You may not be who you think you are. Take a closer look. Part 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 29, 2016

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Submitted: September 29, 2016

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This week we are going to look at a few of the ways Satan can use the Church and our culture to negatively impact how we see ourselves.

Some churches focus on the fact that people are sinners, which is true. But rather than teach them about the forgiveness found in Christ, they make them feel guilty about their sins. Becoming fully conscious of their sin and not at all aware of God’s love, grace, and mercy, they end up living in guilt and shame. If this is learned as a child, they may enter adolescence believing they are a shameful sinner with whom God is very angry. Combine that with a family that sends the message that they are worthless and unlovable, and Satan has successfully set-up this child for destruction.

As we get older, Satan starts to shape our self-image by using our culture. Movies emphasizing money and romance abound. The deceiver tells us that if we accumulate enough expensive clothes and flashy jewelry, we will be like the glamorous women the movies portray. We buy the lie that we can buy happiness. We think this is our ticket to being important and valuable, or at least respected. Sadly, we use brand-name clothes, designer purses, and gold jewelry to project an image of who we want to be. But no matter how much stuff we have or how attractive we look on the outside, in our hearts we know that we are still ugly ole us on the inside.

These movie characters we admire are often involved in romantic affairs with handsome men who are successful and wealthy. When they win over the man’s heart, they are often rescued from a life of despair. Some of us might try to accomplish the same; we give our bodies to men in hopes they might whisk us away from our problems. When that doesn’t happen, these unhealthy relationships not only validate, but also reinforce our erroneous self-image.

Satan convinces some of us to use alcohol and even drugs to dull the pain of being worthless and unloved. We drink beer and wine even though it may taste bad, because we want the diversion. We take risks with illegal drugs and needles, as they supply us with the fun and laughter that is missing in our lives. These substances also help us lose our inhibitions so we think we can be the “real us.” But the promiscuity and rebellious behaviors are not the real us. These actions come from our distorted self-image and reinforce our mistaken identity.

Satan uses the socially acceptable feel-good escapes of money, sex, and mind-altering substances to push us into the pit of despair. Our lives become twisted in a vicious cycle of destruction. As our transgressions continue, our guilt and shame increase, the added guilt and shame reinforce our negative self-image, and that leads us into a more sinful lifestyle. This perpetual merry-go-round takes us further and further away from God. And further away from the truth of who we really are.

Without even knowing it, we accept and live in the identity Satan crafts for us. But God has other plans for us…

Blessings,


© Copyright 2017 Denise Buss. All rights reserved.

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