We’re never prepared to hear the word CANCER. When my wife’s surgeon told me, “It’s definitely cancer,” it was as if the floor of the hospital shifted beneath me. I literally lost my balance and fell back against the wall. But, praise God, cancer didn’t have the final word. We recently celebrated 10 years cancer-free!! But, sometimes cancer does lead to death, and it is devastating. Yet, for those of us who have placed our hope in Christ, we are told not even death will have the last word…our risen Savior does!
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
One Small Step: If someone you know is struggling with cancer, give them a call and volunteer to take them to treatment or cook them a meal. Write them a note of comfort and support. Pray for them. If you are the one battling cancer, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people want to help, but may be unsure how.
Check out Iamsecond.com to hear stories from cancer survivors.
I have zero experience with anorexia or bulimia, but I know they can devastate a struggler and their family. I wonder if this is related to my struggle with codependent eating. Is there some deep need to fit in with cultural systems and peer pressure? Is this need so intense that it leads a person to put his or her health and life at risk?
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
One Small Step: Talk to someone if you feel you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder. There is help. Check out the National Eating Disorders Association.
I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m happy or sad. I’m also a codependent eater. Even when trying to diet, if I’m out with family or friends and they order a big meal, I am tempted to order a big meal as well so they don’t feel bad. I know, CRAZY. Overeating has been a struggle for me since childhood. My weight has “roller coastered” up and down my entire life. So, I share no words of wisdom or advise, just commonality and empathy with my fellow overeaters.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
One Small Step: Don’t just go on a diet. Take inventory of your life and try to determine what triggers your overeating. Challenge your inner voice that says you deserve to medicate your pain with food.
Are you a worrier? What do you usually worry about? Your health? Your safety? Your loved ones? How does worry help you? Does worrying help make you or your loved one healthier or safer?
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34
One Small Step: Relax in the truth of these comforting words of Jesus. Don’t worry. Pray. Believe.
Jealousy and envy are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Envy is the emotion when you want something that someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion when you fear something or someone might be taken away from you. Sam is envious of Joe’s good looks, and jealous of his girlfriend’s attraction to him. Sometimes jealousy is warranted. Even God was jealous (Exodus 34:14). But more often, jealousy is unwarranted and based on fear and insecurity. Do you struggle with fear and insecurity that causes you to be jealous and untrusting of your partner? Remember, love is greater than fear.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a
One Small Step: Is your jealousy unwarranted? Are you acting out of fear and insecurity? Choose to trust the one you love. Love > fear.
When I’m struggling with feelings of inadequacy, I tend to compare myself to others in hope of finding someone worse off than me. But instead, I end up obsessing over those I think have it better than me, which leads me to envy them and make me feel even more inadequate. It’s an insane cycle of narcissistic self-sabotage. I can always find someone who, I think, has it better than me. My feelings of inadequacy are falsely based on my uncontrollable need to compare myself to others and my intense envy of what they possess.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30
One Small Step: A heart at peace is a heart of gratitude. Start a gratitude list. Every day, name at least five things for which you’re grateful. It will change your perspective and cure your envy problem.
Do you get anxious? Does anxiety cause you to become irritable toward colleagues and loved ones? Does it trigger bad habits, like overeating or smoking? Do you know what’s making you so anxious?
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
One Small Step: The way to be free from anxiety is to humbly surrender it to God. Make a list of things that make you anxious. Start each one with “I fear…” For example, “I fear I might lose my job and not be able to pay our mortgage and end up homeless on the street.” THEN follow up with a second sentence that starts with “I know…” or “I believe…” For example, “I know of no reason for me to be fired at this time, but if I am, I believe God will see me through because the Bible says he cares for me.” Replace your emotional-driven anxiety with rational-thought and humble faith.
Are you addicted to people? Do you often worry about what others think of you? This is a form of codependency that often manifests itself as people-pleasing. This has been a lifelong struggle for me. I am often more concerned about pleasing the other person than I am expressing my own thoughts and beliefs. Therefore I end up frustrated and resentful, shaming myself for compromising my convictions, just to please the other person.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
One Small Step: The next time someone says something you disagree with, be willing to admit it, instead of staying quiet or pretending you agree. But always offer it with a good measure of humility and respect.
Sometimes, just watching the news can cause fear to well up in us. But if we are a people of faith, shouldn’t we have victory over our fear? Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?” and Romans 8:31 asks, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” People of faith should be full of confidence and courage, yet, many of us seem to live in fear, the kind of fear that keeps us isolated and unable to truly enjoy life, and keeps us from cultivating relationships with people who are different from us. Could it be that we have allowed our fear to override our love?
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
One Small Step: Choose love over fear. Hug someone who needs love, even if they have the flu or HIV/AIDS. What are you so afraid of?
Sexual addiction is another taboo subject in church. “Just don’t do it AND certainly don’t talk about it” seems to be the underlying attitude. But if it were that easy, then there wouldn’t be such a thing as sexual addiction, or any other kind of addiction. It’s easy to say, “Don’t do it,” but impossible to do on your own.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:24-26
One Small Step: To “keep in step with the Spirit” means we need to intentionally move with the Spirit. We actually have to take the first step. Here’s a link to a screening test to see if you might be a sex addict. http://www.sexhelp.com/am-i-a-sex-addict/sex-addiction-test