When I notice the pull of an idol,

what I learn from that desire, is that I’m evidently looking for relief, trying to prove myself worthy, which means I still have more suppressed childhood pain to face, experience. When I wish I were different – try not to be who I am, this also points to suppressed pain, motivating me to prove myself worthy, feel good about myself based on my performance, not Jesus’ performance. Noticing my need for further healing is a good thing. The immediate goal is not elimination of the pain, but noticing the pain. Noticing is vital for healing.

Confessing my sin is good, healthy, restorative, but despising myself for my sin is not healthy, and not humility, but rather pridefully treating myself as Satan would have me treat myself, not treating myself as Jesus treats me. Jesus loves/accepts/enjoys/cherishes me, just as I am, sin and all, and for me to do the same requires humility, which is a fruit of the Spirit’s work in my life. Humility is not something I can engineer on my own, so I get no credit for it.

–WeakDave, getting healthier because folks have been praying (please keep praying and please pray now)

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Why are my idols so strong?

I now suspect it’s because of suppressed excruciating pain from childhood, that I evidently have not wanted to face, experience.  What is the pain?  I’ve concluded that it’s my feeling unloved by my parents, and my being ignored, criticized and ridiculed by my dad, causing me to suppress feelings of worthlessness, shame, of being a loser.  Even though I remember my dad treating me this way, I never remember thinking I was a loser, worthless, as a child, or as an adult, but the analysis makes so much sense today as I look at my life.

To compensate, I’ve unconsciously been trying all my adult life to prove myself worthy: to myself, and to others.  Feeling good about myself.  Worthy, I now think, of being loved/enjoyed/cherished.  But I would never have guessed, until recently, that as a child, I stuffed wanting my dad’s love.  As an adult, I’ve been consciously indifferent to my dad’s unlove, but now I see, I must have wanted it badly all along.  Denial is powerful.

So how do I attempt to prove myself worthy?  By striving for excellence in my areas of idolatry/addiction, such as ministry, health management, investments, bargains, brilliant decisions that never produce regrets, and walking, driving, working, more rapidly and with more excellence, than others.  Hyper-competitive, but also highly loss-avoidant: I’ve noticed I avoid competition/debate unless risk of losing is extremely low, and even then, I’m uncomfortable.  Performance gives me relief from the suppressed pain of feeling worthless/unloved, like alcohol provides relief from the suppressed pain of an alcoholic.  Performance addiction has nurtured me into a control-freak perfectionist and my poor body has paid the price for a lifetime of self-abuse.

Cognitively, intellectually, I’ve known for thirty years that Jesus’ righteousness and love, is all I need, but my idols have been so strong/addictive, the suppressed pain so huge and excruciating I now suspect, that His imputed righteousness, even His love, and the love of other humans, have seemed unsatisfying to me, most of the time, unless I’ve been freshly convicted of my dissatisfaction, my wanting to feel worthy by having some righteousness/performance of my own.  But over the past six months, and especially the past week, Jesus has been inviting me to look inside, get in touch with my suppressed feelings, experience my painful father-wound, so I can begin to heal.  And He’s been healing me, little by little.  With increasing self-awareness, my idols are beginning to lose their intensity, their grip on my life, their addictive nature, and I’m amazed at the difference it’s ma king in me.  The joy and the peace are priceless.  It’s so much easier to fix my eyes and thoughts on Jesus when big idols aren’t in the way.  And I’m finding this self-absorbed control-freak-perfectionist better able to enjoy those around him, extending grace/compassion to them, instead of robbing them of grace by judging them, looking for their areas of inferiority to JudgeDave, so he can feel worthy, by comparison.

–WeakDave, the beneficiary of the prayers of God’s people (please keep praying and please pray now)

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How to get more amazing grace.

Grace flows downhill to the lowly/needy who know they are needy: sinners/failures/losers who know they are sinners/failures/losers.  Not uphill to the strong/confident/superior.  But this grace is impossible for us mortals to orchestrate.

So how can I get more grace?  Ask Him, and if it helps you believe, claim the promise of Luke 11, that if we ask for the Spirit, He will give us the Spirit: fresh conviction of sin, fresh death to my agenda, fresh Jesus-dependency, fresh enjoyment of Jesus, others, myself and my circumstances.

–WeakDave, who qualifies for grace, because folks have been praying for fresh conviction of sin in his life (please keep praying, so pre-believers will want this amazing grace for themselves)

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Having self-awareness and self-acceptance,

doesn’t mean I’m emotionally and spiritually healthy; it means I know who I am, and accept/enjoy all of me, including my emotional and spiritual dysfunction, just as Jesus accepts/enjoys me, dysfunction and all.  What keeps me from self-awareness and self-acceptance?  Pride. 

–ProudDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of sin so he’s HumbleDave, not needing any performance/somebodiness of his own, free to be a loser, so he’s free to enjoy Jesus, others, himself, his circumstances, just as they are (please pray now)

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“I’m no loser, but a winner.”

These six words have defined me my whole life, since high school, when for the first time in my life I got some real encouragement in the direction of somebodiness, and it felt so good it has driven me like nothing else would have driven me.  And explains so much of who I am and why I’ve done what I’ve done, although I never consciously thought those six words until July 21, 2012.

–IndependentDave, who needs prayer to be DependentDave, free from the need to prove himself to himself and others, content with the imputed performance/righteousness of Jesus, so he’ll be able to enjoy Jesus, others, himself, and his circumstances, just as they are (please pray now)

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When the Jesus in me is contagious,

I have this curiosity and expectancy about what He will do in the next minutes, hours — in me, in others, in my circumstances.   And I’m surprisingly thankful about everything, including the hard.  And whatever I face is not my problem, not my job to fix: Jesus’ problem and Jesus’ job.  Ahhh, tis so sweet to experience Jesus living His life in me.

–IndependentDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of sin, so he’s momentarily DependentDave, enjoying Jesus, others, himself, circumstances, just as they are, so the pre-believers and believers around him will want Jesus-dependency too (please pray now)

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What philosophy appeals to me?

One where the people who espouse the philosophy/religion/theology, love me and others unconditionally, just as we are, whether or not we agree with their philosophy, follow their philosophy.  Not necessarily the philosophy that makes the most sense, intellectually, or scientifically, but the one where the people following the philosophy, love the best.   Are the most Jesus-like.  I will give my ear to the followers who love the best.   If I laugh at them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If I ridicule them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If I denounce them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If you want to win me over, you need to begin with love, not argument, and if you don’t continue to demonstrate other-worldy humility and other-worldly love, I will likely not listen to your answers to my questions/hangups with your philosop hy.   Other-worldy love is the most-compelling apologetic.

–ProudDave, needing prayer to be freshly convicted of the sin of independence, so he’s momentarily HumbleDave, with the power of Jesus enabling him to love the impossible to love (please pray now)

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The height of presumption,

is being intense/agendified about anything.  My will be done.   I know what’s best for me and those I love.  God bless my agenda.  This created-dependent knows: confident/willful/proud/evil/wicked/presumptuous.  Only the presumptuous judge others around us, as to worthiness or unworthiness, winner or loser or mediocre.  Why?  To feel superior to losers and worship winnners.  The humble enjoy everyone.

–IndependentDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of sin, to be HumbleDave, enjoying his Shepherd, others, himself, circumstances, just as they are, so that pre-believers around him are wowed by such humility and love (please pray now)

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