Posted in Change, Encouraging Stories, Faith, Teaching

What is that to you? Follow Me

Imagine yourself to be the Apostle Peter. You have cried, prayed, fasted, fished, all night, and caught nothing. And then suddenly a voice cries out from the shore and tells you to cast your net again, just one more time. The fish come from nowhere and are practically jumping into the net.  You look back to the man who called out from the shore and realize it is Jesus!  You realize it is going to take some time to haul in this catch and you just can’t wait. So you put on your robe and jump out of the boat to get to shore to embrace Him. In the midst of the excitement, you forget your sorrow and that denied Him ~ three times.

Because…. just a few short days ago, you were in the upper room with everyone and like the rest, swore your allegience to always follow this man you believed to be the Son of God. Then just when you thought you would never do what you did…

 

So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and [e]sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, A [f]servant is not greater than his lord; neither [g]one that is sent greater than he that sent him.

If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.
John 13:12-17

Jesus washed each of the disciple’s feet individually. He then said to them, “do this to one another.”  I believe he was saying, “Don’t compare yourself to one another, but serve one another as I have served you.” Peter, John and the other disciples lived, loved and worked with Jesus, yet each one had their individual assignments in the Kingdom of God.

Continue reading “What is that to you? Follow Me”

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Posted in Crisis, Faith, Teaching, Transition, Trauma

Survivors Guilt

Patmos

I wonder if the Apostle John when he was imprisioned on the island of Patmos, ever considered himself a survivor, battled compassion fatigue or dealt with survivors guilt?

Noah Webster describes “surviver” as one who outlives the other and “survivor” in the real estate terms as a joint tenant; and “In law, the longer liver of two joint tenants, or of any two persons who have a joint interest in anything.”

In her paper Guilt Following Traumatic Events, Kathleen Nader says regarding understanding guilt, “Following traumatic events, an individual may experience “real” guilt for acts of commission or omission that resulted in the physical or emotional endangerment or harm of others. “Imagined” guilt (e.g., survivor guilt, guilt with an element of wishful thinking about one’s ability to act) includes the types of guilt that occur in the absence of having acted harmfully. Both types of guilt include self condemnation, and either can result in harm to self or others (e.g., punishing acts to self or others; the action or elicitation of rejection, disdain and/or punishment).

The Apostle John along with many others was a survivor.  He outlived all the other apostles and was not put to death by being martyrd.

John was the only one of the original disciples not to die a violent death. Instead, he passed away peacefully in Patmos in his old age, sometime around 100 AD.

From what I can glean from his writings he did not suffer any sense of survivors guilt. Perhaps, he was so secure in his purpose and calling along with his relationship with Holy Spirit, that he truly understood this reality; Jesus and eternity were just moments away; just waiting on him to complete his assignment here on earth!

war in heaven

John wrote in Revelation 12:10-12 (The Study Bible):

The War in Heaven
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.”…

bird-from-a-cage.jpg

When someone suffers Survivor’s Guilt, there is always one culprit on the scene. The kingdom of darkness and the accuser of the brethren.  Satan and his dominion will use even the noblest of causes to attack the minds of those who are spared in the most vilest of attacks. God is not the author of evil, war, murder, suicide or even the loss of a beloved spouse who dies before you.  If you are suffering from guilt that is not the direct result of a sin you have not confessed and given over to the Lord, then you are taking on something that is a false burden.  Jesus can and will set you free from this type of pain.

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