Friday, December 11, 2009

"Self Saboteurs"

When I began this blog I wanted it to be a place where people could come and be encouraged and find hope and peace that is so desperately needed in this day and time. My desire, is that readers would leave this place inspired as well as equipped to reach out and take the hand of Jesus. To be lifted up out of the miry pit, to keep moving forward despite the storms of life. This is still my intention. I will continue this by the power of the Holy Spirit always striving to be uplifting in the words that I write in hopes that "if possible" lives can be changed. It has been a couple of years now since I began blogging and while on my journey, I am discovering that the Lord would have me to ask more questions. The explaining and expounding with encouraging words has it's place, but for a person to really learn there should be questions asked so as they can think on their own? So, coupled with uplifting words I am going to begin to ask more questions. I feel this is the direction that the Lord is leading me, so I'm going with it. Not only will this benefit you the reader to get you thinking, but it will also benefit and grow me. I never want to get to the place where I feel as though all wisdom will die with me and that I have all the answers. My desire is to remain teachable and to learn from what others have to say. Will I always agree? No, probably not, but that's okay because this is how we learn and grow as well as fine tune our beliefs when it comes to the Word of God.

So, before I present a question I have some thoughts that I would like to lay on the table.

It seems to me that in today's society I am seeing more and more "saboteurs of self." Those who seem to continually place themselves in harm's way. They make decisions and hold onto attitudes that are self-destructive which is not for their good. What's so frustrating about this, is that all the while they are clinging to their self-destructive ways, they know better. Yet they continue on this insane cycle of destruction. Which will undoubtedly lead them to more heartache and pain in their lives. These same people will come to you for help, counsel/advice or whatever but when you give them a ladder so as to climb up out of their mirey pit they refuse to take the first step in climbing to their freedom. To be honest I have found myself somewhat frustrated with people who do this. I continue with every ounce of myself to remain encouraging. But eventually, in the end all I can do is just pray for them in hopes that they will begin to climb the ladders that have been placed all around them. Beginning their own journey to freedom. Arising to be a victor and not a victim. I can love them and cheer them to victory the best way that I know. But before they can arise victorious they have got to "want" freedom for themselves. My passionate desire has always been that people will know who they are in Christ Jesus. Pulling from His strength and power from within to be an overcomer. I hope that I am not sounding insensitive. I understand that people have been through some major storms in their lives. Some a lot worse then I have ever been through or will ever be. One thing I do know is that God is greater than any storm, and more powerful. When one finally realizes the power of God and His strength for their lives I believe that they can overcome and conquer anything. There are many testimonies from people that have gone through some mighty storms in their life but they made it. They are stronger today because of it. My husband is one of them. I am not going to go into the details of his storm but believe me when I say that he has overcome some major storms with the grace, power and strength of God in His life. My husband is a man that has never given up hope, despite the power of the storm and I thank God and give Him all the glory for this and so does my husband.

It's now time for the question. Please give me your thoughts.

(1) Why do some continue to stay in a miry pit of defeat and or destructive behavior, when they have been given the answer as how to get out?


Nitewrit said...


There may be multiple reasons for this. I'll give it some thought.


thekingpin68 said...

'Those who seem to continually place themselves in harm's way. They make decisions and hold onto attitudes that are self-destructive which is not for their good. What's so frustrating about this, is that all the while they are clinging to their self-destructive ways, they know better. Yet they continue on this insane cycle of destruction. Which will undoubtedly lead them to more heartache and pain in their lives.'

A reasonable point which can be seen with many addictions, for example.

Or to a lesser degree, persons that tattoo their face and therefore limit career opportunities.

Lori Laws said...

Hi Tamela, I'll answer in one sentence... they are simply not hungry enough to search for the real answer, which is God.

Tamela's Place said...

Good point Russ, but I am still trying to wrap my mind around the big Question. WHY? why would they do this, what is going on in their mind that would cause them to do this when they know better?

satire and theology said...

Sinful nature by nature is largely self-destructive in humans.

Nitewrit said...


Part of the answer to your question can be found in Romans 1:18-23. Here is how that passage is paraphrased in "The Message":

"But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
Since they didn't bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it's not as if they don't know better. They know perfectly well they're spitting in God's face. And they don't care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!"

Now you may say, okay, this is the perversity of the world among those who rejected God. But I know Christians who do dumb or bad things and "stay in a miry pit of defeat and or destructive behavior". What about them?

Two things; One, they may say they are Christians, may know all the right things to say, may attend church religeously, but there is the problem. They are religeous, but not saved. They may turn to the pastor or to another parisher for advice or help, but they never really turn to God.

Two, even believing Christians sometimes fall to temptations or trust in themselves to make decisions. You want the kids to have a great Christmas, so you spend money you don't have to buy them an expensive present, which they could have lived perfectly happily without. Now you are over the limit on a credit card and don't have enough for even the minimum payment. Do you pray to God for direction and forgiveness and then take positive steps to reduce the debt, even if it means a second job or selling something? Or do you go to a friend and ask to borrow enough to pay this bill. Now next month comes and you still can't pay the credit card and pay back your friend. So now what do you do? And it goes on and on.

You know what it is. It is pride or a lack of faith in trusting God to restore you if you confess. You are like Abraham who gets your wife's handmaiden pragnent because you don't think God can make your old, barren wife fertile.


Connie Arnold said...

I think many people think they are so unworthy and that they deserve whatever happens to them. It's hard to grasp the idea of grace and although God can love and forgive them, it's hard for them to forgive themselves. I understand that feeling and have been there, but praise God for the mercy, grace, love and forgiveness offered so freely!

sarah said...

Hi. I opened your blog and read that Issiah scripture, Woe to those who call....That is the scripture God gave me for the first chapter of my book. Sarah

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Connie,

Thank you Connie for your comment. I do believe that when a person feels a sense of unworthiness it's usually because they are doing things they know they shouldn't. Not sure if this was your case or not. Many know their wrongs but continue in them because they love darkness more than the Light and thus they embrace the darkness and flee from the Light and continue in self-willful sinning, which only continues to bring more harm to themselves. I believe the root is Pride, Rebellion, Defiance etc...

God bless you

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Sarah,

Thankyou for visiting. I believe that my own thoughts on this are beginning to be solidified that the best way to handle self saboteurs is not to cater to them and or feel sorry for them (as i have done many times)but to pray for them that they will repent and turn their hearts toward God. I have gotten alot of great comments and scriptures for the answer to my question and it has confirmed to me what i have been thinking about this myself.

God bless you :)

Tamela's Place said...

Thanks Lori for your comment my original thoughts on this is being confirmed with the comments I am getting, which are lining up with the same thing you have said

God bless thanks again

Tamela's Place said...

Thank you Larry I believe everyone is in agreement when answering my question. These are some great scriptures. Everyone's answers has helped to solidify and to confirm my own beliefs on this. Getting to the root of it I will have to agree is pride or a lack of trusting God. But both in my opinion are sins, for faith in God for our lives is what pleases Him for our faith in Him shows our love for Him.

Tamela :)

capturedbygod said...

Because they are a slave to sin. Even now I still struggle with habits that I know are bad for me, but I can't seem to overcome them. I guess its the old sinful nature vs. the new nature, and often its a continual struggle as we learn to let God overcome our weaknesses.

So glad you are writing again! And thanks for your sweet comment! Sorry its taken me so long to respond. Working has kept me pretty busy lately. Hope you are doing well!

Love, Jenny

Gigi said...

Perhaps the Lord is putting these people in your path for two that they can grow you in your faith and so that you can minister to them. Rather than allow feelings of frustration and discouragement to enter in, maybe it would be better to see these times as opportunities to, as you put it, "fine tune our beliefs when it comes to the Word of God."

I think it is always so easy to forget that when dealing with other people, we do not know the big picture - we do not have all the facts. We do not know how broken people are and what tools they may possess (or not) to help them rebuild themselves. I, for one, choose to extend the benefit of the doubt to others because I hope someone will do the same for me.

I remember years ago asking a friend who was a clinical psychologist why my best friend - who had been dealing with years of depression - could not "get her act together." I'll never forget my friend's words..."She can no more be like you than you can be like her." That was a good lesson for me to learn and it has stuck with me all these many, many years.

Tamela - I don't know your husband's history; but I do know my Dad's and my Sweet Hubby's. Both conquered circumstances in their childhoods and teen years that would have sent lesser people careening off into the void...In the world of psychology, people like my Dad and my Sweet Hubby are referred to as "exceptional children" - those who go on to live exemplary lives in spite of the great odds against them. Sadly, they are the exception not the rule.

Jody said...

Hi Tamela,
I didn't realize you were back to blogging. So here I am visiting. Great post.
We've been in ministry for almost 25 years, I've taken some biblical counseling courses, and Ive seen many staying in the pit, choosing to stay in the pit because the climb out is too hard, it's easier to stay put and not trust God to pull you out.

Warren Baldwin said...

Good to see you back on the blog!

Several possible answers to your question:

1) They are foolish. I think that would be the answer from Proverbs. Foolish refuse to listen, learn and live better.

2) They think they know the best way. Related to #1. Since they know the best/most, why should they listen to anyone else?

3) In agreement with Connie - they do not think they deserve better, so won't accept God's grace to be/live bettern.

4) In agreement with Lori - Aren't seeking God's way for their lives.

Good question! I think there are multiple possible answers.


Tamela's Place said...

Thank you Warren for visiting and leaving your thoughts. I am learning from each and everyone of you.

Tamela's Place said...

Thank you Jody. WOW! that mentality still fascinates me. I look at it as easier to trust God to pull me out then staying in a pit. I know it's true what you say, but I still struggle trying to truly understand WHY? I have gotten many great answers to the question. I guess it is just a matter of a person thinking that "they can't" (as you have said).. and they have a hard time understanding that "God can". God's Word says that we can do all things thru Christ who strengthens us. So it goes back to trusting in self more than trusting in God I guess. Thank you again

Tamela's Place said...

Thank you GiGi for your reply. You are right when you say that the reason people of this mentality might come into my life is so I can grow in faith as well as minister. God has been faithful in making sure that people of such come into my life, and I have ministered to them and am still learning (my husband has been only one of many people). I was being honest when I said that it can be frustrating at times. Even tho it is an opportunity it can still be frustrating. The tools have been given and now it is up to the person in the pit to begin using the tools. This doesn't mean I totally walk away from them and leave them with their tools, I am still there to pray with them or for them. But there does come a time when the person needs to begin to trust God for His help and strength and begin to climb the ladders. As Jody said they feel like they can't tho. and I understand that. But according to God's Word, if we would trust Him we will find that we can do "all things" thru Christ who strengthens us. He will give the strength to begin climbing the ladder to freedom when we truly begin to trust Him "with" our lives. You had made mention of some words from a psychologist: " That she can be no more like you than you can be like her". TRUE! But they can be as Christ-via-the power of His Holy Spirit in them, if they would only believe Him. Believing "in Him" and "Believing Him" are two very different things. And in the World of Living in Christ Jesus happily they are "all" the exception and never the rule.

Love you Gigi and God bless you

jeleasure said...

I have no idea. Probably depends on the person, the life they have lived, pride...etc.?

Kathy S. said...

Tammy, I enjoyed reading your post and the comments. I had a neighbor who I asked myself many times the same "why" question.

I offered to do a Bible study with her. No time.
I gave her one to do on her own. Too lazy to look up scripture. (her words)
I invited her to church countless times. Something going on.

The frustration is there because you invest in them, and know that they could see victory, but choose not to. Jesus was frustrated with that too. "oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem..."

I remembered something I heard once. A man teaching said that if you have a garden that has fertile soil and rocky soil, where will you spend most of your time?

That helped me see that my time was best spent cultivating with prayer, and that freed me up for investing more time in more fertile places.

People who are used to drawing from others can be draining. And we, as "caregivers" can easily be enabling...

Blessings to you!

Tamela's Place said...

Thank you Kathy for visiting Tamela's place and commenting. What you say is very good. I have been the enabler at times. But God is teaching me truths similar to what you have stated. I am going to try to make it my goal this year to spend more of my time in the fertile grounds.

God bless you Kathy and have a very Happy new year

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