Christians De-Throning Christ

I gave my life to the Lord in June of 1972. Since that time, I’ve enjoyed learning the Scriptures, functioning in the body of Christ, and growing in relationship with the Lord. But to my surprise, as the years passed and I became stronger in my faith and my walk, I discovered I had inadvertently surrendered Jesus’ Lordship in my life to others.

I lived a successful life until 2006. My spiritual growth was healthy and my relationships were strong. My wife, Gayle, and I enjoyed a loving relationship, and we enjoyed raising our five children together (and continue to delight in our relationships with them to this day).

But in 2006, I crashed. When I crashed, I did what I thought was right and surrendered all of my accomplishments, personal power, and influence to others. For the first time since childhood, I became totally dependent on others. Now I reflect back on that season of dependence upon others as the greatest mistake of my life. I believe that in hoping others would do what I was ultimately responsible to do, I forfeited Christ’s Lordship and as a result, so many, including myself, suffered horribly.

As a result, the church I now pastor, St. James Church, is thriving under the philosophy that each of us is responsible to become stronger, more capable people in Christ. This philosophy is developing a unique church in a national culture that accommodates blame, weakness, and victimization. We stand apart from those who give people excuses for the failures in their lives as being the result of disappointing or dysfunctional relationships, trauma, pain, and/or past experiences. Instead, we have learned that in Christ we can be filled with the power of God and renewed in our minds, which gives us the motivation to overcome the impact of past traumas and to grow in competence and strength. As a result, we can then discover effective tools or steps that enable us to live in freedom, and to thrive and grow in the Lordship of Christ, rather than under the power of alternative lords.

For example, if I say, “My boss makes me so angry,” I am saying that my boss is lord over my emotions, not Christ. It may be true that my boss might do things that I don’t like, but I don’t have to give him or her power over my emotions, I do have other choices.

If I say, “I have an addiction problem because of a trauma I suffered 10 years ago,” I am saying that I am incapable of overcoming that trauma, that my trauma is now lord over me, and I will be identified by it and victimized by it the balance of my life.

We don’t have to be that weak. For example, it might be true that trauma has impacted us in a significant way, but that does not mean we must surrender to the effects of that trauma for the rest of our lives, making that trauma lord over us. We don’t have to be defined by our traumas. That is, we don’t have to surrender to the lordship of trauma when Jesus is, in fact, our Lord. Identifying trauma may help us understand certain behaviors, thoughts, and difficulties, but we can make choices to disempower trauma’s lordship and establish Jesus’ Lordship over us.

When I learned that a traumatic childhood experience resulted in some incongruity that I dealt with as an adult, others assumed it was an excuse, a way of evading responsibility. I never saw it that way; instead, I saw it as information which gave me the understanding I needed so that, empowered by Christ, I could overcome the effects of that trauma and live a healthy life. I’ve done that.

So my word of caution is: if you are talking to a pastor, counselor, or friend about an issue in your life and they allow you to blame your situation on another, dismiss their counsel. Then go talk to someone else who will explore your options with you. If their intent is to help you get to a better place, even with the facts as they are, then you will be empowered to make good decisions and improve your situation. You can’t control others, and you can’t change your past, but you can control, or gain control, over yourself, your choices, and your responses. And you can improve your future.

As soon as you blame others, you are acknowledging their lordship over you, and you’ll find yourself powerless and victimized.

But you always have options. The Lord will never allow you to be in a situation where there is no way of escape. He will always point us in the direction of healing.

More about this next week.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 thoughts on “Christians De-Throning Christ

  1. Udechi says:

    Absolutely!!! I am with you in this! And, thank you again and again!!!

  2. Pastor Pat Sharkey says:

    Thank you, excellent article.

  3. This is right on. There is a way to be led in compassion while not giving others or ourselves excuses that demean the power of Christ in us. And it is only in and through Him that trauma will be healed…redeemed…and be used to give others hope. Believing the fullness of the gospel enables us to take full responsibility of our choices, run to Christ and thank Him for His healing and discipline.

  4. JOHN MYERS says:

    Ted, Thank you again for speaking for Christ outside religion.  I wanted to make it is ok with you if I copy this and post it on my very private fb page..  My plan is to develop a blog with anonymous authors.  Would this be ok with you?  Thank you.  John Myers  Again,  thank you for your witness.   From: The Pastor’s Pen To: johnamyers3286@sbcglobal.net Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 1:21 PM Subject: [New post] Christians De-Throning Christ #yiv0138527053 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0138527053 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0138527053 a.yiv0138527053primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0138527053 a.yiv0138527053primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0138527053 a.yiv0138527053primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0138527053 a.yiv0138527053primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0138527053 WordPress.com | tedhaggardblog posted: “I gave my life to the Lord in June of 1972. Since that time, I’ve enjoyed learning the Scriptures, functioning in the body of Christ, and growing in relationship with the Lord. But to my surprise, as the years passed and I became stronger in my faith and ” | |

  5. Willie Drone says:

    Pastor Ted thank you so much for your transparency and keeping it real. I am very encouraged to know that I am not defined by the traumatic experiences in my life and instead of blaming others and becoming a victim I can now allow Christ to do His work in me.

  6. truth yet prevails in this culture of blame. Somehow years ago I stumbled on this and there was a lot of victimization, etc from birth. I have to admit it built a wall and strong response to any type of manipulation and control over my life, so it took time to mature and am still growing in that place.

  7. Christina Kitchell says:

    AMEN!

  8. Cavin says:

    Ted, thanks for the insightful article. I would only add that the other side of this same coin is forgiveness. Blame will be the normal response to situations in which I am unwilling to exercise forgiveness. An unforgiving spirit has no other options but to blame others for the situation in which we find ourselves.

  9. Sandy says:

    I used to beg the Lord to make me stronger, make me stronger every morning when I prayed. Then I learned that His strength is made perfect in weakness. That’s why Paul warns us in 1 Cor. 10:12,13: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” We need strength from the Almighty God each day so that we cannot boast in our own strength. Just like God only gave His people manna only once a day so that they can rely on Him each day.
    Sure we may grow from a twig to an oak in our maturity; but we always need to put on the armor each day because Satan is always scheming. I am better able to respond to the enemies attacks throughout the day and react in a Christlike manner as opposed to reacting out of the flesh.

  10. Marcus says:

    Pastor Ted, Thanks for your insight on this matter because you’re hitting it right on. Now, being one who has always respected you as an alumnus, teacher and pastor and one who taught Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory in the prison systems from a Christian Prospective, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the presence of God helping those men start a process of restoring their lives. Grant this was done for having to personally take a journey that may not have caused me to violate mans laws enough resulting in the same, but clearly in violation of Gods higher call for us in the broken world, our fallen nature and any unresolved traumatic situation unknown to most. I thank God for you, a modern day Moses, God has now sent back to speak to our Pharaohs . Thus saying,” Let my people Go!!” Amen

  11. Garrett Robert Gustkey says:

    You are such and inspiration for me.My life has been defined by Addictions and failure. today I place my mind heart and soul in the Hands of Christ. Today is my 3rd day since I was hospitalized for a series of Anxiety attacks.today is my first day to begin the process of rebuilding.I am rebuilding everything. I figured out how I got off track, the rebuilding process is now started.

  12. Garrett Robert Gustkey says:

    You make too much sense.When you fell from the Executive Pastor-ship I was deeply hurt.I suffered with you.My heart breaks for what breaks yours. God did not error when He sent me to you in 1995. Together we can learn much. I love your family. Your aforementioned example proves you are completely correct. Growing is painful. love grows beyond that Pain
    we are created in love by Our Father. I look forward to continuing this growth.

  13. Norma says:

    Amen, Pastor Ted. You are so right. I remember Jim Hylton saying something like this; “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not here yet. Submitting to the Lordship of Christ is a now experience.” the moment I am aware I have stepped away from His Lordship is the moment I make the choice to step right back to him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: