Friday, June 17, 2011

Step 4 scriptures

Step 4 - We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Psa 119:57  [Heth] You are my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep your words.
Psa 119:58  I entreated your favor with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to your word.
Psa 119:59  I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto your testimonies.
Psa 119:60  I made haste, and delayed not to keep your commandments.
Psa 119:61  The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten your law.
Psa 119:62  At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto you because of your righteous judgments.
Psa 119:63  I am a companion of all them that fear you, and of them that keep your precepts.
Psa 119:64  The earth, O LORD, is full of your mercy: teach me your statutes.

Psa 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psa 139:24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Pro 4:23  Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Pro 4:24  Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and perverse lips put far from you.
Pro 4:25  Let your eyes look directly forward, and let your eyelids look straight before you.
Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.
Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove your foot from evil.

This group of verses from Proverbs speaks to many issues in working our 4th step. These proverbs tell us how important it is to be protective of our heart, for out of our heart come the issues of life. In the 4th step, we examine how we have violated this advice. We look back to find the ways that we have not guarded our heart, ways that we have let foolishness and folly rule our feelings rather than a loving and careful spirit. We examine how to put away the deceitful words and ways that we have found in our addictive ways. We begin to see how to direct our lives in a straight path, not being distracted by the temptations of the world, the triggers of our addiction. Probably most to the point for the 4th step is verse 4:26. We are told to ponder the path of our feet and let all of our ways be established. In the 4th step we ponder where our feet have been, what we have done in our lives and how that has affected our lives. We examine the good and the bad. And in that examination, we begin to understand what was worthwhile and what was not worthwhile. Where was God in our lives trying to direct us and protect us, and how did we ignore or rebel against God's leading? In understanding how God has sought to work in our lives in the past, we can better understand how to walk in the future, to have all of our ways be established in the ways of the Lord.

Lam 3:39  Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
Lam 3:40  Let us search and examine our ways, and turn again to the LORD.
Lam 3:41  Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
Lam 3:42  We have transgressed and have rebelled: you have not pardoned.
Lam 3:43  You have covered with anger, and persecuted us: you have slain, you have not pitied.
Lam 3:44  You have covered yourself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
Lam 3:45  You have made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.

It is fitting that these words are from the book of Lamentations, for the book describes the aftermath of falling away from the ways of righteousness, as we have done in our addictive behaviors. We are told in verse 40 to search and examine our ways and turn again to the LORD. This is what we are to do in step 4 of our program. We examine our life in the light of God's righteousness, making a moral inventory of our lives. In this inventory we will probably see at least some of these things in our lives that the subsequent verses talk about - how we have blocked God's pity, pardon and answered prayers from our life. As Christians we have hope that through the blood of Christ we can find forgiveness for these sins and a redeemed relationship with God. This examination of our lives also begins to set up a precendent where we can invite our God to examine our lives as well (Psalm 17:3, 26:2) that we might continue to be found in God.

Hag 1:5  Now therefore thus says the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Hag 1:6  You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he that earns wages earns wages to put it into a bag with holes.
Hag 1:7  Thus says the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

The book of Haggai is about the need for the people of God to build the temple of God. At this time the temple was the physical structure in Jerusalem. In the Christian dispensation, we are told that our bodies are the temple of God () and that the church universal is the Body of Christ (). In this passage we are told to consider our ways - to reflect on how our lives are and ...

Mat 5:4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives many instances of how we are blessed. In this verse, He tells us that we are blessed when we mourn appropriately. Step 4 can be a step of mourning those places in our lives where we messed up and missed the good life that God would have liked to have given us. In this mourning, though, we become blessed as we find the healing and comfort from the Lord.

2Co 13:4  For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are counterfeits?
2Co 13:6  But I trust that you shall know that we are not counterfeits.
2Co 13:7  Now I pray to God that you do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that you should do that which is honest, though we be as failures.
2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
2Co 13:9  For we are glad, when we are weak, and you are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
2Co 13:10  Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord has given me to edification, and not to destruction.
2Co 13:11  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be restored, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
2Co 13:12  Greet one another with a holy kiss.
2Co 13:13  All the saints greet you.
2Co 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

The apostle Paul here is ending his second letter to the Corinthian church, and giving them advice on how to live as Christians. There were many struggling Christians in this congregation, just as we may also struggle in our attempts to be true to the teachings of Christ. Yet we are told that in our weakness we can live by God's power in us, even as Christ Himself was crucified in weakness and yet lives by God's power. Furthermore, to carry this out we are told to examine ourselves (v5) that we may prove ourselves in the faith or not. This is relevant to step 4, because in step 4 we examine our lives and determine when we were or were not acting in faith and obedience to God's moral standards. This would be most pointed at those who were Christians during the time of their ...

Gal 6:3  For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Gal 6:4  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5  For every man shall bear his own burden.
Gal 6:6  Let him that is taught in the word share with him that teaches in all good things.
Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8  For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

The Spirit of God writing through the apostle Paul exhorts us here to be honest and objective with ourselves. Especially when we have become used to being seduced by the lies of our addiction, we then find it more difficult to separate truth from fiction. One of the easiest ways to deceive ourselves is to have a false sense of ourselves and how we relate to others and especially to God. For many of us, it is easy to get in the habit of thinking more of ourselves in order to give us permission to indulge in our addictive behaviors and think that it is OK. We may think that we are special or have special privileges because of reason 'XYZ', and 'XYZ' might be different for each one of us. But the common thread to this excuse is that whatever we may use to justify our being special, it can lead us to pride and an unwarranted sense of privilege. We may have this attitude also to temporarily keep us from facing the shame and guilt of our addictive activities.

But instead of a false sense of ourself, we are admonished to prove our own work. The NKJV translates this word as "examine" instead of "prove". This is the value of the 4th step. We can prove or examine our own work by looking back on our life and try to get an objective picture of what was wrong in our past (and that may still linger in the present), as well as what was and is right in our life. We try to look at our life from God's perspective, knowing that Christ died for millions of other people throughout the world and throughout history. It is to His credit that He can be so intimate and loving with us and also be intimate and loving with millions of other people. In this we are special - in our relationship with God. But we are no more special than the millions of other people whom God loves and cares for, and our being in this special relationship does not put us above the laws that He has given us. In looking at our life from God's perspective (a "moral" perspective, as the 4th step is worded), we get a more objective and truthful sense of who we have really been. We examine with our own conscience before God what has been good and what has been evil in our life.

In this passage, we are further warned that God is not mocked. Looking back on our life as we do our inventory, we can see how God has been faithful and just. He has chastened and disciplined us when we have gone against His ways, especially when we have done this willfully. Even when we thought we might have been getting away with something, we actually were not. We may have survived, but we missed the larger picture of how God wanted to bless us in extraordinary ways. We also now have a choice by His grace to sow to the Spirit instead, and reap the reward of life everlasting. Part of this process of growing in God's ways is by taking our inventory - proving our own work. Then we can go forward with a realistic picture of our own lives from a God's moral perspective and find the peace and mercy of God (vs. 16). 

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.
Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your lampstand out of its place, except you repent.

These verses will apply to the 4th step in greatest measure if we were Christians or had an affection for Christ before we started down the path of our addiction. In these verses, Christ is admonishing the Church at Ephesus to return to their first love and remember from where they were fallen. Perhaps in remembering where they had fallen from, they would again be able to rekindle the devotion to Christ that they had once known. In the 4th step, we work on remembering all of our life and later laying it before the eyes of God, ourselves and at least one other person. If this remembering of our life brings us memories of a broken relationship with God, then it becomes bittersweet. There is the bitterness of knowing that we have turned away from the ways of God's truth. Yet there is also a sweetness of remembering how sweet it was to trust in Jesus and how full of grace and love He is. The remembering and the healing of those memories is an important part of our recovery process.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

STEP 3 scriptures

Step 3 Scriptures PDF Print E-mail

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

Psalms 3:1-6
3:1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
3:2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
3:4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
3:5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
3:6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Comments:
When we are setting our face towards finding the Truth about a Higher Power who can restore us to sanity, and as we turn more and more to the God that we find in that search, then sometimes it may seem that things can get difficult. It might seem that those who would want to entice us back into our addictive habits are "many" that would "rise up against me". Just by selling what they are selling or doing what they are doing these people, businesses or organizations can be sources of tempation for us, whether it be alcohol, pornography, easy credit, gambling, prescription or illegal drugs, or whatever our area of temptation or those of our loved ones might be. We can realize, though, that it has always been so. There have always been those in every age who aim to bring down the righteous, to destroy righteousness in their own lives and the lives of others. In this Psalm, David was to some extent reaping what he sowed because of his sin with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband Uriah. The prophet Nathan predicted that trouble would not leave David's house because of this sin. In a similar way, we are reaping from the sin in our lives. And yet, David knew that in spite of his sin God still loved him and wanted the best for him. David turned to God as his shield and found rest and sustenance in God's protection. We, too, can turn to God and in His mercy we can find rest, sustenance and deliverance from the evil and temptations around us. We no longer have to be afraid of the "ten thousands of people" that may be in the businesses, organizations or in unhealthy belief systems that can be sources of temptation for us. We have found our protection, our rest and our peace in God.

Psalms 142:1-7
142:1 I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
142:2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
142:5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
142:6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. Comments:
This is a cry, a plea for help from God, from the LORD who is the only one who can truly deliver.It is a cry from when "my spirit is overwhelmed within me". It is a cry when "there was no man that would acknowledge me". It is a cry when "no man cared for my soul". It is a cry to bring "my soul out of prison". And the hope and belief of David in this psalm is that the LORD will be "my refuge and my portion in the land of the living." The LORD will "deliver me from my persecutors". The LORD will "deal bountifully with me." We have the benefit of being able to look back in time and see that the LORD did indeed fulfill all of these pleas of David. We have the advantage of time also in that in this age God has given us the way of the cross, of redemption through Christ Jesus. In the situation of our recovery, our enemies are the addictions that we have allowed or brought into our lives. The power behind these addictions is also crafty, having "secretly laid a snare" for us. In our addiction, we usually come to the point where "no man cared for my soul" and our soul is in the prison of our addictive behaviors. We can have confidence that when we cry to the LORD in sincerity and honesty for deliverance through the grace that is in Christ Jesus, that the LORD will "deal bountifully" with us as well.

Matthew 4:18-23
4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. Comments:
Peter, Andrew, James and John all followed Jesus when He called them from their regular tasks. They obviously sensed in some manner that this was a call from a Higher Power, from their God. So they turned over their lives to God, leaving behind the familiar so that they could know and experience the true life that comes from following the true God.

Matthew 6:24-34
6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Comments:
Here Christ Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that we need to put God first and foremost in our lives, above the pursuit of money (mammon) or any other earthly concern..And having done that, then we can trust God in faith to take care of all of our day to day needs. We just need to trust and obey Him," turning our lives over to God as we understand God" so far in our walk of living in the Truth.

Luke 9:59-62
9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Comments:
Here is Luke's Gospel we see Jesus telling His followers that following Him requires great commitment. It requires following Him above and beyond what we might have thought was valuable before we began following Him.

John 1:12-13
1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Comments:
In this passage we find that through believing "on his name", that is the name of Jesus, we are re-born as a child of God. This re-birth is not from a willing of man or of birth, but it is through the power and grace of God through Christ Jesus. If we have found Jesus Christ to be our Higher Power, then by this belief in Him we are re-born as God's child by God's grace. God in Christ Jesus then provides the power that can lead us away from the insanity of our addictive behaviors.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Step 2 Scriptures PDF Print E-mail

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Psalms 18:2-6
18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
18:3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
18:4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
18:5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Comments:
David proclaims the strength, protection and deliverance that comes from the Lord. When David was overcome with sorrow and fear, he called upon the Lord, and the Lord heard him in his distress and brought safety and deliverance. During the second step, we search for a power that can deliver us from the insanity of our addictive behaviors. This power needs to be something or someone on whom we can rely and in whom we can have confidence. David's witness in the Psalms as well as the experiences of many, many others as recorded in the Bible and throughout history attest to the faithfulness of the Lord in providing safety and deliverance from distress when we turn to Him in our sincere need.

Matthew 11:28-30
11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Comments:
This is a promise that when we come to Jesus we will find rest. This is so much needed to save us from the insanity of our addiction that we admitted in step 1. We have carried the yoke of slavery of our addiction for a long time. Jesus promises a different type of a yoke, one that is light and easy, one in which we can find rest and peace. And how needed is that rest! Addictive behaviors usually rob us of this rest, whether it is from staying up all hours of the night and morning as we seek our addiction of choice or whether it is from the troubled sleep that we have from a guilty conscience and polluted body and mind from our addictive behaviors. How blessed is the rest and peace that comes, then, from the One who is our peace.

Matthew 12:18-21
12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Comments:
This is from a prophecy from the book of Isaiah about the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when He showed Himself to be a Messiah of meekness and yet justice, gentleness and strength, victorious and trustworthy. He did not strive or cry out but went forth in quiet victory, bringing justice. He is someone in whom we can trust. In the second step of the 12 step program, that is what it is all about - someone whom we can trust to carry us out of our sin and the burdens of our addiction. And Jesus brings this deliverance in such an approachable way, not striving or crying out, but gently offering to us the victory through His grace and gentleness towards us.

Hebrews 2:14-18
2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Comments:
This passage from Hebrews states how Christ took the form of human flesh and blood as He walked this earth. He did this out of compassion and love, to deliver us from a "lifetime subject to bondage". And the way that He could do this is that sin was not found in His life. We are not like that. From our first step, we know that sin has not only been in our lives, but it has taken control of our lives, making us powerless over the sin. Jesus had no sin in His life, even though He lived as a human being like us. Being a human being, He knows firsthand how trials and temptations can abound - "he is able to help them that are tempted". Being sinless, He can act as our high priest before God, reconciling us to God in spite of our sins. He is unique in the history of mankind, for no other man lived a sinless life before God. And we can be very thankful, because Christ Jesus didn't live such a life in order to condemn us or set Himself apart, but so that He could identify with us, make the perfect sacrifice and save us through His love.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Bible passages on step1

Step 1 Scriptures PDF Print E-mail

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

Psalms 38:3-14
38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
38:5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
38:7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
38:8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
38:9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
38:10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
38:12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
38:13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
38:14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. Comments:
Here we see the psalmist in great pain and misery because of the sin in his life. As addicts we can identify with these types of feelings or conditions that have come from our sin as well. No sane person would want to find themselves in this state of corruption and decay. But because of the sin in our addictive behaviors and our inability to say no to those behaviors, we find ourselves feeling bad in body, heart, mind and soul. Notice the many areas of consequences. In the soul there is a feeling "as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me." In the body, there is "no soundness in the flesh" and even a "loathsome disease". In the heart there is "turmoil of my heart" and the resulting groaning. In relationships, there is a turning away of lovers, friends and family. In society there are "snares" and people say mischevious and deceitful things about us. There is a hint in this psalm also of the solution in laying it before God (38:9). These are what should be covered in the following steps of the program - how to turn it over to God and begin making things right before God and man. But first we have to admit that we need help, that we are powerless to overcome this addiction in our own strength.

Proverbs 26:11-12
26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Comments:
Both of these verses from Proverbs can be relevant to how we probably have lived before taking the first step. In verse 11, the fool returns to his folly as a dog returns to its vomit. Our addictive behaviors have been our folly, that which makes a fool out of us. And just as the dog returns to what it knows and is familiar with, even though it may be unhealthy and nasty from an objective viewpoint, so also we have returned to our own addictive behaviors over and over again, even though they are unhealthy and nasty from any objective viewpoint. What may have blinded us to the insanity of this behavior is given in the next verse, verse 12. If we have been wise in our own eyes, saying to ourselves that most everyone or everything else is stupid or wrong or too inhibited or dull in their beliefs and life (name your own excuse that allows you to be wise in your own eyes), then we set ourselves up for being a fool or worse. In reality, we have really become addicted and have let that addiction rule our reason, rather than the other way around. We usually only wake up to this fact when we find our lives out of control and have to admit that perhaps we were not so wise after all. This can be a difficult thing to do, but is the first step on the road to recovery.

Mark 5:2-15
5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
5:3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
5:4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
5:8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
5:9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
5:10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
5:11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
5:12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
5:13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
5:14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. Comments:
This passage tells of the healing by Jesus of a man who had many demons. In modern times we may wonder about what demon possession was really about. But regardless of our conclusions, there are many parallels between someone with demon possession and how we can act in our addictive behaviors. Verse 5:5 tells of the man crying and cutting himself with stones day and night. If we have gone very far into our addictive behaviors we most likely have found ourselves crying and hating ourselves afterwards for what we have done. The hatred may even have gone as far as cutting or doing bodily harm to ourselves in one way or another. It may go on day and night, having no end to the addictive behavior until we finally collapse in sheer exhaustion. And when we get up from the sleep of exhaustion the addictive behavior may take over again until exhaustion, creating an utterly self-destructive form of living. Also, we see in verses 5:3 and 5:4 about the incredible strength of this man. In our addictive behaviors with our adrenalin rushing through us, we also can often have a physical strength beyond our normal day to day strength. This may even be a source of pride and one reason that we turn to our addictive behavior, to have a feeling of strength or empowerment that we normally cannot find within ourselves. The lie of the addiction is, of course, that when we are through with our addictive behavior then we are usually weaker overall than before, having exhausted our strength or goodwill from others in often daredevil or foolhardy schemes that bring us no lasting good and often destruction. In verses 5:6 and 5:7 we see the answer to this man's dilemma. By God's grace this demon possessed man has the sense to run and worship Jesus. Whether it was the demons within this man or the man himself, there was an acknowledgement of Jesus' position as the "Son of the most high God". Following this, Jesus yielded His power over the man's demons and by verse 5:15 we see that this man had been returned to his right mind. So from the 12 step perspective, one might say that this passage covers steps 1 through 3. The last phrase in verse 15 is very telling also. Instead of rejoicing with this man that he had been delivered, the towns people "were afraid". So it may be also as we turn from our addictive habits. Instead of support and appreciation it may be that others shun us or are afraid of us, especially those who somehow benefit from our addiction (e.g., fellow addicts). This should not deter us from moving forward. In the context of the 12 step program, going forward would mean creating an inventory, the 4th step. In the case of this demon possessed man, an inventory would remind him strongly what he had been delivered from and help motivate him to never return to that state of being again.

Romans 7:18-23
7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
7:20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Comments:
This is a classic passage that tells of how the apostle Paul was ultimately powerless over the sin in his life apart from the power of God. He had the will to do what is right, but at the same time he also had the inclination to do what brought him into the "captivity of sin". In the facing of our addiction and the taking of our first step, we also become aware of how powerless we are over the sin of our addictive behaviors. We realize that no matter how strongly we might will or want ourselves to be a certain way, to do a certain thing or to not do a certain thing, then we find that we are not able to carry through with that in a consistent manner. We find ourselves back to the same old self-destructive behaviors that we have grown accustomed to, that have become so much a part of our lives. In our "flesh", we are not able to carry through on staying away from our addictive behaviors, even though we may want to and know at some level how self-destructive they are. We have been powerless over our addictive behaviors and our life has become unmanageable.


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Sunday, April 10, 2011


The Sin of Indifference

Bill Mosely
Tucson, Arizona

There are many obstacles to the growth of the church in our day. One of the greatest of these is the indifferent church member. Webster ~ New Collegiate Dictionary defines indifference as follows: "apathy; lack of feeling for or against anything." He goes on to say "... not interested in or con6erned about something; neutral; having no prepondering influence or value." How many people, claiming membership in the Lord's body fall into this category! They have no feeling for or against the church; they are not concerned about it, nor interested in it. As a result of such attitudes, they are of no value to the church. As far as they are concerned, the church can live or die.

In the light of these definitions, we can see why the indifferent member is a hindrance to the church. He does more harm to the church than one who professes no religion. Everybody knows what the atheist is, and he is not likely to bring any lasting harm to the church - only to himself. The Laodiceans were condemned because they were neither cold nor hot; not for nor against. They were to be rejected because of their lukewarmness -indifference.

Note what Joseph Fletcher says about indifference. "The true opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Hate, bad as it is, at least treats the neighbor as a THOU, whereas indifference turns the neighbor into an IT, a thing. This is why we may say that there is actually one thing worse than evil itself, and that is indifference to evil. In human relations the nadir of morality, the lowest point as far as Christian ethics are concerned, is manifest in the phrase, 'I couldn't care less'."

(Reader ~ Digest, Nov. 1968)

As I reflected on these words, I thought how true they are! I had to agree when Fletcher said "... the lowest point as far as Christian ethics are concerned, is manifest in the phrase, 'I couldn't care less.’" This is the way some members feel - "I couldn't care less." They won't say it with words, but their actions speak it far more eloquently than words ever could. Such have no active interest in the work and worship of the congregation of which they are a member. They are lax in their assembling for worship or study. They never take time to visit or call a sick brother. They do not engage in a private study of the Word; this fact is shouted out by their obvious lack of knowledge concerning that Word. They are indifferent, and have no value to the church. Yet, for the sake of numbers, the brethren seldom exercise any corrective or disciplinary measures against such indifferent members. We need to realize that the church is better off without such members. Lest some think this to be a harsh statement, remember what the Lord said he would do concerning such people. (Rev. 3: 14-16)

The ultimate in indifference was brought home to me upon one occasion. I had preached a sermon on lukewarmness and indifference. One brother came out the door, shook my hand and said, "that was a good sermon, preacher. But I guess I'm just one of those lukewarm members you talked about." So far as I know, he never did do anything about his condition and probably is still lukewarm. He was indifferent about his indifference!

There is a need in the church today for members burning with zeal, overflowing with enthusiasm and abounding in labor and work. But such are hard to find. Enter in among the assembly of many congregations and witness a feeling of gloom, and feel the "deadness" of it. This is not so when a congregation is free of indifferent members. Hear the apostle as he says "... always abounding in the work of the Lord." Hear him as he commends the Thessalonians for their "labor of love." The scriptures teem with such phrases, but do they describe many today - individuals or congregations?

My brother or sister, if you have been indifferent toward your responsibility as a
Christian, and toward the church, you had better wake up! The Lord is coming one day,
and you will stand before him in judgment. Would he commend you as a tireless worker
for his cause; as one who ceaselessly labored without regard for personal or physical things? Or will you be as the slothful servant? If so, you will be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many try to excuse their indifference by saying, can't do this or that." I'm sure if these indifferent church members were sure the Lord would return tomorrow, they would move as heretofore thought impossible of them. They would get things done that even they thought they could never do! Do you know something? Tomorrow might be the day!


June 18, 1970
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loving Others No Matter What

Valentine's Day is for Lovers.Image by susan_d_p via Flickr

Are You Scared of Loving Zacchaeus?
Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5, NIV

I’m scared of some things—and some people—but I’m not too scared about spending time with those who don’t know Jesus. Never have been.

In fact, I enjoy people who are vastly different than me. I must say, though, that I am nowhere even close to the greatest friend-who-knew-no-stranger-of-all-time: Jesus. And so I admire his ability to walk toward those who might scare you and me … those who we might walk away from today.

Zacchaeus was one such character. He really was a despicable little man. As I’m sure you know, tax collectors in Bible times were not the sort of person you invited over for a potluck to your home on an early spring evening. No, they were viewed as the lowest of the low. The pond scum of society. The ones you wouldn’t even let in your front door.

Amazingly, though, Jesus didn’t adjust his course when he was walking through Jericho one fine day. With his eye on the tax collector, Jesus walked right to where Zacchaeus was perched in a sycamore tree. Because he was small in stature, Zacchaeus had climbed up this tree so that he could see who Jesus was when he passed by in the crowd of people. He had heard about him, and now he wanted to see for himself.

Had he heard how he’d performed miracles? How he’d attracted and fed large crowds of people? How he’d touched the untouchables and healed those with leprosy? How he’d stood up to the religious establishment and called them on their legalistic teachings?

Who knows for sure. But whatever he had heard, Zacchaeus wanted to see this man who defied everyone’s expectations of what the Messiah would be.

“Zacchaeus,” Jesus said as he addressed him by name. “Come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Can you imagine what Zacchaeus must have thought? He knows me! Wait, HOW does he know me? And why is he coming to spend time with me? Doesn’t he know that everyone despises me because I take all of their money? Why would he want to spend time with ME?

But whatever Zaccheus may have thought didn’t stop him from scrambling down the tree and welcoming Jesus “gladly.” He was smitten with the love of the Savior. And he knew that this was the Christ.

“Look, Lord!” Zacchaeus said to him. “Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

How amazing is that? Jesus didn’t shy away from someone who the rest of society was shunning. He also didn’t get up in Zacchaeus’ face, make him feel like dirt and then strike him down with the Law in his initial effort to love him. No, he just said, “Hey, I see you and I’m going to spend some time with you. Come on, let’s go!”

It’s the “great commission” in action. “Go ye into all the world.” Even to the parts of town that you usually avoid. Even to the societal groups that offend you. Even to the family member who has chosen to live a different lifestyle. He, she, they … any of these people can represent Zacchaeus in your life.

But don’t walk away from them. Walk toward them. And extend an invitation for a better way of living and the hope of a glorious eternity. Just like Jesus did for you.

Intersecting Faith & Life:

So maybe you think I missed that one part of the Zacchaeus story with the crowd. Well, I didn’t. I just saved it for last. When the crowd witnessed Jesus make his invitation to Zacchaeus, they muttered, ”He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” How sad. But isn’t that also you and me? We all have a person or a people group who is hard for us to love. Don’t be scared of loving the Zacchaeuses in your life. The Lord will help you follow his example as you love others to him.

Further Reading:

Mark 16:15, NIV

John 13:34-35, NIV

1 Peter 4:8-11, NIV
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


JesusImage via Wikipedia

The First Step tells us that our flesh and our spirit are always at war with one another and we are powerless in respect of trying by ourselves to win the war.

The Second Step tells us that coming to believe in Jesus Christ is the only way to overcome the flesh.

The Third Step tells us that unless we turn our entire will and lives over to the care of Jesus we will be still be acting as if we have the power to overcome.

The Fourth Step tells us that Jesus wants us to begin the process of healing our relationships both past and present so that we can become a disciple who can witness with no hanging baggage.

The Fifth Step tells us to continue the healing process by confessing our sins to another human being.

The Sixth Step tells us to be sure that this is what we want to do and if it is then we must be entirely ready for God to heal us of all sinful effects brought upon us by either our doing (victim) or someone else (perpatrator) or both.

The Seventh Step tells us to ask God outright to heal of the effects of our sins.

The Eight Step tells us to be willing to partake in the healing of the relationships we discovered in Step Four.

The Ninth Step tells us to actively move in conjunction with the Holy Spirit towards healing all of our relationships.

The Tenth Step tells us how to keep a Daily Inventory about our relationships and when we are wrong to try to prompltly admit it. Note: our relationships include that with God as well!

The Eleventh Step tells us to talk to God (prayer), to praise Him, to meditate on His word, and to ask that His will be done for us in our lives.

Step Twelve tells us to go and do the "great commission" given in all four gospels by Jesus.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What will you say?

When we get to heaven what if God asks us why did so many of his children suffer and starve to death?

Why were his children tortured, chopped to pieces?

Why were his children raped?

Why were his children murdered?

Why were his children blown to pieces?

Why were his children dying horrible deaths from disease?

Why were his children afraid?

Why were his children all alone?

On and on and on……………What if God asks you? What did you do to help people? What did you do to help people?

All the different people suffering and dying everyday. Are you or me held accountable?

How the bible says God hates a person who is lukewarm over the matter, the matter is now. The time has come that all God’s people need to decide if their with God or their not. Pick up your cross and do what you know God would do.

Stop the bull of those people are way over there. If they are way over there they don’t mean anything, that’s bull. God’s people are everywhere sitting right next to you. 10 thousand miles away, a child hurting so bad with only skin over his tiny bones, starving a slow miserable death from lack of food.

What did you do to help?

What if when I get to heaven my Lord says _______(Your Name) one of my children was being sold for sex at the age of six. Everyday living a nightmare she didn’t understand. Why is this happening to me? WHY? Adults hurting her body, her mind. Everyday over and over and over in pain. All the big people around her not helping her. All the big people around her not stopping the ugliness that keeps happening to her day after day. The little girl goes to sleep and hopes she won’t wake up the next day. The next day the little girl dose wake up. The next day is the same as the day before. She doesn’t understand. She can’t understand. Her little body hurts so bad she can’t bare it. Her nightmare won’t end. Her nightmare doesn’t stop.

WHY? Why doesn’t anyone help her? WHY?


When we get to heaven will God ask us why? Why did my little child suffer?


You were on earth ________(your name)You, you and you over there. You were on earth why did you allow this to happen to my little child?

Look over there, the child she’s here with me now. Why didn’t you help her? Why did you close your eyes? Why did you say she is so far away? I’m not responsible for her, she’s too far away. I don’t know that little girl. That girl died when she was 9 years old. Her little body was torn to pieces. Her little mind was scarred. Her heart was broken.

You let Satan have his way! You let Satan torture her! You let Satan rape and abuse that little child! My little child needed you, you people who live on earth. My little child needed you. WHY? Why did you allow this to happen to my little child?

You pray to me. You want me to answer your prayers. One on this side of the world, one on that side of the world. One over here they all call on me. They expect me the living God to be with them no matter where they are.

I the Lord your God expect you and you to protect my children. I don’t want to hear your lame excuses. I don’t want to hear how far away the children are. I don’t want to hear anymore of your unloving, ungodly words of how you can’t. You can’t help my children. How dare you call on me?


Why do my children suffer? Why do you do nothing? Why don’t you help my children? Why?

If you don’t help my children then you are not with me. If you are not with me then you are against me. If you are against me then you are with Satan.

Lukewarm? Lukewarm, one foot on this side of the fence and one foot on that side of the fence. Part of your mind with me and part of your mind with the devil. One foot in heaven while the other foot is in hell.

Who is your God? Jesus? Satan? Decide. Decide today. You don’t know if you have tomorrow to make up your mind, do you?

You call on me, but I …. call on you. You are my little children.

You are to protect each other.

You are to feed each other.

You are to care for each other.

You are to love each other.

Clothe, house, keep warm,……

Don’t turn your face, don’t close your eyes.

Don’t pretend it’s not happening.

Don’t say they are too far away I don’t know them.

If you turn your back on my little children……….

Will I be lukewarm to you? Will I close my eyes to you? Will I say you are too far? Will I say don’t call on me I can’t hear you? Decide whose side you are on. Help my children. Help your brothers and sisters no matter how far. You are all the children. You are all the body. You are all part of each other. Unite all the people for all the people are one family. My family, your family we are all together. We are all responsible for each other and ourselves. Don’t turn your back on me. And I the Lord God will not turn my back on you.

Written by Linda Wright Fellow sister in CHRIST
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Top Ten Charecter Defects of all mankind


- Traits: Intimidating / pushy / aggressive / forceful / argumentative / likes to be in control (or seem to be) / drawn to being in authority in order to be in control (or appearing to be in authority) / expect fight or flight response (then they think they've won!)

- underlying probable cause: though it doesn’t appear so because they come on strong, they usually have a very low sense of self-worth; so they compensate for that by trying to seem confident; or, If they have a strong drive to be in control, they engage in intimidating behavior to hopefully silence opposition or resistance and regain control.

- how to cope with: let them blow off their steam / don't fight or flee - be calm, respond quietly, become "stone" (not necessarily Robert Stone :) / bring conversation back to the issue with objective rather than subjective language - don't react (if you react the same, you're probably a Bull too! Good luck with that!)


- traits: some ways very much like the Bull, but not overt in behavior - rather "covert" / uses sarcasm and little cloaked nasty-tainted comments (made in general - but intended specifically) / always does it in front of others, loves an audience, to gain agreement from others /prone to gossip and slander / can twist the knife with a pleasant smile on the face

- underlying probable causes: Usually a very insecure person, so wants to use negative comments about others to bring them down so that he doesn’t look so bad (may especially target those who seem to have little faults, or who have somehow offended him, at least in his view) / Not getting enough attention - wants to get noticed, often at the expense of others / Afraid to directly confront people, so use biting little sarcastic “snipes” to change others’ view of the target person / Often cover his little attacks with humor to make them seem harmless; when attacked back, this one will quickly say, “What? Can’t ya take a little joke? Gee, you’re touchy!!”

- ways to cope: don't engage in the same - this Fox is expert at sniping, and you'll lose! / avoid the audience and talk to this person one-on-one, and find out WHY they're not happy with you - you won't resolve this with an audience.


- traits: usually quiet and agreeable - overly agreeable - can't say NO / stuff their real feelings until "the last straw" and blow up on whoever is near by / tend to be used by others because they are such givers and people-pleasers

- underlying probable causes: believe they have to make everyone happy to have self-worth / if anyone is unhappy with them, whether legitimately or not, they cannot live with themselves

- ways to cope: don't react to their explosion - give them space to vent - when calm, one-on-one seek to get them to open up about what's really bothering them - let them know that you really want them to tell you what's bothering them WHEN it's bothering them - and not to stuff it / you must be very empathetic, patient, and lovingly persistent with this person for them to trust you.

#4 DIFFICULT BEHAVIOR TYPE: The WHINER (remember Joe Piscipo on SNL as "the Whiners"?)

- traits: "Whaaa, whaaa, whaaa - woe is me!" / complain about everything, very negative / very pessimistic / express and perpetuate a feeling of hopelessness, which is how they see their world.

- underlying probable causes: probably been hurt and let down many, many times / or they want to be taken care of /can be just lazy (whine enough so others will do for them) / have a severe disability to see solutions, so focus on the problem.

- ways to cope: don't join in the whine, just encourages more of the same / don't disagree, encourages more of the same / shift the focus to solutions, and help them (don't do it for them) to see clear steps to accomplishing the solution - and keep them in friendly accountability to get there.

#5 DIFFICULT BEHAVIOR TYPE: The STONE WALL (or, stubborn "donkey")

- traits: use deliberate silence when in disagreement / dull empty stare, arms folded across chest, pushed back in their chair / use silence and obvious body language to get attention or control back

- probable underlying causes: passive aggressive tactic / fear of speaking up from getting shot down before, or called "stupid" about their contribution / possible perfectionist - can't get people to listen, so withdraw / want control, want it their way, but not given to shouting or aggression, so use obvious withdrawal body language and silence to try and get noticed and invited to be heard

- ways to cope: don't react to withdrawal, instead acknowledge their obvious silence, asking them to please share what they're thinking / be wiling to wait them out / ask open ended questions (can't be answered "yes" or "no"


- traits: Yes-man, bootlicker, brown-noser, kiss up / outwardly agrees to most everything / very NICE person by all appearances / tends to over-commit or agree to tasks unequipped to do / may vent true feelings thru gossip and slander

- probable underlying causes: getting along is the goal, at any cost (even if its your self or conscious) / very strong need to be accepted for a sense of self-worth / fear rejection /agree in order to be liked or to get what they want

- ways to cope: encourage and verbally reward honesty / make honesty non-threatening / offer tight, friendly accountability out of genuine care for them / help them to learn to say "no" according to their abilities, realistic time of commitments, etc..


- traits: this is the perfectionist - "If you can't do it RIGHT, you shouldn't do it at all!" motto / getting it right is more important than getting it done, so they will drag their feet and slow the team down / tend to come across as very negative, seeing the faults in everything (eye for detail)

- probable underlying causes: grew up in perfectionist model / were told the motto over and over / only get a sense of self-worth when they do things perfectly, though they know they never quite do / suffered many disappointments in life / so keyed to see what's wrong, they can't move on to solution / too many past failures, if the present thing isn't done perfectly, it's just another failure

- ways to cope: affirm them for the work they've done and do, and their insights / thank them for their eye for detail, and run everything by them to find problems / help them move from fault-finding to problem solving / breakdown generalizations for specifics / use exaggerated agreement to get a polar response (the opposite of what they said, for a more balanced statement from them)


- traits: they actually DO know what they're talking about, but they also get an unhealthy sense of self-worth from "knowledge" - and so flaunt it to get approval, attention, or acceptance / tend to be confident, outspoken, and assertive / often tend to be controlling - don't like contradiction or being corrected.

- probable underlying causes: somewhere they learned that to be wrong makes you nobody - to be right is everything / have come to believe their part in the world is to dominate, manipulate, and control - after all, they alone know what is right - and being right is power!

- ways to cope: never tell them they're wrong - that will be the end of any possible intelligent conversation - they take that as a personal attack (can't separate their ideas from their Self) / affirm them, affirm their knowledge - then add your "suggestions" not as contradictory, but as additional possibilities? / do YOUR homework, and contribute researched input - but NOT as contradictory, but asking for clarity of how it works with what they've shared (no element of "challenge", or the war's on!) / use them as mentors! Acknowledge their smarts, and invite them to help you learn!


- traits: this person DOESN'T know their facts, but they have a strong drive to be SEEN as having knowledge / will even invent experiences to gain a say / uses a lot of exaggerations and generalizations / tend to be assertive and push their way into conversations inappropriately / Chameleon - like the changeable lizard, will adapt to group to be involved.

- probable underlying causes: have an insatiable desire for attention and appreciation by seeming to be knowledgeable / sacrifice respect for attention / very people-oriented, much more than needed by the task or subject discussed / more concerned about acceptance from others than acceptance of their ideas

- ways to cope: don't tear apart what they've shared - you will destroy them / they require much patience and compassion / affirm their personhood - this is what they're longing for / asknowledge their good intentions, and ANY, if any, of what they've shared as helpful / one-on-one approach will work best (they want to win the audience) - gently share that you care about them as a person, that you realize what they're doing by how they share, but that they don't have to do that - to just be themselves and let people accept them, or not, for who they are, not what they know.


- traits: indecisive / their whole attitude is MAYBE / trouble accomplishing a goal

- probable underlying causes: could be laziness / could be perfectionism / more than likely, though, it is a lack of knowing what to do - HOW to accomplish the task / lack of skills / fear of responsibility (from past failures, criticisms - not wanting to be responsible for results or consequences or disfavor).

- ways to cope: Your goal with the Procrastinator: give them a strategy for decision-making and the motivation to use it / If you react in anger and impatience, they will only be more indecisive / Alleviate possible fears of the effect of their decision (your own reaction or that of others) - calmly stress the need for their honest input (might need private conversation and assurance of confidentiality if appropriate) / Patiently help them explore all their possible obstacles and options in a particular decision or task - listen to hesitations and explore deeper /Don’t let them trick you into making their decision for them (it’s easier, but you’ll continue to have the same problem with the Procrastinator). Put it back on them as their responsibility, affirming their ability (“I’ll help you”) / Teach them a decision-making system: list of pluses/minuses for each decision possibility (have them write it out to visualize - more effective).

Whew! There you go! See yourself in any of these! I sure do (I mean, see ME, not you - that's between you and the Lord!)

Hope this is helpful - I use this in a treatment center for recovering from addictions, and it is well received - despite the "ouches" !
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