Do you think God wants you to have a ''good'' heart, or be a ''good'' person in order to enter heaven?
Did you know that with God, just having a ''good'' heart or just being a ''good'' person isn't all He wants you to do? That the Christian life is not just about: forgiveness, or trying to be a good person, or like Jesus, or learning the Bible backwards and forwards? It's true.
Even though some misery in this life is unfortunately unavoidable, God also wants us to avoid the misery that our sins cause us and others to suffer. Because of that, He designed the Christian life to also be a lifelong process of...
That's right. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and gave us His Holy Spirit not only to fit us for heaven so we can live forever with Him in true, lasting peace and happiness. He also paid it and gave us His Holy Spirit so that through filling our hearts and minds with His righteousness and living His righteous life in us, we can still truly enjoy this life as well, in spite of all the misery we can't avoid.
Ever wonder why some Christians, since Jesus was on earth, were or are at best hypocritical, and at worst cruel and opressive? Untreated past wounds, false assumptions, misconceptions, and careless, superficial or nonexistent Bible study and prayer create judgemental, self-righteous or sincere, yet dishonest, hypocritical people who have no sense of their responsibility to their fellow human beings, to animals and the environment...
...because they cause such people to focus on fixing themselves on the outside, while ignoring their condition on the inside, and if traumatized or abused, the damage from their past. As a result, these things are unfortunately not only unhelpful, but very damaging. Not only emotionally and spiritually, but also physically.
Research done at the University of London and the work of Dr. Hans Eysneck, suggest that unresolved emotional issues are six times more predictive of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes than is a poor diet or lack of exercise.
Well, true religion, true Christianity, through careful, prayerful, daily Bible study, sincere, humble prayer throughout the day, and daily examination and acceptance of our true condition inside creates people who are honest, honorable, compassionate, accountable to their fellow human beings and conscientious stewards of their time, money and other talents, and of animals and the environment.
As a result, true religion, true Christianity, makes church what God meant it to be, a safe haven for those who are hurting and sick inside and recovering from addictions, abuse and trauma...
...because it's about dealing with our motives and the damage from our past and / or genes tainted by our ancestors' dysfunctional behavior, negative emotions and stress (we all have them), fixing, even healing us on the inside and making us whole, healthy and happy again.
That's why some people at one extreme believe that all we need is God's help, without any medical care. Others believe all psychology, even genuinely Christian psychology is to be rejected because it's humanistic and unbiblical (and granted, some ''Christian'' psychology is). Still others believe that mental illness is nothing more than a myth.
But I believe a lifelong, research-based, Bible-supported recovery program like the one I recommend, is as necessary as daily Bible study and prayer for a happy and satisfying life, both for those who suffered trauma, some form of abuse as a child, and / or suffer from addictions, and doesn't that include virtually all of us?
Why do I think it's necessary for everyone? Because we all have inherited and cultivated defects in our character, and because our hearts and minds are as subject to God's natural laws as are our bodies.
I believe God holds us responsible for studying those laws, from cause to effect, and applying what we've learned, and believe it's the only real and effective way, combined with daily Bible study and prayer, that we can overcome the hereditary and cultivated defects in our character which are causing the dysfunctional and destructive behavior that's making us so unhappy and miserable, and unfit for heaven.
That, along with caring for our fellow human beings, animals and the environment, and sharing the good news of the gospel (God's free gift of forgiveness, redemption, or recovery, and eternal life) is what the Christian life is all about.
And, I believe, it's the only real and effective way to break the generational cycle of dysfunctional and destructive behavior, so we, our children and our grandchildren, if or when we have any, can be restored to the image of our Maker and live truly happy, satisfying and fulfilling lives and be fit for heaven.
''Not everything believed [to be] a biblical truth is truly biblical. The authors expose 12 commonly accepted beliefs that cause bondage rather than liberty. They explain how nuggets of truth become cornerstones for error when wrongly understood, and they help build solid scriptural foundations that produce emotional freedom. Book includes discussion guide for small-group follow-up.'' - Faith for Today
If you'd like to learn more...
I think it'll make a big difference in the way you look at and live the Christian life.
If the information you've read so far hasn't convinced you to get the book, maybe the following list of assumptions it deals with will.
Assumption #1: It's selfish to have my needs met.
Assumption #2: If I'm spiritual enough, I will have no pain or sinfulness.
Assumption #3: If I change my behavior, I will grow spiritually and emotionally.
Assumption #4: I just need to give it to the Lord.
Assumption #5: One day, I'll be finished with recovery.
Assumption #6: Leave the past behind.
Assumption #7: If I have God, I don't need people.
Assumption #8: ''Shoulds'' are good.
Assumption #9: Guilt and shame are good for me.
Assumption #10: If I make right choices, I will grow spiritually.
Assumption #11: Just doing the right thing is more important that why I do it.
Assumption #12: If I know the truth, I will grow.
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