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Just Because Someone Is A Christian Doesn’t Mean They Are Perfect

It seems to me that people who aren’t Christians think those of us who are should be perfect, never making mistakes or having bad things in our past.  I assume this mindset is perpetuated by the holier than thou Christians who act as if they never made a mistake before.

The truth though is Christians make mistakes.  Before & after we became Christians, we’ve made mistakes.  It’s part of being human.  Accepting Jesus as our Lord & Savior doesn’t change the fact we have made mistakes & will continue to do so until the day we die.

I’m no exception.  I have a divorce in my past that I’m not exactly proud of.  I cheated on my ex husband too.  I’ve also hurt people & I’m not a particularly good daughter.  Do these things mean that I’m a hypocrite or a bad Christian?  I don’t think so.  They show I’m human.

One of the most inspiring pastors I’ve heard preach is a lovely woman whose first book I edited. When I saw her preach, I was moved to tears.  She is a powerful woman of God, yet in her earlier years, she was a drug addict.  Now?  She is an inspiring pastor who helps & inspires countless people on a daily basis.  God is obviously at work in her life.

Don’t let it bother you when people pick apart your walk with God because you have made mistakes in your life.  Everyone makes mistakes, especially before accepting Jesus into their life.  Even after, you’re still going to make mistakes because you’re human & therefore not perfect.  What is most important is that you are trying to be like Jesus.  Your effort counts with God.  He knows you are imperfect, & only expects that you try your best.

Also, don’t forget to apply this to others as well.  Other Christians are just as imperfect as you, so they too will make mistakes.  They may even have sordid pasts.  Don’t let that affect how you treat them, however!  I’ve found the people with the worst pasts are often the most grateful for God’s love & try the hardest to please Him & treat people well.

Of course, if someone is deliberately hateful to you, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries.  In fact, I believe that to be loving, Christian behavior.  God wants what is best for His children, & sometimes “no” is what is best.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

If You Have A Mental Illness, Does That Mean You Aren’t A Christian?

Have you read this??

 http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-right-wing-evangelicals-claim-good-christians-cant-get-ptsd

If not, I’ll summarize this for you- a couple of evangelists say that you can pray away PTSD, & if you live life God’s way, you won’t get PTSD in the first place.  I’m sure this kind of thinking can induce a LOT of guilt & shame for many Christians who suffer with PTSD, C-PTSD or other mental illness.  I know I have certainly felt something was wrong with me for having C-PTSD.  I’m a Christian- why do I still suffer because of things done to me so long ago?  When I was born again, didn’t I become a new creature in Christ, according to 2 Corinthians 5:17?  Didn’t I have enough faith?  Does this mean I’m really NOT born again like I thought I was??

While I firmly believe that God can & does deliver some people supernaturally from mental illness, I think the majority of people have to walk things out.  A supernatural deliverance is great, but it doesn’t teach you much.  Living through your experiences, however, will teach you plenty!  If you battle depression, you may need to learn new ways to think, focusing on more positive things, & to cope when troubles come your way, such as leaning more on God than yourself to fix problems.  If you battle anxiety, you may need to learn to lean on God & go to Him more often.  These are things that can’t be learned through a deliverance.  Also, let’s not forget the apostle Paul. God didn’t remove his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Even that great man of God had something to deal with that he would rather not have had. Sometimes God would rather walk with us through a dark place than let us live in the sunny, happy places all of the time.

I also believe that having C-PTSD or PTSD doesn’t mean you aren’t a Christian.  I have been a Christian since 1996, & my C-PTSD didn’t develop fully until 2012.  It wasn’t because I was distant from God at that time.  It was because a lot of damage has been done to me in my life.  I have forgiven my abusers, but even that didn’t heal the damage.  I think of it like this- if someone drops a gallon of paint on your foot, you can forgive them the moment it happens.  But, you’ll  still have a broken foot to deal with, no matter what your religious views are.  That is what C-PTSD is like.  

There is absolutely nothing wrong  with asking God to heal you of your mental illness.  However, He may have plans to use it to bless others & even you, so you may not be delivered.  As much as I dislike living with the forgetfulness, nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, depression & agoraphobia, sometimes I count C-PTSD as a blessing, because it has enabled me to help others who live with it, or who survived narcissistic abuse as I have.  There is no greater feeling than helping others!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism