I have not been on drugs or alcohol. I am the son of a pastor. Growing up in church was a major part of my life. I went to church camps, read the Bible, prayed, and accepted Christ and was baptized at the age of 10.

However, I still ended up later in life with anger issues, low self-esteem, depression, involvement in pornography, and even suicidal thoughts. How can this be? The point I want to make here is that even though people do all the things to live a clean life and follow God, it is still possible to have a messed up life.

You see, I was negatively impacted by two critical factors: childhood experiences, and incorrect church or “biblical” teachings. I do not believe it is necessary to elaborate on the childhood experiences. Many people have had adverse experiences growing up.

The second element needs some further explanation. This includes Bible verses taken out of context and religious phrases void of meaning.

Over time, I wound up being a very confused, frustrated and defeated Christian. What makes matters worse is that people, like in my case, are programmed to believe certain ways, and then just accept those beliefs without questioning.

This kind of belief system resulted in negative strongholds. A negative stronghold can be defined as any destructive habit, attitude, or mindset that has a grip on people, and has become so much a part of their subconscious character that it holds them back in defeat and mediocrity, making it impossible for them to experience a life of victory and happiness, or to mature emotionally and spiritually. They become what I call “hidden hurts” because you do not talk about them and may not even be aware you have strongholds.

With all of this said, my life never went anywhere, I had no goals. I have had financial adversity my entire life, a dysfunctional marriage, and unresolved emotional issues.

On top of all this, I grew up believing that prayer, Bible reading, and church would solve all of my problems. Oh yes, it was also considered unspiritual to go to counseling. People thought there must be something wrong with you as a Christian if you had to go see a counselor. Much of the time that all of this was happening, I was a music director at local churches.

It got to the point to where my belief system was bringing nothing but confusion and frustration. Years and years of unresolved issues exploded into anger, loss of self-worth, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I would be angry the night before I would be standing in front of a congregation leading music.

I finally came to realize I needed help. The three most difficult words to say, particularly for a man, are: I NEED HELP. I began reading books and going to Christian counseling. I totally re-examined my beliefs, studied Bible passages in their proper contexts, tossed out some beliefs, and reprogrammed my mind with positive thoughts based on correct biblical teachings. I had to exert a large amount of focus and deal with my emotional issues, over a long stretch of time. It was not easy. But I am no longer living life controlled by incorrect beliefs. I am experiencing a life of freedom to pursue God’s plan for my life. I have gone on to become a published author, with a book on Amazon, and am seeing speaking opportunities open up. I also have a ministry designed to help young men between 20-30 years of age take inventory of their lives, to find out what beliefs are working, and which are not, to correct things early in life to avoid more serious consequences later.

Source: FaithWriters.com

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