Saturday, November 29, 2014

Biblical Psychology: Unforgiveness and Pride as Tag Team


INTRODUCTION


I came across this link between unforgiveness and pride based on insights that the Holy Spirit empowered me to figure out.



Usually when a person holds a grudge against another person and has difficulty letting it go, it can be traced back to hurt pride. 

Pride is a spirit from hell masquerading as self-esteem. Unforgiveness is also a spirit from hell. These two diabolical spirits work together to confuse and then destroy human souls. The Bible is full of warnings against giving place to these.



I myself have been afflicted by this tag team, not once, but many times, in fact so many times I cannot count the times it happened. It has happened to all of us human beings it will continue to do so.



I find it difficult to keep my thoughts organized following the thread to discuss such complex problem as this one. However, difficult as it is, is extremely necessary to sound the alarm and one as many people as can be warned.



This article probes the complex spiritual psychology of how these two horrific monsters spirits trip people up and then destroy them. Hopefully, wisdom will prevail upon me to get right and serve you all well enough.



HURT FEELINGS AND PRIDE


Have you ever had your feelings hurt by another person using just words? Of course you have. It hurts, doesn't it? Being rejected by someone whose approval seek hurts your pride terribly. 

When society as a group collectively rejects you, when a country club you want to join rejects you, when a suitable relationship partner rejects your advances, when a suitable employer rejects your application, and countless other scenarios that entail you’re being rejected – make you feel that you just don't belong, your pride was injured and your pain lasts too long.



Many times, when the sufferer is emotionally immature or has suffered a self-image deficit, there is the urge to lash out and retaliate against the rejecter.   

If you have watched episodes on cable TV of the channel Investigation Discovery known as Deadly Women, you've probably seen how several women were rejected and couldn't take it retaliated out of spite in the most deadly manner against those who rejected them. 

The same has been the typical scenario when men have been rejected by the women these men approached and some of them became criminal stalkers. Their pride, often called self-esteem, was battered. And they couldn't take it.


I AM NO EXCEPTION TO THIS



This reasoning that these rejections to hurt pride were linked to my reluctance to try to love again were symptomatic of unforgiveness and to me as a result of a sermon that my pastor, David Stocker, Jr., delivered in my church, Central Bible Church here in Miami – that dealt with the scourge of unforgiveness in the human heart. I had asked him if my reluctance to get into further relationships due to fear to being hurt again were symptoms of unforgiveness and he said "absolutely."

When he did not mention or that I did not catch him mentioning, was the link between unforgiveness and pride – and the central role that pride plays keeping that human heart from being willing to give the offender. That was the insight, that connection, which came upon me and gave me the wisdom to link those two monsters together as a tag team from hell.



Giving place to just one of these, this case pride, is to simultaneously give place to also unforgiveness. They feed and support each other. And you lose. 

The Bible is full of examples of such scenarios beginning with Cain and Abel.




Cain, in the early part of the biblical book of Genesis, suffered a reverse because his poorly chosen and poorly motivated sacrifice had not been accepted by God whereas that of Brother Abel was. So, God approached Cain and try to help him. Unfortunately, pride had tighter grip on Cain then God's word did and so horrible consequences ensued. 

A life was lost and a soul was doomed forever. Satan won this round. I do not doubt that Cain's grudge against brother Abel consisted of injuries put on him by the spiritual tag team from hell: pride and unforgiveness.




 THE DAMAGES OF PRIDE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT




The Bible also records in all four Gospels the trial of Jesus Christ before Pilate. I believe, if I remember correctly, that Pilate knew that the Pharisees and the Sadducees who delivered Christ Jesus to him had done so out of envy. 

So many times before, Jesus Christ had put these people in their places and because they knew He was right, they hated him all the more for it. Now let's look deep into the psychology of this matter.



These Pharisees and Sadducees had an ego thing with their positions in the Sanhedrin. They expected an enormous amount of reverence from all the Jews in the area. Then to experience Jesus Christ putting them in their place was too much for their pride. Affronts to their pride, to their insatiable egos, from Christ was to them an outsider – was an unforgivable offense. I deem it is specious reasoning on the part of Caiaphas to attribute to fear of Roman retribution against all Jews collectively the argument kill Jesus Christ.



I would venture to suspect that the Sanhedrin's grievance against Christ was a consequence of their jealousy and envy of Christ. And even though Pontius Pilate do it very well this was so, he went along with them for purely political reasons.



THE RAVAGES OF PRIDE TODAY


So, coming back to today's day and age, it is important to recognize the harmful effects that this damage done to us all by that tag team, private unforgiveness – how urgent is to first separate the two and destroy them, nip them both in their buds, before they wreak havoc.



Let's begin with pride first. 


This look at this spirit's proposal as to why we need its presence. It says we need it in order to look out for number one. It says that there are two types of people in this world: suckers and bastards. According to it, if you want to live well, you need to be a proud, arrogant bastard who knows how to look out for number one, himself or herself. Otherwise, you will be a doormat to be walked upon but others, stepped upon by others, discarded by others.



You need to be focused upon interpersonal relationships as a zero sum game that stipulates that you lose with others win or others have to lose in order for you to do well in life. Moreover, if you look at many of these success books, you're taught that you are at war with everybody else and that pride is unnecessary for you to look out for yourself. This argument calls for absolute and utter contempt for other people.



This argument is totally at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ who is the truth, the life, and the only way to God. Finally, this argument is made by that spirit of pride would have you believe and adopt the position that you cannot do well in life, in this world, if you take the teachings of Christ seriously.



I hope truly they see how damaging it is to give into pride. I present these warnings for you featured below:





16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:



17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,



18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,



19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.



 Proverbs 6:16-19 King James Version (KJV)





If you give in to pride, to that prideful look, as written in Proverbs 6:17 as very beginning, you are already en route to doing something that God said He hates. You're ready acting as an enemy of Him. Let me tell you from this very beginning, you cannot afford the luxury of being an enemy of God.



GOD'S REMEDY FOR PRIDE



So, what do you do to need nothing from pride? How do you fill that void that pride tells you need it to fill for you? The answer is to take on for yourself the identity that God has for you so that you can have immunity to the appeals of pride. And what is that identity?



Coming right up!





10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.



Ephesians 2:10 King James Version (KJV)



Another version of the word of God calls us his masterpiece.



The Amplified Bible calls us his handiwork.



10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].



Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation



If you have your identity based on the word of God, what need have you for pride to play in your life? None at all. If God is at the center of your life, your soul, then you do not need pride. Why should you care what other people say about you or think about you? Yes you are in the world and for deal of the people, but that is no reason for you to put your identity in a position so subordinate to others can do with it what they want.



Another warning to show the seriousness of this matter:





5Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.



6For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.



7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.



8For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.



http://biblehub.com/kjv/jeremiah/17.htm





Do you see the difference between these two positions of trust? There is a curse to putting your trust in other people whereas putting your trust in God and forth blessings. Now we're going to tackle the tag team mate of unforgiveness. Like I said before, these two spirits of pride and unforgiveness work together.


THE RAVAGES OF THE DEMON OF UNFORGIVENESS



"[The] Bible has quite a bit to say about forgiveness and unforgiveness. Perhaps the most well-known teaching on unforgiveness is Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant, recorded in Matthew 18:21-35. In the parable, a king forgives an enormously large debt (basically one that could never be repaid) of one of his servants. Later, however, that same servant refuses to forgive the small debt of another man. The king hears about this and rescinds his prior forgiveness. Jesus concludes by saying, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:35). Other passages tell us that we will be forgiven as we forgive (see Matthew 6:14; 7:2; and Luke 6:37, for example)."1



"Do not be confused here; God’s forgiveness is not based on our works. Forgiveness and salvation are founded completely in the person of God and by Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross. However, our actions demonstrate our faith and the extent to which we understand God’s grace (see James 2:14-26 and Luke 7:47). We are completely unworthy, yet Jesus chose to pay the price for our sins and to give us forgiveness (Romans 5:8). When we truly grasp the greatness of God’s gift to us, we will pass the gift along. We have been given grace and should give grace to others in return. In the parable, we are appalled at the servant who would not forgive a minor debt after having been forgiven his unpayable debt. Yet, when we are unforgiving, we act just as the servant in the parable."2



"Unforgiveness also robs us of the full life God intends for us. Rather than promote justice, our unforgiveness festers into bitterness. Hebrews 12:14-15 warns, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root rises up to cause trouble and defile many.” Similarly, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 warns that unforgiveness can be an opening for Satan to derail us."3



1 http://www.gotquestions.org/unforgiveness.html

2 ibid.

3 ibid.




What else you need to be told what to be written to – to understand the seriousness of this threat – this mortal tag team from hell?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Existential Psychology: What to Do if Your Life Is Spinning in Circles Without Going Anywhere Meaningful

The Story of my life and the stories of the lives of too many of us --  It happened to me, that my life has often been spinning in circles without going anywhere meaningful. 

When did it begin, this trend of my life going in circles without heading somewhere meaningful? I would say, it happened after I graduated from college in 1981 and after I broke up with my fiancĂ©e in November of that same year. 

After that, I could not I find job that is I educated myself for – because I was good enough to graduate from college but not skillful enough or able enough to get a job in that career.

Regarding personal living, the relationship was with the woman I was not particularly love with, and had been lonely – but you don't use a relationship with a woman to escape from your loneliness. Yet, those of the very mistakes I think guilty for.

And so, having failed to establish myself in both a career and personal life movement, I went around in circles. Big mistake. 

What the culture blamed before and this is, where most people get it wrong, is that I failed to define what my life would be about based upon what I should have wanted to do. "Get your life together, get your act together, get your sh*@t together, define yourself, take a seminar or something,… Whatever it takes, do it!"

What is - that quotation and what that quotation was about  - doing that is wrong? Where did that quotation go wrong and why do exhortations contained in that quotation and the mindset behind that quotation – all wrong?

They failed in most miserable way possible because they exhort, admonish, people to keep making the same mistakes over and over again – and behind that because is a bigger, more important, and critical Because. 

The biggest of all becauses lies in the reference point, the authority to whom the confused person is admonished to look to as a source of solution.

When people of the popular culture seek to tell a disoriented person to get their act together they are pointing the disoriented person to seek a popular culture icon role model as the model to ape. 

What they don't tell the disoriented person is that the role model that they should copy is really an airbrushed dummy that reflects the very misguided cannons of that popular society or another popular society, some culture.

The consequence of the disoriented person seeking model his or her life upon the accomplishments of this airbrushed dummy are that the disoriented person's life will not improve or may improve a little bit but not nearly enough to really have made it worthwhile.

And so, the disoriented person sinks deeper and deeper into more and more spinning without really igniting that life as it should be. Why more bad news for this poor, hapless, disoriented person?

You see, I have answers for this dilemma. Why do I have answers for this dilemma? Because this dilemma happened to me over and over and over again, countless times, year after year after year.  

What makes me think that the solution is available to me? I wanted what others already had and enjoyed: the inner spiritual conviction that I was and am on the right path. 

And how do I know that this spiritual conviction comes from Him and not something in myself that I just want to believe?  

Okay, I can afford to let you in on this secret.

In the natural, there are things are are not going well for me.  My finances are in an awkward state. My job is here and I'm going it well but I have no super duper career. I have no relationships with anyone special, no significant other. And yet, I have the peace that the Lord gives and not that which the world gives. The peace of God is here inside me.  

Eventually things in the natural will start going well enough too but I can afford to wait. I am in a safe spiritual place. I have the internal peace similar to that which Joseph had when he was just a slave, long before he was made governor of Egypt, when that possibility was the furthermost thing from his mind. It was then most important to him that God was with him and that was enough for him to be a prosperous man.

So, the conviction inside me that tells me that God is with me is that conviction that tells me that I am on the right track. It is worth than all the money in the world. And you know it when the peace of God is with you and inside you.

Because I finally decided to turn to God in my frustration and the Holy Spirit has spoken to my spirit in His still, small voice and finally spelled out that I finally am on the right track. The same is available to each and all of you. If anything, I am only one more who got it right, finally.

 I don't have the answer as to what God's will for my life is in a concrete manner that is fleshed out and spelled out. I wish I did but I don't and that is okay. God's timing is done his way not our way. In the final analysis, we are all in his hand, and his mercy. 

I am nobody to God to hurry up and reveal to me what his will for my life is. God is a long-distance, long-term thinker and operator; He does things according to do time, his time and not our time. And he will make it worth our while to have waited on Him.

Eventually, and I have the spiritual conviction that this is so, my life will cease to spin around and around and around – in my life will be ignited – and be on track to wherever God will point it to. 

This is a lot better than getting my hopes up high and then suffer having them get dashed again.

A good meal sometimes requires cooking it in a slow fire for that meal to get cooked right and taste right when you finally get to eat it. Life, the life of a human being for it to be put on a right journey and proceed in the correct path and that the right pace – is often synonymous with that meal getting cooked in that slow fire.

However, we human beings are impatient and live in an inpatient culture with inpatient values and inpatient agendas. And we are told by it in its gurus that to turn to God – will we be deprived of opportunities to have made the best of our time on this earth. 

In a sense, even our minds, our very own minds, tell us that to set aside what we want to do with their lives in turn instead to guide is to deprive ourselves, to squander what our lives' mileage could have reached.

Here again, the voices of the culture and their worldviews got it wrong again. We do not create ourselves, culture did not create us. So culture is nothing tell us how we should live.

The truth is – God created us to glorify him and not ourselves for glory is not to be for us. God created us and crowned this with glory and honor, his glory in his honor, not ours. God used his glory to create and crown us but the glory is his and not ours. 

Moreover, our lives are not our own – but belong to him instead. So then, our lives (we) are lived on his earth and not ours, with resources that belong to him and not to us, crowned  with glory that belongs to him and not to us – and living lives that are not our own but that belong to Him, to God.

Most important of all, we are created by Him to glorify him and not ourselves, and least of all, the culture. So then, who should we turn to and what should we seek for our lives not keep spinning around and around and around?

God, of course. The mission of our lives if our lives are to be well lived and lived with significance worth living for – is that we are to seek and to wait upon the Lord God to reveal how our lives are to be lived in order that He be glorified. 

Then and only then – will we be satisfied from the inside out and know fully well that our lives were lived for a worthy enough purpose.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Contemplating the Isis Terrorist Organization

Thinking now


I’ve been reading news accounts and hearing comments regarding this new Isis terrorist organization that seems to be conquering large areas of Iraq and Syria. Not only are the Isis radical terrorists conquering these areas of these countries, but also committing countless atrocities such as crucifying people simply because they’re Christians, beheading them simply because they’re Christians stoning Christian women, and shooting people dead. What will it take for this murder spree to be ended?
 

Trying to Understand

 

More important question is what draws people, mostly men, join the ranks of these inhuman barbarians and participate in this insane orgy of mass murder and serial murder.

Looking back at my own Morbid Imaginations


I remember when I was a lost teenager, in a good school, living in the home of a good family, with privileges, and yet I found myself fantasizing the doing of murder of people whom I disliked, or whom I suspected disliked me. I never murdered anyone, thank God! If I had done so, I don’t know what I would have done with myself or how I would have been able to continue living with myself. But I do have a lot to thank God for more than I’ll ever know I owe him for.

Like a lot of young men going out, going to school, working, and having sexual relations with countless women – I did some of that. Many times the sex gratified me at least bodily. But my soul plundered for something, for some ethereal or spiritual satisfaction that I could not put my finger on to define and the need of mine. No, there were tensions, there was angst, and there was a stirring deep inside me that left me hungry for something that I did not know how to define as the need.

Redemption


I realized some time in my early 40s that I needed to make my peace with God. I was sick and tired of my own sense. In essence, I was sick and tired of being spiritually dead! As a result, I asked God to forgive me for having contributed to the crucifixion murder of his son Jesus Christ.

He came on to me from within; that was glorious, the work of the Holy Spirit himself beside me healing me, leaving me, draining me of all sin from inside me, and in the end filling that empty hole, that vacuum that I lived with, and sealing me for redemption – with his glorious self. Where before I had only existed as a natural man, now I lived.

More information about Isis and the Motivations that Drive those Men to Kill



Many men from many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and others have joined this group, Isis. They go about pillaging, murdering, doing evil in every single direction without the least regard, without any respect at all for the lives of others, without the least respect for human pain. They go about, indulging their most nihilistic fleshly Drives. They profess doing this sick thing in the name of Allah, the Muslim title of God. They do not do it to please God, they do it in order to sate their hatreds of themselves, of humanity itself, of life itself.
 

 Reaping the Fruits of their Hates



Consequently, the forfeit their own right, the God-given right to life itself. And they will die! There may not die right now, they may not die to three years and now, but they will die. And there will then be trial for them. It is appointed for men to die, then judgment. It’s written in the Bible. Yet these people have absolutely no fear of God. I would not want for even a second to be in their shoes. I can imagine that at some point even those who march alongside them might end up being their executioners, their killers. You cannot play with life this manner with such reckless abandon and the disrespect for life and expect that you will not be made to pay some sort of penalty. Just can’t.

 

All I know is that I pray that God finally will put his hand in this matter, invade this situation, and finally force all the sincerity to end the hard way or the easy way. However, I also several biblical warnings that Jesus Christ himself issued regarding the mistreatment of those who belong to him. You reject the followers of Jesus Christ, you reject Jesus Christ. If you reject Jesus Christ, then you rejected God the Father, He who sent Jesus Christ here in the first place. I don’t know about you but if I thought for one second that I may have rejected God, or Jesus Christ, then I would be quivering with terror at the idea of having committed mortal sin and ending up in the lake of fire for all eternity. The thought of that terrifies me to no end.

 

Introspection


 

What I have put into words here, constitutes my thoughts in regard to this matter of the tendency of nihilistic people who are about killing, taking lives of those who have done them nothing to deserve such inhumanity. There are so many of us want to be able to understand what makes such monsters take. But now thinking it better, I have come to understand that is a better thing that I not be able to understand what makes monsters like these tick.

 

Going Against my own Nature to Do the Right Thing as God Commanded, not my Will Be Done but His Will be Done


 

I find myself, in summary, compelled to come to God and ask him to give me the power to be able to pray for these killers that they might find the urge to seek God lest they lose their souls forever. How hard it is for me to pray for someone who does murder tortures mutilates other people simply because of their spiritual convictions.

My natural inclination is to desire that these killers just die. The mass of humanity will be much better off without them being alive – that’s how I feel about them in the natural. But I myself am a murderer for I sinned and Jesus Christ had to pay with his own death for me to be redeemed from the curse of the law. Without him having laid down his life like that for my sake, there would be no hope that God could even look on me. So who am I, being redeemed former sinner, to now turn around and become judge, jury, and executioner to other sinners.  

 I am no one to cast the first stone upon anyone else. I’m obligated by God, to go against my own nature, and pray for others, to pray for the lost. And these people are lost. What more can I say regarding this matter? I cannot think of anything else to say for now about this horrible evil being done. I had to get this off my chest; just too heavy for me to carry inside and not ventilate it. Think what you will me. I am certainly not a bleeding heart liberal.

 In fact, if these people were standing trial in the court room and I was part of a jury deciding the fate, I would decide for them to be executed. Yes, I would pray that they would repent before paying with their lives for the many lives and they took. That they would pay for their bodies the penalties for their murders - I regard as fair.  I would not want them to go to hell forever.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Motivation: If We Are to Do the Difficult Thing We Don't Want to Do - It's Only Because God is With Us in It

Let me admit that one of the strongest motivational drives in my nature is not to go do stuff that I should do that would actualize me.  No, that is not in my personality.  I am rather avoidant and in the natural, I tend to suffer frequently the urge to flee from difficulty. 

Now, if I am confronted with what I do not want to do and to survive, I have to confront the difficult,  then I'll struggle like a prize-fighting boxer in the ring - not to win but to get rid of the danger and once it's over, then I'll walk away. That's my nature.

That pretty much describes me and why I'll work like a devil at work but won't approach a woman I find myself attracted to.  I'll deal with something I have no choice about but if there's a choice that allows me to walk away from a challenge. I'll walk away. 

I don't like being challenged.  In fact, I hate challenges.  I won't pursue an opportunity to be promoted if it means that there's a risk that I'll lose everything if I fail.  I'll stay right where I am.  Now, if management says, you're outta here if you refuse to take that challenge, then I'll take it on and very likely succeed - just to avoid being fired and only for that reason.

Sometimes, a person will be like me and God will have to force a challenge on me or a test that I'd rather pass on if I had a choice.  God had to force things on people who belonged to him. It's all over the Bible.  One example would be Jonah the Prophet. God forced him to deal with challenge that Jonah desperately tried to flee from.  I recommend the Book of Jonah.

This morning I arrived to service late because I had overslept.  When I got there, the Pastor, my pastor David Stocker, Jr., was talking and he said that often God exhorts us to do things, to go work, not because it's an easy thing to do but because God is with us. 

So next time something to be done confronts us, if it's ours to take on, let us stop to pray and ask God, "Lord, Is this for us to do?  If I agree to do this, Will you join me, will you be with me in this hard thing?  If yes, I'll do it, I"ll take it on. If you won't be with me, I will take it that you do not will for me to take on this. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.

Now that is predictable -  No dark room there. If God is with you in that challenge, and you open that door you'd rather avoid opening, then trust God to light up that still dark room.

That's my contribution to you all on this Sunday afternoon. God bless you all in Jesus Name.