By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4: 4-12
Whether it happens in our own lives, or we watch others struggle, we know when difficult times come they can be overwhelming and draining. Whether it’s a relationship issue, a chronic illness, an expected accident, or a tragic event, we can feel helpless or worst yet, hopeless.
But as we learn from the Apostle Paul in this verse, if Jesus Christ is manifested in us we may be perplexed but we’re not crushed. We may be persecuted by we are not forsaken. We may be struck down but we are not destroyed.
For we are delicate jars of clay that are fragile and broken. But these broken jars of clay are also blessed with wonderful treasures known as the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. The Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given to us by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading
Many Christians struggle to feel God’s love because of their own shame. My new ebook, “Breaking Your Shame Label” tackles an issue that is not addressed enough in our churches – Christians who suffer with shame because they do not believe they measure up to receive God’s love. As a result, they feel disconnected from God and have a difficult time feeling His love for them. My Sites
As a Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA, I see two frightening similarities in many Christian clients.
- They carry a burden of shame that results from an inability to control sinful behavior. We tend to believe God’s seal of approval is based on our “performance.” This creates a mindset of never measuring up to what God expects from us. This leads to what I call a Shame Label.
- There is an endless struggle to feel God’s love and presence. “What does God’s love feel like” we ask. We dare not move toward Him in fear He will label us as disappointments and reject us. What we fail to recognize is we are projecting the negative feelings we have about ourselves on to God. We have adopted lies Satan drills into our heads to hinder our relationship with the Father. We are trapped in the Christian Shame Cycle, which leaves us feeling spiritually empty.
God doesn’t want to shame you. He wants to help remove your shame. This article was written by Tim Challies, who is a blogger, author, and book reviewer and first appeared Sept. 5, 2012.
So many Christians live their lives racked with guilt and shame. They think back to the things they did, the sins they committed, whether two days ago or two decades, and they live under a cloud of shame. This shame hurts, it burns, it incapacitates. It raises this question: What is the place of guilt, what is the place of shame, in the life of the Christian? I want to take a shot at answering that question today.
We need to begin by distinguishing between guilt and shame. Here is how I differentiate between them: Guilt is the objective reality that I have committed an offense or a crime; shame is the subjective experience of feeling humiliation or distress because of what I have done. God has made us in such a way that sin incurs guilt and guilt generates shame. But there is a catch and a caution: Guilt and shame come in helpful forms and in paralyzingly unhelpful forms. Guilt and shame can be a good gift of God or a curse of Satan. Continue reading
Living the Christian life is not easy.
As followers of Christ, we long to be obedient to God. We crave to be seen as righteous in his eyes and to “be holy as He is holy”. We desire to honor Christ for the sacrifice He made for us.
But it seems more often than not our quest to become obedient children fails time and time again. Along the way we run into various temptations that we just can’t seem to resist. We continue to struggle with nasty habits that have been ingrained into our way of life since we were young. We pursue our own selfish desires, while overlooking the needs of others who could benefit from our assistance. No, the Christian life is not easy. Continue reading
You need to read this brief column written by Chuck Swindoll where he points out that we hate waiting on God for his plan to develop for our lives. This is even more evident when we are engrossed in shame. We hate our circumstances and ourselves. We want it all to go away. It will. In God’s time.
The Highway to the Promised Land
by Chuck Swindoll Exodus 14:15-22
Had we been in charge of the Red Sea project, we would have handled it differently. Our group of engineers would have pushed back that water a week in advance. We would have installed great, massive fans to dry out the land. We would have erected huge neon signs. Somebody would have brought in concession stands to handle the hot dogs and drinks. You see, when people do it, the project takes on all the trademarks of market-driven hotshots. The supernatural is easily eclipsed by human ingenuity.
That’s not God’s plan. When He wants you cornered, outnumbered. And there are no signs. There is no slick ad campaign. There are no great human resources to trust in. There are just an uncrossable Red Sea and an encroaching army of impossibilities. So you wait. And time passes. He will fight His way at His time. Bite your nails all you want to—He’s in no hurry. Continue reading
What identifies you? Is it your job? Is it the college you went to? Is it your status in the community or church? Or perhaps it is something from your past. Maybe it’s an abusive experience that you replay in your mind again and again.
These tragic memories never seem to fade away but instead continue to haunt you until they become part of your internal fabric that you wear every day. Or perhaps it’s a series of lies you have come to believe that are part of your identity. Lies such as: “I’m not that smart.” “I’m not attractive.” “I am unlovable.” “I am worthless.” “People never like me.” Continue reading
One of my clients was going through a particularly difficult time with finances. Her hours at work had been reduced and she needed to dip into her savings each month to pay her bills. This went on for several months and she complained the stress of worrying about money was having a negative impact on her sleep, health and personal relationships. Normally, a gentle and easy-going individual, her emotional distress was causing her to be irritable and short-tempered. She could find nothing to be happy with and found fault in all things and every one. She was painting her life with a broad black brush.
When I asked what percentage of the time she thought about her financial situation she answered “It seems like I think about it 100% of the time. I can’t let it go and it feels like a weight that is causing me to drown.”
What this young woman was doing is not different from what many of us do when we find ourselves faced with emotional pain. We tend to dwell on the negative circumstances and carry the pain with us throughout our day. We allow emotional pain to control us. We allow it to creep into all aspects of our lives by making us feel miserable 24/7. In turn it has a negative impact on everything we do as well as our relationships. It consumes us and eventually we become the pain.
For example, your boss is critical of your work and demands that you demonstrated improvement or changes will need to be made. You now start worrying about getting fired and how you are going to make ends meet. You worry about it when you’re alone. You worry about it when you are surrounded by others. You worry about it when you are supposed to be involved in joyful activities. Worrying about being fired has become the center of your existence. Continue reading