Confronting the Resistance to Change

Resistance is a force that pushes back against movement in a particular direction. In terms of dealing with addiction, resistance will be encountered as you try to change the old way of behaving and will manifest in several ways. The first resistance encountered will be simply to admit you have a problem that needs change. This admission is the first step in the recovery process. Overcoming denial often results when the pain of our behavior is worse than the rewards it brings. Continue reading

Joshua

Steve Arterburn

Have you ever experienced the frustration of knowing the truth but no one believed you?  Joshua did’and he had to live with the consequences of this for almost forty years.  

Joshua was one of the twelve Israelites chosen to spy out the land of Canaan.  Their report on what they saw would help and entire nation of people make a decision about entering the Promised Land.  When the twelve spies gave their report, ten said it’d be impossible to conquer the land.  Joshua and Caleb agreed that the task would be difficult, but they urged the people to trust God to help them.  They saw God as loving, powerful, and able to lead them safely into the Promised Land.

The people, however, rebelled and sided with the majority report.  They ran from the responsibility of surrendering their lives to God.  The result of their irresponsibility was tragic.  A whole generation’with the exception of Joshua and Caleb’died in the desert.  

Many of us think we can escape pain by avoiding responsibility and its demands.  What we fail to realize is that we often experience a much deeper pain when we run away from responsibility than we do when we accept it.  Joshua experienced significant pain in his life despite putting God first in his life.  But that pain was used by God to develop him into one of the most effective leaders in all of history.

Positive Pain

Steve Arterburn

Sometimes forgiveness involves pain. When we confront people regarding betrayal, abandonment, abuse, deception, or other offenses, we’ll likely experience sorrow. We need to accept this as part of the consequences of sin and learn to freely express it to God. He can transform the pain associated with wrongdoing and bring about good for everyone involved.

Remember men: not all sorrow is bad for you. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Corinth that made them sad because he confronted them about wrongdoing. He initially regretted hurting them. But after reflection he wrote these words, which you can find in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10: ‘Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed’in any way. For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow.’

The grief Paul described was good. It was caused by his love for others in action, and accessed in light of honest self-evaluation. Like Paul, we too must learn that sometimes sorrow is a positive part of our spiritual growth. So when you’re confronted with it, don’t run from it and don’t reject it. Enter into it asking God to use it to direct the course of your life along redemptive paths.