Choices

Influence of Society on the Christian

Are the influences of society too difficult to stay away from? Are you getting yourself pulled in by greed, lust, and pride? This is just a few of the ways the master of lies persuades Christians into his world. That's why as believers we have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Who are you serving? If you are serving Christ then you must be living in His spiritual Kingdom here on earth. If you say you are a Christian then you must be living for Christ, right? There is no other way, unless you are fooling yourself. Can someone say they are a Christian, and then live a different life than who they say they are? Could it be this is how the evil one deceives people – he is so cunning and wise that he will trick you into believing you are serving God when in effect you are only lip-serving. But that isn't enough for God -- He wants action-serving.

The Bible clearly points out how a Christ One is to live his or her life. There is no straddling the fence, you either are or you aren't. Which are you? Believers in Jesus Christ have to be smarter and wiser than satan if they want to be able to really do God's work.

Let's look at some subtle ways

Love vs. Lust

There is a great contrast between love and lust. Lust is more of a sexual or greedy feeling, while love is more of a secure and content filled feeling we get from giving and receiving. Lust does not have to be something sexual, it can be a greedy desire for more money and power, etc. But for this article, I am using it in its sexual context.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 sums up the common traits and variances of love and lust.

    LOVE is kind = considerate, caring, giving, thoughtful, understanding
    Lust is envy = jealous, greed, spite, resentment,

    LOVE is not proud = humble, submissive, meek, modest

Love is a Verb

I think most great marriages are based upon principled acts of love. What does that mean? Real love is a verb, which means to love others takes effort. Principled acts of love can actually grow deeper and richer with the age of the marriage, especially if the marriage has been led under the wisdom of God. A principled act of love is all about choosing to love the person you married and doing it with wisdom.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9, 10 NIV

Some people have this preconceived idea that love is something that makes you feel all giddy and euphoric inside. In reality, how many couples after having been married five or ten years still share that euphoric feeling with each other? So in retrospect when that preconceived or learned idea gets squashed out in left field, which will happen, people tend to think they are not "in love" with their spouse anymore. And the next thing you know they are looking for a new partner. But if love is a choice, which I believe it is, and we choose to do those things that are loving it will make us feel more loving too.

What happens to couples in marriage who believe love should feel a certain way? Society has taught that

The Power of "No!"

A large part of my recovery process involves using the word "no." Indeed, saying "yes" gotten me into more trouble and disease than standing in my own okay-ness with stating it simply, but firmly.

My eating disorder experiences were driven by an insatiable need for perfection, approval and to be pleasing at all cost. So, "no" became a dirty little word. After all, a girl, filled with sugar and spice, should be completely fulfilled with making other people happy.

Right?

Wrong.

What's in a name?

But now thus says the LORD that created you..."Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

What's in a name?

We cannot get around that question. From the start, we are named. As life continues, we bestow more names to children, pets, toys, places, projects, et cetera.

This naming business is far from insignificant. Consequently, it can often subject to negative, extremely personal and abusive behavior. It can challenge the recovery from our individual hurts, histories and obstacles.

I've personally encountered this toxicity. I have had people call me derogatory names; profanity and misogyny have often been at the center of those names.

It's startling, infuriating and potentially harmful to my health and recovery. Often reeling from these encounters, my only recourse is to

Clueless or Purposeful Recovery?

As we bump along in life, we often misunderstand things, especially concerning our recovery. I recently caught a cartoon which captures that reality.

In it, we see Jesus and His disciples on a fishing boat. One disciple is in a festive mood, complete with some castanet shaking. This prompts another disciple's response...

"You idiot. He said cast the nets."

Does this spotlight, once again, our human cluelessness?

Perhaps, rather, it taps into the purposeful recovery-from-addiction meaning in our lives, should we choose to embrace it.

Let's take a gander at the fishy verses...

What Was I Thinking?

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child... 1 Corinthians 13:11


Many of us, looking back on childhood photos, stare in horror at our various hairstyle and clothing choices. Sometimes, they were made by our family members; sometimes, they were made by us.

Regardless, with hindsight, we reach the conclusion, "what was I thinking?"

Complicating that question further, is the reconciliation/forgiveness/better choices we embark on as we proceed with our lives.

It starts by acknowledging and applying the wrap-around scriptures, encasing 1 Corinthians 13:11...

Do You Fear Positive Thinking?

Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts.
It's what you do with what you have left. ~Hubert Humphrey

Do you ever fear positive thinking? I do.

Of all the fears that might haunt us, why in the world would we fear a positive attitude?

Immediately following my accident, I wanted desperately to believe in the possibility of recovery. I knew that a good attitude would help me tackle the hard work ahead. But somehow I couldn't find the courage to maintain a consistent positive approach.

Finding It Hard to Forgive?

And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:12

How many times do we pray this portion of what is commonly called "The Lord's Prayer" and yet fail to consider what we're asking? It is a petition, a request of God to forgive us - in the same manner and proportion in which we forgive others. Are you okay with that? Are you comfortable with receiving God's forgiveness to the same extent that you give it to others?

Optical Illusion: Liar?

Recently, on social media, I saw a brain teaser trending. It was an image that, at first glance, looked like a face. It stated, "Share when you see a word," asking us to look beyond this face value.

And, upon doing so, at a certain angle, one can see a dotted "I" where the nose/nostril is, along with an "a" for the mouth and an "r" creating the chin and neck. And starting the entire face, there is an elaborate "L," making up the two eyes.

So, when we spell the face, what word do we get?

Answer: liar.

The face of addiction, right there, ladies and gentlemen.

The old joke asks:
How do you tell if an addict is lying?
Answer: His/her lips are moving.

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