Summary: In the 1987 AFC Championship football game between Cleveland and Denver, Ernest Bynar fumbled the ball just as he got ready to score a touchdown. That mistake cost the Cleveland Browns the championship, a trip to the Super Bowl and is what most people rem

Enjoy Inner Restoration, Healing and Transformation (Romans 12:2)

Illustration: In the 1987 AFC Championship football game between Cleveland and Denver, Ernest Bynar fumbled the ball just as he got ready to score a touchdown. That mistake cost the Cleveland Browns the championship, a trip to the Super Bowl and is what most people remember about Ernest Bynar. Even though Ernest Bynar had an otherwise stellar fourteen year career in the NFL and is ranked 16th on the all time rushing list, many angry Cleveland fans will not forget the "infamous fumble".

Every day we too have to refuse to be pressured to live by the standards of the world. The world, the flesh and the devil pressure us to focus on our fumbles instead of our new identity in Christ and His will for our life. When we live by external validations we are forced into self-destructive patterns of perfectionism, success at all cost thinking, and feelings of inferiority when we stumble.

Paul offers us a pattern for inner healing, restoration, and transformation when he wrote, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and yo willknow how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is." (Romans 12:2 - New Living Translation)

The following are several blueprints that the world offers, its consequences versus the truth of God’s word that sets us free. Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31,32)

1. The world tells us we must perform perfectly in order to feel good about ourselves.

Consequences include:

a. Fearing failure since I might think that my performance determines my significance. This gnawing sense of inadequacy creates anxiety, fear and unwanted stress.

b. Perfectionism causes one to put pressure on ourselves and those around us that are unreasonable, demanding and often critical of others.

c. Driven by fear instead of by faith

d. Never really satisfied or at ease with our behavior

e. Intensity about succeeding at any cost that leads one to have a critical spirit.

f. Manipulation of others so we can get our way in order to have a sense of success.

g. Withdrawal when we are afraid of taking a risk

h. Jealousy of others who succeed or compete with us

i. Feelings of inferiority that makes us retreat from the mission that God wants us to engage in

j. Self-righteous attitudes that tend to make us conceited and smug

2. The world tells us that we must please people in order to gain acceptance, approval and belonging

Consequences include: An internal fear of rejection and an over-sensitivity to criticism. Trepidation that all people are basically personally attacking us and threatening our security.

a. Withdrawal to avoid any disapproval

b. Isolation from friends, family and other believers

c. Hesistancy to witness

d. Expecting too much of ourselves in order to please others

e. Putting up unrealistic expectation on people around us to conform to our standards of what is God’s will before we give them our approval

f. Depending on the conditional love of others.

3. The world’s disapproval merits their punishment, criticism and hateful actions

Consequences include:

a. Fear of punishment and taking correction so personally that we do everything to avoid it.

b. Attempts to be so tough on ourselves so we can be worthy of acceptance, promotions and success.

c. A dry spiritual life that makes us cold, legalistic and judgmental of others

d. Harshness on ourselves our family and others

e. Tendency to blame ourselves since we have not learned how to love ourselves as God loves.

f. A prideful attitude that blames ourselves and others because we have not taken personal responsibility to rest, nest and abide in the love of God.

4. The world tells us that we are beyond hope of transformation, improvement and usefulness

Consequences include:

a. Depression, discouragement and disillusionment that leads one to become lethargic and indifferent.

b. Dispirited thinking that leads to fatigue, stress and an unwillingness to try something new.

c. Hopelessness, inferiority and an over-sensitivity to people with new ideas

d. Self-destructive thoughts that are manifestations of guilt and shame.

e. Self-centered focus

f. Quick to blame others and ourselves when things do not go well

g. Failure to set goals or have expectations for improvement

h. Little zeal or energy or excitement

i. Spiritual and emotional death tendencies

Solutions include:

a. Refusing to be led by the world, the flesh or the devil’s standards but resting, abiding and obeying God’s will.

b. Reinforcing the fact that we are in Christ as this new identity puts us above the standards of the world’s approval criteria. Because we are justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we also have access to the Spirit’s power, purpose and perspective. Allowing the Spirit of God and the truth of God’s word to enable us, energize our mind, attitudes and actions elevates us above the world’s pressures.

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