It’s ugly back there… who deserves the blame? Part 4 (of 4)

3 Aug

To recap the last 4 posts bringing us to this conclusion:

In my past, I made some terrible choices and it has left me scarred and damaged.  Not only has the shame and guilt held me down with extreme force, the embarrassment has crippled me from feeling worthy to even try to move forward.  How do you prove to anyone you’re new in Christ?  How do you convince others to extend a hand of grace?  How do you handle knowing some people may never let you live it down, but not be spiraled back into a useless ball of mush when memories or confrontation present themselves?

These questions left me with one thought.  I have to find a place where I can lay down the wretched mistakes of my past and move on.

But how?

I’ve spent the last 3 posts showing how my eyes have been opened to the reality that my parents, friends and circumstances all played in helping mold my feelings, opinions, and my moral compass.

**What I’m about to share is really important. I’m asking you, if you’ve been reading along with this series, please don’t stop now.  Even if all this “God stuff” isn’t for you… read this post and don’t just glance over the scriptures even if you’ve heard them before.  Give this post a fair shake and truly read it before you write it off.

Lets take a look with me at what scripture has to say about these three factors I pointed out. 

1.) Parents

Proverbs 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Wait just a second before moving on too quickly here. Take a look at the word “train.”  Have you ever played sports? Done an exercise routine? Studied to be successful at something like a career?

Train is a word that should not be glossed over lightly or quickly.  It takes dedication, determination, and a lot of hard work!

Train (verb): to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction.

Wow! Seriously parents, slow down and read this again thinking this through. To develop or form the habits, thoughts or behavior… The Bible says we as parents are responsible to literally FORM the HABITS, THOUGHTS and BEHAVIOR or the child!!

How do we do that?  Look at the definition again. ~ Through DISCIPLINE and INSTRUCTION

What is the most effective form of instruction? Example. 

The Bible says the child will not stray from the training.  I’m already on it, I know the objection… there are a lot of Christian parents who have kids who aren’t walking with the Lord. 

OK, hear me out. I know this might get heated but I believe Scripture cannot lie.  I’d have to ask the parents how they truthfully rate their training.  It is not enough to be a Christian and take the child to Church, or even just pray for the child every day of their life.  There is power in prayer. But that alone  is not training. 

Deuteronomy 6:6-8 says “6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

Training is constant. In every area, every day, in all circumstances, in every reaction, with every choice.

Parenting God’s way is not for the lazy.  It’s a 24/7 form of active duty for life.  If you weren’t soldier material when you got pregnant or impregnated a female, you better buck up because you entered a war where training is your only weapon.

# 2 Friends

Paul makes a pretty compelling argument in just a couple of sentences here that say almost exactly what I said in part 2 from personal experience, so I’d say the guy knew what He was talking about.

I Corinthians 15:33-34 “33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God —I say this to your shame.”

How does Paul start this? Do not be misled. 

Misled (verb) : to lead into error of conduct, thought, or judgment.

So we can be misled by others in our conduct, thought and judgement.  And furthermore, trick us into not even being in our right mind.  Paul says, “Come back to your senses!!”

 Why?  Because  bad company corrupts good character. 

I don’t see a single exemption listed there, so don’t try to pull out of the bag of excuses “it won’t happen to me.”  Sure it will.  Even if it means just compromising your values and beliefs with silence because you’re too afraid to stand up for truth at the risk of offending someone.

#3 Circumstances

The circumstances we’ve been talking about are the ones that happen TO you, not BECAUSE of you.  There is a big difference.

I can’t think of a better example in scripture for a “really good person”  being pelted with a horrible set of bad circumstances than Job.

For times sake (though I would LOVE LOVE LOVE the chance to take you through the first few chapter of Job, because it is a very eye-opening AWESOME study) I’m just going to recap so this entry doesn’t end up longer than necessary.

Scripture says Job was an upright and blameless man and Satan asked permission to see if he could get him to curse God.  So God gave Satan permission to try.

In Satan’s first attempt he destroyed his wealth, animals, and killed his children all in a matter of minutes.  To this Job replies:

 21 and said:  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Then Satan tells God, Job didn’t curse You because nothing had happened to him directly; so God gave Satan permission to cover Job’s body in painful sores from head to toe.  This spurs a conversation between Job and his wife:

 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Again let me say, I can hardly do this justice with recaps, but do you see what is going on here?  Job didn’t deserve what was happening to him.  And furthermore, because Job was a child of God, Satan had to ask permission first!

God did not prevent this from happening.  Why?  I don’t fully know other than to say that God’s ways are higher than our and His purposes often extend far beyond us.

I’d like to tell you that I believe God allowed this to happen to Job for me (and maybe you.) Why do I feel that way?

Because God knew how Job would respond.  Job says “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.” and “You’re talking foolish, shall we accept only good from God, and not trouble?”

That revelation has changed my life.  God loved me enough to reach me through His written Word using a man who lived thousands of years before me.  His circumstances were worse than anything I’ve ever experienced and he was more blameless (heaven knows no one is calling me blameless!!) than I could ever be.  And He knew God so intimately that he didn’t even waiver for a second before He fell down to worship.  He knew God was always in control and had never left his side.  He didn’t love God because God made his life easy and perfect. 

He loved God because God is the creator of life and we are His creation.  It isn’t about us.  It’s about Him.  And the life lived for oneself will never be able to see past circumstances because the circumstances are what either bring or take joy.

I hope you’ve been able to gather that this “blame game” was never really “blame” on anyone or anything at all.  The point of talking about parenting, friends and circumstances is to explain the importance they play in understanding and getting to the root of why WE (You and I alone) ultimately make the choices that we do.  I wanted to show  how we end up feeling like those choices make sense and are validated, what deep issues and needs we’re trying to have met, the standards we find appropriate, the objects, idols or God we choose to serve, the habits we build, the judgments we make, the moral compass we live by, and the deception that can overtake us.

I’d like to show you now who I believe really gets the blame.

Ephesians 6:11-12 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Against the DEVIL’S SCHEMES

Friends, Satan knows us.  Oh how I wish he didn’t, but he does.  He is aware of our weaknesses, insecurities, and desires. He plots around like a roaring lion looking to devour us, and if that means using our parents, our friends and our circumstances to trick us, deceive us, confuse us, and get us to set our moral compass on anything unholy… you better believe he, or one of his demons, is going to do it.

Not because He cares about us at all.  But because He HATES God. The section of scripture we just read says “against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The battle is for our souls.  It is SO much more than the joys and sorrows of life.  This deception has to be manipulative, heavy, damaging, and destructive because the stakes are incredibly high.

We think we have 80 or so years and Satan sees that he has  the blink of an eye… which is why he starts on us at birth. 

Is it not a jaw dropping phenomenon that Satan cares nothing about us, yet we so easily believe him and serve him.  At the same time, the God of the universe, our creator, LOVES us and made a way for redemption, and we have a hard time believing Him and are often unwilling to serve Him with our whole being?

This is finally where practical application comes in!

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Recognize that my parents, friends and circumstances in my life can all be used as weapons for me or against me.

Wrap my mind around the reality that as much as it feels like the world and life on earth is the big picture, it is NOT the big picture.  The spiritual battle for our souls is the big picture.  And we’re in a battle against SATAN every day in every way!

Forfeit the blame, shame and guilt I’ve been carrying around that has tormented me, kept me from sharing my stories, held me back from facing people in my past, and left big scars on my heart and walk out of this day in FREEDOM!!!!

Ask God’s forgiveness and forgive myself.

Own the fact that I am a new creation in Christ and I have value and worth no matter what my past contains. It does not own me anymore.  The hardest step is the first one, but each step gets easier as our courage builds.

Has this series impacted you in any way that you’d like to share?  If so, comment below!!

((If you’ve liked this series and want to keep reading along with me on other topics… be sure to add your email address to the side bar so you will be notified with updated posts in the future.  I do not always use Facebook as a tool for notification of new posts, even though I did for this series.))

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4 Responses to “It’s ugly back there… who deserves the blame? Part 4 (of 4)”

  1. Kathryn August 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Great stuff, Kayla. Thanks for these posts!

    • kaylagulick August 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      You’re welcome. I’m so glad others have found themselves in these posts somewhere too!

  2. Stephanie August 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow! That’s it… just Wow!

    • kaylagulick August 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Thanks Steph! Your “bouncing it off of you” friendship has been such a blessing to me in this journey. I love you girl!

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