Family

Choose for yourselves today the one you will worship . . . . As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord. – Joshua 24:15

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A loving family is a treasure from God. If God has blessed you with a close knit, supportive clan, offer a word of thanks to your Creator because He has given you one of His most precious earthly possessions. Your obligation, in response to God’s gift, is to treat your family in ways that are consistent with His commandments.

We live in a fast-paced, demanding world, a place where life can be difficult and pressures can be intense. As those pressures build, you may tend to focus so intently upon your obligations that you lose sight, albeit temporarily, of your spiritual and emotional needs (that’s one reason why a regular daily devotional time is so important; it offers a badly-needed dose of perspective).

Even when the demands of everyday life are great, we must never forget that we have been entrusted with a profound responsibility: the responsibility of contributing to our family’s emotional and spiritual well-being. It’s a big job, but with God’s help, we can be up to the task.

When we place God squarely in the center of our family’s life-when we worship Him, praise Him, trust Him, and love Him-then He will most certainly bless us in ways that we could have scarcely imagined.

So the next time your family life becomes a little stressful, remember this: That little band of men, women, kids, and babies is a priceless treasure on temporary loan from the Father above. And it’s your responsibility to praise God for that gift-and to act accordingly. Today, think about the importance of saying “yes” to your family even if it means saying “no” to other obligations.

– Steve Arterburn

When you think about it for a moment, it certainly makes sense that if people can establish a loving and compatible relationship at home, they have a better chance of establishing winning relationships with those with whom they work on a regular basis. – Zig Ziglar

You cannot honor your family without nurturing your own sense of personal value and honor. – Stephen Covey

Living life with a consistent spiritual walk deeply influences those we love most. – Vonette Bright      

 

 

Accepting Ownership of Our Past

Much is required from those to whom much is given. – Luke 12:48b

Accepting Ownership of our Past

A new life in Christ doesn’t excuse past obligations or erase the ongoing consequences of past sins. When the apostle Paul was in prison he led a runaway slave named Onesimus to Christ. But then Paul sent him back to his master—even though Onesimus faced a possible death penalty for his offense! Paul sent a letter back with the fugitive saying that if Onesimus had caused any harm or stolen anything that Paul would pay for it. Paul recognized that even though Onesimus was now a Christian, and forgiven of his sins, he needed to address the wrongs he’s committed in the past.

Likewise, before you can move ahead, you must face the unfinished business of your past. This may include facing up to some cowardly behavior, crooked schemes, or quick-fix solutions to difficult problems that just didn’t work. While you can be certain that God will meet you where you are, He calls you to take responsibility for whatever sins may have brought you to whatever circumstances you’re presently in. Once you accept ownership of your past, God will help you move ahead. But He’ll do it His way, not yours.

– Steve Arterburn

Nobody ever did, or ever will escape the consequences of his choices. – Alfred A. Montapert

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up. – John C.Maxwell

Take Responsibility

Much is required from those to whom much is given. – Luke 12:48b

Take Responsibility

Sometimes taking responsibility for our lives means completing unfinished business. Some of us may have left a trail of broken laws and relationships–things that need addressing before moving on. Others may be burdened by debts that inhibit spiritual pursuits. Before moving forward spiritually, we’ll need to take responsibility for wrongs done in the past.

A new life in Christ doesn’t excuse past obligations or erase the ongoing consequences of past sins. When the apostle Paul was in prison he led a runaway slave named Onesimus to Christ. But then Paul sent him back to his master–even though Onesimus faced a possible death penalty for his offense! Paul sent a letter back with the fugitive saying that if Onesimus had caused any harm or stolen anything that Paul would pay for it. Paul recognized that even though Onesimus was now a Christian, and forgiven of his sins, he needed to address the wrongs he’s committed in the past.

Likewise, before you can move ahead, you must face the unfinished business of your past. This may include facing up to some cowardly behavior, crooked schemes, or quick-fix solutions to difficult problems that just didn’t work. While you can be certain that God will meet you where you are, He calls you to take responsibility for whatever sins may have brought you to whatever circumstances you’re presently in. Once you accept ownership of your past, God will help you move ahead. But He’ll do it His way, not yours.

– Steve Arterburn

Nobody ever did, or ever will escape the consequences of his choices. – Alfred A. Montapert

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Facing Up to Our Wrongs

Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Facing Up to Our Wrongs

Refusing to take responsibility for the harm you have caused others only leads to further damage. As weeks, months, or years pass, lack of communication, unrelenting anger, and hateful emotional exchanges can all create tremendous anxiety. The threatening atmosphere created by this tension often tempts you to focus on wrongs done to you, rather than taking responsibility for the wrongs you may have committed. So you persist in blaming others because it keeps you from dealing with the painful truth of your sinful behavior. When you’ve harmed someone in the past, you really need to take responsibility for it.

In the Old Testament, this was the case for Jacob upon returning to see his brother Esau. Jacob had come to accept that he had wronged Esau in stealing his birthright. In the process of taking responsibility for his past behavior, he moved from awareness to action. Prior to their reunion, Jacob and Esau’s relationship was ruled by fear. But once Jacob took responsibility for his past, things began to change. When Jacob eventually faced his brother, the two were able to express love for each other even though they both remembered the pain of the past.

Accepting responsibility for wrongdoing can be a frightening thing, because it requires that we face your weaknesses and stop blaming others for your problems. But, you can take courage and instruction to do so through Jacob. Seek God’s help in restoring your relationships.

– Steve Arterburn

Eating words has never given me indigestion. – Sir Winston Churchill

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Hiding God’s Word in Your Heart

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Hiding God’s Word in Your Heart

What sorts of things find their way into your heart and mind? If you’re exposing yourself to a constant barrage of ungodly words, music, or images, you’re not taking full responsibility for your life. You can fill your heart and mind with God’s Word, and when you do, you’ll create a defense against some of the evil messages the world so frequently sends your way.

The writer of Psalm 119 declared, “I have tried my best to find you don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:10-11). “Hiding” God’s Word in your heart essentially means memorizing and meditating on the Bible. God uses his Word the Bible—to speak to you and show you how you ought to live.

You’ve been given the responsibility to guard your heart and to keep track of the things you hide inside it. So, what’s in there? An­ger? Lust? Ugly images from TV, the movies, or the web? Are you harboring bitterness? Greed? Are you envious of others? If you’re struggling with these things maybe it’s because you have more of the world’s wisdom in your heart than the true wisdom of God.

Are you having a hard time finding God and following His com­mands? Hiding God’s word in your heart will foster spiritual growth by guarding against those things that hurt you and displease God. I love the words of the Psalmist when he said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

– Steve Arterburn

Taking Responsibility for our Behavior

Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Taking Responsibility for our Behavior

Refusing to take responsibility for the harm you have caused oth­ers only leads to further damage. As weeks, months, or years pass, lack of communication, unrelenting anger, and hateful emotional exchanges can all create tremendous anxiety. The threatening atmosphere created by this tension often tempts you to focus on wrongs done to you, rather than taking responsibility for the wrongs you may have committed. So you persist in blaming others because it keeps you from dealing with the painful truth of your sinful behavior. When you’ve harmed someone in the past, you really need to take responsibility for it.

In the Old Testament, this was the case for Jacob upon return­ing to see his brother Esau. Jacob had come to accept that he had wronged Esau in stealing his birthright. In the process of taking responsibility for his past behavior, he moved from awareness to action. Prior to their reunion, Jacob and Esau’s relationship was ruled by fear. But once Jacob took responsibility for his past, things began to change. When Jacob eventually faced his brother, the two were able to express love for each other even though they both remembered the pain of the past.

Accepting responsibility for wrongdoing can be a frightening thing, because it requires that we face your weaknesses and stop blaming others for your problems. But, you can take courage and instruc­tion to do so through Jacob. Seek God’s help in restoring your relationships.

– Steve Arterburn

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.” – C.S. Lewis

Refusing Responsibility

For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict each other, so that you do not do what you want. – Galatians 5:17
Refusing Responsibility

At no point in our country’s history has there been such an epidemic of victimitis as there is today—that is, people who declare themselves powerless against their  circumstances, metabolisms, or upbringings. This victim mentality prompts many alcoholics to say, “Drinking problems run in my family—it’s genetic. There’s really nothing I can do about it.” Criminals say, “Look at my upbringing. I never had a chance. It’s not my fault.” I once spoke with the warden of a federal prison who told me that if he believed the inmates, there wasn’t a guilty man there.

Don’t create or allow circumstances to develop that can destroy you. Have you accumulated crushing debt? Given in to addiction? Refused to resolve broken relationships? Take responsibility for your life. Don’t fall back on excuses like bad luck, bad genes, or bad parents.

Christians aren’t exempt from the victim mentality either; we often put another spin on our situation—we blame God for things. The seductive power of the victim mentality is that you never accept responsibility. It’s always someone or something else’s fault.

I’m not saying your circumstances, genes, and upbringing don’t affect who you are. They clearly do. What I’m saying is, regardless of all these things, we remain responsible for our own behavior. And more importantly, God is capable of bringing about change in any life, even yours—no matter how messed up it is.

– Steve Arterburn

The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

Taking Responsibility

Some Christians are waiting for God to do what God is waiting for them to do…and that’s taking responsibility for our own actions as they relate to our spiritual growth. We have to be willing to be responsible, and not just pray for God to take care of it for us. Watch the video for more.

steveGet more from tv.newlife.com.

New Life Live: August 1, 2014

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Topics: Sexual AddictionSexual IntegrityBoundariesShameAffairsMarriageSelf WorthForgivenessBipolarParenting 
Hosts: Steve Arterburn and Guest Hosts Marilyn Meberg and Shannon Ethridge

Caller Questions:

  1. What is my next step if my husband continues to have wandering eyes? 
  2. How do I forgive myself for a fling I had 20yrs ago? 
  3. What can I do to help my daughter to accept that she is bipolar? 
  4. I had a child with an abusive woman; is the child my responsibility? 

Suggested Resources:
Healing Is a Choice
Constantly Craving
7 Minute Marriage Solution

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

You Are Accountable

You Are Accountable

But each person should examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in himself alone, and not in respect to someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load. – Galatians 6:4-5 HCSB 

accountability.newlife

We humans are masters at passing the buck. Why? Because passing the buck is easier than fixing, and criticizing others is so much easier than improving ourselves. So instead of solving our problems legitimately (by doing the work required to solve them), we are inclined to fret, to blame, and to criticize, while doing precious little else. When we do, our problems, quite predictably, remain unsolved.

Whether you like it or not, you (and only you) are accountable for your actions. But because you are human, you’ll be sorely tempted to pass the blame. Avoid that temptation at all costs.

Problem-solving builds character. Every time you straighten your back and look squarely into the face of Old Man Trouble, you’ll strengthen not only your backbone but also your spirit. So, instead of looking for someone to blame, look for something to fix, and then get busy fixing it. And as you consider your own situation, remember this: God has a way of helping those who help themselves, but He doesn’t spend much time helping those who don’t.

It is easy to hold other people accountable, but real accountability begins with the person in the mirror. Think about one specific area of responsibility that is uniquely yours, and think about a specific step you can take today to better fulfill that responsibility.

Generally speaking, accountability is a willingness to share our activities, conduct, and fulfillment of assigned responsibilities with others.- Charles Stanley

Though I know intellectually how vulnerable I am to pride and power, I am the last one to know when I succumb to their seduction. That’s why spiritual Lone Rangers are so dangerous— and why we must depend on trusted brothers and sisters who love us enough to tell us the truth. – Chuck Colson 

We urgently need people who encourage and inspire us to move toward God and away from the world’s enticing pleasures.- Jim Cymbala 

What difference does it make to you what someone else becomes, or says, or does? You do not need to answer for others, only for yourself. Thomas Kempis