Getting Rid Of Guilt

Guilt is “the fact of having committed an offense or crime.” By that definition, no one is not guilty.  Guilt is the result of wrong doing.  Everybody has done something wrong either legally or morally. (For example, I believe that every driver is guilty of speeding. During my lifetime, I have driven over the speed limit. You have too. And that makes us both guilty of speeding.)

So since everybody is guilty of something, how can we get rid of our guilt. There are 2 human responses to guilt: shame and remorse.

1) Shame is feeling embarrassed about what other people may think about your wrongdoing.  It tries to protect your image by covering up guilt in 4 ways: 1) by denying any wrongdoing; or 2) by playing the blame game and thereby attempting to excuse wrongdoing; or 3) by comparing with others and thinking that your wrongdoing is okay because it’s not as bad as someone else’s; or 4) by justifying by claiming that your wrongdoing is not really wrong because of various pseudo-reasons.

In the classic example of guilt, Adam and Eve responded to their wrongdoing with shame. They attempted to cover up their wrongdoing by hiding from each other and hiding from God. Then they moved into the blame game: “Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on.”

Shame is not a very effective way to deal with guilt. It is like drinking poison and then either denying you did it or blaming you actions on your state or mind. Neither response will counter the effect of the poison. Fortunately, there is a 2nd and much more effective way to deal with your guilt.

2) Remorse is feeling genuinely sorry that you did wrong.  It openly admits to the wrongdoing accepting responsibility and refusing to blame. Remorse humbly apologizes to the offended party or parties and asking for forgiveness. Remorse resolves to not commit the offense again and then makes every effort to follow through. Remorse even makes amends as far as possible.

Remorse is a very effective way to deal with guilt. It is like drinking poison and then promptly telling someone that you did it and what exactly you drank, and then asking them to rush you to a hospital. This response most likely will counter much of the effect of the poison and probably save your life.

So save yourself! When dealing with your guilt, choose remorse instead of shame!

“If we walk in the light, as He (God) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” –John the Beloved

remorse

Posted in 1 John 1:9, apologize, apology, confessional, ethics, how to, John the Beloved, make amends, morality, overcome guilt, party guilt, right and wrong, values | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deflategate Got Ya Down? The truth Will Fill You Up!

A Tom Brady, New England Patriots, & Deflategate inspired blog post:

deflated football

(Deflategate is an ongoing controversy involving the NFL’s New England Patriots. It alleges that they used underinflated footballs in their AFC Championship victory against the Indianapolis Colts on January 18, 2015 and that quarterback Tom Brady knew about it and was somehow involved in the scheme. NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has suspended Brady 4 games for the incident, however, Brady is appealing his suspension.)

–Deflategate demonstrates that it is easy to live life as make-believe — as a myth, a fantasy, a coverup.

Dishonesty distorts reality & makes you a myth-maker. Cheating may achieve a fraudulent title, position, or prize, but it doesn’t change the reality behind it — that the prize was not legitmately earned or deserved. Denying the truth is mythical. To refuse to come clean is to frolic in fantasy.

Nowadays it is becoming common to call Christianity a myth. Yet that accusation ignores or overlooks the radical honesty in faith.

Myths make mirages that make men look like mighty heroes — super-human and almost faultless. However, the Bible openly displays the faults, failures, and humanness of men and women — even the most prominent heroes of the faith.  Peter is shown openly denying Christ. Paul is pictured persecuting, beating, and promoting the killing of believers. King David is revealed to be an adulterer and a murderer. Abraham lied. Jacob cheated. Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. The Bible is the most open and honest book that I have ever read. (Can you think of any other history book that openly proclaims and gives vivid details of the faults and wrongdoing of its nation’s leaders?)

Faith, however, transformed the people in the Bible. It didn’t create mythical mighty men, but rather broken, humble people who were totally dependent on the living God.

When Christ gets under the skin and begins to work within, people feel deeply sorry for the myths in their life, and begin to come clean.  They become myth busters. They confess their secret wrongdoing. They no longer accuse others. They work hard to untangle themselves from dishonesty and coverup. They openly accept the consequences of their wrongdoing. They even make amends to those they have wronged.

Far from being a myth, biblical Christianity turns fantasy-based people into radically open and honest men and women.  Jesus put it this way: “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

A line in the movie, A Few Good Men, declares: “You can’t handle the truth.” Can you? Will you? The living, resurrected Jesus Christ will give you supernatural strength to face the truth and move beyond the myths in your life (if you have the courage to let Him)!

Check out my post: Dishonesty’s 10 Dirty Downers

Posted in A Few Good Men, AFC, appeal, Bible, blog, Championship game, dishonesty, ethics, fantasy, honesty, Is God a myth, myth busters, myth-making, suspension, underinflated footballs, You can't handle the truth | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God-Gatherings

A God-gathering is a meeting where (2 or more) everyday people come together to each one listen to God and then speak what God tells him, resulting in a divinely orchestrated time in God’s presence. God-gatherings are open and unprogrammed. They let go of human control and allow God space to work. God-gatherings expect and rely on the direct intervention and leading of God as a present reality.

God gathering

A God-gathering is:
* A Spirit-prompted group;
* A Christ-conscious community;
* A God-led get-together;
* A meet-with-Jesus meeting;
* A sharing-in-the-Spirit assembly;
* An audience with the King;
* A Jesus encounter group;
* A Holy Spirit huddle;
* A rendezvous with God:
* A session with the Savior;
* A hands-on worship workshop;
* Hanging out with Jesus and some of His friends;
* A Divine engagement;
* A spiritual support group;
* A meetup with the Son!

–Check out our God-gatherings Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jesusmeetings

–Read about my first encounter with a God-gathering:  Meeting God’s gathering (ekklesia) instead of religion’s church.

–Experience a God-gathering with us every Sunday morning at 10:45 at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.

Posted in assembly of God, Christian meetings, encounter group, get together, hanging out, huddle, Matthew 18:20, Meeting for Worship, Nashville, Quaker meetings, rendezvous, Salvation Army, there am I in the midst, Where two are three are gathered, workship | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bridle of Christ / Being Led by the Spirit

bridle of Christ rider knight

I woke up this morning with this poem in my mind. I’ve never heard it before, so I got up and wrote it down.

Are you wearing the bridle of Christ
And letting Him steer you
Through day-to-day life,
Listening to His still small voice
Prompting your conscience,
Inspiring your intuition,
And guiding your heart?

A person without Christ is like a wild horse without a bridle. O, Lord, bridle my heart!

Later I googled “bridle of Christ” and found:

An early Christian hymn about Jesus Christ, written by Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD), was called Bridle of Steeds Untamed.  It goes:

Bridle of colts untamed,
Over our wills presiding;
Wing of unwandering birds,
Our flight securely guiding.
Rudder of youth unbending,
Firm against adverse shock;
Shepherd, with wisdom tending
Lambs of the royal flock:

I also found the book A Bridle for Sinners and a Spur for Saints, by Francis Worchester, published in 1760.

“You’re like a half-tamed creature, still shy of the bridle.” –Nenia Campbell

“The heart, it’s a mighty strong-willed muscle. Like a wild horse it spews that bit right out of its mouth.” –Susan Rohrer in the book, Bridle my Heart.

The book of James indicates that the bridle of Christ begins with the tongue: “If anyone among you thinks to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, his religion is vain.” We need to surrender our speech to Christ and let His bridle direct what we say.

“A nation that has no bridle on its sensuality, can never thrive or survive.” –Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Bible quotes, bride of Christ, bridle his tongue, Bridle my Heart, bridle of Christ, Clement of Alexandria, Colts, Francis Worchester, hymn, inspiration, James 1:26, Nenia Campbell, sensuality, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, still small voice, Susan Rohrer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cool With The Culture? — Do It If You’re Like Felix / Don’t If You’re Like Paul!

Would Paul of Tarsus be quiet and encourage people to believe that they are good? Here’s what he did in the Bible.

paul before felix

Paul wrote 1/3 of the New Testament — so what’d he talk about? Just the opposite of our 21st Century culture:
“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.'” –Acts 24:25
–Righteousness = right living–doing right from your heart. (Not, ignoring the moral standards shared by cultures through out history and doing whatever you feel like.)
–Self-control = resisting and overcoming your cravings, compulsions, whims, and desires. (Not, giving in to them or allowing them to define who you are.)
–The judgement to come = we will all answer to the living God for our thoughts, words, and deeds. (Not, judging’s bad. Not, God won’t judge anybody. Not, you’re a good person.)
–So Felix (the guy Paul was talking to) adopted an attitude like the 21st Century and sent Paul away so he could do whatever he wanted without the nuisance of having his self-destructive beliefs and behaviors challenged.

Posted in Acts 24, Apostle Paul, Bible, do it if it feels good, inconvenience, Paul before Felix, Paul of Tarsus, righteousness, self-control, self-destructive behaviors, sin | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is It Nuts To Keep Church In A Shell?

Nuts & church? What do they have in common?

A nut in a shell is not very interesting. But take nuts out of their shells and they get real interesting — cashews, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts — wow!
–Is it nuts to keep church in a shell?

nuts in church

Here’s a secret to an inspiring church service and it’s not nutty. It actually produces much spiritual fruit in people’s lives. Perhaps we could allow ordinary people to come out of their Sunday morning shells and to openly testify in the meeting about what God is doing in their lives.
–When people share what is inspiring them, inspiration spreads and other people are inspired to share as well, creating contagious excitement.
–Experience this for yourself every Sunday morning at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207 @ 10:45.

Posted in fruit of the Spirit, making church interesting, Nashville, not religious nuts, religious nuts, Salvation Army | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Communication in Contemporary Culture vs. Communication in Church

Communication in our culture changes — what will be next? So why shouldn’t communication in church services change to better connect with contemporary culture? What we don’t need is “a failure to communicate.”

communication

–The way our culture communicates continually changes — from snail mail, to rotary phones, to faxing, to cell phones, to email, to texting.
–However, the way we do church — one man lecturing a passive, silent crowd — has stayed the same for 100s of years.
–Perhaps Christ can better be communicated to our contemporary culture by a change in how we do church — by a shift from lecture to open, Spirit-led sharing and participation.

“Companies that openly engage employees on everything that’s going on at work, will be able to retain them more.” –Dan Schawbel
–Perhaps churches should also “openly engage” people and give them the freedom to speak out in church meetings as they are led by the Holy Spirit!

You can better face the outside, when you have Jesus living on the inside! Nothing or no one satisfies the longings of my heart like Jesus! I get my highs on Jesus — He lifts me up and never leaves me hung over! (A high followed by a hang-over is like a parachute that doesn’t open.) Without Jesus I’d be a mess!

Posted in business communications, change in church, church programs, communicating the Gospel, hang-overs, IT, smart phones, technology, telecommunications, texting, worship services | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment