Posts Tagged With: self-worth

Children Need Acceptance

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Most folks hate these social ailments, which often act as triggers for disparaging tragedies.

Bullying, shaming, varied prescribed medications and illicit drug abuse, among other uglies, have been blamed for a tremendous rise in teen-aged suicides. Another horrifying stat is how many children become active members in violent youth gangs, or simply develop behavioral issues. It’s my belief that teen suicide and gang involvement are two maladies that share roots in the same detriments.  

Results (of polled police departments) contradict the long-standing perception that gangs are primarily an inner-city phenomenon. Granted, the prevalence is highest in large cities, with 74 percent of those jurisdictions acknowledging the presence of gangs. But suburban counties aren’t far behind, at 57 percent, which is considerably higher than small cities (34 percent).”—Healthy Children Organization 

Come back to this link to an organisation in-the-know: Healthy Children Org.

 

It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. There are many teens who find no other escape from their heart wrenching emotional agony than ending their own lives. It’s like a bandit stealing off with the soul’s sense of self-worth—as a valueless object to be discarded by society as worthless. Many suffer this malady and spiral down into deep depression, even developing physical illnesses. Some of them become criminals, maybe even psychotic killers.  

 

Below’s a link to just one of thousands: News reports on teen-aged suicides. There’s just as many on the increased danger of children joining street gangs. But you can come back to this later. 

Teen-Suicide

 

Imagine feeling that nobody wants you, nobody loves you—you just can’t seem to find any place where you fit in, a place to belong. It’s a hollow ache. Have you ever experienced being totally convinced there’s no group of people anywhere with whom you could have a sense of belonging? Street gangs prey upon young boys and girls who have this belief and offer them a sense of acceptance and camaraderie. Sometimes, it’s excitement and action that draws kids into gang life. But their emotional and social needs are legitimate. A healthy Psyche’ includes a sense of belonging—everyone possesses a need to be loved.  

 

I watched several videos of little orphan children from all over the world, many of whom lived on the streets. They were picking through garbage bins trying to find something to eat. Their little melancholy faces stirred my heart—I wanted to break down and cry. But some orphans reside at orphanages or missions. At least they are fed a little. All of them apparently have the exact same hope of acceptance, and to have a family. They need to belong somewhere, with someone—other souls. Love is a fundamental need. 

We have an extensively vast foster care system here in America. Dismally, many of the people who serve as foster parents only do so for the money. Unscrupulous ones even use the orphans as a free labor force, treating the children like slaves, as objects to be manipulated into profits. 

 

What do you suppose every orphan hopes for? 

 

That’s right, to be adopted by someone who will love them, protect them, and give them a home, and care for them. Someone who will give them a place to belong. Just one person to accept them would be enough, but better a group of people who would say “You’re one of us!” What they need—what they hope for, is a family. 

 

Well then… 

 

When a couple has a child born to them they have no way of choosing what that child will look like. They can’t even choose whether it will be a boy or a girl. Parents try to teach their children moral values and rear them in a way that they’ll turn out to be good people, but there are no guarantees about that either. So, I want to share something with you about ADOPTION.  

 

Those who have been adopted have been chosen over other people. There’s a whole lot of children to choose from. That makes a child feel very special. Adoptive parents have looked out across the whole world at the many thousands of orphaned children. Think of it, out of all of them, they choose YOU! That makes you pretty special. 

 

To God, all of us are just like young Children. 

 

My point here today, besides drawing attention to these social ills, is to highlight a stellar fact. If you trust the God of the bible, and you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, and you’ve taken Him as your Savior, then:  YOU’VE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD TO BE ADOPTED INTO HIS FAMILY. 

 

I’ll begin an explanation, but then, I’m asking us to follow the reasoning of the selected scriptures provided below. 

 

When you’re born into a family on earth your parents cannot choose you, you’re just born to them. But God knew all about you before you were ever born, and He chose you to be His child. (Later on, read Psalms chapter 139.) 

This, and other passages reveal that God knew everything there is to know about you, before He chose you. And the following scriptures assure us that God did in fact, select us, and it tells us at what point in time He did so. 

 

For He chose us in him before the creation of the world… He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1: 45.  

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NLT 

Jesus said, “For the Father himself loves you dearly, because you love me and you believe that I came from God. John 16:27 

 

So what is it to love Jesus? What does it really mean to love Christ? He tells us. 

 

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. Let that part sink in for a minute.

Then it continues: 

And I will love them and will reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21 NLT 

 

Think about this: How has Jesus revealed Himself to you? 

 

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19 

 

When we are saved, or, born again, we’re born into the family of God, and that’s what the bible is talking about when it says He adopted us. It also calls us “Children of the light.” 
 

Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 1 John 3:9 

 

Now then, what are some of the benefits a child receives by having a family? 

I’ve listed several of them. We’ve already established that they will be loved. 

 

LOVE 

 

Provision for every need 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19. 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26  

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11  

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10 (There’s many more). 

 

Protection  

Psalm 144:2, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”  

“The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8  

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10  

“(You) who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5  

 

Inheritance  

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 

“The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” Psalm 37:29  

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32  

“And giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12
  Romans 8:32 Eph. 1:18, 

 

Security  

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8: 35 

 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39  

And Jude 1:24 “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.”  

 

There are other benefits too, of course, such as guidance, wisdom, a name, and lots more! 

If you’re not already a part of God’s wonderful family, you can be! Feel free to contact me via Email at Penman4u@gmail.com. I will be happy to share with you how to do that. God Bless You. I hope you enjoy this version of a great old hymn as much as I did: “The Family of God.” 

 

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Categories: Addictions & Suicides, Christian Living, Faith, Family, People, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fear of Weakness

GraciePictured above is my 10 pound Morkie, “Gracie”. She has a very big, courageous & loving heart.

 

Asthenophobia is the fear of weakness, and it is a widespread psychological ailment which causes great harm to those who are affected by its false notions.

Before we proceed, I hope to assure each reader that this is an interim post. We will continue the series on the “Origin of the Bible.” But it is very lengthy, and so I’m offering other stuff (technical term?☺) in between the origin posts.

Wimpy Dogs

It took a few times to work it out, but eventually the realization struck that I was gaining discernment into some people’s psychological and emotional states by how they reacted to various types of dogs. There have been nearly a dozen instances. Like when a man showed disdain for a very small dog that was quivering. He so despised the poor little thing for its weakness, that it became evident something more was in play than simply a preference for more stalwart pets.  People possessing a character opposed to his, usually act in a caring manner—more inclined to protect the helpless little creature, even comfort it.

I supposed correctly that this man has a character flaw, and yet the root from which it thrives is where his psyche’ breaks down. He views weak areas in himself. Anytime he sees someone, even an animal that resembles what he believes to be inside himself—he wants to turn away, and if he cannot do so, he lashes out. He has a deep sense of inadequacy. Unable to love himself, he cannot love something that reminds him of his own weakness, ugliness or flaw. But this is on a subconscious level. The man has no idea that his dislike of things that appear weak stems from his low self-esteem.

There are millions of us out here that tend to automatically dislike such a man, and dismiss him from any future contact. But knowledge always changes our actions. Love changes our responses. God changes the way we interact with the world around us through the wisdom He teaches. Compassion is not only for the weak, but for all, even for those we think do not deserve it. Ah, I believe we’re now talking about mercy, which is grown from love.

Please don’t take this as some sort of formula to psychoanalyze a person. There are several reasons why someone may respond in a similar manner to a tiny dog that trembles at shadows. We have healthy young men who are still trying to convince themselves they are real men. Walking down the sidewalk with a cute, but wimpy little dog is just not masculine. At this stage of their growth they avoid anything that might be construed as feminine. Toy dogs are for sissies, is the mindset. For such a young fellow, under the right circumstances his thinking will be outgrown, unless there comes a fracture in his identity, and then he may become like the first man.

When we begin to understand the difficulties people face on the inside of themselves, we can better perceive what is needed for their hearts to heal. My own response to the same dog was the opposite of that man I spoke of. The furry little ball of cuteness that he hated so much, drew me right to it. I picked him up and spoke softly to him, stroking its downy soft fur. By the way, I believe myself to be excedingly masculine. Mine was similar to a paternal reaction to the dog, because it was afraid, and yes, I began to not like that man at all. But then, the Lord began to show me this stuff, and everything turned around. Instead of disliking the man I began to pity him more than I did the dog. The unfortunate guy was miserable. Some past trauma had robbed him of a deep need of the heart: the ability to like and love himself.

Every good counselor, psychologist or social worker can tell you, “You cannot love others until you can love yourself.” Yes, there’s a lesser type of love we can have if we do not like who we are (by the way, that’s our cue to change). But it’s far from the kind of love God wants to make us capable of employing. When we don’t like ourselves, in every single one of our relationships we will eventually come to a barrier standing in the path of loving as we should.

Consider for a moment Jesus’ words “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We cannot love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves. We’re not talking about egotism, or being prideful and arrogant. On the contrary, every soul was created by God, in His own image, and has tremendous value. We were created to love God and to love one another. When we don’t like who we are, we should go to God and ask Him to help us change. As we communicate with God we begin to understand how much He loves us, and that’s a huge boost to our sense of self-worth.

The world is filled with deluded people, not knowing their own worth, and the world perpetuates their fallacious thinking by putting them down ever further. Let’s not be a part of that cycle, creating injured souls. We are to be a part of God’s construction crew, building people up, rather than on the devil’s demolition squad, tearing them down. Be nice. Be loving and kind. Be the light of truth in this dark world where there’s already far too much hatred. It’s not easy sometimes, but that’s why we must also encourage one another as we work towards the time when hate shall be no more.

God Bless You!

With Eternity in View,

Sheldon

 

 

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Value of Life

A close friend smiled peacefully as he went bravely to his death. In contrast, I’ve also been witness to the trembling fright and paling faces of people who knew their expiration date was swiftly approaching. There is nothing like visiting the threshold of death to cause a person to assess the value of life, especially when it’s their own.

Perhaps the mysterious unknown of death is the most frightening aspect. That’s what set the apprehensive ones apart from my dear friend who is now departed. He was fully convinced that behind the door of death lie true life in the spiritual realm.

What is it that gives human life such a high value? Aristotle said, “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” I would agree with the ‘awareness’ aspect of such a statement, if it were in reference to knowledge of the truth.

Even Darwin knew how precious life is in relation to its duration. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

Professor Kalu Kalu says, “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

Living our lives in service to others is indeed a healthy means of maintaining a good mid-level self-esteem and warding off depression. The sum of our character and what we do with our lives, however, is not what is needed to gauge its worth.  By themselves good deeds can produce an undesired affect. But once we come to know God, and have placed our faith in Christ Jesus, the Spirit teaches us humility. The humility we are taught in God’s word and through the Spirit combined with God’s valuation of you make for the perfect balance of self-worth.

“Low self-esteem has been shown to be correlated with a number of negative outcomes, such as depression.” (Silverstone & Salsali 2003). On the opposite side of the coin research shows that too high of a self-esteem also creates negative outcomes. The perfect balance, however is found in a right relationship with God. Learning God’s valuation of you combined with the humility the Spirit teaches Christians creates an ideal balance.

No one person can know how life is valued, because human life is not given its worth by self-valuation. Who can rightly determine the worth of any life, be it their own or another’s? The sanctity of people’s lives has been priced by the one who created life in the first place. In our Creator’s eyes every soul on earth who has ever lived was valuable enough to send His own Son to die in their stead.

When I visited a few auto manufacturers in Detroit I was educated on how the price of a car was determined. The company who makes the automobile is the only one who truly knows what each automobile is worth. They know the time, effort and costs that went into its production, and there’s other considerations also in determining its value, and its price-tag. When someone purchases one of those shiny new automobiles they are required by law to have it insured before driving it on the roadways. There’s the possibility of accidents which may result in the loss of human life. Not that money could ever compensate for such a loss.

God is the Creator of life and the owner of all that He has made. All life belongs to Him, therefore He is the one who valuates what you and I are worth. I’m amazed that He would think so highly of me as to go to such extensive lengths to insure me against the loss of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And God’s Son reiterated that fact. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

While everyone may have their own opinion on any other particular person’s worth, ultimately that opinion is of no consequence. Your own opinion of your worth is of no consequence as well. To God every soul is highly valuable, and being that He is the owner and appraiser of all life, His is the only valuation that counts. In God’s eyes you and I are worth more than we could ever imagine, no matter what we’ve done with our lives. God loves you, big time!

 

 

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