by Jo Umberger, Vice President, NewLife Behavior International
Sometimes we are shackled and don’t even know it. A person who grew up in a home where there was verbal abuse, for example, may be angry and may even imitate the behaviors witnessed during childhood. The same is true for any type of negative behavior that was modeled during one’s formative years.
To make matters more complicated, some of the things we feel compelled to do make the body feel good temporarily. Sometimes we are motivated to engage in destructive activities so we can feel accepted by the crowd, even if there is a massive price to pay financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Whether the things we struggle with are addictive to the point of destroying our bodies, minds, families, homes, or finances or whether we simply don’t stick to good boundaries with those who are unkind, many of us are hurting. And those hurts hold us back from what our hearts strongly desire, beginning with love, inner peace and confident expectation for the future.
So how do we find these seemingly illusive things in a world where we can feel imprisoned regardless of the amount of money, education or status we have? How do we find peace whether we are literally living behind bars or feel bound because our religion is a rule book rather than a relationship?
We obviously have to look for a new resource or a new perspective.
During a time of fear, Jesus offers peace.
“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” John 20:19 from the Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
When the winds and the waves of life surround us, Jesus can quiet the storm if we will trust and follow Him.
“Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,” Mark 6:45-51 NSRV
Jesus gives us reason to have hope for the future.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16 NSRV
This passage gives us the confidence we need in Jesus to have the hope we need for this life . . . and to know there is eternal life after this life.