Experimentation and Social Use
"Come close to God, and God will come close to you." James 4:8 NLT
Thoughts for Today
People who become entrapped by life-controlling issues generally progress through four stages: experimentation, social use, daily preoccupation and finally using the substance or practicing the behavior just to feel normal. Not everyone progresses through all these stages, but there is no way to predict which people who begin the pattern will continue to stage four.
During the experimentation stage, we enjoy the feel-good time when we use the substance or practice the behavior, but we still return to normal feelings following isolated indulgences.
Then we may take a step deeper into The Trap--we enter the stage of social use or practice. Now we begin practicing the behavior regularly but set limits for ourselves about when, where or how we do it. The self-imposed rules make us feel safe and appropriate. We refuse to admit that this practice is beginning to have a stronger and stronger influence in our lives.
Consider this …
Do you see this pattern emerging somewhere in your life? Is there something that is gaining more and more control over your time, your thoughts and your actions? It is vital that you recognize and admit what is happening. Ask God for his forgiveness and his help. Now is not the time to run from him. It is the time to run to him.
Father, I do see this pattern in my life. Please forgive me. I want to come close to you and invite you to come close to me. Help me get my life back in order. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:
Part 1: Learning to Live Free
- Defining Life-Controlling Problems
- Mastered and Trapped by Issues
- Walls of Protection
- Family Influences
- Helping or Harming?
Part 2: Helping Others to Live Free through Small Groups
- The Small Group Strategy
- Effective Facilitation and Communication
- Launching a Living Free Ministry
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