Alive Wesleyan

A Tortured Soul (Soul Detox - Week 2)

January 14, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
A Tortured Soul (Soul Detox - Week 2)
Chapters
Alive Wesleyan
A Tortured Soul (Soul Detox - Week 2)
Jan 14, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
Show Notes Transcript

Psalm 40:12 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 For troubles surround me—

   too many to count!

My sins pile up so high

   I can’t see my way out.

They outnumber the hairs on my head.

   I have lost all courage.

 Add notes
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8: 44b



These lies are part of a strategy to rob the world of the beautiful transformation you could be living out. These lies are what will keep you so busy managing a toxic soul that you don’t have the time or energy to gift the world with all you were created to be.



16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

 Add notes
Research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame,

                         

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14



What happens is the world misses out on you and your story. So much of our energy is used up managing our sickness we can’t be who we were created to be. 



34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34





There is another resource here at ALIVE and they are a group of trained volunteers called Stephen Ministers.  They are a group of highly trained volunteers who spend one on one time with people who need care.  The relationship is confidential so this may be the first step to healing.  

Speaker 1:
0:00
Um, before we dive back into the series that we're in right now called soul detox, I want to take a minute and just pray together. Jesus, I thank you that you know the names of every person in this room that you created us. You have a plan for our lives, and I asked this morning that your Holy Spirit would just soften our hearts and that we would hear what it is you want to say to us that it would be your words, God that changed who we are in your precious name. Amen. So last week we started this new series called soul detox, and pastor Tom introduced this really incredible idea and that's that this, it's that we aren't a body with a soul. We are actually souls with a body that our mind and our intellect and our emotions, we are eternal. And in the same way that we start a new year looking at ways that we can maybe detox our bodies or update our homes.:
Speaker 1:
1:02
We want to take some time and really look at our souls, the condition of our souls. How many of you all have ever done any sort of like a juice cleanse or a detox and then people, okay, I've never actually done like an official detox like a plan, but I've done something with a similar result. I've traveled to some places where a fragile American digestive system can experience a kind of detox and it wasn't a very, very pleasant experience. Sometimes detox is difficult. Now, if I were talking to you in the lobby this morning and I were to ask you, how is your soul? First of all, that would be a creepy question, but you may answer good or fine because it's kind of how we're conditioned to answer questions like that, but if we had some time to really stop and have a conversation, have an idea because I'm a human and you're human and we live in sometimes broken world that many of us, if we got real, would have to say that the condition of our soul isn't just okay and detox toxicity.:
Speaker 1:
2:18
These are kind of intense words, so let me start with something a little more benign to see if you can identify or relate. What if I used words like shame or regret or guilt or fear? See, these are just symptoms of a soul that needs a detox. If I asked you what it was that you hoped would never show up on a screen like this or the thing that you've been trying for years to fix, most of us would have an answer for what that is. And as a warm blooded American, I know exactly what do with emotions like shame and regret and fear. What's you're going to want to do is you're to want to shove them as far down inside of yourself as you can and never talk about them or think about them and everything will get better. Right? You know, we're this culture of John Wayne and Lil Wayne.:
Speaker 1:
3:20
People that you never thought you'd hear that same sentence on Sunday. You know, we're people that we do things the way we want to and we do it by ourselves and we don't care what anybody else thinks. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and we put on a happy face and we make lemonade out of lemons and we get things done. And you know, I ascribed all of that, I appreciate poise and composure and holding it together, but if you look around we'd have to admit that it, it doesn't seem to be working, that you really can't just hold it all together and everything be perfect because all around us we can see that we're also a culture that struggles with addiction and obesity and we're trying to buy happiness with credit cards and somehow shoving it down isn't fixing it. And if things are given, the ability to grow, if what's toxic is given a climate where it can thrive, what happens is that it begins to eat at anything healthy around it. So this morning, if you would say that maybe you're exhausted or the condition of your soul needs some work, maybe you're ready to do something extreme, something different. And there's some ideas out there like hot yoga or chanting and we'll let you know. We won't be doing any of those things. This morning we're going to talk about a soul detox of confession.:
Speaker 1:
5:03
And just a caveat here, since childhood, I have really hated group participation. I have never liked songs with motions. If you grew up in church or going to youth group, you may remember the song that waves of mercy, anybody remember that? Hate it, and when someone stands on a stage like this and they say, now let's just all close. Our eyes are like every, just raise your hands. There's something inside me that's like not doing it. So if you are a non participator, it's okay. I am not going to judge you if you don't participate in this next activity. Now, if you are an eager participator and you just can't wait to raise your hands, I'm excited you're here. If you are a reluctant participator, jump in because I need to. I'm not alone. And that confession is difficult for other people too. So we're going to do some group confession and if you would say yes, that's me to these statements, then if you'd just raise a hand, it can be just like a little flick of the wrist, just like a full hand up. Whatever you're comfortable with. So let's, let's start with an easy one. If you would say yes, I ate too much desert over the holiday season, would you just raise your hand? Okay. If you have already broken your new year's resolution, maybe a couple of if you have checked out in the express lane with more than the recommended number of items. We were in a hurry. We had things to do. If you have ever not left a tip because of bad service, let me get some brave people. If you have skipped class because you didn't have an assignment done.:
Speaker 1:
6:59
A lot of students in the crowd, if you have ever ducked into a different aisle in the store to avoid someone you knew. If you have never done that, you are such a good person. If you have ever avoided someone because you were supposed to email or call them back, but didn't asked me like five times this morning already. If you did not finish writing your thank you cards for your wedding. If you are not a Clemson Fan, I'm just kidding. Put No. Put the hands down. It is not that safe in here is not a safe place for that. Wow. Confession is still have very good challenging idea to say the least I've discovered over the past couple of weeks that confession is actually this incredibly powerful weapon that has the ability to completely transform the way that we're living our lives. Confession can do something to what's toxic inside of us that can free us, and here's what we're gonna study together today is that most of us already know that confessing our sin to God can result in forgiveness for what we've done, but here's the second part that I want to look at.:
Speaker 1:
8:22
That's this, that confession to others can result in healing. Confession to God is about forgiveness, but confession to other believers can bring healing. Confession can be a soul detox, and this isn't maybe what I had imagined, like a sit in a circle, Kumbaya kind of thing. When you look at scripture, it's. It's far like grittier and more tangible. It's more like taking the dead skin off of a burn or a wound. It's like neutralizing a toxin when someone's had an overdose, and forgive me for what I'm about to do, but have any of you ever seen the show Dr Pimple Popper? Okay, well, if you haven't, it's a reality medical show, which is a terrifying phrase in itself about a dermatologist's name. Dr Sandra Lee and every episode is just these patients coming to her with these horrible like cysts and boils and infections and literally what you do is you watch her like cut or squeeze out like nastiness and these people find relief.:
Speaker 1:
9:42
Now, if you've never seen the show, just take a look at the screen here. I'm just kidding. I just get a Gig. You're the third service in all three services people have had like this, like no. Yeah, and I can actually go that far, but that's to me kind of what confession is. It's a walking away with the ability to then begin healing. Now, before we can detox, we have to understand how this toxicity God into us and became part of who we are and the first place that comes from is from the things that we've done, the sins that we have committed, the words that we said that damaged the relationship, the mistakes we made that led to the arrest, the bad choices that got us fired, the chances we were given that we wasted the affair, the people that we hurt, the addictions that we feed, the time, we didn't do the right thing, the anger we can't control, and there are times where you look around and you feel like you've messed up so many times or you've messed up so big that there just doesn't seem to be a way out.:
Speaker 1:
11:03
And if that's you, then you'll identify with the writer of these words from Psalms 40 verse 12. He says, for my troubles surround me too many to count my sins have piled up so high I can't see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head and I have lost all courage. And maybe you know what that feels like, and there's a second place where toxicity finds its way into our souls and it's from the lies we believe because of the things done to us.:
Speaker 1:
11:44
Who are we after? The person who was supposed to love us abandons us after the verbal abuse or physical abuse or the sexual. Who Am I if I've never been chosen? If I've always been overlooked, who am I after I've been misjudged or discriminated against? We begin to pick up these lies that it all happened because we weren't enough. We weren't strong enough or good enough or pure enough or old enough or young enough or wealthy enough. We begin to believe or too damaged and broken to ever let people see who we really are in the light sticks and stones do actually hurt us. In 2011, there was a study done by the National Institute of Mental Mental Health and the national institute on Drug Abuse, and it found that as far as our brains are concerned, physical pain and experiences of intense social rejection are exactly the same to us. See the things done to us in the word spoken.:
Speaker 1:
12:58
They create these wounds that if given the opportunity to grow, will become toxic and will actually redefine our identity and who we say and think and know ourselves to be. We begin to feel like that thing we did is who we are and those lines begin to grow. One time Jesus was talking to a group of people and he actually identified where those lies come from. He called Satan the father of lies. He said it like this. He said he was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language. For He is a liar and the father of lies and anything you believe about yourself that is contrary to who God says you are. It's a lie, has the power to reshape who you think you are. Now, guilt can be a good thing.:
Speaker 1:
14:03
Guilt tells us we've done something wrong, but shame is different. Shame says that we are wrong. We didn't just mess up. We are messed up. We see that thing as who we are. We are the abuser, the addict, the adult daughter, the convict, the bully. We see ourselves as our eating disorder as our porn addiction, as our temper. We are the cutter, the person with rage. The person who drinks too much or sleeps around, and the problem is is that we were never ever meant to live with that much pain and not much talk sickness inside of us, and so we have to pick up these coping mechanisms and so we become and we live life at breakneck speeds hoping to outrun that thing. You know, we we hide in 60 hour work weeks and tylenol pm in fantasy football and just a few too many glasses of wine. We drown things out with Netflix, credit cards, relationship:
Speaker 2:
15:15
apps.:
Speaker 1:
15:17
What is it that you're working to now? What is it that you believe if people actually knew about you that they wouldn't love you?:
Speaker 2:
15:28
Okay,:
Speaker 1:
15:30
shame, love, silence and darkness. Don't look at it or talk about it, but if you bring it out into the lights and if you wrap words around it, shame can be transformed into something that is healed. Shame can be part of a redemption story:
Speaker 1:
15:54
towards the end of the Bible. There's this short book, just five chapters and it's actually named after it's authored the book of James and there's something to always fascinated me about the book of James and it's this. James was actually the half brother of Jesus. Now, most of us are hoping that none of our siblings ever write a book about us after we're gone, but if they did, they would have a really unique perspective on the things we did, the words we said, and so james takes the teachings of Jesus and he makes them applicable. He makes them simpler and it's more like a proverb. He has these short statements, these one liners, these incredible metaphors. Tim Mackey, Bible scholar actually describes James as a beautifully crafted punch in the gut for people who want to follow Jesus. And James is writing this letter to the first church in Jerusalem and it would have looked different because it was people like 15 to 20 people in little houses and it was different and that they were facing persecution and it was also the same and that they were just people like us figuring out how to love each other in our differences and how to love the world around us.:
Speaker 1:
17:08
We can understand that because in this room we have clumps and fans and Carolina fans in Alabama, fans and other kinds of fans, and we're figuring out how to love each other and be in community together. James loves these people and he wants them to experience freedom and so he writes these words. He says, therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be. What's that word? Healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Now that's different than I had imagined confession to be. That's something we do as a community and then we pray for each other and we find healing. It isn't walking into a room full of people and just blurting out your deepest, darkest secrets. It's a wonder how it is you can let go of what it is you've been hiding and one of the things that James is saying here is that it's not just telling everything to everybody.:
Speaker 1:
18:15
It's about talking about some things to somebody. James, his words on confession also aren't just a random side note. It's a prescription that's part of a full story that he's written. It's in the same way as if I started lifting weights, which would be amazing, but I didn't get enough sleep or I didn't have a good diet or a spotter lifting weights could actually be dangerous. Confession is something that we do in community and as part of a healthy life over the past few weeks, I began to realize that there were actually people already all around me who were living out this life of confession and there were people that I already respected and loved and they weren't just like getting by. They were thriving. They were leaders and they served and I started noticing that their lives reflected the things that James was teaching and there some things that I like to share with you that we're consistent about.:
Speaker 1:
19:21
These people have confession and you may be able to think of people who live this way. People have confession, never forget their own need for grace. They understand that none of us are the world's most creative center. There is nothing you have done or I have done or that's been done to us that has not happened before, and so people have confession will not be shocked if you share your story with them because see, our tendency to judge people is found in our own toxic souls. Author Bernay Brown says it this way. She said, research tells us that we judge people in areas where we're vulnerable to shame, especially picking on folks who are doing worse than we're doing. If I feel good about my parenting, then I have no interest in judging your choices. If I feel good about my body, then I don't go around making fun of other people's appearance.:
Speaker 1:
20:23
We're hard on each other because we use each other as a launching point for our own shame and deficiencies. People have confession. Give the same grace that they've received. People have confession, also want others to experience the same kind of freedom they found and you'll often hear them say, you someday. I would love to help people who've gone through the same thing or if you know anyone who needs to talk about this, I'm there. People have confession, aren't afraid to be around people who were imperfect or say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. They're almost drawn to the most broken people in the room and they will love them relentlessly. They have this way of seeing past anything that's toxic because they see the person that someone was created to be. They see them as loved, as valuable. People have. Confession will love you no matter where you've been or what you've done. People have confession also have control over their tongues. James Talks about our words as a rudder of a ship directing our lives and the places that we go. People have confession. Understand it takes great courage to tell our stories and your story will always be safe with them.:
Speaker 1:
21:54
People have confession. Understand that we can't fix anyone. My mother in law does this thing that at first kind of freaked me out. If anyone is sick or you tell her something difficult going on in your life shall immediately just close her eyes and start talking to God and it's nothing elaborate and it's never to draw attention to herself. It's just this natural reaction to the fact that she knows she can't fix what's going on, but what she can do is point everyone's attention back to Jesus and this is something people have. Confession, practice something. They often do it. People have confession. Never stop confessing because they're continuingly, allowing God to work on new areas in different places in their lives. They're quick to say, I'm sorry. Sometimes the people who need to hear our confession the most are the people we share a house with or an apartment with. People have confession. Understand that it's okay to make mistakes and that there's forgiveness and redemption:
Speaker 1:
23:09
and people have confession. Live out this truth, that transparency begets transparency. Have you ever had someone you respected, stand up and tell you something that they've done wrong or you realize they don't have it all together and there's this incredible freedom? You're like, Oh man, if you don't have it all together, it's okay that I don't have it all together. This week I had the opportunity to sit down with someone and they gifted me with telling me their story and as they talked, I found all of a sudden I was sharing things that I struggled with. This person was such an incredible example of what it means to live a life of confession. I actually asked if I could share a piece of her story with you. She started life with some really tragic and difficult circumstances and at the age of 16, which you looked around at where she was, she felt like the only way out was to have an abortion.:
Speaker 1:
24:09
And so for years she carried that as part of her shame. Until one day she had the courage to talk to someone about it and the lady stopped her and she said, I want you to stop and I want you to remember first of all that you have already been forgiven, and second of all, I want you to take this moment and I want you to date stamp today as the day that you forgave yourself. Sometimes the power of confession is having a physical representation, actual hearing the words, someone that will remind us that we have been forgiven, that we have a new identity in this person. As people have confession, do said those words, bath. If you know anyone who's been abused or anyone who's had an abortion, man, I would. I would always be open to talking to them. She's somebody you want to be around.:
Speaker 1:
25:10
You love being around people who live this kind of life, this way of grace, this way of honesty and transparency. James says, Jesus frees us from sin so that we can fully love God and love the people around us. Being a community of confession starts with being people of confession and maybe this morning for you, that first step is that confession to God and that forgiveness, the writer of Hebrews, describes what that confession does and he says, how much more than with the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God. Cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God. For some of us, a cleansed conscience would be the most incredible way to start this new year. For some of us, our confession journey, maybe just speaking the words out loud for the first time to an empty room or an empty car. Maybe it's telling your pet the thing you've never told anyone before. If you're a writer, maybe it's actually writing it down. For some of us, it's carving out some time for you and your spouse or a family member to be able to have a long conversation. Maybe it's asking a friend or roommate to meet you for coffee or for lunch.:
Speaker 1:
26:54
Some of us, our next step in confession is actually answering the phone or returning the text because some of us have incredible people of confession in our lives who have been trying to get through to us who won't let us just use pat answers. I have a friend I've known for about 20 years and she is one of these incredible people of confession and sometimes to be honest, I avoid her phone calls and texts because I know she's going to ask how I'm doing and I know she's gonna actually make me answer honestly and more times than I can count. My confession to her has been part of a soul detox.:
Speaker 1:
27:42
Some of you may not have people like that in your lives and mallory, you mentioned the beginning of service next Sunday after the service. There's going to be a gathering for people interested in small groups and maybe that's your first step is just getting to know some people signing up for a four d class and maybe you need something else here. We also have something called Stephen Ministers and there are a group of volunteers who go through 50 hours of training and it's a confidential relationship. You meet once a week and they walk alongside people going through difficult times and maybe that's the first step for you starting with confession, or maybe it's finding a Christian counselor because what you need to say, you feel like you need to start with a professional. Whatever it is, it's taking that first step. I'd like to encourage you to start whatever it is you know you need to do next to just take the leap and do it. So what happens if we don't find the courage to confess? We use so much energy managing our sickness that we aren't able to be who god created us to be. The world misses out on all that. You have to give.:
Speaker 1:
29:14
Being a community of confession, people have confession mean we find our identity in Jesus and not in the things that we've done. We no longer live in isolation and hiding. It means we become part of a family. James, when he was writing on freedom and what Jesus has to offer, I wonder if he was thinking about these words. Jesus spoke in the book of in John Eight, Jesus said, very truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever, so if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed, free from shame and guilt and atoxic soul, part of a family. Not a perfect family, but a good family. Part of our family were our words and our actions can be consistent where we find wholeness, a place where we can be both fully known and fully loved. That's what's available to us today. There's power in forgiveness through Jesus and there's healing through community and confession. Let's pray.:
Speaker 1:
30:49
Jesus, I just thank you for this incredible truth. I thank you for people of confession who are sitting in this room and people who are willing to live honestly and transparently and people were willing to give of themselves and I ask that those of us who need to confess that we would find those people. I ask that you would give us the courage to take whatever the next step is for each of us. I thank you God, that you love us, that you are just waiting to know us and be known by you. Father, we say that we love you and your precious name. Amen.:
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