Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday Morning Musings ...

Yesterday had all the trappings of a holiday weekend. Low attendance and lack of energy, but God still showed up. This was the last getaway for families with kids in school, school begins on Tuesday. We were scrambling in to fill spots in many areas and some we were not able to do.

I continued the series "A Celebration of Healing/Recovery". This was week, and principle, number 7. This principle is based on Mark 14:38 and says, "Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow Him." This is a maintenance step. We all realize that growth and maturity is not a smooth ride, but there are usually surges and stumbles. This message was dealing with the stumbles, how see them, how they happen, how to prevent them and how to recover from them. The stumbles are relapses, where we move back toward old habits and hurts. There is actually a pattern to most stumbles and relapses. First is complacency, we start getting comfortable with short term gains. The pain is reduced and we think we can live with the pain since it is reduced. Second is confusion, we start to forget how bad it was before. Third is compromise, we begin to return to the risky situations and the compromise is on. Fourth is the catastrophe, we give in to the old hurts, habits or patterns. We need to realize the relapse did not begin at the catastrophe, it just became obvious there, it began with the complacency.

What leads us toward the stumble and relapse? We revert to willpower. Galatians 3:3-5 ..."are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"... Willpower didn't work before and it won't be enough now. We ignore some of the steps or principles, in other words we get in a hurry. We try to heal without support. This one is huge. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. We need help, we need God, we need others to make it the victory over our hurts and habits. We need people watching, loving, confronting and guiding us. We also become prideful which leads to a fall. Proverbs 16:18. This is an especially vulnerable position for many of us in an area in which we think we are strong. Because we believe we are strong in an area we often leave it unguarded which leads to it becoming a weak area.

So how do I prevent the relapse and recover? Start with evaluation. That seems to be a constant every week, doesn't it? We need to evaluate our physical symptoms. The physical is greatly impacted by hurts and habits, and physical problems and ca lead to poor habits and hurts. Evaluate the emotional. Do a HEART check: Am I Hurting? Am I Exhausted? Am I Angry? Do I Resent anyone? Am I tense? Evaluate your relationships. In past weeks we talked about doing a relational inventory, pull it back out and review it. Evaluate the spiritual. How is relationship with Christ? Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? If you do is it growing? If it is not growing then something is wrong. We need to do evaluations regularly, on the spot, at the end of a day, a week, or a significant event and keep doing it. We also prevent, or recover from a relapse through listening to God and thinking on His Word. This requires us to slow down long enough to hear from Him. Another tremendous prevention and recovery action is prayer. It is how we plug into God's power for our life. I don't care how you pray, but I care deeply that you pray. Stand, sit, lay down, do it out loud, be quiet, walk around, write it down, I don't care, but make sure you pray.

Where are you most vulnerable? What are you doing to prevent a relapse? What will you do about it today?


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