3 Ways to Make the Most of Overcoming Hurts, Hangups, and Habits
Our Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader, Ira Liss, once asked “Am I going to let my past failures prevent me from taking this [healing] journey?” and then proceeded to ask more directly, “Are you afraid to change?”
Sometimes, he said, we can be unhappy but we can find ourselves comfortable in our hurt, hangup, or habit. This can cause us to be in denial about a need for God to lead us on a healing path of recovery. And what is it that we are recovering? We are recovering who we truly are as new creations made in the image of God!
We do not escape this world unscathed. Everyone’s scars are borne at some point in their life whether young or... well, younger. We are formed by our life’s experiences and we have found that life can be unkind. This formation leaves us with hurts, hangups, and habits.
However, the Good News tells us that we can be reformed by the very hands that rescued us! As new creations, we do not have to live life according to the patterns of our old way of living, but can begin a new way of living that glorifies God and satisfies our souls. We must be willing to look into ourselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to survey where our hurts, hangups, and habits are through self/spirit-introspection, taking responsibility, and committing to being spiritually formed.
In our new series, Overcoming Hurts, Hangups, and Habits, here are a few ways you can posture yourself to get the most out of this sermon series.
1. Practice Self-Introspection/Spirit-Introspection
Walking through this healing journey isn’t done alone or by your own! In fact, it would be fruitless if you did. We encourage you to invite the Lord to lead you to discover what area in your life that He would like to form in you. Your responsibility is to have a trusting and willing spirit to follow where He leads.
Don’t worry about fancy words or proper phrasing-- just have a real, honest, and open conversation with Jesus. It can be as simple as something like this: Jesus, I don’t know what this journey may look like, but I’m ready for you to form me. What is in my life that you would like to get a hold of first? I trust You. Help me to continue to trust You in this process.
2. Take Responsibility.
Don’t be surprised when He answers! That could look like an impression upon your heart, a verse sticking out to you during your Bible reading time, a trusted brother or sister coming alongside of you and bringing your attention to an area of your life... The Lord is creative in getting our attention (He is still Creator, after all).
After practicing self-introspection, your next step is to take responsibility. Or rather, respond to His ability. Humble yourself before God (agree with Him). Sometimes the hurt, hang up, or habit may be because of something you did or are doing. Sometimes it can seem offensive what He wants to bring to light.
Remember when I shared how the Lord wanted to work on my desire for control? Ouch! He told me that I loved control more than I loved my children—and I love my children fiercely! That was offensive! But then, after having been done with being offended (haha), I assessed my ways in light of this new information and had to humble myself in agreement with Him. You’re right, I admitted. This empowers us to set out on one amazing and fruitful adventure! It won’t be easy, but it will certainly be worth it.
3. Commit to being spiritually formed.
This includes allowing lapses in the growing process. Some people get to experience miraculous, instantaneous healing (I’ve experienced this!) while others get to experience miraculous growing through a process called sanctification—or being spiritually formed (what most of my growing process looks like).
This is an ongoing, hands on, process. This is a continuous “I trust you, Lord,” and a continuous response to His ability. Intimacy and spiritual fruit are borne from this place of worship. If you feel stuck, hopeless, or are longing for more in your spiritual journey, I pray that you would apply these three steps in your life.
At Church 212, we imagine a community of people who spiritually thrive in their soul through a living, interactive friendship with Jesus. Together they grow to become like Christ, serve the city’s common good, and help others discover friendship with Jesus. I believe these three steps can be among the first toward your spiritually thriving life.
Putting It Into Practice
This eight week sermon series unpacks the eight principles of Celebrate Recovery according to the Beatitudes. We stated on Sunday that life with Jesus is recovery and we are ALL on a wellness journey--this is the church.
Each week in this series we offer a new choice you can make in your recovery process. For example, week one was, "Admit Your Need." And week two will be, "Get Help." Here are some exercises for putting each choice into practice:
A) Pray about it.
Pastor Daniel recommended Psalm 51:10 and Psalm 139:23 as great Scriptures to pray. Review Self/Spirit Introspection section.
B) Write about it.
There are many benefits to writing and I'll name a few that come directly to mind: you remember more when you write about it; it gives you time to reflect deeper; it records your developing testimony; it unravels the jumbled thoughts and helps us see more clearly...
C) Share about it.
This part is probably one of the scariest, faith-filled, Scripture-practicing, and risk-taking practices... but it's worth it. Be wise in who you confide in. We are not asking you to be hazardous with your soul. Be careful with it.
What we are saying is in order to be careful with your soul, you're going to have to "care" for it through the practice of James 5:16. If you don't have that safe place to care for your soul, we encourage you to join us at Celebrate Recovery on Tuesdays at 6:30pm-8:30pm at Church 212, with an emphasis on attending "Open Share."
Large group is where we congregate and learn and celebrate shoulder-to-shoulder, but "Open Share" is face-to-face and "where healing begins..."
I'm on this journey with you. It's a pleasure walking Home with you.
In His Love and Service,
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Great article! It is so exciting and encouraging to be on the journey of recovery with like minded people seeking change. Thank you for leading in this courageous direction.
Thank you Bob!! I feel the exact same way. I am thankful to be on a wellness journey alongside of you!