The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Self-Abuse & Self-Loathing

Understanding Repentance

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TWO WAYS TO JUDGE

God judges you by your soul’s response to Him.  Once God establishes a relationship with you, you constantly make choices about how you will treat Him in that relationship, and those choices are what determine whether God is pleased or displeased with you.

Humans judge you by how you behave—especially by how you behave towards other humans.  Humans have strong opinions about how you ought to treat them, and if you don’t meet their expectations, then they dislike you.  Read more of this post

Temporary Deliverance: How to Interpret the Return of Old Struggles

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For thirty years, John has been owned by his addiction to alcohol.  He just can’t stop getting plastered, and his addiction has ruined his life.  One day John is sobbing alone on the floor of his ratty apartment and feeling totally overwhelmed by his own worthlessness.  He cries out to Jesus in desperation and asks Him to have His way with what’s left of John’s shattered existence.  Much to John’s shock, a miraculous feeling sweeps through his body and suddenly the constant craving for alcohol is gone.  Not only that, but the horrible depression that’s always hanging over him also vanishes.  John feels like a crushing boulder has been lifted off of him.  He’s a new man, and for two whole years life is glorious.  But then John’s circumstances take a turn for the worst and he finds himself greatly stressed.  Much to his horror, that old craving starts rearing its ugly head again and soon John finds himself in a bar getting drunk.  What happened?  Has Jesus rejected him? Read more of this post

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

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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

The Mindset of Trauma Rehearsal: Trying to Acclimate to the Unbearable

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Trauma is initially created by a lack of debriefing.  It wasn’t just that you experienced something overwhelmingly negative—it was that you were prevented from being able to emotionally depressurize immediately afterward.  It is the absence of debriefing or processing which turns upsetting experiences into crippling traumas.  Heather and Kim are  good examples of this.  Both women had terrifying drowning experiences when they were girls.  But in Heather’s case, she was able to run to a caring mother, cry it all out, and receive both sympathy and help in gaining a new perspective of her experience.  While she was being held underwater, unable to breathe, Heather was terrified.  Her mind was leaping to all kinds of overwhelming conclusions, such as the brother who she trusted was maliciously holding her under.  As Heather’s mother talks her through these feelings and helps her understand that her brother was not trying to harm her, overwhelming fears are put to rest, and Heather is able to quickly recover.  Read more of this post

Relating to God: Recognizing the Trap of Symbolic Pain

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Humans are big on symbolism.  This means that much of what you do and say in life is an attempt to communicate messages that are quite unrelated to the things you’re actually doing and saying.  For example, when Holly hears her boyfriend Todd say he loves blondes, Holly goes out and bleaches her brown hair blonde.  She does this not because she wants to change her hair, but because she wants to keep a secure hold on Todd’s affection.  When she then asks him “Do you like my hair?” what’s she’s really asking is, “Have I gained more of your approval by adjusting myself to be a better match to your preferences?”  For Holly, dyeing her hair was a symbolic act that was meant to communicate to Todd how much his approval means to her and how much she wants him in her life.  Read more of this post

Accepting the Mercy of God

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The term Divine judgment is strongly associated with punishment in our minds. When we picture God acting as a Judge, we tend to think of Him glaring down at us with some disapproving scowl. We expect Him to swiftly find fault with us and then break out some frightening forms of discipline. It is the belief that God is an intimidating, hard to please Judge that causes many guilt ridden souls to shut down their prayer lives and avoid talking about the sins they have committed. Often we fall into the trap of thinking that if we try to bring up certain subjects with God, He’ll unload on us in some terrifying manner and confirm His disgust with us in a way that will crush our hearts. But is this really the case? Read more of this post

The Worm Mentality: Taking Pride in Being Scum

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Some of us have decided that no one in the world likes us. Such a conclusion is absurdly extreme, of course, because you’ll never see the day that seven billion human beings all agree about anything. But it is surprisingly easy to develop what we call the worm mentality—a mentality in which we insist that we are the scum of the earth and that no one else can like us. Maybe we started off getting bullied by a few people, or we were rejected by our guardians as kids. Whatever the initial cause was for us to decide that we are subhuman lifeforms, we get so comfortable with this idea that it becomes a critical part of our identity and we actually begin to fight against any evidence that we’re not as bad as we say we are. When someone smiles at us, we ignore it. When someone glares at us, we memorialize the moment and hold it up as evidence that we are hated by the entire human race. We begin aggressively looking for proof that others hate us, and of course such proof is easy to find because we invent it all in our minds. If someone doesn’t answer us when we speak to them, we immediately decide it’s because they inwardly loathe us instead of leaving room for the possibility that they simply didn’t hear us. If someone seems rude to us, we decide it’s because they are trying to hurt our feelings instead of considering the possibility that they’re probably just having a bad day. Read more of this post

Leaving the Worm Mentality: Responding to the Love of God

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There are many souls who are erroneously taught that God views them like a despicable worm who He would sooner spit on than embrace. This is an outrageous lie, of course, but when we accept lies as truth they gain great power over us. Once we believe that we are super horrific sinners who God is extra repulsed by, we find ourselves in one of two positions: we either take pride in our ultra-evil state, or we deeply mourn the loss of God’s affection and wish that there was some way we could get right in His eyes. The second option is by far the better one, and we get there by recognizing that the Holy Spirit is still calling us to come to Him. Read more of this post

Why Hurting Your Body is Bad for Your Soul (The Trap of Self-Mortification)

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You are not your body. You are the soul inside your body. Your body is merely your soul’s earthsuit—an intelligent machine which allows your soul to operate in this physical dimension. When you die, God will raise your soul out of your body and transport you to an entirely different non-physical dimension called Heaven. It’s very important to realize your body is a temporary thing, and that it does not define who you are. Read more of this post

Learning from the Face of God

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If I were to say, “Imagine God looking at you,” what kind of expression would He have on His face? The color of His hair or skin, the shape of His nose and eyes—these things are irrelevant details. His expression is the important part because how you imagine God looking at you is a reflection of your core beliefs about Him. Read more of this post