Wednesday, February 29, 2012

human being (repost)

I am a human being, not a human doing. My worth lies in who I am, not what I can do or how I am seen by others. This is the truth of my existence.
- David G. Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself (p.86)

One of my favorite quotes, and a fun picture to go with it. A good reminder for all the "worker bees" out there.

So, how ya bean?

Monday, February 20, 2012

trapped on the performance treadmill?

The Performance Trap: “I must meet certain standards in order to feel good about myself.”

Consequences: the fear of failure; perfectionism; being driven to succeed; manipulating others to achieve success; withdrawal from healthy risks, anger, resentment, pride, depression and low
motivation.

God’s Answer: Justification (by grace through faith)—just as if I had never sinned. Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because of justification, I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God, I no longer need to fear failure.

Results of God’s Solution: Increasing freedom from the fear of failure; desire to pursue the right things: Christ and His kingdom; greater love for Christ and desire to please Him through loving and serving others.

There are many reasons why we should want to obey God. Here are seven:
  1. Christ’s love motivates us to live for Him. (2 Cor. 5:14)
  2. Sin is destructive and should be avoided. (Gal. 6:7-8)
  3. Our Heavenly Fatherly lovingly disciplines us for wrongdoing. (Heb. 12: 6)
  4. His commands are good: they are an expression of His love and wisdom. (Rom. 12: 2)
  5. We will receive eternal rewards for faithfulness and obedience. (Gal. 6: 10)
  6. Christ knows what’s best and wants what’s best and is worthy of our obedience.
  7. Everything God does is worthy of our love, loyalty, trust and obedience.

do you really need another person's approval?

The Approval Addict: “I must be approved (accepted) by others to feel good about myself.”

Consequences: the fear of rejection; attempting to please others at any cost; overly sensitive to criticism; withdrawing from others to avoid disapproval, being easily manipulated, codependency; control, depression, etc.

God’s Answer: Reconciliation—brought into a right relationship with God. Colossians 1:21-22: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…” Because of reconciliation, I am totally accepted by God. I no longer have to fear rejection. God is at peace with me.

Results of God’s Solution: Increasing freedom from the fear of rejection; willingness to be open and vulnerable, able to relax around others; willingness to take criticism; desire to please God no matter what others think.

How does God feel about me? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Substitute the word “God” for the word “love”. My Heavenly Father is:
(1) Very patient and kind;
(2) not envious, never boastful;
(3) not arrogant;
(4) never rude nor self-seeking;
(5) not quick to take offense;
(6) keeps no score of wrongs;
(7) does not gloat over my sins but is glad when truth prevails;
(8) knows no limit to His endurance, no end to His trust;
(9) always hopeful and patient.

don't play the blame game

The Blame Game: “Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished.”

Consequences: The fear of punishment; punishing others; blaming others for personal failure; withdrawal from God and others; driven to avoid failure.

God’s Answer:
Propitiation—God’s holiness and justice is satisfied by Christ’s death in our place. 1 John 4:9-11: "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (cf. Romans 8:1) Because of propitiation, I am deeply loved by God. I no longer have to fear punishment or punish myself or others.

Results of God’s Solution:
Increasing freedom from the fear of punishment; patience and kindness toward others; being quick to apply forgiveness – to gain and maintain a clear conscience; a deep-seated love for Christ.

shame on you? ...shame off of you!

Shame: “I just can’t help it, that’s just the way I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless.”

Consequences: feelings of shame, hopelessness, inferiority; passivity; loss of creativity; isolation; withdrawal from others, resigned to failure; a feeling of helplessness.

God’s Answer: Regeneration—being spiritually reborn by the Word and Spirit of God. John 3:3-6: “In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (cf. Titus 3:5)

Because of regeneration, I am a new creation—complete in Christ. I no longer need to experience the pain of shame. I have a new nature, a new heart, a new occupant on the throne, a new source of identity—who I am in Christ!

Results of God’s Solution:
Christ-centered, self-confidence; joy, courage, peace; a desire to know Christ.