Summary: God desires to restore our wholeness…including our inner life….. emotional wholeness.

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Taking Responsibility for Our Lives

Series: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Brad Bailey – March 11, 2012


We are continuing in our series Emotionally Healthy Spirituality….focused on restoring some healthy understanding to our spiritual formation… that can lead to emotional health and maturity.

God desires to restore our wholeness…including our inner life….. emotional wholeness.

As Paul says in 1 Thessalonians…

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (MSG)

So last week….we saw that becoming emotionally mature adults is a process….. and none have fully developed.

It is about becoming individuals who can take a healthy responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, and choices.

This emerges from love. I believe that when parents have an ability to love…. provide security and significance…we can individuate into relatively emotionally healthy adults. But no parent or person is perfectly loving. So we are all have varying degrees of struggling to take a healthy responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, and choices.

The problem is that…

We are still in recovery from the root of our separation from God.

“…separated from the life of God” - Ephesians 4:18

The Scriptures begin telling us that we have lost the very source of life.

As Paul says, we are “separated from the life of God” (Ephesians 4:18). We must be reconciled to life the way it was created to work.

In the beginning…God created us to live in relationship to Him as the source and center of life… and as the One who reigns over life.

The Tempter came along and brings the deception that we could “be like God’… find life independent of God… and be in control. The result is that those created with freedom…chose to be on our own… and became enslaved to a life separated from real life.

It can be described as…

I. Living Out of a False Role

(Adapted from Henry Cloud and John Townsend “How People Grow”) [1]

Here are the roles as God created them:

Reality God’s Design for Humans

He is the Source. / We depend on him.

He is the Creator. / We are the creation and cannot exist unto ourselves.

He has control of the world. / We have control of ourselves.

Here is a snapshot of how the roles changed after the Fall:

The Deception / The Result

We are the source. / We depend on ourselves.

We are the creator. / We exist unto ourselves.

We have control of the world. / We try to control our world and lose control of ourselves.

The underlying issue is that of trying to control everything around us… rather than learning to control ourselves.

This is what Christ comes to redeem and restore us from. But there are some common issues that arise out of the false roles we have known…. that we need to face.

Driven / Restlessness

Apart from God… we feel a need to validate our lives with success that is based on outward and comparative qualities. Driven or depressed trying to be God…trying to ‘prove’ or validate our lives

As Ed McGlassen expressed, when we are not living under the Father’s blessings…who alone can name us because He is our source… we will spend our lives trying to name ourselves.

Trying to cover our nakedness by sowing fig leaves...that never really hold together well.

And we become driven and restless.

When we can’t accept the limits of what we control… we are never going to rest.

In the book, When I Relax, I Feel Guilty, Tim Hansel describes our condition of suffering "from a nagging sense of guilt that no matter how much [we] do, it is never quite enough.”

People who are driven are stressed out and live by “should”s and “ought-to”s.

They only feel satisfied when they have accomplished a to-do list.

When God calls out a people back to Himself… he establishes the Sabbath rest as a part of what sets them apart. Because the Sabbath, as we saw a few weeks ago in our series…. reflects God’s intended way of life…. life that restores our dependency on Him. That is why the Sabbath rest is such a spiritual issue.

This reflects the shift from being DRIVEN to being CALLED.

McDonald describes the process of change God brings as we discover His calling.

“Having listened to God's call, I can know my mission. It may demand courage and discipline, of course, but now the results are in the hands of the Caller. Whether I increase or decrease is His concern, not mine. To order my life according to the expectations of myself and others; and to values myself according to the opinions of others; these can play havoc with my inner world. But to operate on the basis of God's call is to enjoy a great deal of order within.” - Gordon McDonald [2]

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