An Excerpt from “RECOVERY IN CHRIST“
The primary message in “Recovery in Christ” is that behind every outward manifestation of weakness or dysfunction, there is a root cause. It should also be understood that at times the root cause for your behavior may be grounded in mental and/or emotional conflicts that you are not conscious of. Your mind is a major component of you soul. Your soul is a mixture of your emotions, your mind and your will. Where your mind is concerned, a thought is a means to activate your intellect. The intellect is the seat of reasoning. As your body has a built-in system to eliminate wastes, the intellectual activity of your mind controls your thoughts. Thought life is extremely important because your personality and character is reflected in the way you think.
The more steadfastly you fix your mind on a particular thought, the thought then becomes “an imagination.” The stronger the “imagination,” the closer you come to taking the action that the particular thought suggested. You can determined how close you are to making a mistake by monitoring your thoughts. In most cases, the innermost voice of the spirit will break through to your mind and tell you not to take the particular action you were about to take. However, if you are out of touch with your spirit, you will generally yield to the thoughts of your mind. If your reasoning is defective, your thoughts can manipulate you in a negative manner. For example, consider the person who thinks: “I can shoot heroin just once and I won’t get hooked or I can take just one drink and I will be okay.” Such a thought will bring about an action that will ultimately produce a major repercussion.
Rationalizations and justifications are the products of an unrenewed mind. In such cases, you make excuses for yourself by blaming others. In order to correct the thoughts of your mind, you must take the following actions:
1. open your intellect to examination by being honest with yourself;
2. stop a thought in mid-stream and analyze it;
3. change the words of your mouth;
4. say “no” to that thought, out loud if necessary.
People who negotiate life through their minds are very often confused or “doubleminded.” A doubleminded person is unstable in all of his or her ways. (James 1:8) Such a person will use the world’s standards of money, status, clothes and the like to prove to himself that he is valuable. A doubleminded person compares himself to others. He has a “grass is greener on the other side of the street” mentality, and therefore, is never satisfied. This lack of satisfaction causes such a one to place impossible demands on the people who love him or her. He also seeks to fill his inner unrest or dissatisfaction with immediate gratification by fulfilling the lust of his flesh. Furthermore, the doubleminded will minimize or exaggerate the facts when discussing his life of pleasure-seeking.
People who are doubleminded also tend to be procrastinators. They “reason” that something that ought to be done now, can be done later. For example, such a person will stay in an unsatisfying relationship because he is so consumed by his thoughts that he is out of touch with how he really FEELS. His thoughts tell him that he should not forsake the present relationship until he has found a romantic replacement. “A bird in the hand is better than one that is in the bush.”
Out of touch with his emotions, the “doubleminded” will reason in his mind that he is “in love.” His feelings become so disguised, that he loses the ability to be genuinely affectionate. He reasons that to be emotional is to be too “soft”. In an effort to emotionally survive, he may hide his real self from others. Such behavior creates an emotional blindness, where the doubleminded person is out of touch with his own true feelings. For example, the “macho” image is rooted in masculine hardness as a way to avoid painful feelings. You may need to rediscover your emotions by quieting your thoughts long enough to feel what you need to feel.
A person who acts from the emotions cares neither for principle nor for reason, but only for his feeling. Under the power of the emotions, the mind becomes undependable. With a powerless mind, you cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Consider the person who tries to collect his emotional debts from the opposite sex because someone of that sex hurt him in a previous relationship. In this regard, some men hate all women because their mothers hurt them. Similarly, some women hate or distrust all men because some man in their past hurt or betrayed them, ie, a father, brother, friend, etc
Rooted in emotional dysfunctions, repetitive scenarios become habitual re-plays, where similar patterns evolve in every relationship. Unable to break this emotional cycle, the emotionally disabled person cannot trust other people and therefore does not make lasting commitments in a relationship. It is difficult for such a person to accept love from others. Whether real or imagined, feelings of victimization or rejection will lead to a need to victimize or reject others. To obtain victory over such feelings, it is important that you develop other parts of your soul, particularly the mind. To instill rational thinking, you as the caretaker of your own spiritual empowerment and recovery should realize that very often those that you are hating are not even thinking about you. They are simply moving on to a new conquest, and literally having themselves a “grand ole time.”
Anyone who makes decisions either by the influence of the mind or the emotions is usually weak in his or her will. Your will is the organ that examines, distinguishes, judges and makes decisions based upon the information received from your mind and your emotions. Choices can be enduring and long-lived. Unfortunately, you can make the decision but you cannot choose the repercussion.
The way to victory is to establish a value system or a set of principles that will be followed regardless of the emotional situation. Since feelings generated by our emotions are so changeable, we should never take any action during highly emotional times. Moreover, you should not allow any external force to create any feeling in you that is against your will. If you follow the leading of strong, negative feelings, your whole being will learn to thrive on these sensations, your willpower will be paralyzed, and your mind will become undependable.
In order to renew your mind, there are some key points that should be underscored:
1. You are what you THINK you are. Your thoughts have power to draw both positive and negative energy. If you have practiced negative “self talk”, in the same manner, you should consciously practice positive “self talk.” Positive thought will bring forth positive talk. Positive talk will bring forth the fruits of victory and success.
2. A part of renewing the soul is to learn how to deal with what is uncomfortable. Struggles and failures supply the necessary preparation. You must learn to picture in your mind a positive outcome in “all things.”
3. Once you discover what you need to learn about your own inner struggles, there are other people who will need your testimony and your influence so that they too can be victorious. A major purpose of struggling is that you can become consolers of those who are struggling in those areas where you have become triumphant. By planting new seeds of power into your minds, old patterns and habits will be destroyed. In a metaphorical context, the seeds are the “words of power.”