DEAL WITH YOUR PAST WHILE YOU ARE STILL YOUNG
by John Clark
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It is never too early to confront and deal with emotional and relational issues. If you don't they will create more and more problems the older you get. Because you are still a young person you may not see a need to give attention to this area of your life, but these issues are already effecting you without you even realizing it.
Problems from childhood and youth won't just go away, but they will stand in the way of overall success in life and relationships, if not dealt with.
Teen suicides are all too common. Relationships are being built on sexual desires and low self-esteem instead of on unconditional love. Some youth are running away from, or being kicked out of, their homes. There are homeless students. Many are coming out of dysfunctional homes with divorced parents. Some end up drinking or on drugs at a very young age. Through all of this, their schooling is suffering, if they haven't already dropped out.
All of these and other problems are a result of unresolved issues at a very young age. They begin to come to a head when young people go away from home and get out on their own, when they move away to college, and when they start careers and families. All of the stuff from their first 18 years begins to explode, if it hasn't already earlier in life.
In school you took a lot of classes. So what you can benefit most from now is a mid-course correction. When the astronauts went to the moon and back in the 1960-70's, they did mid-course corrections. They adjusted their degrees of trajectory just enought to keep them on course to enable them to fall into orbit around the moon or to re-enter the earth's atmosphere at the proper angle. This mid-course correction was critical, however so slight, because by not doing it, the spacecraft could come in too steep and burn up in the atmosphere or come in too shallow and miss altogether, going back into space. The same is true emotionally and spiritually. Many of you probably could have used a mid-course correction when you got out of high school, or maybe you are beginning to see the need for it now.
Let me throw out some questions. It may be time to take an inventory of your life. How are things going? What is working and what is not? Answer these questions honestly.
1. How did you feel about yourself after getting out of high school? Did you have low self-esteem? Did you feel like you were a victim of circumstances? Were you used or abused in any way?
Did you have a feeling like life is not fair?
2.Do you accept whatever life throws at you, with no hope for change?
3. Do you remain silent about things you don't like, or when people don't respect you?
4. Do you find yourself expressing anger in negative, destructive ways?
5. Do you find yourself continually thinking about negative things that have happened to you, even way back in elementary school?
6. Are you depressed much of the time?
7. Do you have difficulty thinking well of other people and building positive relationships?
8. Do you find that you have a lot of conflicts with people at home and at work?
9. Are you having on-going unresolved and unexpected conflicts in your marriage, or have you already been married and divorced several times?
10. Are you harboring bitterness toward others?
1. Was there any physical abuse?
2. Was there emotional abuse like labeling, name calling, being put down, being left out, or anything that made you think poorly of yourself, or angry?
3. Was there yelling or fighting?
4. Did you get caught in the middle of your parents' spats?
5. Was your mom or dad hardly ever home?
6. Did your mom or dad not show up for important events in your life?
7. Was your mom or dad, or any family member, on drugs or alcohol?
8. Did your parents make you go to church?
9. Did you ever feel humiliated at home?
10. Did your parents ever lie or steal?
11. Did your mom or dad ever get so angry that they threw things, broke things, or got violent?
12. Did you ever feel like you could not openly express your opinions or feelings?
13. Did anyone ever make fun of your body?
14. Did anyone at home ever quote Bible verses to correct behavior, or to justify the behavior of someone else?
15. Did your mom or dad never give you that chance to make your own choices as you got older?
16. Were you parents separated or divorced?
17. List any other thing you can think of.
1. Did any teacher or student attach negative labels to you?
2. Were you always the last chosen for sports?
3. Did other kids ever make fun of you for any reason?
4. Were you bullied?
5. Were you excluded from associating with certain people?
6. Were you ever embarrassed in front of a class or around your peers?
7. Did you ever have any teacher give you an unjustifiable failing grade?
1. Were you ever told that something you were doing was "not a Christian thing to do?"
2. Were you ever told that you were "unspiritual" if you did not go to church?
3. Did you go to church just because it was the day of worship, with no other meaning?
4.Were you made to memorize Bible verses for conteuysts, with no other meaning attached to them?
5. Were you involved in a church that had no relevant or fun youth ministry?
How did you do? Get the help you need. Don't wait any longer. Go to counseling or anger management, get out of a destructive relationship, seek forgiveness, or do whatever you believe needs to be done. Please take care of anything that needs to be changed or resolved from your past while you are still young. You have your whole life ahead of you; don't let your past spoil it!
Most importantly, start thinking correctly about yourself, God, and others, by studying the Bible and interpreting it properly. (John Livingston Clark is the author of "God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking", available on Amazon and Kindle ebook.)
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