I have seen many of negative and depressing things in my life. Depression, Addiction, Suicide, Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Incarceration, Divorce, Trauma, Disease, loss of family etc.
That is just in my own family. Lots of failure as far as the family unit growing up. I carried the guilt for that failure long into adulthood. As if it was my fault.
My career in social work and mental health in the corporate world spanned over 20 years included being a foster parent for 40 troubled teens, starting a school for expelled violent youth, outpatient therapist, program manager for several programs from adults with the most severe disabilities anyone has seen, a senior center and another program for expelled youth in gangs where we scanned each kid right off the bus for weapons.
I was hired by the state to teach a program called BRIDGES which was a weekly group I led full of teens that were somehow involved in the Juvenile Justice system and on off days I taught parenting for the parents of those teens. Its only been in the last 4 years that I have called myself a blogger when I started this blog.
I have written off and on for many years for companies I worked for and things like that but nothing I called my own until 4 years ago when this blog was launched.
Almost everything I did and do in the area of kids, families, juvenile justice and mental health has been successful. ( I am just soo great) I am not bragging, there is a reason you need to know this. This is my gift, we all have gifts and if you’re doing something that absolutely has no interest to you and makes you hate working, you are not within the gifting God gave you.
Due to my family situation growing up, and having been through major depression, addiction, many surgeries for a bone disease, divorce and much more at work I was instantly effective in certain groups. Although I had not been through everything life can throw at you, I still found success at every single place or population I worked with because I did not try to step outside of my gifting.
Except once and I really do not want to talk about it.
The Point Of Telling You About My Background.
I hope that the people who need to be reading this and if you know somebody who needs it you will share. People who are currently feeling hopeless or have struggled with it most of their lives. People who are constantly put down about how good or bad they are doing in comparison to someone else, or some people are constantly challenging your credibility to do what you do.
In my life when I was working on places that serve addicts and mental health patients I was harassed mainly by people who did not like me. They knew I recently had been in a short term rehab for addiction and they began to use it against me in ways that became hurtful . Even worse I really had nobody to reverse what they saying! On paper it did look weird that the teacher became a patient . The problem was that I began to believe what they were saying. I did not know how to rise above it. Because on paper, it was true!
This experience I had with just one man absolutely changed my life and the way I looked at myself. It will do the same for anyone who listens carefully to what I am saying. It’s a powerful lesson in self-worth. Especially if you have a checkered background full of events the world might call you a loser for being a part of. Especially if you have given up on any more success in life due to your past failures. Its a new day!
This post, if received and accepted and not just tossed aside as if it were just another self-help article to get you through today will change you. It’s a life changing, encouraging and hope giving truth to anyone who has been hopeless for a long time and lost any belief in yourself due to the verbal abuse of a spouse, the downgrading talk you allow at work or any other place and by the negative thoughts we have all experienced at some point. Seeing your true position or option for that position is available to anyone anytime. Just like anything though you must want it, and need it. If you feel like hopelessness and depression has been good to you in some way then wait a little while . Come back and read this in 6 months.
There is a point in this where a spiritual decision must be made.
If it scares you that I may mention God in this post, don’t run, I promise its not a judge, or beat you over the head with the bible post. So get back over here before you try and sneak off to the next post.
This is not a Christian website and the reason is for times like this. Whether you are a Christian or not we all get to this point of how freedom of sadness is needed and how hope can be restored. The two groups may settle on different methods but we all end up here. We all have to hang on to something when times are tough, when we are struck with tragedy and hope evades us. That is why we have gambling, alcohol. drugs, porn and all these things that actually destroy lives but we cling to them as if no other option is available.
Here is a secret not many people are able to process; for everything God made, the enemy, satan has made a counterfeit for.
As you go through your days and encounter people in your life, try to recall what the original plan was for that situation and you will see a pattern begin to develop. Marriage, respect, god and many other things. For a period of time God has allowed the prince of darkness or satan to rule the earth. However as a believer in Christ we don’t have to take his punishment like the rest of the world does. He will come at us all the time, but we are instructed how to deal with those attacks in God’s word.
Now, whether any of us like it or not, that Word of God is there, it has never once come back void and according to it there is no other way to salvation then what it says – through the blood of Christ. (John 14:6) Even science is catching up with the bible and the scientists who used to talk about Lucy, the missing link are bowing their knees to Christ as they see the evidence in their arena of every single detail being uncovered while watching with their own eyes.
One excellent little book I recommend is by a scientist named Josh McDowell. He was actually so sick and tired of hearing Christians talk about the Bible and Jesus, he actually set out on a scientific mission with his team to prove once and for all that Jesus, the bible, and all the hokey Kumbaya stuff was a joke and he would personally and scientifically prove it. I’m not sure at what part of the mission it occurred, but at one point in it, Dr. McDowell is said to have bowed to his knee and and asked for forgiveness from the Lord and told his team that the evidence of Christ being who He said was so overwhelming that he was kidding himself. He wrote a short book, called More Than A Carpenter which is maybe a two hour read, and now is the founder of Josh McDowell international ministries. You can just google his name and his many sites and testimony will come up.
This is one area all of us must either turn from or cling to. There is no in-between , as a matter of fact in that word God himself says he hates lukewarm believers and he will spew them out of his mouth -hot or cold but no luke -warm .
I say this to encourage you before you turn it away , take another peek..think it through before you abandoned it.. After all what if it is true? Once you have died and must face the Lord, there are no spiritual mulligans.
As a matter of fact this post itself makes you aware of the Gospel and you are officially put on notice. You have been told the truth and what you decide to do from here is on you.
I lived a life of feeling that I was nothing but a failure and my mistakes in the past were just going to pave the way to a miserable part two in my life. It did not matter what was happening around work or anywhere else. I could not find the peace that comes with being ok with who you are. I also had over the years an ex-wife who made sure that the entire world knew what I was struggling with and just made it even more impossible to believe in any hope. Suffocating on my own prediction of failure. All of this happening while I was a Christian!
Then one year I could not take it and I spent a lot of time reading about these issues in self-help books., motivational speeches and the like. Still no change.
I did know enough to know that all the voices I had been hearing my whole life telling me I have no business speaking to this crowd, or I am fooling myself thinking I can be a good leader, after all look at all my problems- the voices were not coming from God. I had this misconception that God was reminding me over and over that I was UNWORTHY. Basically I made too many mistakes to dig out of this one. No way for me to rise from this pit and be successful after all my life problems. It was not until 10 years ago a bible believing Christian listened to my feelings and challenged me with this question.
” The Bible says that there is no one worthy, not one. Who do you think you are thinking you can accomplish worthiness in God’s eyes anyways? Are you saying God is a liar?”The man went on to remind me that If I was going to call myself worthy before God, it could only happen by believing in the finished work of Christ at Calvary, where He took our position as sinners and our consequence. That is the only way we can wake up feeling worthy. He also pointed out a few scriptures about how not God but the enemy of our souls is the ” whisperer” . We do not have to even acknowledge the enemy as Christians. We are instructed in the bible how to deal with him. We know that we belong to someone greater.
That lesson basically cured me of my listening to the bad voices and many times if a voice did come back I would simply speak the truth of God’s Word. I might say There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit (Romans 8:1) I was not going to give any credibility to any negative voices anymore because I just found out a secret I am NOT WORTHY on my own. By I am more than a conqueror in Christ.
This entire issue was about making a decision which side of the spirit realm I would listen to . After I decided to believe in what God’s word said, I had nothing but hopeful thoughts each time I read the word.. God is for us not against us. The idea that anything was ” too late” was straight from the pit of hell.
Let me interject something here. Non-believers need a change to. If they choose not to accept the promises of God’s Word and deny Christ is needed for heaven, then help is still needed .Many will stop as soon as we discuss the bible, and say
” Fine for you but I worship pineapple plants and the stars. Maybe its more like ” Hey man, 58 trillion years ago a fish grew legs and began to walk on land. The rest is history!
Usually non-Christians resort to adrenaline related activities , setting new financial goals for themselves and anything that may give them a sense of a new horizon or task to go after. The problem with those, is that they are only a temporary fix. I personally have a friend who does not enjoy his life all, rich as he could be. He has an oceanfront home. Two years after it was done he was not happy so he had a 20 seat movie theatre built inside. That should do it right? Not when you chose money a sa way to have security.
It’s likely that they will be back in a year looking again. Some Christians who know better will not hold on to the Word and its promises very long and relapse into hopelessness, but the good news is that there are usually plenty of other Christians around who can help get the people who slid out of the Word back into it soon.
This is the reason I began to feel ” worthy” to do anything-even with my baggage and critics. That issue was resolved now. Yes, I am unworthy. However Through Christ I can do all things. I began to read about each of the most praised followers of Christ. Quite frankly their resumes were pretty sketchy, just like mine. But they were humble and willing to let God change them and no longer bound to fear.
So what in the world does all this mean. In simple terms? Well, we all have this dilemma. We have to make a decision whether we want to believe what God says about you in His word, or to put that whole enchilada aside and go it on your own. In other words, make a decision to actually find out what this word has to say about who you would be/ are as a follower of Christ. This means what your authority and position is on earth, where you rest your security, what your potential is, the understanding of the fact that as a believer you also have eternal security, what the consequences are for those who reject God and His word –
Jesus said “whoever turns their back on me, so I will also turn my back on him” –
I was not there to see what His expressions were, but since He also said ” I am the way,, the truth and the life, no man shall see the father except through me”
That right there is one of the most frightening verses in the bible to me. It does not take Colombo to figure out that if you rejected the only one who can allow you into heaven, it cannot end well.
This may shock you, but I did not write the bible. Just like everyone else there came a point where I needed to make a call on it either way. So that is a non- negotiable with God.
How about the title of this post? How does God play into all the negative feelings , voices and people trying to beat us down. Well, its great news! You have a new boss, and He says you are awesome. No matter what your past is like He is willing to make you one of His. Remember who Jesus went to minister to while on earth. Not the Billy Grahams or the people who had it all together. He hung out with the prostitutes, the drunks and thieves. The ” religious ” people were none too happy about it either, they thought they were the only ones worthy of His presence. The great news in this message is that Jesus is looking for humility, not perfection. As a matter of fact the bible says the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. That is another way of saying rejection of Christ.
It is a great feeling as a believer to know that no matter what the past held, its washed away in the blood of Jesus. The bible says He cast our sins as far as the East is from the West. That is something to wake up for! Whats even more amazing, is that God not only forgives you, to the point where you could not care less about what others say about you- and also he will use you for His purposes.
Each time I am able to share the truth of the Gospel with someone or write about it- It is hard to believe He is actually using me, a broken down sinner for His purposes! See, in the old state of mind of fear, insecurity, and all, we barely felt worthy to do what little we were. In the mind as a believer you get to have unlimited purpose and not a care about what anyone says because God is paving the path of your life.
So as I close ,will ask 3 things.