“The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Much has been written and discovered about the impact of both personal disposition and family dysfunction, as they relate to our behaviors in life. And it’s true. They’re real. They do affect us. I am a living witness to that fact. And not only does it hurt, it can also stunt our growth …
Even the Bible, both through story and direct teaching, acknowledges the presence of these motivators and how they can push us in varying degrees toward doing wrong things and making wrong choices ……
Yet, the weight of Scripture doesn’t come down with nearly as much force as we might like upon these two elements of identity, as if they’re what’s most to blame for why we’ve ended up with whatever traits and hang-ups we excuse as unavoidable, and we do do that to some degree: that is to blame our character flaws on our parents, our life experiences, or just the simple cop-out, “I can’t help myself — I was born this way” ….
Yes, our disposition can bend us toward a path of sinning. Troubles in our families of origin can be what began our movement in that direction. But our own behavior is the leading driver that grabs us around the shoulders and hurls us toward the sinful outcomes we experience every day …..
We may have been pushed into certain behaviors that were vital for survival at a time, but once enlightened then they are only a crutch to keep us hobbling and are counter conducive to spiritual growth….
Just as a child who was raised around constant negativity, violence and chaos, there may be a constant need to be hypervigilant; hence they’re inclination may be to always be pessismistic, impulsive, fearful, overly emotional, anxious, and exhibit to some degree behaviors which some might even call being a “drama queen” ….
Yet, though it happens, and we all have certain kinks that caused us certain dispositions or issues that caused us distortions in thinking, do any of us have a right to ridicule another because of their unfortunate beginnings ??
And we do it. We may call someone a “drama queen” not even realizing the full impact of what that label entailed. Would you call a 5 year old fighting rape and molestation daily for eight years a ‘drama queen’ because as an adult she didn’t respond in the manner that you thought appropriate?
If a young baby believer of God is immature, would you call them names or condemn them if they stumble and fall, or as with a small toddler — pick them up, dust off their bottom and set about starting again ….
It’s brutal, but the struggle is real. And many a baby Christian lose their vision and step off the path of their journey because of the insensitivity of more fully mature men and women of God. How easily some forget how it once felt to be a baby believer just growing into themselves and the awareness of who they are in Jesus Christ ….
Yet these are strongholds nonetheless. Our strongholds blow up through our own decisions. We are the ones who make our own wrong choices based on what we’ve known or how we’ve reacted or responded in past ….
Anger …. “I need my anger to get things done. If I didn’t get angry, nobody would ever do anything around here. No one would respect me.”
Covetousness …. “Money means people can’t let me down. Money is security, and security means happiness, so I’ve got to have more money.”
Control …. “If I don’t stay in control, I’ll end up being hurt. So I can’t let this go and I can’t let anyone in. No one would understand anyway.”
Individualism …. “The only person I can count on is me. No one is trustworthy. I don’t need help. I don’t even need prayer. I only need myself.”
False guilt …. “Every bad thing that happens to me is punishment for my past. I know God says He forgives people, but He can’t forgive me — not for what I’ve done. I’ve just gone too far down and I’m too damaged.”
Rebellion …. “No one tells me what to do. I do what I want to do. I don’t care what anybody says.”
Pride …. “I’m better than other people. More special. I can get away with things that others can’t.”
Idolatry … “I need to have this. Not want it — need it. I live for it. It’s all I need. It’s everything to me.”
Fear …. “Something bad is coming. I can feel it. I just know it. And it’s my job to stop it. Nobody else seems worried about it, but I can’t keep from worrying about it.”
Unbelief …. “Nothing is settled. Nothing is certain. Everything is random. It’s going to be like this forever. All is hopeless.”
Skepticism …. “Everybody’s out to get me. No one’s who they say they are. No one can be trusted. They’re all fake. Nobody cares.”
Escapism …. “I’ll do whatever it takes to dull the pain. I’m entitled. When I think about what’s so hard and upsetting in my life; well, its just too much. I can’t deal with it — I’m not hurting anybody and I just can’t bare to think about it.”
But we’d better think about it. Because nothing will be different until we think differently. None of these strongholds will show any cracks in their tough exteriors until we take responsibility for putting them here in the first place, and stop feeding them the junk food of our own sinfully accommodating behavior …..
Justifying our unruly behaviors is just as big as the problems themselves which originated the behaviour. No matter how cruel or chaotic our childhoods or upbringing might have been, that still doesn’t give us license to behave like heathens wearing a crown by acting out or exacting attitudes and coping mechanisms that do not line up with God’s Word or His correction to repair and restore us ….
Are you tired of conceding victory to your anger, covetousness, control, and whatever else? Stop blaming your personality. Stop blaming your parents. What does a posture of blaming really reveal about a person anyway? Instead, start changing your thinking. Your behavior — and your strongholds — will start showing the difference.
In closing, somethings to ponder might be to look at your own areas of your life and blame shifting. I am guilty of this, and have had to undertake this personal inventory myself. God gave me a season of grace but now He is speaking and it’s time to grow up …
Let us pray ~
Lord, I know that nothing has ever entered my life without being allowed by Your hand for Your purposes. You are my God and I praise You. I know and believe that You are working even greater things for me through every challenge. Please show me Father where my own behavior and thinking are all that’s preventing me from experiencing greater freedom as your child. I want to honor You with my life in all that I do or speak. Help me to let go of the past me, the grief of the child, to move into the future me, the grace of the woman that You desire me to be. I love You Lord and I love Your Son Jesus, in Whose matchless name I pray, Amen