Step two: Owning.
I previously talked about facing up to our issues and what that looks like. In this next step I will discuss owning our issues. This is the second step out of four keys to living a healthier lifestyle. It is important that we understand how to fully overcome each phase and step in our lives. We don’t want half healing, we want the the full healing effect.
This brings us to the second step to accessing a joyful life, Owning! The definition of owning is, To admit, acknowledge or the best word to describe it is “accept”. It is one thing to face the direction of your battles but to really accept them isn’t always easy. You see there are choices we have made that affect our Christian life, there are also choices others have made for us that also affect our Christian life. The choices others make for us are the hardest to own up to, mainly because we are looking for them to apologize in order to gain healing. The way life works is, we don’t always get that satisfaction. Instead we have to own them ourselves. You will never understand the forgiveness God has for you until you have to forgive someone who isn’t sorry. That is a profound moment of true healing in our lives, forgiving and owning what someone else has done to you. When I say owning I don’t meaning you’re owning their mistakes. You’re simplying owning the fact that it happened to you and you are owning the fact it needs to go. When you own the fact that their choices have affected your life, they no longer have the control to own you! You don’t loose anything by owning up to their mistakes, in fact you gain complete freedom because you are no longer are waiting for an apology; that may never come. You aren’t saying what they did to you is okay, you’re saying what they did to you happened, and by admitting that it happened you’re owning it. Just because it happened to you doesn’t mean it has power over you. When we realize that owning up to another person that has hurt us, gives us freedom; we would understand that we have victory. So often we think we think we’re letting them win by forgiving, but the reality to that is we’re losing by not forgiving. I had to learn to forgive a lot people in my past and a lot of dark situations that occurred, I’m not saying it was easy but I am saying with God you are capable. It is a vital part of our journey in this life to own up, not only to our issues but the issues that others have caused us. Luke 23:33-34- When they came to a place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” In this very core moment in history, Jesus took on and owned the choices humanity brought upon him. He was an innocent man yet crucified for our transgressions. His death in owning our fault was not a loss but the final gain to victory for all mankind. This is a perfect reference to owning up to what others have done in our lives, it wasn’t our fault but it certainly has and will become our problems; if not properly recognized. The devil isn’t as clever or as smart as we give him credit, he takes old things and repeatedly throws them in your face. He isn’t even wise enough to make up new ways to trick us, he gets us right at the heart of our past. One of the worst mind habits to create is pretending. A lot of Christians or people in general like to pretend things never happened, pretend that they aren’t affected by their issues and suppress their past as if it never existed. That word pretending will back track you to where you started. Once you begin to pretend you start to avoid and then you ultimately become a “fake.” As Christians we are called to be real, honest and boldly proclaiming that our weakness make us strong in Christ. We cannot proclaim our weaknesses if we are so busy pretending they don’t exist. I know there is deep places within our hearts that are not so pleasant, not so pretty and not something we enjoy bringing up. This is why we would rather pretend because pretending is easier than owning those places we’ve been, those things we’ve done, the people we’ve hurt and the flat our rebellion we’ve embraced. I believe whole-heartedly that I am where I am today along with many others, because we took the step to own up! I owned up even to those places that never belonged to me but throughout my journey became apart of me. You don’t have to live in the battle zone of your own doing, or of what others have done to you. There is so much freedom in owning up. We’re either going to try forget everything and spend our lives running from the past, or we’re going to own it and rise among the battle field. In the end the choice belongs to us and us only. Owning up to our past can also be a challenge, it pushes us to have to forgive ourselves for things we have done. I believe that hinders a lot of non-Christians from converting to Christianity, not because its hard to believe in God; rather its hard to believe in a God who forgives. That unbelief is rooted in the place of forgiving ourselves. If you can’t forgive you, then the thought of the all mighty God forgiving you is almost impossible. I have always looked at it this way, you will gain bitterness from your un-forgiveness toward yourself; which causes a barrier for God to work in your life. This doesn’t go unnoticed in the fact that anger and pride become your way of suriving. The angrier we’re within ourselves about our past, the more likely we’re to stay stagnant in the pursuit of healing. The first step is facing what we have done in our lives, the second is owning them. Human nature screams at the thought of “taking fault”, it’s not always easy to see yourself as faulty. We have all fallen short of the kingdom God, biblically standing our nature is broken. We read this fact, we know this fact, but why is it that we have the hardest time owning this fact? It comes down to pride once again, pride is the root to what will spiritually kill you. Pride forms no anointing and is self-exalting, from pride comes a lover of one’s self; above God. This creates the mind-set of I am able without God, when in reality we’re disabled without God. Every time we continue to have un-forgiveness toward ourselves we create a barrier. This barrier as any barrier only takes us so far. Once you reach the barrier walls there is no going forward. Forgiveness is important in order to move forward in our lives, because our lives are not just about us! We’re designed for a purpose to worship the one who created us, along with going into the world and proclaiming the Gospel. If I am so fixed on what I have done, who I have been or ignoring the fact that I am at fault; I will miss the entire point of my existence! We must look to the problem and say I own you and you no longer own me! It is that simple because God he sent his only son to absorbed everything we have done, in purpose that we may be free. Every time you allow yourself to hold onto that which doesn’t belong to you, is saying what God did for you was never enough. You must take control by allowing God to take control, basically meaning letting go of the control. Go will then take your faulty past and make purpose for your future. Don’t let pride steal another moment of your destiny. Our life is but a vapor and we have so much to do. If you stumble here, you may never be able to finish the race the stretches before you. Paul, a strong biblical focus in the new testament states it clear and with truth. 2nd Corinthians 12:17 tells us this, “Even though I have received such revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” I see this scripture as Paul telling us, if we do not have this thorn in our side to remind us of God’s grace; then we become people who do not need God. We become a generation of prideful in nature, saying we’re not faulty beings but perfect beings. This thorn that we refuse to own up to and beg for it to be removed, is the one thing that will save us from ourselves. By recognizing the thorn and owning the thorn, we’re walking around as living proof that grace exist. We then can be humble in our approach of forgiving others as well as forgiving ourselves. No longer ignoring the fact that we have thorns from our past but rejoice in it, knowing that with it brings us to a place of wisdom and strength.