I was raised Christian and still identify as Christian. When I coach I use psychology, spirituality, and Christian principals. I grew in my faith by listening to Joyce Meyer for years as well as Joel Osteen. Both of these teachers are controversial, I believe, because they promote us having self responsibility for our lives. Now, I attend a very liberal Christian church – Elevation Church, pastored by Steven Furtick.
What I struggle with in the Christian space is a lot of opions, judgements and legalism. And what Joyce refers to as “baby Christians” who are still struggling with personality conflicts. And I know this post might even alienate me from some of my friends in that space – but I’m no longer going to live in fear of other people’s judgments in order to fit into a peer group.
What I will continue to do is share my experience and victory as a conqueror in Christ, with other mindset and spiritual practices.
I know a lot of people claim “VICTORY” in Christ, but behind closed doors are living miserably. I was once one of them. This “religious” environment often causes us to want to seem perfect because we want people to see that Jesus paid it all, and that nothing phases us – when the truth is behind closed doors we are struggling with deep darkness and we wonder why Jesus doesn’t heal us.
Because it takes courage to be vulernable and ask for help. When we pray “God heal us, change my situation, etc” – the very next day he might put a yoga teacher or spiritual coach in your path that has practices that can help your anxiety and depression. Yet we say “no” for fear that yoga is from the devil.
What if instead we prayed, “God, I trust the Holy Spirit (intuition) that you’ve placed in me, that I may recognize when someone is here to help me heal and is in the light. And close me off to anyone who is here to manipulate and take from me. I trust you on this path to growth and spiritual maturity.”
My experience is we need to be open to pursing what we need. And this will be different for everyone, but I let myself be influenced by so many judgements as I just kept crying, reading my bible, praying and living in my stories because I expected that same routine to get me different results.
God is good. He has the power to heal anything and everything – but if we shut out those who were put in our lives to guide us, then it’s the same as not going to a doctor, because “God heals all.”
The paralyzed man beside the well complained there was no one to help him…and Jesus asked him straight up, “Do you want to be well?”
I feel like we are doing a disservice to everyone if we continue to NOT live up to our potential and continue to stay trapped in our stories.
Sometimes we need a coach or a guide to really ask us – do we want to be made well or do we like the comfortable feeling of complaining about our circumstances?
Jesus called him out.
And I don’t come out and teach the Bible, because I’m not a pastor and honestly, it’s because I know when I do, people from around the land will pass judgements on the use of “witchery” – hypnosis, NLP, ACT, psychology, positive thinking, life coaching, forgiveness practices, meditation, mindfulness, smudging, yoga, etc – because they are techniques that are sometimes used in other cultures and religions.
To me, as Christians, we are not called to pass judgment on others and their choices but to LOVE them and come alongside the on their journey to enlightenment. (This is not a term often used by Christians but by Buddhists – however I would love to see more Christians actually LOVING on others and accepting them where they are instead of quoting a scripture and pointing the finger on why they are sinners and are going to Hell.) And we wonder why so many people are standoffish when we say we are Christian, and invite them to church – because they’ve encountered so many hypocrites. AND I AM ONE OF THEM.
I’ve been judgmental, downright mean, inconsiderate and selfish.
And through ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) I’m learning to accept all of me and forgive myself for my missteps, remove shame, and incorporate teachable moments for others. I’ve been reading the Bible for my entire life, yet for ME to really understand forgiveness, I needed a Relationship Coach (2 of them actually) that I believe God guided me to.
If you talk to a lot of people from my recent past and years past, they will recall many times of negativity and cruelness. All the while, I called myself a Christian. My point is this. Reading the Bible, quoting scripture and calling ourselves Christian is not good enough. Just like praying to God to help us lose 20lbs is not enough, we actually have to take responsibility for our circumstances and then take inspired action to change.
How do we begin to KNOW God? To me it is to take on our human-ness, and examine our subconscious. Even the stories taught to us by our religion by what is “good” and what is “bad.” There are so many shamed filled people walking around because of religion and the fear of exploring psychology because of “new age” principals being from the devil.
And I will be the first to admit, I was in that trap for years.
Now I believe that shame and fear of judgement is just another form of spiritual warfare being used to keep us in bondage, and continue to perpetuate the stereotypical-judemental-holier-than-thou-relgious person.
To help others we must first start by helping ourselves. Then when we show up as better versions of ourselves (through both knowing the scriptures AND addressing the psychology and spirituality of being human) THEN we can be living and loving as ONE, as God designed us to be.
Would love to know your thoughts, as I think this will be a triggering post for many.
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I used to think a physical fitness & nutrition routine was top priority when it comes to well being and happiness. Faith has always been the missing link that I’ve taught for years since I founded @fitfaithfreedom in 2012 to bring fitness and faith together. However – now I am more fully aware of what a faith practice means. As a Christian, I used to religiously read my bible and pray each morning along with my workouts – and I would continue to BE a negative & angry person all day. I had it all. A fit body. Weekly church attendance. Reading the Word daily. Listened to #joycemeyer everytime I was in the car. But why then, was I still miserable? Isn’t reading the Bible good enough? Isn’t going to church what good Christians do? Joining a small group? Haha! I’m laughing because I followed all the Christian rules to be seen as s good Christian. But what comes up for me now is: “Are you becoming a better Christian or becoming a better HUMAN?” What I mean is, we can hide our hurt in our faith. We can go to small groups and still wear a mask. We can still be living in our subconscious beliefs, and operating systems. Now, my meditation practice is my prayer. It’s no longer me saying “Why, God, Why?” But it’s me saying, “Thank you, God. I’m just going to sit here in your supernatural energy and be thankful that I am experiencing it.” That shift starts with vulnerability and openness to looking at what we have done – even if it seems “good” and to see that if we want different results, something has to shift. And it all starts in the mind, questioning our automatic (subconscious) ways of being and responding. Are you open to shifting?