Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
Today’s readings looks at concepts of witnessing and the importance of living a life in the way God wants and at the same time, realizing it is God who should be our focus. As we come close to God we are able to do more than we expected of ourselves.
I love the concepts that we are to live our lives in such a way that our lives do the teaching. I don’t know if I have always succeeded at this. I know the closer I get to Jesus, the more I love others with my actions and my life speaks. I am not a ‘tract’ kind of Christian who witnesses by tracts. I know I ultimately have to use words to give an explanation as to why I live the life I do. When I do that, I can’t ignore the role Jesus has played in my life. Ultimately, I need to use words, but those words carry more impact when my life supports them. I have to walk my talk, if my talk is to be effective.
God has done a lot for me over the years. I have learned to experience the joy and live in a way that results in people talking to me about my faith. I don’t spend my time preaching to them, it is a conversation, a respectful thing where I don’t compromise my beliefs, but I am respected for those beliefs.
Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are; immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and these things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit ~ Galatians 5:16
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