Anger

I discover new things about myself on a regular basis. Just when I’m sure that I am really growing and mature, emotionally speaking, my self-awareness brings a new character flaw into view. Anger is one of those things I feel above, but I am not. I was looking through some of my un-published posts, and I have three posts that I nearly finished for the fourth of July, but posted none because they didn’t feel right. I am angry about this country and lost freedoms. Americans continue to fight for what they believe from either side of the aisle, left and right actually believe they are right regarding freedom, law, and what is good for this nation. We are divided, a house divided cannot stand.
 Then there were other thoughts that began to surface about my view of me. I am not very tolerant about certain issues, many are not life altering, but some are off-the-chart wrong. But wait a minute…I am in recovery, I have worked on myself for quite a long time now, I know I’m right about this stuff! I have the wisdom of years, I have witnessed historically, and consider myself well read on issues facing this nation, families, and experienced personally the right and wrong way to live as an individual. I have biblical understanding! What is wrong with everyone?
My anger stems from a greater problem PRIDE
Thinking that I have enough tome in sobriety, and now have the answers to everything, shows how I am far from fixing myself, rather allowing God to fix me. It takes total surrender, it is humility, and memories of what I had become through prideful living, that I must keep in plain view daily, lest pride returns me to debaucherous thinking, and living.
“The ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” Prov. 6:21-23
 
I can honestly say that youand I do not have to accept or be tolerant of things that are opposite of what we believe. We can speak against those things, blog about them, and use whatever means to express our beliefs…but not in anger, not in an arrogant condescending manner. I feel that Paul the apostle, Peter and John, disciples of Jesus, expressed themselves fervently, zealously, but in the Spirit-led conviction, not in anger or pride. We should have our personal convictions, call things that are wrong, wrong and right, right. But do this in love and concern.
Do not become entrapped by arrogance and go astray from truth because of the way of surrounding generations ideals and methods of expression. Stay focused on your purpose, on praying for leaders and those about us, and for yourself, that God would bring to mind that you are as broken as those you want fixed.
There are friends I know, that have a relative who nightly, year round, goes out into his backyard and lights up his little homemade fireplace, sits down with his Bible, and cooler full of beer, and contemplates the world’s problems…and does this alone. He, according to them, hates everyone, all ethnic groups, especially those of other beliefs, and does this using the Bible and booze. The truth he reads becomes twisted by the booze he drinks, and the hatred inside.
This can be you and I if we don’t see our need to look deep into ourselves, and desiring God to re-arrange our bad thoughts and ideas, conforming us to the image of Christ. I want to be free as an American, but not as much as I want freedom from self-serving, the self-induced slavery. Politicians can legislate freedoms we enjoy away, but only I can give away the liberty I experience in sober living, and in my journey with Christ, from refusing to see myself in a prideful way, always right about everything. I prefer change, even though it is painful.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith.

Fears Failure

If I sat down and made a list of my lifelong fears, I would be writing for quite a long period of time. Healthy fears, like falling, drowning, or being burned with fire, wouldn’t have to be mentioned. Reality checks can cause me to see that a good majority of my fears are unnecessary worries. That is where fear fails…when I can stop and think through the scenario of these petty fears. they don’t all make sense. I watch a show on TV where a mountain climber is hanging by his index finger, three thousand feet below is solid ground, and I’m having cold-sweats watching the action. That is where, thank God, I realize that this is not me hanging there. Those fears vanish the moment I change the channel.

 

I cannot however, change the channel on fears that I face in real life. The fear of man, of not being liked or accepted, the fear of failure, the fear of missing out, of not being loved, and of rejection, are real, and really unnecessary. Addictions to drink and dope, to food, to gambling, and every unhealthy habit, is fear based. If I don’t at least take a hit of that joint, they won’t think I’m cool, or they may think I’m a coward, the teenager thinks. So he takes a hit, and thirty years later he comes out of the seventh time in rehab thinking, I’ll never get off of this dope, I may as well be dead. Then he proceeds to commit those most selfish of acts, and end it all. His fears rule and master him, though his wife, children, parents, and friends really believe he will make it this time. His little boy, looking at his father in the coffin says to himself, I hate you, look what you did to mommy and me, I’ll never be like you! Within a short period of time, he is just like daddy.

 

These are real fears, real people deal with. We all have them. They must not have us. My long list are fears that arise through past failures, bad “breaks,” we think. We should look in retrospect at those failures. We may see the failure was a good thing, and improved us. If that is the case, fear failed again, we can let that fear be wadded up and thrown into life’s trashbucket.

 

When I wrote some of my first blogs, I really feared that people wouldn’t like them, so why start? But facing the fear like David against the giant, I blogged, some people liked the blogs, and became regular readers. Those numbers grow, and I am grateful to God and the readers. I didn’t fear when I sent the manuscript to my book to a publisher. I knew they only took less than 3% of the books that they are sent the manuscript to. When fear set in, was when I knew the book was soon to be released…what if no one buys it? what if they hate it? It’s ok Keith…the Voice whispers, you know what to do.

 

I do. I know what to do. Keep going. Keep trusting. Stay surrendered. So long fear, you lost once again. As my faith in God grows, fear weakens. When I catch a glimpse of the reality, that Christ is for me, fears fails.

 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of  a sound mind.” 2Tim.1:7 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1John 4:18

 

That young boy who’s father could not face his fears and ended his life, could not have helped his son face his fears, nor teach him the way of love and life. It was that fear of man, not being one of the “cool cats,” that took him to his early selfish end. I know people have this struggle day to day, facing these fears. Don’t face them alone. Ask God to help you, get to professional help that will give you godly direction. Fears can always fail when we enthrone God in the center of our hearts through Christ Jesus. Let Him teach you how to put fear in it’s place, under your feet. Change the channel on those petty fears, go to God with life altering fears.

 

Fears fail when faith and love rises up in us through Jesus. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith