sacred to many… You also want to be aware of what is being said to you or around you. Proceed with caution whenever necessary.

The hardest thing for some people to do is be quiet and still. They will often speak without thinking it through. Or purposefully say things to attempt to set you off. They can at times even get physical… This is the case when discipline is not yet embedded into the essence of one’s soul. They have to work harder at learning how to discipline themselves. But praise be to Christ Jesus with HIM; “ALL things are possible!”

I Peter says, that in order for our beauty not to fade away it has to come from our “ inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” This does not mean one has to become silent or passive, nor a doormat, but rather it is a quite proactive mode. Nor does it mean that as a woman you have to be loud, argumentative and abrasive.  Know, that quite often under those tough harsh, hard  exterior veneers there is a very fragile soul.

Yes, the Lord wants us to be observant of what is going on around us. HIS WORD teaches us “to observe all things…” But know without doubt; we don’t have to fear when we know HE IS WITH US.

Your true  “security & significance”  comes from a deep place that yields natural discipline and self-control. It is a gift from the Lord. As long as the Lord has us on this side of Heaven it is to grow. Although we must suffer and be misundertood from time to time know that God is always working in our favor. It is when we put our hope and trust in the Lord we can discover the true beauty that is deep within us. This beauty yields an inner glowing resiliency. God always wants to take us to deeper depths and higher heights in Him. Grace, Joy & Peace are a part of the “Fruit of His Spirit!”  

Reflected within our lives and upon the countenance of our faces is the hope of assured Victory in Christ Jesus! “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers…” Occasionally take some time away from everything and look deep within. Seek God’s approval over the approval of others… Your best rewards will always come from Him. God knows absolutely everything about all of us. It is utterly amazing what God will show you. It is important to learn to yield to the will of the Lord. He will never ask us to do anything that goes against His Word! God is infinite our finite minds cannot fully comprehend the depth of His vastness. He truly is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Alpha & Omega the Beginning & the End. Above Him is no other. In Him you can discover everything that you will ever need.

Always remember; “it is in Him we live and move and have our being…”  WOW!!!

Each day is a precious “Gift” from the Lord! “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you…” Live and strive to become all the Lord has created you to be. God is absolutely “AWEWONDERFUL!” God truly wants to be a part of every area of our lives. Embrace His Word with passion continually pressing onward and upward. God’s Word will make you think spiritually. He is the Sustainer & Giver of life. Seek to live to patiently grow in His grace and thrive knowing that He will never leave nor forsake you.

Life is but a vapor. Time is valuable. So spend less time in foolishness or in regrets. Make spending time with the Lord a priority. Learn to; “… Be in the world but not of the world …” Take a Spiritual bath in His Word regularly. This is how you get clean from the inside out. This way you can realistically live each day prepared for life as though you are expecting Christ Jesus to return at any moment. Begin to genuinely embrace and apply the Truth of His Word daily within your life.  God will  in turn continuously marvelously make mold and shape you from the inside out into all He has created you to be. “Rejoice in the Lord Always!” Praise and thank the Lord daily. Truly; He can and will keep you on the “Narrow Path” that leads to Him.

Yes indeed, always remember: “True Beauty Comes From Within!”

Marriage and Addiction Relief Part 3

Marriage & Addiction

Monkeys

Part 3

Marriage & Addiction

Step 3 Regular Usage

When addiction progresses it requires a regular fix. The substance abuser will now use others in an attempt to satisfy their addiction. This often leads to a multiplicity of dysfunction on many levels. Satisfying the addiction is often done in secrecy as well as with others. The frequency in which they do so has now escalated and impedes on their day-to-day life. The addiction can still go undetected because they cleverly camouflage or conceal their addiction of choice! As one looks closely the signs are all there. A spouse may not be aware because they can appear normal to a degree. A multiplicity of excuses is rendered when they are questioned? Deception comes along with addiction it can greatly hinder or destroy your marriage and other relationships as well

Truth, intimacy and trust are important components in building a good strong marriage, and healthy relationships or a family!

Step 4 full-blown

Day in and day out the addiction has now taken over. The addict will now do whatever to satisfy his or her obsession that has completely taken control. Their life cycle is getting, using, doing drugs, alcohol or whatever the addiction is… They are now compulsively spiraling increasingly downhill… Denial and selfishness has become their companion. For many it takes hitting rock bottom before they will admit they need help!

They have indulged themselves to the point that their brain chemistry has changed drastically! Their spiritual aptitude has been suppressed. To attempt to stop means that they will go through a period of painful withdrawal! The high that they used to receive is now an insatiable voracious uncontrollable craving. A mere ferocious “monkey on their back!” They cannot feel normal unless they are under the influence or indulging in the activity. Not realizing that normal is now far from them. They are consumed by their need to do whatever is necessary to satisfy their addiction. Their family, friends, job, talents, resources are all being destroyed by their inability to control their compulsive need for a fix!

How interesting that they so paradoxically “Need a fix!” What really needs to be fixed is their deep cavernous inner pain… Addiction is a vicious cycle. If your spouse is in any of these stages it is important to confront them in love. Redemptive confrontation is a way to begin to address whatever the addiction is. Don’t be an enabler. Love does not mean making someone feel comfortable in sin and self indulgence. If not confronted your love one’s life will spiral out of control if in fact that is not the case already.

Marriage is a wonderful relationship. God has created for us to learn how to properly relate to our spouses in every way. It is the ultimate monogamous sacred partner/co-worker relationship! It is through a committed marriage with God as the center one can learn how to overcome their weaknesses. A good marriage can or will keep you from addiction. Truly GOD is OMNISCIENT! He is the ultimate source of Godly Wisdom. He knew when we were created that we would need Him in all areas of our lives. In a God Centered Marriage He keeps man and woman joined together for life. Ever growing in His wisdom as they both stay connected to Him. A strong marriage takes to whole people. Yet; both realizing with the Lord that “we together become one.” “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.” Within the context of a committed marriage there is power and unity! With the Help of the Lord you can whether the storms of life and emerge Victoriously. MARRIAGE to GOD IS SACRED! It is in fact; HOLY MATRIMONY!

Addiction is a weakness. Drugs, alcohol, cannabis, illicit sex, pornography or whatever; are all used to help one to feel good! However as an addict they have no boundaries and they are constantly seeking more ways to alleviate their uncontrollable desires. This only drives them deeper into despair and uncertainty. With the help of the Lord you can overcome addiction. For with God “All things are possible!”

Marriage was wonderfully designed by God so we could get some of our needs met. There are some needs that can only be met by God! It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriages of others. God honors marriage. When you honor your marriage you honor God!

A spouse can be a great facilitator in helping the cycle of the dysfunction of addiction being broken! It is difficult because it requires exercising good boundaries. Praying and interceding for your spouse is key as well as seeking and taking direction from the Lord!

An intervention is necessary! Once the addiction has been confronted it is important to seek healthier ways to cope. Remember there are many forms of addiction. It can be an addiction to just about anything. Not everyone has a tendency towards addiction. Yet keep in mind that we all are forever becoming. Therefore we all need to work on improving and increasing our own personal disciplines. Be compassionate and have empathy but not to the point you further enable them. Be firm and set boundaries. Encourage them to take responsibility for overcoming their addition. They need to own their problem! They need to be active in seeking ways to resolve their addiction. Help by being their and remembering; addiction is a plea for help! Encourage them to discover healthier ways to fill their deep inner void.

There is absolutely nothing in your life that God is not aware of. He Loves you! He wants you to reach out to Him! You can do this wherever you are. Learning to surrender to HIM is very important!

Developing a genuine intimate personal relationship with the Lord will help you begin to better cope! Your need to be under the influence will dissipate. You will become better able to face life and situations soberly. God wants an up close personal relationship with us. Here one must be careful as well. There are those who develop an addiction to religion. They become very religious which also creates a void… It becomes just another escape. This is not the same thing as having a healthy personal intimate relationship with the Lord. It is important to spend time in His Word getting to know Him through His Word. You embrace and implement His Word in your daily life. You do not just merely wrotely learn how to quote it. God’s word becomes embedded within your heart. You begin to grow spiritually. Your inner peace increases. You desire to walk in the Light more. His Holy Spirit brings the Word to the forefront of your mind to HELP you sin less. Here you can discover what life is really all about. Here you can discover your purpose and the Freedom God wants for you.

One must seek to discover who they are without the addiction. To nurture the inner child that wants it’s way at all cost. To learn to better exercise self-control! Now that this is out in the open the addiction is exposed! This is what the road to recovery is all about. One must begin to monitor their feelings to see what triggers their desires. What is the root cause of them losing themselves into addiction? How do I begin to move from the addiction being the center of my life? God does have a better way! There is a way out of addiction. Focusing now on your spouse’s strengths is very important. Give them encouragement without being controlling or manipulating. Pray for them and give them to the Lord. No you don’t abandon them. However you no longer do for them what they should be doing for themselves. This helps them find their way back to becoming responsible and reliable! Encouraging them to allow the “JOY of the LORD to be their strength”. God wants to be the center of your life. “Jesus came that you might have life and has it to the full.” John 10.

Next we will discuss some of the causes of addiction!
See Part 4

Marriage and Addiction Relief Part 2

Marriage & Addiction

Monkeys

Part 2

Steps To Drug Addiction

Addiction is not a behavior or goal that a person usually sets out to acquire intentionally. Addiction is a compulsive behavior. Addiction happens when there is an unhealthy dependency formed. The addiction can be upon a substance, activity or habit which is gradually developed over a period of time. This time period varies for each individual.

Addiction is considered a disease by many in the medical profession. Some have a predisposition to being addicted that makes them more susceptible. One then usually seeks to cope with their inner pain depending upon an eternal source, eventually resulting in a dependency on it for an unhealthy comfort. Unknowingly they often compulsively indulge themselves without restraint and become seduced! More and more they gradually enter a world of escape!

Step 1 Experimentation

The first step into addiction is when someone experiments and there becomes a gradual progression. For some it becomes a beloved affair and they readily fall into dependence upon a particular substance or activity. Alcohol and Cannabis (pot) are usually where they start? It has been said that cocaine is quite deceptive and after one try many become “hooked!” One will never quite experience that first climactic high! However they will incessantly try again and again to achieve the euphoric exhilarating high! Some have even declared that they have “fallen in love” with rock cocaine only after the very first use!

Addiction can happen faster for a teen because they have not yet developed strong restraints. Their brain and nervous system is still developing. Therefore they can fall into alcoholism, pot smoking, drugs or pornography easier than an adult!

If you don’t experiment; Guess what? You won’t get hooked! Often when someone tries drugs and don’t like them they will not continue. They don’t like how they feel when under the influence.

Food is a hard addiction to overcome because it is vitally necessary to sustain one’s
life. Therefore they must learn how to get their addiction under control and live with it daily. It is important to learn to relate to food properly. Seek to find a balance in all areas of your life. Be encouraged! It is possible to master any addiction with the HELP of the LORD!

Step 2 Occasional usage

This is when drugs or alcohol are used in social settings! They allow themselves to be influenced by their peers and opt to go along with the group. There are some users who stay here and do not go on to daily use. There are some who only use alcohol and drugs on the weekend and don’t consider themselves to have an addiction. They claim to use it for recreational purposes.

Addiction is so widespread in this 21st century that just about everyone has been impacted to some degree. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries and is prevalent within all colors, races and cultures. This is true both inside and outside of God’s Church. Addiction within marriage can go undetected when you are not close to your spouse. It really is important to be transparent with your spouse in order to build a safe intimate marriage. It is also important to educate yourself about addiction. It is important to pray for your spouse, relatives, friends, coworkers or and love ones.

A treatment program can be very expensive. Check your health insurance and see what options or health benefits are available to you. Later on we will discuss outpatient, in patient, and residential programs. Know that having a personal relationship with the Lord makes or can make all the difference in the world! He can work through Christian and non Christians to help you through the recovery process… Keep in mind doctors and therapist treat and practice; GOD HEALS!

Next we will discuss advanced steps in addiction

Part 3

RELIGION: How It HELPS Or IMPAIRS Mental Stability – Part 1

Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about.

Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…

How do we get to know GOD?

The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! (I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him.

As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do. Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way. Our desire should be to live to please GOD as we grow spiritually.

Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process. The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of wisdom regarding the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD. Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!

Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking.  It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, daily living and the anxieties that come along with it. A little anxiety is healthy. It is what can actually cause you be cautious an helps you not to be hasty.

As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent. It is a continual learning process.

GOD has given us HIS HOLY SPIRIT HIS COMFORTER!

God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments. He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. SELF CONTROL IS A PRECIOUS GIFT FOM THE LORD! Don’t let others control you by remote control.  There are both good and bad consequences for our choices.

Sin is what separates us from God. God is the Creator and Maker of mankind and ultimately knows what is best for each of us. It is our choice to  choose to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. Pray and ask the Lord to  strengthen you.  Daily  embrace the Truth of God’s Word.  Learn  to be  led by His Holy Spirit.  God is utterly amazing He  can and will keep you on the Narrow Path!

The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict, here lies the results of inner conflict…

God sent us His only begotten Son;  CHRIST JESUS  to redeem us from the curse of sin. Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh for us. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never  ever sinned. He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him!  Regardless of what some believe and the world says; there is absolutely  no other way to Heaven. Jesus is the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example. Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily. We are to live each day as if we are expecting His return. No one knows when; but at some point, the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH that remains on earth.

GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!

Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?

Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered as the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of rituals. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “

“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect[citation needed]. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures.

The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”

Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…

CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION

Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAULTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.

Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE!

We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!

GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS WORD! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message.

God’s Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.

During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone. He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always. This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere. Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!

Please Read: Religion: How It Helps Or Impairs Mental Stability – Part 2

How Important Is Discipline In Your Daily Life ?

December 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Archives

Webster defines discipline as a training that corrects. It molds and perfects the mental faculties and moral character. A control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. To discipline means to train or develop by instruction and exercise; especially in the area of self control.The development of discipline is essential to our overall personal growth and spiritual maturity. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control.

Due to Adam’s sin mankind has inherited a sin-based nature. The appetite to fulfill the desires of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh is quite often first and foremost. The appetite of each individual varies. Your desire could be overeating or under-eating, alcohol, drugs, immoral sexual behavior, lying, envy, idolatry, covetousness, etc. In order to overcome this proclivity towards sin one must continually learn to surrender their yearnings toward self-gratification.

How can we accomplish this? To the believer deliverance from an undisciplined lifestyle is quite attainable. Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:19. The key factor in that verse is the strength has to come from the LORD.

God is quite aware of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are what alerts us to the fact we need something other than ourselves to overcome our human frailties. God has created us for the purpose of fellowship. We must continuously develop a life in accordance with the instructions He has left in His WORD. The first step to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth and the life: NO man cometh unto the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6. There is no other way to GOD.

Our perspective on life greatly affects how we deal with certain situations. Envision with me if you please a house. Everyday you would pass by this house. After a while you become very familiar with it’s exterior. You then begin to even make assumptions about the house. You eventually come to admire it for it’s surface beauty, but only from an exterior point of view. You’ve seen the front door day after day but you have never stopped and taken the time to knock at the door. You are aware of where the house is; you even think you have a general idea of what it’s like inside. But do you really?

Quite often we develop the same type of relationship with God. We know where His instructions for daily life are found. We have access to the Bible. But how often do we really devote time to actually seek His spiritual direction for our day to day living? We must go beyond the exterior and delve into the WORD and embrace His principles and apply them to our lives consistently. When we embrace His principles we embark upon a life of freedom. This freedom will free you from the appetites of the flesh and the clutches of the world. When you develop an intimate relationship with Him He begins to fill that deep endless void THAT ONLY HE CAN FILL.The Christian life is not an unattainable idealistic lifestyle. When we begin to walk in the Spirit we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.

Christians are to live lives that are dependent on God. It is through this spiritual dependency the strongholds that satan has on your life will begin to dissipate. This spiritual walk includes a life of discipline. Remember it is through discipline we are able to harness and control the lusts of the flesh I mentioned earlier. Christ lived, suffered, died and arose from the dead for a reason. He sacrificed His life to redeem us from the curse and endowment of Adam’s sin. It is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can overcome and partake in the victorious life he has prepared for those that truly love Him. “Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.” The scripture is not just for memorization to impress others. It is an edible delicacy that will nourish your spirituality and quench your unquenchable thirst as you truly embrace and live out it’s intended principles.

We must seek and learn to discipline our life to His standards. We must begin to relinquish the desire for man’s approval and conditional acceptance. We can never please man. I must warn you! The closer you draw to GOD the less man will understand you. You will be persecuted and greatly misunderstood. Guess what ? So was Jesus! He was maligned and accused of many things by those who should have known better. It was those who were thought to be spiritual that treated Him exceedingly wrong.

Man looks from the outside in; this is the opposite of God’s perspective. He looks from the inside out. He knows all about you. Your innermost thoughts and desires are fully known by Him. The key to a peaceful and contented life filled with true JOY is available. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (appetites of the flesh) we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.” How important is discipline? It is very important!

Co-DEPENDENCY

Bridge

For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide.

 

What is happening to our Christian families? Codependency has become a major dysfunction. Families are experiencing a famine in the area of healthy nurturing. Let’s begin to break generational cycles of codependency. Why is this necessary? A person who is co-dependent is trapped in a compulsive cycle of control. They are usually over achievers who are virtually motivated by their desire to be loved. They often have been subject to major rejection in their early childhood. In order to feel a sense of security they will over extend themselves in many activities in order to gain the approval of others. It is very difficult for a co-dependent to deal with someone who they can not control. They will often even appear submissive in order to gain control of someone. This behavior is really manipulation in order to dominate.

 

The boundaries of a co-dependent are usually blurred. The hurts of childhood abandonment and rejection fuel their need to control. They have a great need as well to be the center of attention. Unable to let go of the past they really feel empty and unloved. They are usually high maintenance people. Their constant need of approval is countered by resentment when not satisfied since they suffer from low self-esteem. As I have said before and will say again and again “your true security and significance can only be found in God”.

 

For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide. Contrary to popular belief you are not required by God to participate in most man ordained auxiliaries especially at the expense of neglecting your family. Pastors as well as Christian workers who suffer from co-dependency must be careful not to be pre-occupied at the expense of not having some time for their own families. Your works should display your faith not someone else’s. Creating healthy boundaries are necessary. Spend some time developing your personal intimate relationship with God. Begin to implement His principles in your life. Grace and peace is multiplied when you increase your knowledge of GOD!

 

Consciously allow what God desires and requires of you to override your need to control and/ or gain the approval of others. Don’t be a people pleaser! God is not impressed by manipulation. Always examine your motives in the light of His WORD. Take charge by letting go, which is the opposite of controlling. Remember scripture says it is “the meek that will inherit the earth.” Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. Cycles are hard to break but with God even the impossible is possible.

 

The family system of a co-dependent usually has a powerful effect on their behavior dynamics. Often there is a scapegoat, a martyr and a hero in the co-dependent family. The scapegoat gives everyone something to focus on rather than deal with the real problem. The martyr sacrifices for everyone and feels sorry for themselves. The hero makes the family look good to outsiders. A multigenerational pattern of faulty unhealthy dynamics can appear as normal. Do you notice any generational patterns? Unconsciously the family will fight to keep these dynamics operating.

 

All families have an element of dysfunction. Destructive family dynamics have been in operation since the beginning of time. The story of Joseph tells how his Dad favored him over his brothers. Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful coat. This caused so much jealously between them that they designed a plan to destroy Joseph. His brothers called him a dreamer. Little did they know that the Lord had His hand on Joseph. God being in control worked this to good although their plans were evil. In the final analysis Joseph became the chief provider for his family as well as country. Eli was a priest. Although a servant of the Lord he had two sons who were outwardly rebellious. They disrespected not only the offerings but the people of God as well. I wonder how much time Eli spent nurturing his own sons?

 

Family secrets such as mental illness, incest, abuse and alcohol or drug addictions often go unaddressed in the co-dependent family. Denial becomes a survival dynamic for the family. This fosters an unhealthy physical as well as spiritual environment. Family secrets are often described as though one has a white elephant in the living room. Everyone just walks around it as though it doesn’t exist. Or they just avoid it altogether. Thinking it will just go away. It won’t! Christians need to take a stand and move to a higher level of functioning. We must learn to address the sin issues in our families and not continue to make excuses. Sin is anything that separates us from the Lord. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
Couple on the Beach
 

God in His Omniscience is well aware of the shortcomings of all of us. We must look at the unhealthy dynamics in our family of origin and consciously find ways to abandon the generational cycles. Don’t continue to sweep things under the rug. Learn to confront issues as they arise. It’s never to late! Start by not supporting or reinforcing any unfavorable behavior. The truth must be faced to break free and enjoy the present.

 

Sometimes it is necessary to pursue professional assistance to resolve family conflict. A conscientious therapist should be well informed about inappropriate behavior. They objectively are able to recognize that the faulty behavior presented is really a mask for an underlying unmet need. The co-dependent needs to find a positive channel to release inner tensions. A family intervention is useful in most situations. Then proceeding to establishing a way in which their unmet needs can be satisfied is recommended.

 

In a Therapy environment a healthy atmosphere is crucial. The equal safety of the client and the safety of the therapist should always be a priority. A committed Christian therapist knows the importance of establishing healthy boundaries. A congruent environment implies that the therapist is trustworthy, genuine, integrated, and openly honest. There are many cultural differences that can inhibit a fluent understanding of the client. Stereotype thinking must be abandoned. Each client must be viewed as an individual. Labeling often changes peoples perceptions of others. There is a substantial diversity among any given group of people.

 

Christian therapy although not new is often unwelcomed from anyone other than the pastor in some instances. Many pastors who may be well-versed in scripture may not be equipped in some areas of counseling. Many on the other hand or overwhelmed by their ministerial duties. There are some pastors who should not counsel, especailly if there is a history of infidelity… The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrued as out of line and unwelcomed.

 

The use of small cell groups can often be quite therapeutic and beneficial for the co-dependent as well as for managing other interpersonal problems. A conscientious facilitator will maintain order and model control. Confidentiality and free expression should be encouraged. Conflict arises when individuals become resistant to someone’s insight or opinions that have been communicated. Uncontrolled anger is not welcomed in a cell group. Establish boundaries. Keep the group spiritually based. Making use of regular Bible study and prayer are key elements for success.

 

Emerging from codependency is painful. The compulsion to rescue dependent people is really a form of bondage. God never intended for any of us to be slaves to sin. Self-control is a fruit of His Spirit. His resources are unlimited. The co-dependent person first must acknowledge their compulsion to control. They must work towards redirecting their inclination towards other control to self-control. To seek healthy ways to have their unmet needs fulfilled. To process dispelling dysfunctional cycles this is a must. Don’t allow pride to hinder your progress. It is an obstacle to your well-being. God also hates pride it is an abomination to Him. Confess any known sin and press forward. It takes courage and a lot of hard work. It is in our weakness that we can become strong through God’s awesome power. God has left the Comforter which is His Holy Spirit to lead teach and direct you. Never forget God loves you! Take control by taking control of yourself. Learn the benefits of meekness. Know that your body is the Temple where God’s Holy Spirit resides. It is so very important to learn how to trust God, daily embrace HIS principles and know that everywhere you are GOD is always a prayer away. The truth really will set you FREE!!!

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