All’s Fair in Love and War?

Helen of TroyThat cliche “All’s fair in love and war” brings up thoughts of intrigue and deception, giving the impression that no one can be trusted in such emotionally charged situations.

I’m not sure that’s a reasonable conclusion all the time, but it certainly too often rings true. Yes, we will do just about anything for love. (I don’t know as much about war, at least not in the “usual” sense.) I know some of the things I did “for love” when Al and I were getting to know each other. Pretty crazy when I think about it now.

If you had to think of a picture illustrating love, what would you choose?

  • A mother nurturing her baby?
  • A young man on one knee asking his lady for her hand?
  • Feelings of well-being while in your loved one’s embrace?
  • Jesus holding out his hand, saying, “I forgive you”?
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Wisdom to Know the Difference

Praying HandsSeptember is Recovery Month. That means something to millions of people who have been or are part of a 12-Step program of recovery from some type of addiction/dysfunction, or many related programs. If you’re one of them, it’s almost certain you know – and probably can recite – the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

Don’t we get into trouble when we neglect any of those three points? When we fight against those things we cannot change we only wear ourselves out. We become miserable to be around. We become frustrated, anxious, and often angry and bitter. Getting into a negative emotional rut is almost certain. And if you’re fighting an addiction, all that misery certainly sets one up for a relapse.

When we shrink from doing what is within our power to change we are no less miserable. Waiting for anyone, even God, to do for us what we CAN do for ourselves leaves us feeling hopeless and powerless, while becoming weaker all the time. You wonder why things seem to work out for everyone else but not for you. And again, if you’re fighting an addiction it’s a setup for a relapse.

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Doctor, Doctor: Are You Addicted?

PillsAlcohol. Drugs – legal and illegal. Tobacco. Those are the “usual suspects.”

But there are a whole lot more: food, pornography, sex, gambling, internet/tech use, exercise, and more.

Is addiction a physical problem? A mental health issue? A spiritual matter?

Yes, yes, and yes. It’s all those. And if you struggle with any addiction and you don’t address each one of these areas, you are very unlikely to experience any real healing or relief. As with most things, it’s a matter of body, mind, and soul.

A whole movement has come about convinced that addiction is a disease. Calling addiction a disease does emphasize some things that are true about any addiction.

Being addicted is not a matter of weakness.

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Where Does Healing Begin?

Where Does Healing Begin?

As a doctor I can give you pills. I can recommend changes in your lifestyle that can improve your health. I can do surgery at times. Once in a while I might even save someone’s life. But can I heal you?

As someone wanting to be healthy you might get all the exercise you need. You might follow careful healthy eating habits. You might get enough sleep and take plenty of vitamins. But will that heal you?

As a minister I can pray for you. I can teach you about having a relationship with God, and faith. I can introduce you to Him and help bring you into His presence. But can I heal you?

Of course the answer to each of these is NO. And that really brings up the question about what healing really is, and where it begins.

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“Sometimes I Cry”

Man in GriefI don’t like to cry. But sometimes that’s the only thing left to do.

Yes, sometimes I cry. And sometimes you do to. Tears can be very healing.

We shouldn’t be afraid of those deep feelings. And that goes for you men as well! Having a good cry may be the healthiest thing you’ve done in a long time.

What tears can mean is the central idea of our Totally Free Ministries newsletter this month. Read it here online, or download it to your device.

I hope you already get these regularly. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so here.

Sometimes you’d rather get this kind of material in your mailbox, with the shiny paper that you can read more than once. If so, just let us know your name and mailing address, and we’ll be glad to send it to you right away.

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