Believing that whining and demanding
Will gain Your favor rather than genuine humility,
Many come before You with hearts that a
Are petulant and peevish, lacking gratitude.
I understand their perspective completely,
Having spent decades of my life
Coming before You in precisely
The same self-serving, self-centered way—
Never understanding, never acknowledging
That You know what is best for me.
Question: Could this be you? Is this what your prayer life is like? If so, admit it to God, and ask Him to change your heart.
If you want to be a whole person—valuable to yourself and to others—you must renew your mind and reject what your abuser has said about you. Don’t internalize it but, if you already have, make a commitment to renew your mind immediately. The way to do this is simple: accept that God loves you and desires your recovery.
Question: Have you internalized what your abusers have said about you? If so, know that it will take time and consistency to renew your mind to think differently.
For your recovery to work the way it should, you must accept the responsibility for your behavior and not take the easy way out by blaming Satan. It simply doesn’t work, and in most cases, it isn’t true. When a problem manifests itself, you must always look for your part in it, and the sooner the better. If you’re being honest, you’ll usually find it. If you’ve been foolish, admit it. Don’t deflect; don’t rationalize; and don’t project your problems onto another.
Question: How often have you behaved this way? Is rationalization a part of your life? If so, admit it, and ask God to reveal how extensive your problem really is.
Most muddle through life in a languid state of mediocrity. Some try positive thinking, meditation, or a myriad of other ways to improve themselves, occasionally going to great expenditures of time and resources to do so. Occasionally, it is helpful, but little of it gets to the core of what really changes a person—at least not fundamental character change. To achieve that, you have to go before the Lord and allow Him to reveal you to yourself. If you don’t go willingly, He will do it for you—guaranteed.
Journal: Write a paragraph or two about who you really are. Be thorough and completely candid.
In an attempt to be palatable to everyone—to get them “saved,” Christians have watered-down Christ’s teachings to be the preferred way among equals—not the only way. In America, God’s blessings are equated to materialism and not the rich character qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. In order to be attractive to the unsaved, marginal church leaders—those more intent on creating large churches than strong churches, have diluted Christ’s words.
Question: Have you watered down what you know to be true? If so, admit it to God, and ask Him to give you the strength of character to be true to your beliefs.