Summary: How to Give Up Your Hang Ups in Exchange for His Loving, Liberating and Life Giving Inspiration
I’m Trading My Sorrows, I’m Trading My Shame, I’m Laying it Down for the Joy of the Lord
Eph. 4:22-32; 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Addictions - Alan Lang, in his "Substance Abuse and Habitual Behavior" report to the National Academy of Science, identifies nine such characteristics: Impulsive behavior, Difficulty in delaying gratification, Sensation seeking, Antisocial personality, Nonconformist values, Sense of alienation, Deviant behavior, Heightened feelings of stress, Little regard for goals generally valued by society.
Alan Lang, "Substance Abuse and Habitual Behavior".
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Mark 8:35 - "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it." (NLT)
Give up anger - Embrace Patience
Give up resentment - Forgive as you have been forgiven
Give up Pettiness - Grow in Maturity
Give up Bitterness - Extend Forgiveness
Give up Jealousy - Learn the secret of trust
Give up Complaining - Focus on Gratitude
Give up Gossiping - Speak of righteousness, truth, love
Give up Pessimism - Become one who thinks positive
Give up Hypocritical Judgments - Think respectful thoughts
Give up Gloom - Look for the beauty and blessings in all things
Give up Discouragement - Praise God for the encouragement in Christ
Give up Worry - Trust God for all needs met in Christ Jesus
Give up Hatred - Dwell on what is true, noble, right, praise-worthy
Give up Rights - Follow the example of Christ’s relinquishing all
Give up Burdens - Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you
Give up Offense - Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you
Give up Excuses - If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.
Bruce Larson tells how he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ:
For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. ’Now that’s one way to live,’ I would point out to my companion, ’trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.’
"On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically.
"We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, ’I give up, Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.’"
Bruce Larson, Believe and Belong.
Paul wrote, "I am sorrowful yet always rejoicing, poor yet making many rich, unknown yet well known, of bad report yet of good report, dying yet behold we live, punished yet not put to death, pressed but not crushed, persecuted but not abandoned, perplexed but not in distress, put down but not put out. Always bearing in my body the death of the Lord Jesus that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our bodies." (2 Cor. 4; 6)