Self-Esteem

Self Deceit is Rarely ObviousPremium Content

Unlike the deceit of others, self-deceit is almost never deliberate and intentional.

The act of deceiving ourselves is rarely that obvious. Without realizing it, we mask our behaviors in ways that are more acceptable, rewarding, and socially beneficial. In fact, we try very hard to look good in front of others and the mirror. Sometimes we try so hard to look perfect that we nearly convince ourselves that it’s true. Then, when someone tells us, or when we see the light on our own, we remember who and what we really are – human.

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

God Expects You To Be Better By Now (Resistance to Recovery)Premium Content

See: Part 1 | See: Part 2

(The third in a three part series on resistance to recovery.)

In the first of this series of articles I emphasized that the most difficult form of resistance to recovery is our own resistance. Recovery is not easy. It is a difficult process. Telling the truth, acknowledging our need, accepting help, making amends - these are some of the difficult tasks of recovery. It is understandable that we resist such a difficult process. In addition, recovery involves change. We have spent many years practicing our dysfunctional ways of living. The path of least resistance for us is to keep doing the same old things. Change is difficult and it is understandable that we resist it. In the second in this series of articles, I emphasized that in addition to our own internal resistance to recovery, recovery also often takes place in a hostile environment. For a variety of reasons, not everyone in our lives will welcome the changes which recovery brings.


Many of us, unfortunately, have experienced some distinctively Christian forms of resistance to recovery and it is this kind of resistance which I would like begin to discuss in this article.

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 2Premium Content

by Dale & Juanita Ryan | see: Part 1

We resist getting help

In spite of the abundance of God's love and grace and the many ways in which love and grace are available to us, we do not easily reach out for the help we need. Even when we have acknowledged our need for help, we may find ourselves hesitating, finding excuses, resisting. Resistance to getting help is often the result of a mixture of fear and despair and shame.

Fear

It can be frightening to get help. In the process we feel vulnerable and exposed. Jim's Dad had made cutting remarks about him all his life. Jim was so accustomed to hearing that he was lazy and stupid and irresponsible that every time he shared in his support group, he expected to hear these same hurtful comments in response. Even though people didn't respond this way, Jim imagined that everyone must be privately thinking these things about him. As a result, he would sometimes begin to share only to freeze with fear and find himself unable to talk.

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

Do You Belong In Bethlehem?Premium Content

What would Jesus think if I showed up in Bethlehem?
I’ve been trying to spend some time each day during this Christmas season at the nativity scene, wondering about the thoughts, emotions, and experiences of each character. And I found myself wondering how Jesus would respond to the presence of a disabled person in that holy circle.

I’d probably try to stay away. I’d list endless excuses to stay in my own warm, safe environment and let someone else go.

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

The Role of Ignorance and Want in Our LivesPremium Content

One of my favorite holiday stories is "A Christmas Carol," the timeless classic, written by Charles Dickens. I've seen many adaptations of it; there have been numerous stage and screen versions, rolled out each December.

One of the constants in the story, however, is that of the boy character, Ignorance, and the girl character, Want, introduced to the Scrooge character via the Ghost of Christmas Present. They're portrayed as creature-like, snarling, hissing and clawing for attention. They make their dramatic appearance, hidden underneath the Ghost's robe.

And, the drama queen in me loves that poignant, uncomfortable scene because it's a wake-up call reality check for humanity. According to the literature classic, here's the exchange between Scrooge and the Ghost:

"Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

Why doesn't God seem to answer my prayers?Premium Content

Why doesn't God seem to answer my prayers?

Often quoted is Psalm 37:4b, "and he will give you the desires of your heart." This portion of the Scripture is often used to say that God will give you what you ask for. However, the first part of this verse-often unquoted-provides the true meaning behind it. Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart."

If you are taking pleasure in the things of God, and you want for yourself no more and no less than God's will for you, then you can be confident that He will grant you your desires. But, when you mix your own desires and self-made plans into your prayers, God may not answer the way that you thought you wanted Him to. James 4:3 says, When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

Could You be a "Selfie?"Premium Content

All right, I admit it. I'm on social media- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course, my website. In this modern culture, that's the rule, not the exception. Virtually everyone I know is on social media - and even some of their pets, to boot. I certainly have posted my fair share of cat photos. It's a bit ridiculous how many profile pics are floating out there. Some are obscene; some are funny. Some are glamorous and some are downright narcissistic.

Yes, narcissism. Here we go. It's an easy thing to get sucked into. In a world where promotion is the name of the game, how, exactly, does one navigate social media without a little (or a lot of, let's be real) promotion of self?

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

Are You a Ragamuffin in Need of Grace?Premium Content

Brennan Manning loved to refer to the Gospel as the Ragamuffin Gospel. I always liked that! Why? I didn't come to Jesus with any piety or with the veil of religious performance. I was completely surprised when I encountered Jesus. He was totally other than my immature image of Him! And I had hit "my" bottom as a drug addicted Hippie. My home was the streets.

Jesus took me in through the love and hospitality of two of His Ragamuffin Saints. And He immediately sensitized me to the realities of being drawn into Him. He threw out the welcome mat to my heart to be at home in Him. I had no theology. Not even the slightest pretense of having a clue about my life "purpose" or "worth." I was entirely "clueless!"

Brennan Manning eloquently communicated the Gospel of Grace without even a hit hint of religious pride. And he never wavered or compromised it. Instead; he was faithful to the message of grace through his own personal struggles, failures and shortcomings. The following quote succinctly captures the essence of Brennan's life message!

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

"Am I pretty?"

"Am I pretty?"

Recently, I watched the 1940 adaptation of "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. It follows the lives of its Grover's Corner citizens.

And that includes a young girl, Emily. There was a particular conversation between Emily and her mother which caught my attention; it's one, to a certain degree, which is echoed between many mothers and daughters now. It's about being pretty.

Emily asks her mother, "Am I pretty enough to get people interested in me?"

My ears perked right up, along with many mixed emotions about the question. Having experienced struggles with body and self-image, as well as eating disorders, the "pretty" question is far from pretty.

Are You the Victim of a Bully?Premium Content

I once thought a bully was a big kid shaking down a weaker kid for lunch money.

Now I know bullies are adults, too. They’re bosses, parents, teachers, spouses, neighbors, pastors, celebrities, and pro athletes. A bully is an insecure person who uses physical or emotional violence, or the threat of such violence, to exert power and control over others.

I can’t think of anything positive about bullies or their actions.

The bully hasn’t learned how to get what he needs—affirmation, love, self-worth—in authentic relationships, so he resorts to violence and threats. Bullies aren’t “real men” or “strong women.” They’re weak or unskilled in relationships, so they compensate with bravado.

You are not logged in. Full article & information available to those who support the ministry through membership.
Please: Log in or Join Now

Your membership & donations make this ministry possible.
If you have been helped please:

Join Us  or  Donate

Contact Us

Syndicate content