Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday June 18, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Denial is a killer, Friend.

Like you, I’ve been watching the news about the horror in Orlando where 49 people were killed by some guy who thought he was acting for Allah. I get frustrated listening to the debate over what we should call the enemy in this ongoing battle. I don’t care what you call it, but you have to admit that it exists. None of my problems ever gets solved until they exist aa a problem in my own mind. For alcoholics and addicts, getting past the debate over whether I am an addict or I just occasionally drink too much is a matter of life and death. Addicts don’t always die of addiction; they often die of denial. This is true for all people and all life issues. Whether it’s a weight problem, a health problem, a job problem, a relationship issue, a financial mess, or a mental/emotional dilemma, until I have a problem, I won’t try to solve it.

So how do I tell if I have a real, chronic problem or just an unfortunate string of painful coincidences? Here are some sobering (pardon the pun) questions to ask yourself:

1. Have you ever argued with your family about whether your behavior or attitudes are a problem?

2. Have you ever missed or disrupted important family events because of your particular behavioral or attitudinal issues?

3. Have you ever been in legal trouble because of your behavior or attitudes?

4. Do you ever have times when you feel you are not in control of your behavior?

5. Add up what your behavior or attitude costs you in money (including lost wages), time, friendships, or peace of mind. Does this cost seem too high?

6. Do you arrange your schedule and associations to make allowances for your habits or attitudes?

7. Have you ever been in trouble on the job because of your behavior or attitudes?

8. If you saw someone else who acts or reacts like you, would you think they needed help?

9. Do you ever lie to cover up your secret behaviors or ungodly attitudes?

10. Do you ever feel guilty for things you have done and said, then repeat the same behavior?

11. Project where you will be in five years if you continue down the path you are on right now. Does what you see concern you?

If you have two “yes” responses, you might want to give serious thought to getting an outside opinion. More than 2, you have a problem that is adversely impacting important areas of your life. It is decision time.

Somebody Said: You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory. J. Donald Walters

Scripture Reading: Anyone who looks will see, anyone who listens will hear.

(Isaiah 32:3 MSG)

Years ago, I met a man who was admitted to the hospital with a tumor the size of a grapefruit engulfing his nose. He noticed it when it was small, but didn’t’ want to deal with it. When people began to comment, he stayed at home. When the image in the mirror became too distressing, he dimmed the lights. Now he faced disfigurement and death. Pretending things don’t exist is an ineffective strategy. In our crowd, we don’t want to make a bad confession, but faith and denial sound exactly alike. Real faith acknowledges the circumstance, then applies the promise.

Pastor Virgil Stokes

FCF of Tucson

3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745

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