The Trap: Stages 3 and 4
"God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world." 1 Corinthians 7:23 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Life-controlling problems usually progress in four stages: (1) experimentation, (2) social use or practice, (3) daily preoccupation, and (4) practicing just to feel normal.
Daily preoccupation: Without warning, our behavior or substance abuse becomes a problem. We violate our value system and begin to feel the pain of addiction. Life deteriorates. We start to lose control and break our rules. The behavior or substance becomes the center of our lives. We begin to suffer negative consequences from our involvement, but instead of slowing down, we involve ourselves more deeply.
Using or practicing just to feel normal: In the fourth stage, the only times we feel normal are when we are using the substance or engaging in the behavior. We are out of control and the pain is constant.
Consider this …
God paid a great price for your freedom from sin: Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross for you. Only by receiving him as your savior and making him Lord of your life can you experience that freedom.
You have a choice. You can continue being a slave to a pattern that is destroying your life—or you can choose to serve Jesus. He loves you unconditionally. When you come to him sincerely, he will forgive and he will help you find freedom from your life-controlling problem. He may help you through a loved one or friend. He may help you through your pastor or a counselor. He knows just what you need and is ready to provide.
Are you ready to receive?
God, my life is out of control. I do believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me, and help me turn from my sin and trust in Jesus. I cannot do this alone. I need you. 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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