HABITS AND ADDICTIONS (Peace Robber#4)

We all have habits. Habits can be good or bad. In simple terms, a habit is a usual way of behaving. Brushing your teeth before bed or taking a morning stroll can be considered as good habits. Lying to others to make yourself feel more important or being impatient with others because they lack your capabilities are considered as bad habits. Addictions are strong and harmful needs or an increased interest to have or do something. Drugs, gambling and alcohol comes quickly to mind. And, people judge people on their dependencies. Today there are more tolerable addictions. Addictions to food, soft drinks, sugar and overspending are more accepted, however they are just as harmful.

Bad habits and addiction robs peace from your heart. Mainly because the mind is not focused on God, but on wherever the dependency lies. How can you think about God, peace, and serenity when your mind is on your next fix?

There is no way the solutions to any addiction is going to be overcome by reading this post. However, I have 3 words to start the journey: ready, willing and able.

Ready: Address the addictions and make sure you are truly ready to overcome them. This should not be a verbal response, but a mental mindset that you are sincerely prepared to kick the addiction. Again, this cannot be done on your own strength. You cannot do it alone. Lean on God. Ask Him how and where to start, then go for it.

Willing:  If you are prepared to give up this enslavement, are you willing to listen to God and the people He sends you to help? Are you willing to disassociate yourself with certain people or places? Are you inclined to go through the tough times for a while, maybe longer than you expect? Are you amenable to being patient?  Adaptable in changing your present way of thinking and to renew your mind with God? Are you inclined to perform the tasks it takes to overcome your obsession?

Able:  In the event you have a setback and begin to indulge again. Are you able to go to God and ask for forgiveness and guidance? Are you capable of forgiving yourself and move forward without beating up yourself for falling short? Are you able to encourage yourself to begin the process again?

In the process of recovery, it may appear the results are not occurring as quickly as you desire, are you able to stop and think about where you are and learn to appreciate every small goal accomplished?

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. Psalm 138:8King (KJV).

People will not believe it, but you can have peace while you are breaking your addictions. Peace is a promise. A promise is a reason to expect that anything can happen. And, God promises us peace and strength.

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:11 (KJV).

IMPRESSING MAN (Peace Robber#5)

Men try to impress women. Women try to impress men. Neighbors try to impress other neighbors. Employees try to impress management. The list goes on. First impressions carry weight. And, leaving a lasting impression is excellent.

However, when impressions become crushing, consuming and costly that is dangerous. And of course, this steals your peace.

  1. Crushing occurs when impressions overwhelm or pressure your life. You must always have the best of the best, to show off to others and to have the ability to brag. And when you don’t have the best of the best you feel defeated or unimportant.
  2. Consuming  starts when impressions uses valuable resources for life. When time and energy is spent away from more important things in your life. Your loved ones, friends and your mental or physical health is neglected to make an impression.
  3. Costly impressions cause loss or suffering in your life. Overspending, overextending credit cards, taking out exorbitant loans all to make an impression. The price is high and the debts must be paid. Is it worth it?

Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. Psalm 52:7 (KJV).

If you find yourself in one of the categories listed above, or if you are in all three, of course, start with God. Now, ask yourself the 6 basic questions: who, why, when, where, what, and how.

  1. Who am I trying to impress?
  2. Why am I trying to impress this person or persons?
  3. What is it costing me to impress?
  4. Where are the limits?
  5. How did I get here?

There is something lacking in your life when you go beyond the limits to impress others. When people welcome God in their hearts and allow the Word to renew their minds, the void in their spirit is filled and there will not be an overwhelming desire to impress others.

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. Psalm 146:3King James Version (KJV)

The first bit of advice, don’t try to impress people. Learn to praise God. Thank Him for all good things in your life. Thank Him for giving you His strength. Let Him know your efforts will be impressing Him, and not man.

 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. Psalm 62:1-2(KJV)

WRONG CHOICES (Peace Robber#6)

A mistake is something that may have been misunderstood or performed accidently. Choices are conscience acts between two possibilities. There is a thin line between the two definitions. At this point, I am not going to split hairs. Everyone has made good choices that rendered good results and bad choices that concluded in ill consequences. Whether all the information was available or a deliberate act against wise counsel. The results are the same.

I would be remiss in not adding if we rely on God for direction in all aspects of our lives, listen to His wise counsel, and walk in His way, good choices will outweigh the bad ones. Making a bad choice is not necessarily a peace robber. The prolonged dwelling on the wrong choice is the peace robber. We focus too much on past mistakes and failures. Pray for the past mistakes and move on. There must some type of pondering on the wrong choice to ensure it will not be repeated, just don’t set up residence there. Too often, the ability to move on is stagnated, due to living in the past. But, regardless, if a wrong choice is made and the ill effects come raining down, learn to stop, look and listen.

Stop and take responsibility for the wrong choice. This is the time people will begin to play the blame game, pointing the finger at everyone else. Start praying. Ask for forgiveness. Begin to praise God for helping you to see this incorrect decision. Praise Him for the answer or the deliverance even though you don’t know what it is or how it will happen.

Look and remember the times God delivered you from other wrong choices. Dwell on how He saved you. This is the step when people can only see how bad things are, viewing only the hopelessness, looking at everyone’s perfect life and seeing how they are always mistreated. Stop looking around and start looking up.

Listen for God’s voice. Take heed for His direction. This is the stage when you tell everyone your story. Gathering everyone’s opinion on the matter.  Learn to tune in to God’s Word and tune out the world’s solutions.

 But the good man—what a different story! For the good man—the blameless, the upright, the man of peace—he has a wonderful future ahead of him. For him there is a happy ending. Psalm 37:37Living Bible (TLB)

Okay, you lost your car, house, job or spouse, from wrong choices. How long do you think you should continue to beat yourself up? A month? 6 months? A year? 5 years? 10 years? The amount of time depends on the person, and there is not allotted time for recovery. However, the past is behind you and the future is ahead. Which way do you want to live your life?

Forgiveness will always be a part in recovery. Forgive yourself. Forgive others that may have played a part in the matter. And by all means do not blame God for the mess.  God is not the creator of evil, the devil is.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)

NEGATIVE THINKING (Peace Robber#7)

No one wants to admit, acknowledge or affirm that their way of thinking is negative. Who will testify to that? The thing about having an adverse mindset, it can be knowingly or unaware. The pessimistic pondering can stem from ignorance, or people (family, friends, co-workers).  Negative thinking is a peace robber. How can peace dwell in your heart when negative thoughts swell in in your mind?

Ask yourself:

  1. If surrounded in a positive environment, can you easily pull out the bad and focus on it?
  2. Do you always think doom and gloom? How things can go wrong?
  3. Do you forgo attempting to do new things because you think of failure?
  4. Is it difficult for you to compliment people? But, you can instantly highlight their flaws?
  5. If a person is going to perform a task you would love to do, but your negativity stopped you. Do you look down on them, gossip about them or attempt to fill their minds with negative outcomes?
  6. When you see people’s success or happiness, is it difficult for you to congratulate them?
  7. Does a negative remark escape out of your mouth before a positive one?

Don’t ask others if you are negative, if they are pessimistic ponders, they will perceive your thinking is okay. Go to God, He will show the error of your ways and will guide you to turn the negative into positive. A start to positive thinking is to take the things listed above and turn them around.

  1. If you are in a positive environment focus on the positive. Blot out the bad.
  2. Instead of doom and gloom. Think praise and raise. Praise God for all things and watch Him raise you to have a strong imagination and dream big.
  3. Try new things as often as possible. Ask God for directions. You can never grow if you fear change.
  4. If people do something you would love to do, ask them how you can do it. Encourage them in new ventures. Take notes and try them for yourself.
  5. Compliment and congratulate people on their accomplishments.
  6. Every time you want to say something negative, think before speaking. If you cannot say something good, keep your mouth shut.

 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:21 (KJV).

SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT (Peace Robber#8)

Having a distorted sense of entitlement will pilfer peace. Entitlement is the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something. It is an inappropriate expectation of favorable living or comfortable conditions. This type of thinking will leave you with the illusion that others will embrace this feeling.

The rich and famous employ a sense of entitlement due to their wealth, notoriety, name or position. And their admirers, supporters or followers will enhance their sense of entitlement.

Today, the attitude of entitlement plagues society. The youth (millennials) is addicted to comfort. Many of them don’t want to work and have no issues living at home, mooching off parents, indefinitely. Employees often complain, thinking the company owes them more than a paycheck because they work there. While others believe the government are indebted to them, to supply a favorable lifestyle, without effort. Spouses have issues with entitlement, one or both may think it is the other partner’s job to support their entitlement.  Many parents expect the teachers to offer entitlement to their children.

Reality check, no one owes you anything. In the world, you will not be given anything, if you do receive something it comes at a cost. You may not see it now, but the cost will come a calling eventually. If your parents supplied you with everything you wanted whenever you wanted it, later, you will learn other people will not always accommodate you in your entitlement mentality. Many employers will not put up with an entitled worker. You may find yourself looking for another job. Divorces are on the rise, because the attitude of entitlement. Many children are suspended and expelled because some school systems will not put up with their behavior.

When you think the world, the government or someone else should just give you something because you think you should have it, you will never have peace. Entitlement leads to imprisonment.

In God’s kingdom, you are given many gifts, because He loves you, unconditionally. You are entitled in God’s eyes because you are one of His children. Stay in faith with God and the Word. You owe it to yourself to go to God and receive His gifts and fight to keep them.

 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (KJV)