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
Forgiving people who have caused us trauma can be very difficult, especially for Christian who are often shamed or made to feel guilty because they struggle to forgive. I see this scenario play out every day in my private counseling practice as I assist individuals who struggle to forgive.
This weekend I read one an excellent best book that describes what is and is not forgiveness. Below is a review.
Simple yet powerful. That is the best way to describe the latest work Yvonne Ortega entitled “Moving From Broken to Beautiful Through Forgiveness”.
And that is exactly the journey Yvonne takes readers as she carefully breaks down the difficulties and confusion many people have when they think about forgiving those who have caused great hurt and pain. The prospect of forgiving someone who has inflicted severe trauma is never easy and many are left feeling guilty because of their inability to forgive. 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
Sally was a victim of child abuse growing up. Sitting in the counseling office she explained how she hated the verbal and physical abuse her mother inflicted upon her as a young child and into her early teen years. “I hate her for how she treated me,” Sally said with tears swelling in her eyes. “I could do nothing right when it came to her. I was never smart enough; never pretty enough; never clean enough. It was always something. Always something!
“But the worst part is I can’t forget it,” she continued. “Here I am 20 years later and I still have nightmares about her standing over me hitting me with a wooden spoon or whipping me with an extension cord. I am nervous all the time like I am expecting it to happen again at any moment.”
Sally is a victim of “bad memory flow”. That is when past traumatic events repeat over and over into our minds like an endless loop. These are events that we can’t put behind us because our brains have a difficult time rationalizing them. There is no closure or relief from the emotional pain that has been imprinted in our psyche. In turn, leads to endless anxiety, stress and acting out in destructive behaviors. What these troubling thoughts serve to do is to keep us as victims. Continue reading
As believers we are taught the Holy Spirit is our counselor. The Spirit resides in us as an amazing gift from God to enable us not only to feel His presence in our lives, but to assist us in our journey of spiritual transformation.
Photo Credit: Taylor James
But if God is in us, why do we continue to struggle with a sinful nature? Why do we continue to suffer from shame? Let’s examine several reasons. Continue reading
Every day in my counseling practice I deal with individuals who are suffering from shame and low self-worth. In many cases it is due to the irrational beliefs and lies they were told as children, which became part of their worldview on how they see themselves. “You are stupid.” “You are worthless.” “You are clumsy.” “You are lazy.” “You’re just like your father – a loser.” The list is endless.
Helping individuals suffering from shame and low self-worth not only involves identifying these mistruths but more importantly assisting them in removing their shame and re-building their identity. One way to get people to improve acceptance of themselves is accomplish through the development of what I call “pillars”. Continue reading
Do you question God’s love and commitment for you? Are you worried He has turned away, embarrassed by your sinful actions? Does your shame label make you feel unloved by God? Perhaps some poor choices you’ve made leave you feeling inadequate, insignificant or stupid. Or perhaps it was not even actions of your own but instead hurtful things someone did to you that brings you shame. If so, you are far from alone. Continue reading