Understanding Yourself Matters

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Ask the Question

Are there good things happening in your life right now? Do you feel blessed? Better yet, do you know in your heart of hearts that you’re living God’s perfect plan for your life? If there’s any doubt in your mind, consider this: for every trouble, question or situation in your life, there is an answer. If you’re not experiencing a full, abundant life of peace and joy, then there’s probably a reason.

Here’s what the Master of the Universe, the One who created you says: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8) So ask. Seek the answers to your questions. Don’t just go through life wondering what the answers are, why things aren’t working out, or why somebody else seems to have it more

If you need answers on how to live without anxiety, depression, strife, addictions, financial problems, or sickness, there is an answer, a formula. You just have to go to the right Source: the One who made you. All other sources will never be enough. And don’t just ask once, keep asking, keep pursuing, keep expecting. God will lead you to the right person, the right teaching, the right passage, the right opportunity, the right attitude. Your bold persistence will get you the results you crave. Never stop asking.

Who are your mentors?

Have you ever noticed that the more we learn and experience life, the more we have to learn?  Also, the older we get the more responsibilities and cares we have – the more demanding life becomes. Our careers become more demanding, requiring personal growth and education. Our social responsibilities increase. If we get married and have kids, then we have to learn to juggle multiple plates. It can be truly exhausting.

Are you committed to doing it all well? Excelling in all you do?  Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.”

If we will commit to doing it all to the best of our ability: our career, our relationships with family and friends, our marriage, our parenting, our spiritual life, our knowledge of truth etc., then we will experience true fulfillment.  But it’s going to take LOTS of EFFORT!

Life gives us detours and stumbling blocks. The enemy throws arrows at us.  We fail and become discouraged.  Our emotions get in the way. We get angry, lazy, scared.  People let us down.  We change.  And on and on. All these things can get us off our path.  We might have started out with good intentions, but because something knocks us off our path, we settle for being on a different path.

That’s not acceptable!!! Fight for staying on the right path.  For that we need to stay REALLY CLOSE to our mentors.  The first most important one is Almighty God Himself and His Word. It’s interesting that only 1 out of 2 Christians believe in absolute truth; that is probably because only 9% of Christians read the Bible on a daily basis.  This is a sure way to get us off the path God has for us.

When we go out of our way to seek Him, the Holy Spirit will then guide us to the right mentors. A combination of a trusted friend, a pastor, counselor or a ministry will teach us and guide us according to the Word.  This is not a suggestion, this should be a must!!!

My 13-year-old daughter Elena is a high-level competitive figure skater.  She is a very hard worker and is willing to put hours every day to perfect her skills.  She is highly competitive and has become quite successful in the sport.  She has four coaches that she sees on a regular basis to keep her improving and on track – especially when she has competitions. As much as she has dedicated her time and practiced on her own for the last six years, she still needs those coaches on a daily basis to make sure she’s doing all the details correctly because it’s a very difficult sport.  To succeed, a figure skater NEEDS her coaches on a regular basis.

And this is how life is.  To succeed, we need our coaches regularly, otherwise those little details that we could get wrong can lead to big disastrous results.  Proverbs 15:22 says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.”

If you’re not constantly plugged in to your mentors, you could end up in the wrong path, and eventually in a ditch!

No Shame in Asking for Help

There is a stigma about admitting our struggles and seeking help -especially from a counselor. Most people in our culture think we need to just deal with our issues internally and move on. IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE is the most common method.
Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We only find God – which means the answers we need to our problems -when we actively pursue the answers from His perspective, not the world’s.
We can have roots we never dealt with that need to be uprooted – they can cause problems in our relationships, our inner peace, our professional life and the most dangerous of all: they can make our spiritual life STERILE!
It can be a spirit that has attached itself to us and we don’t even realize it,such as GRIEF, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, or even WORRY. It needs to be dealt with! If we don’t address it and get rid of it, it can be passed down to future generations.
Whatever we do​n’t deal with will be multiplied!
Here are some negative generational patterns:
❏A hot temper
❏Sense of Entitlement
❏Poverty mentality
❏Unhealthy relationship with food
❏Emotional instability or disconnect from emotions
❏Difficulty having close relationships
❏Substance abuse
❏Lack of expression of love and affection
❏Different forms of abuse
We have to recognize the pattern in order to get rid of it. This also means we need to go to the right person for help; someone who will know how to help us get free from it. THERE IS ALWAYS AN ANSWER! HEALING ALWAYS COMES when we let God heal us and take the proper steps.
Our relationships will be healed and improved as we become more OPEN and VULNERABLE. And if we don’t seek help, there’s probably pride involved.

Asking for help and being vulnerable about our weaknesses and struggles is the best thing we can do to be healed emotionally and spiritually. Don’t let pride or complacency rob you of your peace. Seek help.

What Do You Believe?

Do you ever stop to think about what your belief system is? What are the things that you hold on to in your mind without giving it any thought? What is your worldview?

What do you believe about God? About the universe? Is He involved in your life? What is your role in this life? What about your upbringing? Did it shape your view about people, relationships and your self-worth negatively? Do you have your very own identity, or is it wrapped up in your family, your church, your status, your education, your political party or your peers?

These are hard questions to tackle, but they are crucial in identifying your very own identity and becoming free and completely HEALED! When a person starts in the healing journey from any type of mental illness which often leads to addictions,depression and anxieties, one of the first things we address is his/her BELIEF SYSTEM.

These are the things we’ve grown to believe as truth over time. They come from the roots within us, and these roots originate from experiences we’ve had in our lifetime,most often in our childhood; things such as rejection, abandonment, any type of hurts,traumas or any type of abuse. We also develop beliefs based on what we are taught as children by our parents, teachers, pastors or other people of authority in our lives.

Unfortunately many of our beliefs are not only false, they are destructive. They destroy our chance of true success, fulfillment and freedom.Some examples of wrong belief systems are:I can’t trust men.The only person I can count on is myself.No relationship lasts forever, so when I get married I should always have a back door.God sometimes causes bad things to happen in my life to teach me something.I can’t really believe everything that God says in the Bible.

I’ll probably always be mediocre because no one in my family is very successful.And on and on. These beliefs hold you back more than you know. They shape your thoughts, hence your actions. This is how we end up depressed, addicted to alcohol, drugs, with broken marriages, rebellious children and physically sick all the time.

If you want to be FREE and succeed, here’s what to do: Challenge your belief systems. Do some research and figure out what the truth really is concerning all your beliefs. Don’t just take someone’s word for it. They could be wrong, deceived or trying to hold you back in some way. You’re your own person.

Don’t be afraid to break out of your family mold. Be brave. Establish your own belief system on a firm foundation.Remember: God has ALL THE ANSWERS. We just have to search them out!

Find your identity

Find your identity

How do you see yourself? Do you like what you do or how you do it? What do you see in the mirror? Is your self-image wrapped up in the way you look? Do you often compare yourself with others? These are questions we should all ask ourselves.

These questions define our identity. Who are we and what is our purpose? Finding your identity is one of the most important things you will do in life. Our identity should never be based on the whims of society, but it should be rooted and grounded in Christ. God made us in His image and once we made Jesus our Lord and Savior, He gave us AUTHORITY over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19) We should be bold, confident, fearless and full of purpose and drive.

The Kind has given us His “signet ring”, His “seal”, to exercise our authority and power over anyone who tries to come against our mission. Once we realize that is the kind of identity we need to have, nothing will be impossible for us. We will be unstoppable and our self-image will
be healthy.

Our identity should not come from the movies we watch, social media, the news, our friends, or the music we listen to, it should come from the mouth and heart of God. What does He say about you? He says you were fearfully and wonderfully made and nothing is impossible for you. (Mark 9:23) Until you get the right identity ingrained into your mind, you should repeat that to yourself every day before you start the day.

SPEAK IT OUT LOUD! Hearing yourself say it is powerful and is the only way to reprogram your mind.
Here are some parting tips::
● See yourself successful, smart and influential.
● Walk in love.
● Develop inner strength by daily meditating on the Word of God.
● Understand your temperament, what makes you unique.
● Redirect your thoughts every day to get rid of toxic thinking.

Are you idle minded?

Are you idle minded?

Do you ever consider what’s going on with your mind? Do you just let it wander, or worse, go on pause for extended periods of time? What are you feeding your mind?

What are you doing with your time? Are you living life on purpose? We should all be careful to not let ourselves get lazy mentally and spiritually.

Proverbs 24:30-31 says: “ I passed by the field of the sluggard and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense, and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.” This could be a metaphor for what’s going with our minds and our lives. If we don’t engage and become slothful, our lives will become full of nettles and our walls will be broken down.
Someone who is a sluggard is idle, indolent and inactive. It leads to APATHY, LACK OF INTEREST, ENTHUSIASM OR CONCERN. We all need to check ourselves to make sure we don’t become spiritually and mentally lazy. Don’t become inactive.

Reach out to God. Reach out to people. Keep doing things. Keep stretching your mind. In our world of social media, Netflix and Amazon it’s super easy to become a spectator in life.

We need to engage in learning new things. Jesus said: “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be
given to you who hear. (Mark 4:24) In other words, if we seek the in-depth knowledge of the truth, we will be rewarded; however much we put into it is how much we’ll get back.

To avoid being idle or a sluggard, continually do the following three things:
1. Seek God – search for Him and His Word with all your heart, then you’ll find the truth.
2. Seek people – don’t ever stop being involved in people’s lives. Be an influencer. Get engaged. Seek opportunities to be with people, help people, learn from people and teach people.
3. Seek knowledge – don’t ever stop learning. Your mind is the most amazing part of you. It’s infinitely more sophisticated than the best computer in the world. Don’t waste it. Don’t let idleness overtake you. Decide today to engage. Don’t let weeds grow in your life.

Slothfulness: laziness. Synonyms: idle, indolent, inactive leads to APATHY: LACK OF INTEREST, ENTHUSIASM OR CONCERN
○ Don’t become inactive. Reach out to God, to people, keep doing things,
keep stretching your mind.
○ And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of
thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of
virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be
given to you who hear. Mark 4:24
○ It also says: Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it
will be opened.
■ 1. Seek God
■ 2. Seek people
■ 3. Seek knowledge

Finding Freedom

Finding Freedom

What does freedom look like to you? It can mean different things to different people.

We usually think of the freedoms we have in our country, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press or freedom of speech. But what about in our minds? Are you free? Do you have complete peace and joy all the time?

Unless you’re free from condemnation of past mistakes and failures, or guilt and shame, you’re not really free. It can lead to many problems: addictions, depression, anxiety, codependency or anger. The truth is, there’s no real freedom unless we’re free within ourselves. Is your soul – your mind, will and emotions – healthy?

True freedom is only found on the other side of honesty. We have to be honest with ourselves, others and God in order to step out of dysfunctional attitudes and relationships. There is always a price tag for dishonesty. It can lead to codependency, which leads to dysfunction. It keeps relationships at a surface level, but in the end it’s only hurting ourselves and the strength and depth of the relationship. Saddest of all, it leads to spiritual sterility!

Our mental health journey is affected by how we grew up, who raised us, and what experiences we’ve had. Our family of origin affects everything about us.

Mammals always attach to their mothers in utero, and the amazing bond continues through other aspects of our lives; we also carry our parents’ beliefs, hurts and emotional bondage. Our beliefs are always introduced by our parents. And you will compare everything you learn to the first time you learned about it.

If there’s a loss, it influences you. It’s part of your story. Everything is influenced through parental experience. Since we are all affected by our parents’ woundings, it’s important to take a long hard look at our inner self and be honest about what’s affecting our mental, emotional and spiritual hang ups.

When we’re willing to be vulnerable and real with our hurts and pains, past failures and misconceptions, then we’ll begin the healing process. This will also help to restore our relationships. STOP HIDING! Expose the dark buried secrets that are causing you pain and shame. Find someone trustworthy – someone who can give you proper guidance – with whom you can open up.

There are 3 important steps in finding freedom:
1. Confess: Speak of the problem, the memory or the failure.
2. Repent: Decide to change direction and see it from a correct perspective.
3. Redirect: Start new habits of thinking and doing. Pursue right thinking and doing.