“If all is well, why am I like this?”
Have you ever thought that thought or said those words about yourself or your situation? I certainly have. After all, if you are a child of God and the Holy Spirit is supposed to be living inside you, then why do you feel so frustrated, angry, depressed, anxious, or *insert your own emotion here* all the time? If God is your Father, then why does it seem like He’s allowing you to go through the fires of hell every day? Have you ever had that thought? Rebekah did. In Genesis chapter 25 she felt like the twin sons inside her – Jacob and Esau – were at war, a war that was going to tear her apart.
In this series of articles, I would like to share with you why, as Paul says in Romans 7, we “do the things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things that we should do.” Why is our spouse the way they are? Why is that person so mean to me and why do they act like that? Over my years as a pastor and a student of both the Word and science, I have had the privilege of coaching and counseling hundreds of people. I have seen every single sin mentioned in the bible and then some. And because I’m an analytical person who sees patterns easily, I have noticed behavior patterns that help explain why we do what we do. I call them “Behavioral Disabilities.” And everyone has them. A person can be 45 years old physically but be only 10 emotionally. There are many different categories within us and we’re all different “ages” in each category. The goal is to grow each category to match our physical age.
I’ve used what I’m about to share with you in almost every counseling situation I’ve been in. It’s a combination of conclusions I’ve come to from that experience combined with the power of the word of God and human physiological science. It is my prayer that the following information will be helpful in facilitating your own deliverance and restoration to who you were really called to be before all the trauma that shaped you into who you are today. At the very least, understanding why people do what they do will help you understand people better and create more of the heart of Christ inside you as you begin to see them through his compassionate lens.
ARE YOU IN A 911 RIGHT NOW?
There is hope. If you are falling apart right now or you know someone who is, please send them this series and let them know that not only is there hope, there is great hope! The problem is that the enemy only comes to steal, kill, and destroy and that’s what he’s doing with you. He has stolen your joy and is killing your dreams. In Ephesians 6:12 the bible says that “we do not fight against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of this present darkness.” It is a spiritual fight. But it doesn't start when you get saved. It starts before you were even born.
Life is a formula. You’ve heard of A + B = C, right? What I’m going to share with you is what I’ve discovered to be the formula for our determined quality of life. Know the formula and you will find true joy. Don’t know the formula and you’ll end up short changing yourself beyond words. Don’t like your life? Change the formula and the outcome changes. The problem is that we aren’t taught the pieces of the formula so we get frustrated when we can’t get the outcome we desire. So what I’m going to share with you is what I have found to be a reliable formula for getting more life into your life.
It works just like a balance sheet of a company. Net worth = Assets – Liabilities. If you have more liabilities than assets then you will have a negative net worth and will live a debtor’s life. If you have more assets than liabilities you’ll have a positive net worth and life will seem to shine like the sun. Using this same analogy, what we have to do in order to improve our relationships with both God and with men is audit our lives and discover what our assets and liabilities are. Once we know the liabilities, we can discover where they came from and how to get rid of, or at least significantly reduce, them. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is not called Black Friday for nothing. It’s because businesses may run near the red (negative) all year, but when Black Friday comes, all the sales from that day will push them into the black on their balance sheets. They know their numbers and how to run in the black (positive), which is why the day was created to begin with. The formula for life is the same way: once we understand it we can do the very same thing.
So here it is in short, algebraic form (I love math!): (GA + TA + PA) – (GL + TL + PL) = QL. Let me break it down and explain the variables. I have come to the conclusion that in life, there are three main categories that radically alter the course of our lives. They are Generational Assets and Liabilities (GA and GL), Trauma Assets and Liabilities (TA and TL), and Personal Assets and Liabilities (PA and PL). These are the variables in our formula. And the way they combine determines our Quality of Life (QL). Bottom line? What happens to us determines who we become. It’s that simple. There’s a reason why most women that have been molested as children struggle with intimacy in their marriages. There is a reason why a large percentage of teenage girls that are promiscuous have fathers that are missing in action.There is a reason why alcoholics seem to beget alcoholics and angry parents seem to beget angry children. These are the variables in our formula. Want a different outcome? Change the formula.
WHY MOST MARRIAGES FAIL
Why do most marriages fail? They don’t know how the formula works. When most people see negative behavior they focus on the negative behavior and try to fix it, only to have it break down within a very short period of time. It’s like constantly putting air in a tire that keeps going flat without trying to figure out why it’s leaking to begin with. The smallest nail can cause the largest tire to go flat in no time. But if you take the time to find the nail it will hold air permanently. It’s only logical to take your car to a mechanic and let him run diagnostics to discover the true problem so it can be fixed rather than just guessing and living in constant frustration on the side of the road. Amazingly, we treat all of life with this logical formula except for our relationships. Discovering the root of the problem is how we change the formula.
THE EMOTIONAL SATELLITE
The emotional satellite is where it all begins because we’re more emotional beings than we are logical ones. As humans, we tend to make more “gut” decisions than those made after a lot of careful thought.
More than any other, the Holy Spirit uses our emotional systems to speak to, guide, and bring forth some of the most powerful spiritual gifts available to us (like the gifts of prophecy, dreams, visions, etc...) When the satellite is tuned into God’s frequency, it receives healing, power, and a life filled with joy. When it is tuned into anything else, it does not bring the life we truly want. Unfortunately, this satellite is not always secure. The storms of life can radically affect the direction the satellite is facing. And oftentimes we don’t even know that the storm has changed the angle just enough to pick up a different frequency. If you don’t like what’s coming out of your life or the life of someone you love, you need to discover how and when the satellite got damaged and start there. Yelling at the satellite doesn’t work, and complaining about how bad the picture is doesn’t do anybody any good, either. That’s like complaining to your car for not starting or yelling at it for it not running right. We may get frustrated at first, but we quickly take it to the shop. In the same way, sometimes our marriages need to be taken to a shop, as well. The vehicle’s performance is simply the result of the quality of all the components working together. One bad part can bring it all to a halt. Similarly, sometimes the smallest fix can radically change the performance of your marriage, your relationships, your entire life. Unfortunately, that which is designed to be an asset can quickly become a liability.
In part 2, we will go through the formula piece by piece and begin to understand all the components that give us the quality of our lives.