Chapter 4: Come Out of Your Hidey-Hole (pt 6)

Part 6

So far, I’ve talked about forgiving other people and asking people to forgive us. Though challenging, it’s not the only area of forgiveness. I needed to ask God the Father to forgive my transgressions and sins.

Here is what the Bible says in John 3:16-17.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” 

When I accepted the free gift of salvation, my sins were forgiven and I became free to have a personal relationship with God the Father through Jesus.  Am I free to act like a jerk later? No, I am not. Here’s what John says in 1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

What about my feelings of shame and condemnation? Though I did forgive my tormentors, I still experienced strong feelings of shame. I can still recall the sense that it was acceptable and bore a feeling of helplessness. I could easily hear someone say, “You did something to deserve this treatment.”

I was the perfect candidate for the “Blame Game.”  Sadly, I actually did run into a group who practiced blaming the victim. It seems that they had a strange view of the heart of God the Father. Thankfully, God delivered me from such a group.

How did I break free from such a terrible yoke? Yes, I forgave my tormentors and that’s a good starting point. However, I needed an extra step. I had to forgive myself. In case you missed it, I was blaming myself for the troubles I experienced that terrible summer.  I was walking around with a strong sense of condemnation and an undeserved guilt.

I had to stop beating the crap out of myself. I believed a bunch of lies and I needed to stop. Jesus came to set the prisoners free and I was such a prisoner. He came to break off the shackles of shame and condemnation created by those who tormented me.

In time, I came to learn some simple truths that really helped me in the area of condemnation and shame. Popular culture says, “Stop beating the crap out of yourself. Forgive yourself and let go.” There are some merits to this line of thinking; however, you can only go so far in your own strength. Would you like to hear an alternative? In Romans 8:33-35, Paul says the following:

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God Who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus Who died—more than that, Who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

The above quote comes from the NIV (New International Version) and it is an appropriate translation. Did you notice the emphasis on “No one”? God the Father has declared His children, free and clear of any charges. Those charges include the ones that we bring against ourselves.  As Jesus is the One Who died and paid the price for us, the Son is certainly not the One condemning us. Did you catch the part about Jesus interceding for us?

Some time ago, a friend pointed me to 1 John 3:20-21. Here’s what John has to say:

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”

I have read the above passages many times. For years, I did not associate the above quote with the pain that I was going through. Thankfully, Jesus was already working on my heart and the Holy Spirit was helping me in the healing process.  In time, I came to discover that I am not alone. That’s an important step in coming out of one’s hidey-hole.

I can fully agree with Paul, when he says:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:37-39]

Did you notice that your past is not on the list? A product of self-condemnation is living in the past. Did you not know that Jesus came to set you free from the shackles of the past? Is it not time to cross over to the present and come out of your hidey-hole?

<- Chapter 4: Come Out of Your Hidey-Hole (pt 5)           TOC           Chapter 5: Altitude, Attitude -> above is from my first book, A Lesser Human: An Anthology of Overcoming. Are you enjoying what you’ve read? You can read the rest of it, by buying my book. It’s currently available on Amazon.

My book is available in both, print and for the Kindle platform.  You can buy your own copy of my book, by clicking on the link, below.

How To Deal With Negativity on YouTube

Welcome to my first official installment of Tech Talk.  My goal is to provide social commentary and insights for navigating the Internet.  As I write more articles for this category, Tech Talk may be changed into a more suitable name.

What comes to mind, when it comes to the Internet? Does it seem like you need to be a technology wizard?  This is not necessarily trueModern technology can appear to be intimidating; however, the fear is more imagined than real.

What comes to mind when you hear of YouTube? For many, it seems a cesspool of foul language and a variety of other junk.  Did you notice the clip art that I’m using? How can you be a solution to the problem of negativity on YouTube? Continue reading “How To Deal With Negativity on YouTube”

How Is Your Light Shining?

For the past few days, I have been considering an article centering on the theme, “Let your light shine.” I got the idea, when I read the stats for popular blog articles. I am surprised to discover people kept coming across “Is Your Light Shining?

After my initial surprise, I felt it time to write a new article on that theme; except, it will not talking about a certain YouTube personality.

I could do a rewrite; however, a fresh take seems best. Have you looked at the photo? The image begs the question. How do I carry out that? How do we illustrate Christ, to other people?

Here is my understanding of Matthew 5:14-16. It may or may not surprise you. How does the following sound to you? Continue reading “How Is Your Light Shining?”

Don’t Forget the OIIL: Language

As I consider this last part of my “Don’t Forget the OIIL” series, a mental recording clicks in my brain. The voice is that of certain YouTuber that I know.

“Watch your mouth, boy!” warns the young man, to his audience of teens and early twenty something. It is often connected with something that can go in an unwanted direction.  At the same time, it’s done with a touch of humor.

As I consider the recording, I toyed with the idea of changing the title to “Don’t Forget the OIIL: Watch Your Mouth!” James 3:11 and an old fountain came to mind. Should a fountain send forth, both sweet and bitter water?

How does this relate to creating content for a blog or YouTube? Continue reading “Don’t Forget the OIIL: Language”

How to Overcome the Fear of Being Different morning, I asked the following question in a Google+ Community. Are you afraid of being seen as different or weird?  I asked this question in a community for Christians. It’s too early for any kind of reaction.

For me, I really don’t think about it. Why? I didn’t have a choice; as I was born with disabilities.  As a child, there is no escaping the obvious facts. I was born, both nearsighted and hard of hearing.  Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s going to be noticed. 

As a Christian, this reality has not changed. I am still going to be perceived as different; it simply became more noticeable. At the age of 50, one does get used to the idea of being different.

Hey, I did not say that “I’ve arrived! NOT! For the average Christian, the fear of being different is not so easily overcome. I know about those fears; as I experienced similar fears, when growing up.

The more things change; the more they remain the same! Did you know that quote is straight from Ecclesiastes 1:9? Would you like to read about some truths that really helped me? Continue reading “How to Overcome the Fear of Being Different”