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It won’t matter what area of life you are in

It could be the lowest point - How did I get here? You can play the blame game. It’s always someone else’s fault. Right? Divorce is never easy, never a simple resolution. It is painful for everyone involved. There are always circumstances where one party is the only one at fault but it can be a result of two parties blaming each other for the situation.

It could be a temporary blip - a bit of bad news, a health problem, failing an exam, missing out on a promotion or job opportunity. Whatever it is, one thing is certain, you have to get over it and do not leave it to sort itself out. It never resolves itself and it is most likely that an event or issue may have caused it. If you have a temporary issue with high Cholesterol, you should solve it soon in order that the problem does not intensify.

Hopefully, if it’s a long term issue, you hope that it hasn’t been too long. If you are a teen, it is important to resolve the difficulty. A drug issue, a missing parent, bullying at school can be life changing if it isn’t stopped before it develops into an addiction, anxiety, isolation, rejection etc. I was mentoring prior to a 15 year old boy towards a very important series of examinations he was struggling with in English, he was failing. I wanted to find areas that he felt weak in. It turned out to be his essay, project writing - that was the problem. His teacher in grade 6 said that he was too simplistic in his writing. 6 years on he had no confidence. He, eventually, passed the exam because I proved to him that by building up his ability to express himself, he wasn’t simple but that was his age and he had now developed.

How easy is it to continue with what someone said or what they did to you at a young age. It’s not a question of fault merely a lack of maturity or a lack of support from those around you. You may have hidden the issue and isolated yourself or it may never have been detected by people close to you. Either way, you weren’t born with it but it was imposed on us by circumstances.

This is the key behind Step 4 of the Life Recovery programme - It talks about taking an inventory of where you are.

It’s a photo in time...

Did I have a beard at the time? Did my hairstyle suit me? What was I wearing? How much weight was I carrying? I didn’t smile? but these issues are much more of an opportunity to admit your make up and give them to the Lord. He knows all things and being honest is considered as half the recovery.

This is the time to be honest…

How do I score in the following areas:

- Do I have any resentment towards people? Long standing disagreements not resolved.

- Have I become fearful? Things which are appearing real, but which can be troublesome.

- Have I any repressed or Inappropriate anger? Feeling weak in certain things and reacting poorly.

- Am I seeking approval because of past failures or comments made to me? Parents, Teachers, Elders who treated us unkindly can raise these thoughts.

- Have we become caretakers of loved one’s affairs to help them to like me more? We are trying to use skills or gifts we have to become appreciated, liked more.

Do I have a control issue?

Wanting to take full control of all situations can become unresolved and block others out or cause difficulties.

Fear of being abandoned. It happened before, it can happen again. Not necessarily true.

Frozen feelings are well known. We don’t want to move forward because of a deeply hurtful issue. Illness, moving area, changing employment, even death can freeze thoughts.

These are not the only points to highlight - there are others, Isolation, low self-esteem, overdeveloped sense of responsibility and irresponsibility can lead to fractures in relationships or even stop them from developing at all. Inappropriately expressed sexual feelings can be harmful to the individual and hurtful to others.

The Lord wants to deal with those hurts which have developed in our lives. They could have arisen during our childhood, through adolescence, through marriage, the birth of a child. Some can be carried for a lifetime. I recall ministering to a group of individuals who met for a weekly bible study and had done for several years. It took place in another country and as I was preparing the message the Lord directed me quite strongly to speak on relationships - not in general but specifically to the people in the study. What came out that night was life changing for me and then, for the people there. The above issues listed above, certainly, came forth and that is the key to the close of this step.

Be honest....

Yes, it is an honest look at yourselves but many Godly characteristics came through that night which are dealt with in this step. It is not all negative thoughts and views. Forgiveness is an immensely powerful tool which can destroy many of the feelings above. Jesus has forgiven all our sins and 1 John 1 v 9 confirms that - But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. Jesus brings us to a healthy emotional state by strengthening our Spirit man which embraces healthy relational strengths, higher moral and ethical standards. He develops our intellect through bible study and devotions as well as a healthy concern for others. It takes our minds off our own circumstances and towards the needs of others.

What a better and healthier way to finish our lives? Amen?

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