We are warned in Scripture to discern the spirits to see whether they are of God. Never was this gift so needed as in today’s violent society. And it is not simply criminals and con artists who warrant this exercise; oftentimes everyday citizens do as well.
Society has a general tendency to consider different kinds of substance abuse as addiction, while ignoring certain behavior patterns that are equally addictive. Food, shopping, gambling, work, or sex can turn to behavior addictions and create problems that are just as destructive as substance abuse.
Loneliness is no respecter of persons. Young or old, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, anyone can be affected by loneliness. David Jeremiah called it the "Disease of the Decade." Many years ago Thoreau said, "A city is a place where hundreds of lonely people live together."
Worry kills slowly but steadily. Low self-esteem is characteristic of a worrier. One is unable to use one's intelligence or creativity. Restlessness, mental disturbances, headache, insomnia, irritability, lack of confidence are commonly seen. As a result, one is prone to high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and other medical complications.
Do toxic people know they're toxic? Are they blissfully unaware of their negative impact on our lives, or do they derive satisfaction in how they make us feel, and the pain or stress they add to our lives?
I guess we can never truly know the answer to that question, unless the person confesses their intention.
No one in the world is perfect. We come with our own individual quirks and deficiencies. But there are limits beyond which relationships become unhealthy. The sooner we recognize this the easier it becomes to prevent, avoid or if possible repair dysfunctional relationships. Some traits stand out as destructive.
All of us remember specific childhood games we played while growing up--for instance, Mother May I, Simon Says, or Red Light/Green Light. Consider this: In the game of Mother May I (a.k.a. Captain May I), you were told how many steps forward you could take and whether those steps would be big or small. But before you took those steps, you had to ask for permission. If you moved without asking for permission, you were out. In the game of Simon Says, you had to do exactly what Simon said do. If you did something Simon didn’t say, you were out.
Determine to change. Nobody will force you. You must be willing to change.
Start with small steps. Depending on the habit, it may be necessary to wean yourself off gradually. Set reasonable targets. For example, if you arrived at church this week at 9:30 am, set a goal to be there by 9:15 am next week. Review constantly and reward yourself generously for the little successes. Do not beat up yourself when you miss it. There is hope for you.
Use discernment in how you handle criticism. Accept the challenge. Look for the reason why you are criticized. Is it destructive or constructive? Have a positive attitude to someone who offers constructive criticism He may help you overcome your faults.
We all have been given gifts for the specific purpose of utilizing those gifts as we interact with the world around us. Whether your gift is song writing, vocal ability, composition, administration, management, producing an album or all the above, we are sometimes limited in how many people we are able to reach with our gifts due to a lack of financial resources.
The recent suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer in Buffalo, New York, caught my attention, and rather than just read the news, sympathize for a while, and forget until another bullying death was reported, I knew I needed to teach a way to combat this monster.