The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Anger & Hate

Understanding Your Perverse Fantasies: A Sign of Stress, Not Defectiveness

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There’s a widespread belief among Christians that if a man’s spiritual priorities were in the right order, he wouldn’t have certain kinds of thoughts, he wouldn’t be hooked on porn, and he wouldn’t have certain nasty desires welling up within him 24/7.  And yet the truth is that a man can have excellent priorities and be embracing all the right soul attitudes while he is being plagued with some very dark mental fantasies.  The psychological principles we’re going to discuss in this post can be very helpful to anyone who is feeling tormented with perverse fantasies of any kind.  When you’re obsessing over certain kinds of themes, you can easily end up shunned by both the mainstream Christian community as well as the world at large.  Happily neither of these human groups are accurately conveying God’s assessment of you.  And once you understand a few basic principles about where perverse fantasies come from, you can stop treating yourself like a worm and become more receptive to the compassion and help God is offering you. Read more of this post

Help for Physical Abusers: Why You Keep Beating the People You Love

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Joe is walking alone down a dark alley at night.  Suddenly a masked man with a bat leaps out of the shadows and demands that Joe hand over his wallet.  Terrified, Joe rushes to obey.  He tosses his wallet at his attacker’s feet and fearfully backs away, pleading for mercy.  Score one for the mugger.

A short while later, another man named Todd heads down the same alley.  Once again, our mugger leaps out of the shadows wielding his weapon and demands that Todd hand over his wallet.  Todd lunges forward, tears the bat away, and beats our mugger into a bloody pulp.  Thus ends the career of our mugger. Read more of this post

Repentant Sinners: Is it wrong to stop feeling bad about the past?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Let’s say you do something bad—really bad. You knew better, and you had plenty of resources to resist the temptation, but it was one of those moments where you just said, “Shut up, God, I’m doing this.” So you did it. And it was bad. And now some other people are really messed up because of what you did. But then you reached the point of sincere repentance. You stopped with the rebellion and you are now back in alignment with God, sincerely wanting Him to have His way in your life. There are now consequences for what you did in your life and in the lives of others. And in the midst of those consequences, you feel really terrible. You just feel perpetually awful about what you did. Well, isn’t this how you’re supposed to feel? After all, you sinned intentionally. So if you did something super bad, isn’t there supposed to be some limit to how joyful you can ever be after that? If you just go skipping forth in joyous freedom, isn’t that another form of sin? This is what many Christians believe: they think that once someone does something bad enough, it’s wrong for that person to ever make a full recovery, let alone soar to epic heights of soul peace and freedom. Well, what does God say? Read more of this post

Praying Down Your Enemies

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Arise, Yahweh! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. (Ps. 3:7)

Rise up, Yahweh, confront them, bring them down; with Your sword rescue me from the wicked. By Your hand save me from such people, Yahweh, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what You have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. (Ps. 17:13-14)

Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them. (Ps. 55:15)

Today Christians like to talk about the beauty of the book of Psalms. But in real life, there is an ugly theme of hatred woven throughout this book which results in a very polluted product. Certainly the parts where God is being praised are very positive. But this business about ordering God to wipe out one’s personal enemies on earth is just carnality run amuck. Read more of this post

Trash Talking Humans: Unacceptable Behavior for Christians

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

At what point does God find it acceptable for you to refer to one of His human creations as a piece of trash, refuse or filth? At what point does He find it justifiable for you to declare that some living, breathing person should not have been born? The answer to both of these questions is NEVER.

Now we expect those who hate God to vocalize their disgust with both Him and the works of His hands. But as a Christian, what’s your excuse? If we should get into a discussion of molesters, pedophiles, murderers, rapists, gays, or people with certain shades of skin, are we going to hear you spewing out the same putrid comments that we hear from unbelievers? Are we going to hear you pompously setting yourself apart as oh so different than those people and declaring that anyone who does what they have done deserves to roast in an extra hot section of Hell? Read more of this post

Understanding the Trap of Hate

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Hate is an intense feeling of hostility, aversion, and dislike. Humans hate other humans who threaten them in some way. The son who is beaten by his father grows to hate the man who is able to physically dominate and hurt him. The underdog at school hates the bullies whose teasing inflicts intense emotional anguish. We don’t arrive instantly at hate—we grow into it as our own internal wounds and fears remain unresolved. Harboring hate is a way that we try to compensate for a perceived sense of powerlessness. When we feel trapped in a situation in which we are outnumbered or outmatched by relentless opponents, our lack of options causes panic. Prolonged panic develops into paranoia and soon we are seeing threats where they don’t exist. The black man who is used to being treated like dirt because of the color of his skin starts seeing hostile looks on every white face that passes by. The woman who grew up trapped in a home with domineering men reads condescending attitudes into the innocent mannerisms of every man she meets.

Hate warps us. It blinds us to the good in others and causes us to see only the bad. Most ironic of all, focusing on the object of our hate turns us into that very thing. The black man who is bitter over being treated as inferior by white men, ends up practicing the same mindset that has caused him so much pain. As he complains about being judged by the color of his skin, he judges others by that same irrelevant detail, and ends up being just as much of a bigot as those he feels so justified in hating. The woman who hates being looked down on for her gender ends up dishing this same attitude out. All men become pompous jerks in her eyes, and she goes around spewing the same condescending attitude that she is constantly condemning. Read more of this post