Worry and the Myth of Moderation - Purity 1252- Purity
Purity 1252 01/19/2024 Purity 1252 Podcast
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Today’s photo of tire ruts filled with water
reflecting the fading light of day from the sky above, in a field of green,
comes to us from yours truly as I stopped my car on the way to my countryside home
last Saturday to capture the beauty of this simple scene as the sun had already
faded beyond the horizon.
Well, It’s Friday, thank God, and what a difference
a week can make as winter has firmly established itself in upstate NY changing
what were somewhat squishy fields of green into frozen tundra as far as the eye
can see. But even though I guess I
dreaded this change in one sense, hoping against hope that winter would somehow
pass us by, the arrival is something of a relief because I no longer have to
fear whether or not it’s going to come because it’s here!
Sometimes a lot of our suffering comes from the
anticipation or worry over things that may or may not come to pass. Worrying
over it doesn’t give you any peace and when the worst case scenario plays out in
reality we discover that we can handle it, if for no other reason than we don’t
have a choice. It is what it is as they say, and it will do us not good in
denying it and we can reestablish peace a lot sooner from accepting circumstances
for what they are and in crafting a response for what has happened rather than
starting to worry about the next terrible thing that is to come.
Bad things happen, life happens, things break and
fall apart. And sometimes the
consequences of our unwise choices catch up to us causing us to realize the
error of our ways. When that happens we
realize we have to change how we operate, or we will continue to reap the
harvest of doing the same things over and over again. A saying in recovery circles is that “Insanity
is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results”. While I don’t honestly think those caught in vicious
cycles expect different results, they may irrationally hope that they won’t
suffer like they have in the past. That
irrational hope and failure to change keeps the vicious cycles alive. We believe that we can learn from our
mistakes and make minor changes – like switching our brand of addiction or
decreasing the amount of poison or frequency of taking it – and it will solve
our problem. The addict believes that “moderation is the key to happiness” despite
the overwhelming evidence in their lives that clearly points out that, for
them, it’s a myth because they are powerless to practice it. They have tried and failed over and over
again but still think that one day they can be a “social drinker” or just have
a “few” of their substance of choice and be “fine.”
The problem is that – for them – that’s a lie. They can’t do it and they fail to realize
that freedom isn’t found through moderation of the bondage they are in. Freedom
comes from eliminating it.
I am currently reading Dr. Neil Anderson’
Discipleship Counseling, and he states:
“In every legitimate recovery program, the first
step is to stop living a lie and choose the truth. We cannot instantly change long-established
flesh patterns or defense mechanisms that have become a habitual part of our
daily life, but we can, with god's guidance, identify them and make a decision
to confess them as wrong in order to find healthier ways of living.”
We just went over Celebrate Recovery’s Denial lesson
this week at Celebrate Freedom and it was a tough message for some of the
participants to hear because they were convicted in their hearts that they have
been fooling themselves that they could “have it all” – that they could keep
their addictions and enjoy a simple and wholesome life. The two contradict each other and in order to
be free they have to stop living the lie and start believing the truth.
The Lie: - My
addiction is “fine”. It doesn’t hurt anyone but me. And I am in control.
The Truth – I can’t do a little bit of this. I have
to stop this all together in order to be free. It causes me and my loved one’s
pain. A Chrisitan isn’t supposed to live this way. God has helped others to be
free. He can help me too.
When we reject that lie and accept that Truth, there
is hope, and even though things were one way for a very long time, a new life
can begin now. Freedom and victory can come – one day at a time and progressively
increase with each step you take into the new life that the Lord has given
It starts with a choice to stop what you are doing
and deciding to ask God to help you and then deciding to walk with Him each and
every day until your bondages are a thing of the past and a new life of peace,
love and joy is your “new normal.”
This miracle happens every day. I am living it, and
I am here to tell you that you can live it too.
So stop dreading the change, surrender to the Lord,
and walk into it. Although a new life may be scary to contemplate, it’s better
than kidding yourself and suffering in the same old ways over and over
So keep walking and talking with God. He will help
you to become the person you were created to be and when you get there you will
Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By
John G. Kruis.
While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick
Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late
author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and
Psalm 141:3 (NKJV)
3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
verse is the second of two passages of scripture that fall under the first point
of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and
1. The psalmist has
given us a model prayer for good speech.
Today’s verse asks the Lord to shut our mouths and, can I tell you, that would be a good thing sometimes. If you don’t say anything, you can’t say anything you will regret. In the moment, we can say insulting things, hurtful things, stupid things, unkind things, and thoughtless things.
So pray this prayer for the Lord to help you set a guard over your mouth and to keep a watch over your lips because the enemy loves to shoot flaming arrows into our minds and would love for some of his evil thoughts to spill out of our mouths.
That’s why we have to take every thought captive, some of them might not be our own – or they might not be so wise to disclose verbally. So take a pause, take a breath, and think before you speak because the things we say can cause damage – to ourselves or others – and the loving thing would be to remain silent rather than cause discord with the people in our lives. As much as it depends on us, we are to be the peacemakers in life, so do your part to keep the peace by monitoring what you say and keeping your verbal trouble to yourself.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I
always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to
assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from “According to Your
Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A
Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.
As always, I share this information for educational
purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own
private study and to support his work. This resource is available online
for less than $10 at many sites.
EVENING READING: MATTHEW 12
“For out of the abundance of the
the mouth speaks.” – Matthew 12:34
It is interesting to note how many times the Lord charged
those upon whom He had performed some miracle of healing not to publish the
fact abroad. But in most cases, if not in all, it seems that the persons
concerned could not control themselves. One reads over and over again that they
proclaimed the news freely. It was a case of “For out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaks.”
Similarly, it is only when grace does a real work in the
heart, only when the heart is full of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), only when
Christ is all in all, that the mouth will speak.
Lord, I will testify of Your goodness
out of the abundance of my heart.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage
Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the
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These teachings are also available on the
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Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and
to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian
encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her
Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this
publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to
reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries,
or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication,
and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the
author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
Stephen Olford and Heather Olford, According to Your
Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament, A Collection of Devotional
Journals 1940-1941 (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2008).