Blessed are those who Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness
Keeping our hunger and thirst for righteousness means maintaining momentum. Why do we need to Maintain Momentum? Growth is never smooth. If we don’t keep our guard up, we can easily fall back into our old self-defeating patterns. Remember what the cartoon character “Pogo” said when he saw himself in the mirror, “We have seen the enemy, and it is US!” Failing to keep up momentum is setting ourselves up for RELAPSE.
- COMPLACENCY- our pain level has been reduced [not eliminated], and we
think we can live with it.
- CONFUSION – start lying to ourselves with rationalization, justification,
minimization and defending. “Maybe my problem really wasn’t that bad.”
- COMPROMISE – start going back to the places of temptation. Returning to the
risky situation that got us into trouble. When we put ourselves in risky situations, we make poor choices.
- CATASTROPHE – When we actually give in to the old hurt, habit or hang-up.
Hate, resentments and old patterns of behavior. Acting out again
THE 4 CAUSES OF RELAPSE:
WE REVERT TO OUT OWN WILLPOWER -Taking control of the helm of our ship.
WE IGNORE ONE OF THE CHOICES – maybe we think we can’t forgive, or that making the amends would be too hard. Maybe we haven’t really surrendered to the reality of Powerlessness. There is no quick fix, work the steps and don’t ignore the Choices.
WE TRY TO RECOVER WITHOUT SUPPORT – I can do it on my own with just me and God! Not so, we are made for relationships and community. We all need help. Sometimes we cannot see our image in the mirror. It takes someone else to help us see who and what we are.
WE BECOME PRIDEFUL – “Pride goes before destruction.” Proverbs 16.18. False pride is the first of the 7 deadly sins for good reason! False pride lets us blame others and prevents us from seeing the truth. We need to learn to live in humility, “Stay humble or stumble.”” Be true to yourself. Know yourself.
PREVENTING RELAPSE: reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading and prayer in order to know God’s Will and for power to follow His Will.
HABIT 1: EVALUATION – What, Why & When to Evaluate:
What You Should Evaluate – (1) Physical what is your body telling you? Are your muscles tense? You’re under stress! (2) Emotional – What am I feeling? Am I mad, glad, sad or fearful? Do the following Heart Check:
H – am I hurting?
E – am I exhausted?
A – am I angry?
R – do I resent anybody?
T – am I tense?
(3) Relational – am I at peace with everyone? Do I need to Forgive, or do I Resent anyone? (4) Spiritual – am I relying on God? He is our Lifeline, am I spending time with God.
Why You Should Evaluate – to be honest in our shortcomings and to celebrate the positive we have done! Progress not perfection. We will sin [miss the mark] everyday. But, we become aware of our short comings and chose to do the right thing [celebrate]!
When you Should Evaluate –
(1) Spot Check anytime of the day;
(2) Daily review, some journal, but review (a) Things I did well today? (b) Things I messed up today? ( c) How did I respond to these things?
(3) Annual Checkup – take some time off, a retreat, a weekend where you will not be disturbed. Look at what is in order and what’s not. Do some deep cleaning. Some of the things to check are your relationships, priorities, attitude, integrity, mind, body, soul, family and your church [what are you ministries?]. How have I been of service to others? Review the corporal acts of mercy found in Matthew 25:31-46.
HABIT 2: MEDITATION – take a positive thought [Bible Verse] and think about it over and over. [Reverse worry]. Thinking about one of or just parts of the 8 CHOICES until you have them anchored in your Heart!
HABIT 3: PRAYER – Plugging into God’s Power! Remember, God is just a prayer away. Prayer is how we build our relationship with God. Prayer about anything! God wants a relationship with you! Jesus tells us How to Pray in Matthew 6:9-13 when he gives us the Lord’s Prayer. ? Daily Prayer and Meditation improve our conscious contact with God. In prayer and meditation, we need to listen in silence at times for God whispers to us in many ways.? Daily Prayer and Meditation to improve our conscious contact with God.