Forgiveness of Others, Revenge

Twelve Steps: Feline Resemblance

He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good." Proverbs 19:8

As with most families this time of year, my husband and I commemorate the season with holiday decorations. That décor, however, is threatened by two factors: our cats, Gracie and Glory.

And, it is in this holiday decoration/feline context where I started thinking about the power of negative consequences.

The Book of Proverbs is especially loaded with helpful warnings for particular behaviors. It comes down to wisdom versus foolishness, pride versus humility, willingness to learn versus stubbornly and repeatedly making the same poor choices.

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20

Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools. Proverbs 19:29

Like it or not, we live in a cause and effect world. Many of us who battle with addiction, disorder and compulsion have already felt certain unpleasant consequences like lost jobs, wrecked relationships, health issues and excruciating moments of embarrassment.

Workshop: Acceptance the Pathway to PeacePremium Content

Karla Downling is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, Bible study teacher, licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of Change My Relationship. Karla’s passion is to see individuals, marriages, and families set free from the chains of dysfunction, scriptural misunderstanding, and emotional pain personally and relationally. Her messages provide practical solutions based on biblical truths that bring balance and clarity to life and relationship issues. She also desires to equip ministry leaders and lay counselors to reach out more effectively to those that are struggling with difficult relationships. Karla’s website is http://ChangeMyRelationship.com.

karladowning: Ok. Let's start off with a definition of acceptance. It is "taking or receiving what is offered, giving approval, believing, or accepting. It is putting out your open hand and allowing the thing or circumstance or person to be put into it and then closing your hand and pulling it toward you. The meaning of "accept" is "to receive as adequate; to receive with approval or favor; to take or receive."

The opposite of acceptance is refusal or disapproval. It is like putting out your hand and pushing it away. think about your life and the things you don't want; don't like; struggle with accepting. Are you opening your hand to receive them or pushing them away? I know for myself that I pushed them away for years and struggled with refusing to accept them. It took lots of energy.

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Why do people betray me when I tell them my secrets?

Matthew 24:10 KJV
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Another stop on the road to recovery takes you to the intersection of people and who I said it to. There many warnings signs, directions, instructions and other signpost to consider as you travel the path to self enlightenment. The foundation of this healthy spirit filled life begins with the journey within.

This journey into self teaches many things about who you are and who you are not. It might be the first time in a long time you realize that some of the things you said in order to belong to the group came back to hurt you and you felt you were betrayed. How did this insane way of getting attention affect you? What can you do to protect yourself in recovery? Addiction and alcoholism are about confusion and deceit. They are based on the smoking glasses and half truths about everything in your life.

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

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?

Relief from the Anger

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 KJV

A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.Proverbs 15:18 KJV

The Bible gives us many references about the conditions and consequences of anger in our life and in the lives of people that we are in relationship with. When you can develop a way to manage the anger that has been pushed deep down in your heart and soul, life in recovery gets better.

Another consequence of addiction is that you use rage to express anger. Rage is a dangerous threatening condition that harms people and creates overwhelming fear. You can learn to express your anger without the rage. Anger is a feeling that is a part of the human experience. When you begin to express your anger without rage, you can break the cycle of rage as an expression of anger. Here are some tools that can help break the cycle. Rage is a distortion of reality.
In his book:
Addictive Thinking, Understanding Self-Deception

- by Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

He says there are three phases of anger:

"Surviving the Holidays with a Dysfunctional Family" Workshop

note: Members may discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE

Welcome to our Special Workshop tonight
"Surviving the Holidays with a Dysfunctional Family" Workshop

For many, the Christmas season is not a time of warm cozy feelings and precious memories. For some, it is a time of reliving the nightmares of childhood abuse and not wanting to return home for Christmas. It is a reminder of broken relationships and children in the custody of “the other parent.” It is a season of struggles to stay clean and sober and out of trouble when attending Christmas gatherings. How can we not only survive, but also thrive during the Christmas season?

Abused? God has victory for You!Premium Content

There are many of us out there who have been bullied and abused.

Whether we've been beaten verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually by a family member, have been teased, thrown in lockers or picked last for teams as kids or, worst case scenario - all of the above - it certainly is a challenge to live through that, let alone, overcome it.

Many of us are underdogs, the forgotten, the least likely.

And that is precisely why one of the things that I love most about God is His viewpoint on that status. God's "M.O." is one of championing the underdog, encouraging him/her, and exalting/promoting that individual, not just in spite of the odds, but quite often, because of them.

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How is Your Spiritual Heart Health?Premium Content

God has been teaching me His way concerning heart health. The condition of my physical heart mirrored the state of my spiritual heart. Through a physical and spiritual heart catheterization He exposed blockages, which left untreated, would be my certain physical and spiritual demise. He exposed areas of my heart that were still wounded and thus divided. I suspect I am not alone in this process.

According to the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches that It is from our hearts that we gain all spiritual guidance and understanding.

"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop" Luke 8:15 NIV.

"All valid spiritual direction comes to us through our heart-the seat of true knowing and our "eyes and ears" in the spirit. If we discern the "will of God" it is through our heart. Knowing our true identity and destiny is achieved through our hearts as well." "Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You", pg.67, published by Shepherd's House, Inc. revised version 2000.

As a direct result of these remaining heart blockages, I was no longer able to fully hear, retain, or re-produce a good crop from the word that had been so wonderfully planted in my heart for decades. The ability to correctly discern, know and understand Papa's will or my true identity and destiny as Papa's beloved son were being robbed from me. In this state, my capacity for joy was weakened. Of course my loved ones were profoundly affected by my heart disease as well (which of course there has been profound mercy and the amazing grace of forgiveness).

When your heart has blockages, your core identity becomes at best skewed and can even lose touch with reality. You are less able to live from the new heart Jesus gave you as your birthright. You even can end up not behaving or acting like who you truly are-an adopted child of God. Probably the most devastating part of this condition is being blocked from enjoying Christ in your heart. He-of course, will never leave us or forsake us-but our intimacy with Him can be diminished.

I am being so transparent about this in hopes to impart the courage for you to ask Papa to search your heart and know truth in your inner most parts, as King David did. This is why he was "called a man after God's own heart."

The single goal of heart healing is to

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My Husband Cheated On Me. What Can I Do?Premium Content

Ask Angie: My husband cheated on me with another woman and now I find it hard to forgive him. I can't trust him anymore. Our marriage is falling apart. We can go on for weeks without speaking and we are so uncomfortable. Although it hurts me I don't know what to do anymore.

Ask Angie: Hello Angie, thanks for the Good work that you're doing. My husband is involved in infidelity, I have know about it and confronted him but he continues to do it, his parents have talked to him but no change, am real hurt by his behaviors. He sleeps out, never eats at home, he come late in the night from that woman. Every thing about us has died, we don't talk, plan together any more. I'm confused; I want my marriage to be better again.

Ask Angie: My husband is a womanizer and he has cheated on me, had girl in my house while I was at work. I have no problem with him talking to other women but why do they call while I'm at work and hang up in my face. I can't shake this nor let it go.

Marriage Guidance: It is very hard to forgive if a spouse has committed adultery, and especially if they continue to commit sexual sin over and over again. But even so it is what Christ asks us to do. Why do you think Jesus wants us to forgive a spouse of adultery? If we don't forgive others when they trespass against us Christ will not forgive us!

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

True Forgiveness Is Only Found Through Our Own

Faith In Jesus Christ

If we call ourselves Christians are we living the Christian life? Forgiving others is living the principles taught to us by Jesus Christ. If we are living the Christian life then we find forgiveness in our hearts when others have hurt us. Jesus gives us the power to forgive!

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