The Nature of Consequences

THE NATURE OF CONSEQUENCES

  Posted on October 26, 2019

I’ve been reading Proverbs all year. Over and over again, God says certain kinds of behavior will result in certain kinds of consequences. It may take a while to get there, but the fruit you get will ultimately reflect the seed you planted.

I think this is terribly important when you are talking about marriage.

Keep It Simple

Being unconcerned and unintentional about your marriage leaves your marriage vulnerable to a number of marriage-killing attitudes and circumstances.

Being thoughtful and intentional about growing your marriage means your marriage has a chance to survive … and even thrive.

Y’all, keep learning, growing, and investing in your marriage. It does take two to make a healthy, strong marriage, but when you do your part, you are doing what you can to make your marriage last for a lifetime and be worth the effort.

No marriage will last a lifetime if left on the backburner. Give your marriage your best investment, not your leftovers.  Mark & Jill Savage

Is Dwelling on the Negative Hurting You?

Is Dwelling on the Negative Hurting You?

You are sitting at home and your mind keeps going over the negatives — over and over. You keep reviewing what has happened to you — perhaps a conflict with someone, something at work, your living conditions, your finances, your health. Whatever. You dwell on it. You are stuck.

What is Rumination?

A lot of people sit at home, dwell on the negative and find themselves getting deeper and deeper in their depression. Psychologists call this style of repetitive negative thoughts “rumination.” When cows ruminate, they chew on their cud, chomping over and over without swallowing. When humans ruminate, they repeat negative thoughts over and over, dwelling on something either in the past or the present — but do nothing to change anything. Ruminating is like spinning your wheels in the mud. You don’t seem to be getting anywhere, so you just keep spinning your wheels, faster and faster. You keep digging a hole, find yourself stuck, and dig deeper and deeper.

Examples of rumination include repeating in your mind negative experiences in the past, replaying conversations that you had, dwelling on the “injuries” and “injustices” that you have suffered, or asking questions that don’t have answers, such as “Why am I so depressed?,” “Why me?,” “What is the meaning of all of this?” or “Why did he or she say that?” You may ruminate about your physical maladies, your aches and pains, your emotions, your sensations or just about anything. The key thing is that you are stuck.

The Cost of Rumination

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema at Yale University has been studying this problematic style for years. Her research shows that people who ruminate are more likely to get depressed and stay depressed. She finds that women are more likely than men to ruminate — and that this partly predicts the greater likelihood of depression in women. We also know that to some extent rumination is a way to avoid emotions — you are stuck in your thinking because you can’t face the emotions that you may have. You are over-thinking, trying to make sense, trying to get the answer.

And, when you are ruminating you are temporarily withdrawn from reality. You are not active, you aren’t socializing, you are not living in the present moment. You are somewhere else — in your head, in your thoughts, in a different time. You think you are “doing something,” but you are not pursuing goals, nothing is happening, you are stuck.

How Does Rumination Make Sense To You?

Many people who ruminate actually don’t realize that they have a choice. “These thoughts just come into my head and I can’t get rid of them.” It’s as if a thought pops up and you have to entertain it for an hour. You don’t. You do have a choice. For example, you are ruminating and the phone rings. You stop ruminating and talk on the phone. You temporarily set it aside.

Others ruminate because they believe that they will forget what they wanted to remember that was so negative. This is a combination of what psychologists, like Adrian Wells at the University of Manchester, call “cognitive incompetence” and “cognitive consciousness”– where you don’t trust your memory and you are continually focused on your thinking. You can’t trust your memory so you repeat the rumination. But because you think you have to pay attention to every thought that occurs, you are overwhelmed — and there is more to remember.

You also think that thinking about it will give you clarity, give you the final insight, and that everything will make sense. Adrian Wells’s research indicates that ruminators often believe that they have a responsibility to figure it out, that their rumination will lead to solving a problem and that their rumination will motivate them. Sometimes, of course, thinking about what has happened can lead to learning from your mistakes, it can motivate you to try harder, or it can help you find some meaning in your experience. But many times rumination simply leads to getting stuck in the negative, withdrawing from reality, and trapping you in an endless loop of questions without sufficient answers.

Is Your Rumination Helping or Hurting You?

It’s helping if you actually get answers — and get them rather quickly. It’s hurting if you continue repeating the questions and get nowhere.

It’s helping if you get a to-do list today — that is, some concrete behavior that you can engage in that will solve the problem. It’s hurting if you can’t figure out what to do except continue ruminating.

There are roadblocks in setting aside rumination. These include your demand for certainty — “I need to know for sure.” You won’t get certainty in an uncertain world. Another roadblock is your unwillingness to accept that unfair things do happen — and that rumination won’t change that. Bad things happen to good people — including you. If you demand certainty and always expect fairness — and then dwell on these things — you are losing your life one moment at a time. No one says, “I really care for you and I hope that you ruminate every day over the next year.”

How To Set Aside Rumination

If you have concluded that rumination is a problem for you — or if your partner thinks you are complaining too much about your negative thoughts — then consider the following:

  1. Will this rumination really help me? What do you hope to gain? Will you really “get the answer?” Will everything make sense? Has it really worked for you? If not, try the next step.

  Set aside rumination time.
This is quite simple, but you will think it may be impossible. Write out the topic of your current rumination — when it occurs — and set up an appointment with it later in the day. Let’s say your rumination time is 4:30 PM. If you ruminate at 10 AM or 10 PM then write it down and think about it at 4:30. Chances are it won’t bother you very much when you meet up with it — and you will be able to enjoy your life during the rest of the day.

  Is there a real problem to solve now?
I like to use this with my own rumination. If I find myself dwelling on something, I try to ask myself, “Is there a problem to solve?” If there is, I then go into problem-solving mode, listing the goal, resources, and writing out a plan, if necessary. Often there is no real problem to solve — it’s a problem that happened in the past. It’s unfortunate, perhaps, but it’s dead and gone.

  Focus on goals that you can accomplish.
A lot of your rumination is focusing on goals you can’t achieve — like changing the past. Let’s say that life is a buffet. If one of the entrees is distasteful, try something else. If you are focusing on a conversation last week — and you are miserable and ruminating — then refocus onto something that is fun today. Changing goals changes the way you think and feel.

  Learn to accept the world in order to live in it. You often ruminate because they reality you chew on is not the one you can swallow. Try accepting that things can be unclear, unfair, unfortunate and unpleasant. That doesn’t mean you like it — doesn’t mean you are saying it’s “OK.” It just means that you say, “I notice it is what it is, but I want to get on with my life.” If you don’t accept what is given, you will drag yourself down further — it’s like treating yourself unfairly (by ruminating) because unfair things have happened. Accepting the past allows you to build the future.

Keep in mind that living in your repetitive thoughts will not solve the problems you need to solve and will not give you the pleasure of the present moment. You have been hitting yourself in the head with rumination. Put down the hammer and pick up your life.

And if you are a Spiritual Person, you can add a whole new dynamic to this train of thought. Not only do you have a chance to stop dwelling on problems, but you have a Creator who has given us promise in the ancient writings! The Bible, to help us with focus on the right things. The good things, not the negative, that is flooding us on all sides.

A Look Into My Soul: A Bad Choice & Extreme Sorrow

So, during a deep time of reflection this past morning, realized, in a very real way, and, “Felt” the pain that I caused to my wife with the mis-use of my words. The sad and unfortunate thing, is these times happened while I was under the influence of Alcohol, and was under the influence, through a series of unfortunate events, and it all boiled down to me, making a bad choice, and now, am paying for that choice.

Was feeling this anguish in my spirit since about 1:30 am last night, woke up from a dream, in tears, feeling the pain and sorrow that brought to my wife. Yes, this is very difficult to share, and talk about, but, it is a real thing. There is hope, yes, but this season, is very difficult, for all of us, all because I made a bad choice. There is no one to blame, but myself, for my choice, and I take it even a step further to say that the enemy of my soul has been at work to Steal, Kill and Destroy all that God has set before Jill and I.

Now, we are reeling from the pain of what happened this past year. For you see, this event has happened a handful of times, and each time, i promised to make things right, and yet, chose that path like 6 times, and now, paying for it all dearly.

Please pray for my wife Jill. She felt the sting of the words I spoke, which, by the way, were not true. They were all lies of the enemies camp. It is during this course that I realized that the battle was literally going on between my hears and in my brain. And the enemy used alcohol as a catalyst to compound the problem. Yes, I still take full responsibility, and now, only wish I can take back the words that were spoken. Oh how I pray that God will redeem the time and the days.

God gave me a dream the past 48 hours, and it showed me some very real hope of restoration, healing, love, joy, peace, forgiveness, wholeness and a time of refreshing, this time is here, now and God is asking me to declare the power word of his promise and cancel out the negative words that were spoken. I have been in the battle of my life for my marriage, spiritually, right now.

No more, is there any desire for alcohol, in any form. From this day forward, I chose to live free of alcohol and its power. With my higher power by my side, and in my heart, I am overcoming this.

My choice is from chains, to freedom.

And I know exactly what that looks like, how it feels, and how life should be done! I have missed it for over a year, been getting alot right, but missed one very crucial point in life to be truely successful, and that is following my Creator, with all my Heart. Which, when done, brings very real life transformation, brings healing, brings restoration, brings freedom and brings lots of hope. As I learn to stand on His word no matter what life throws in my direction. No more Fear, only Faith. I am taking a step out of the boat to head towards my creator, in this storm I am in, and believing that all will be well.

Yes, it was sins of the past that brought me to this point in life. And that of not dealing with things that were brought to my attention years ago. Now, they are dealt with, and it is time to move forward and move upward and onward.

It is my hope and prayer that God Fully Redeems and Restores Jill and I and our relationship. I was told, as was spending some time in prayer, and believe that God spoke to my heart. Was wondering why I could not stop thinking of Jill, why and how this new found relationship has caused my heart to literally go pitter patter. THAT has never happened to me before, like ever. Then God spoke to my heart and said, “I wired you to love her.” And she told me that God spoke to her heart that it was okay to “Love Me” as well. And so began our journey.

Now, because of a bad choice, our relationship teeters on the depths of despair.

Please, this is my plea, “Pray that God heals and Restores our relationship.

What are Generational Curses?

What is a Generational Curse?

On this crisp, fall morning, and a blistering 39 degrees out, I feel the cold damp air hit my face.  And it got me to thinking about how this weather, right now, seems sad.  Like a deep sorrow is in the air.  And then, looking at my own life, realize there have been times that I have had things happen to me that cannot simply explain, why those things happened.

And it was brought to my attention, that because I am a Jr., there are generational things in my life that need to be broken.  Not complete sure, yet what those are, but have become a topic of prayer for me, asking the Creator to show me what it is that needs to be broken, for good.  From this day forward, no longer bound to the sins of the past.

A generational curse is believed to be passed down from one generation to another due to rebellion against God. If your family line is marked by divorce, incest, poverty, anger or other ungodly patterns, you’re likely under a generational curse. The Bible says that these curses are tied to choices. Deuteronomy 30:19 says we can either choose life and blessing or death and cursing. 

Our families have the greatest influence on our development, including the development of our patterns of sin. Some people even assert that family or generational curses are passed down along generational lines. This belief comes from Old Testament passages which say that God “punishes the children and their children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7). 

Whether or not families inherit spiritual curses, it is obvious that patterns of sin are passed down through families. Everyone sins; but just as culture, ethnicity, and gender steer our patterns of sin in particular directions, so do our families.

We inherit many traits and preferences from our parents that aren’t always a positive influence on ourselves or others. When we acquire a sinful habit or belief that negatively affects our lives or those around us, this is known as a generational curse. It is the shadow side of behavior passed down through the generations but is it possible to break this cycle of suffering?

Generational Curses in the Bible

Based on texts taken out of context and used as pretexts, it has become increasingly common for Christians to suppose that they are victims of generational curses. As such, they suppose they have inherited demons ranging from anger to alcoholism, from laziness to lust. Closer examination, however, demonstrates this notion to be seriously flawed.

Scripture clearly communicates that consequences – not curses – are passed on through the generations. 

In this sense, the Bible says that children are punished for the sins of their fathers “to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 20:5). The children of alcoholic fathers frequently suffer neglect and abuse as a direct consequence of their father’s sinful behavior. Moreover, the descendants of those who hate God are likely to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers.

Scripture explicitly tells us that “the son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son.” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Indeed, when ancient Israel quoted the proverb, “The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Ezekiel 18:2), God responded in no uncertain terms: “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel….The soul who sins is the one who will die” (vv.3–4).

Finally, While the notion of generational curses is foreign to Scripture, there is a sense in which the curse of sin has been passed on from generation to generation. Through the first Adam, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Through the second Adam—Jesus Christ—atonement is offered to all. Says Paul, “Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men” (Romans 5:18). Through no act of our own we are condemned; likewise, through no act of our own, we are saved (Romans 5:12–21).

— Hank Hanegraaff

Breaking the Generational Curse 

Breaking the Generational Curse
Keep It Simple

Maybe you’ve inherited a family curse, or maybe the curse has begun with you. Either way, God has a plan for your freedom that will shatter the chains of that cycle forever! It will stop it in your life and stop it from passing on to your children!

“The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, ‘What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? ‘As I live,’ says the LORD GOD, ‘you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine'” (Ezekiel 18:1-4).

You can be free! John 8:31-36 reminds us that as we abide in Jesus Christ, we receive His freedom. Not only has Jesus set us free from our sins, He has set us free from the penalty, the moral liability, and the ongoing curse of that sin! Jesus Christ is the Anointed One. That means He is the burden-removing, yoke-destroying power of God in our lives.

There’s going to come a time when the fathers may eat sour grapes, but the children’s teeth will not be set on edge when the curse will not be passed down from generation to generation. It doesn’t have to be “like father like son.” Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we have a new and better covenant with God the Father. Through Jesus’ blood, He forgives us our sin and delivers us from iniquity.

God has redeemed us from the curses being passed on from one generation to the next. This redemption comes as we understand that the root of our problems is in the spiritual realm. As we apply God’s Word and power to our lives, and we choose to walk in righteousness and obedience to God, the chains of bondage will be broken. The freedom we have longed for can become reality!