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Quotes of Author: Edward-welch

1.
[Saying] “yes” might be very unwise. It might not be the best way to repay our debt of love. Saying “yes” to one task might keep us from another that is more important. It might mean that we will do something that someone else could have done better. It might mean that we will entrench the sin patterns of other people. It might mean that we interpret the church egocentrically rather than as a body, thinking, “If I don’t do it, nobody will.”

[Saying] “yes” might be very unwise. It might not be the best way to repay our debt of love. Saying “yes” to one task might keep us from another that is more important. It might mean that we will do something that someone else could have done better. It might mean that we will entrench the sin patterns of other people. It might mean that we interpret the church egocentrically rather than as a body, thinking, “If I don’t do it, nobody will.”      

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 214.  Used by Permission.


2.
A mature fear of the Lord is more akin to awe, devotion, and worship. It is a response that says, “Your glory is irresistible.” “In your presence, nothing else matters. You are all that I desire.” Furthermore, it is a response that is active. It does something. It is not simply a passive devotion; it follows Christ in obedience. It searches out His will and can’t wait to do it.

A mature fear of the Lord is more akin to awe, devotion, and worship. It is a response that says, “Your glory is irresistible.” “In your presence, nothing else matters. You are all that I desire.” Furthermore, it is a response that is active. It does something. It is not simply a passive devotion; it follows Christ in obedience. It searches out His will and can’t wait to do it.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 162, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Fear_of_God
3.
One of the problems with the perspective that addictions are a disease is that it leaves no room for this kind of fear of the Lord. A god who helps us to be strong in the face of illness is not the same as the God whose holiness reveals our sin, who shows us our desperate need for a mediator, restores our relationship with Him, and empowers us to live as holy children. Holiness is key. Without the knowledge of our Father’s holiness and our response of reverence, everything about God becomes ordinary.

One of the problems with the perspective that addictions are a disease is that it leaves no room for this kind of fear of the Lord. A god who helps us to be strong in the face of illness is not the same as the God whose holiness reveals our sin, who shows us our desperate need for a mediator, restores our relationship with Him, and empowers us to live as holy children. Holiness is key. Without the knowledge of our Father’s holiness and our response of reverence, everything about God becomes ordinary.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 167, Used by Permission. Get this book!


4.
The fact that God sees every aspect of our lives may, at first, leave us afraid and eager to hide from God rather than in awe, wanting to embrace Him. But the fear of the Lord makes us aware both of God’s holy purity and hatred of sin and His holy patience and forgiveness. When we remember both, we have no reason to run in fear, especially since there is no place to run beyond the gaze of God. Instead, as we look at the Lord, we see that He invites, cleanses, and empowers us to grow in holiness.

The fact that God sees every aspect of our lives may, at first, leave us afraid and eager to hide from God rather than in awe, wanting to embrace Him. But the fear of the Lord makes us aware both of God’s holy purity and hatred of sin and His holy patience and forgiveness. When we remember both, we have no reason to run in fear, especially since there is no place to run beyond the gaze of God. Instead, as we look at the Lord, we see that He invites, cleanses, and empowers us to grow in holiness.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 177, Used by Permission. Get this book!


5.
This is why we speak the truth. Since God is truth, we – His offspring – are called to imitate Him and be truth tellers. It is one way that God’s people are recognized. Lies and deception are wrong because they are against God’s very nature… Speaking truth instead of lies is not simply being nice. It is a declaration of allegiance. Truth is a shibboleth – a telltale mark – revealing that you belong to the kingdom of God.

This is why we speak the truth. Since God is truth, we – His offspring – are called to imitate Him and be truth tellers. It is one way that God’s people are recognized. Lies and deception are wrong because they are against God’s very nature… Speaking truth instead of lies is not simply being nice. It is a declaration of allegiance. Truth is a shibboleth – a telltale mark – revealing that you belong to the kingdom of God.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 183-184, Used by Permission. Get this book!


6.
In our battles with sin, we need a team of people. We need teachers to help us understand Scripture, prophets to help us apply it, interceders to pray for us, preachers to focus our eyes on Christ, encouragers to remind us of God’s grace when we feel like failures, wise men and women to discern when we are making foolish decisions, and people of faith to tell us that everything God has said is true in Christ. In other words, God’s gifts to us are people – not just one person, but the church. This is how Christ meets us. The reason we need so many people is that we need Christ Himself. Since His glory and gifts are so immense, we need many people, not just an individual person.

In our battles with sin, we need a team of people. We need teachers to help us understand Scripture, prophets to help us apply it, interceders to pray for us, preachers to focus our eyes on Christ, encouragers to remind us of God’s grace when we feel like failures, wise men and women to discern when we are making foolish decisions, and people of faith to tell us that everything God has said is true in Christ. In other words, God’s gifts to us are people – not just one person, but the church. This is how Christ meets us. The reason we need so many people is that we need Christ Himself. Since His glory and gifts are so immense, we need many people, not just an individual person.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 252, Used by Permission. Get this book!


7.
Scripture never expects us to hear God’s commands to us in isolation from the serious contemplation of God’s work for us in Christ.

Scripture never expects us to hear God’s commands to us in isolation from the serious contemplation of God’s work for us in Christ.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 217, Used by Permission. Get this book!


8.
Most of us have had sins that we would easily confess to God, yet would be ashamed to confess to another brother or sister. Does this make sense? After all, God is the Holy One. To be exposed in His presence should be much more difficult than being exposed before sinners like ourselves. People who truly confess to God are less concerned that others learn their secret. If we easily confess to God something that shames us to confess to a friend, we are thinking too highly of the opinions of people and not highly enough about the holiness of God.

Most of us have had sins that we would easily confess to God, yet would be ashamed to confess to another brother or sister. Does this make sense? After all, God is the Holy One. To be exposed in His presence should be much more difficult than being exposed before sinners like ourselves. People who truly confess to God are less concerned that others learn their secret. If we easily confess to God something that shames us to confess to a friend, we are thinking too highly of the opinions of people and not highly enough about the holiness of God.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 198, Used by Permission. Get this book!


9.
Perhaps we could call it “contraconditional” love. Contrary to the conditions normally required to know God’s blessing, He has blessed me because His Son fulfilled the conditions. Contrary to my due, He loves me. And now I can begin to change, not to earn love, but because of love.

Perhaps we could call it “contraconditional” love. Contrary to the conditions normally required to know God’s blessing, He has blessed me because His Son fulfilled the conditions. Contrary to my due, He loves me. And now I can begin to change, not to earn love, but because of love.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 145, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: God-Love
10.
[The term] unconditional love, [is often] translated into unconditional approval…Jesus, however, can be angered and grieved by stubborn hearts (Mark 3:5). He severely rebuked His own disciples (Mark 8:33). The mind and emotions of God are His mind and emotions. His responses toward those who were both for Him and against Him were rich and lively. They cannot be contained by the word unconditional, especially when the word suggests that there is never any disapproval of a person’s behavior. If there were no disapproval of our behavior, there would have been no cross.

[The term] unconditional love, [is often] translated into unconditional approval… Jesus, however, can be angered and grieved by stubborn hearts (Mark 3:5). He severely rebuked His own disciples (Mark 8:33). The mind and emotions of God are His mind and emotions. His responses toward those who were both for Him and against Him were rich and lively. They cannot be contained by the word unconditional, especially when the word suggests that there is never any disapproval of a person’s behavior. If there were no disapproval of our behavior, there would have been no cross.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 144-145, Used by Permission. Get this book!


11.
A biblical approach to change focuses on someone other than ourselves. Change starts, proceeds, and ends with Jesus. We look to Jesus and away from ourselves.

A biblical approach to change focuses on someone other than ourselves. Change starts, proceeds, and ends with Jesus. We look to Jesus and away from ourselves.  

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 142, Used by Permission. Get this book!


12.
Anxious and fearful people can easily slip into taking Scripture as a pill. Take one passage twice a day for two weeks and your symptoms will be gone. When the pill doesn’t work we have two choices. We search for another treatment, or we confess that we are using Scripture as a self-help book for symptom relief, in which case it is time to get back to basics. If you choose to get back to biblical basics, Peter’s exhortation to humble ourselves is a great place to start [1 Pet. 5:6-7].

Anxious and fearful people can easily slip into taking Scripture as a pill. Take one passage twice a day for two weeks and your symptoms will be gone. When the pill doesn’t work we have two choices. We search for another treatment, or we confess that we are using Scripture as a self-help book for symptom relief, in which case it is time to get back to basics. If you choose to get back to biblical basics, Peter’s exhortation to humble ourselves is a great place to start [1 Pet. 5:6-7].


13.
The fear of the Lord is knowing that I live coram deo, before the face of God. It is knowing that the Holy God sees every aspect of my life. The result is that we live knowing that we are seen. We live publicly, and follow Christ in joyful and reverential obedience.

The fear of the Lord is knowing that I live coram deo, before the face of God. It is knowing that the Holy God sees every aspect of my life. The result is that we live knowing that we are seen. We live publicly, and follow Christ in joyful and reverential obedience.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 176, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Fear_of_God
14.
Whatever wins our affections will control our lives.

Whatever wins our affections will control our lives.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 175, Used by Permission. Get this book!


15.
Self-control is…not the same as self-dependence, in which we rely on personal will power to control ourselves. Instead, self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit, given through faith in Jesus Christ…Self-control is a strategic countermeasure to the insatiable cravings of sin.

Self-control is…not the same as self-dependence, in which we rely on personal will power to control ourselves. Instead, self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit, given through faith in Jesus Christ… Self-control is a strategic countermeasure to the insatiable cravings of sin.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 212-213, Used by Permission. Get this book!


16.
When a serpent comes across your path speaking lies, you should run from it or kill it. You shouldn’t sit around for a friendly chat.

When a serpent comes across your path speaking lies, you should run from it or kill it. You shouldn’t sit around for a friendly chat.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 239, Used by Permission. Get this book!


17.
The problem is that as Christians, we often forget we are in a war. Or worse, we don’t even know that there is a war…It is easy to understand why many of us act as though we were on vacation.

The problem is that as Christians, we often forget we are in a war. Or worse, we don’t even know that there is a war… It is easy to understand why many of us act as though we were on vacation.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 226-227, Used by Permission. Get this book!


18.
Be very careful, then, how you live (Eph. 5:15), put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11), prepare your minds for action (1 Peter 1:13), make every effort (2 Peter 1:5), be self-controlled and alert (1 Peter 5:8). These are battle cries, and Scripture is full of them. But unlike our old conception of warfare, where battle lines are clear and the times of battle can almost be predicted, this is modern warfare in which you are not always sure where the enemy lurks. It is guerilla warfare. There are strategically placed snipers. You let down your guard for a moment and the village you thought was safe suddenly opens fire on you.

Be very careful, then, how you live (Eph. 5:15), put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11), prepare your minds for action (1 Peter 1:13), make every effort (2 Peter 1:5), be self-controlled and alert (1 Peter 5:8). These are battle cries, and Scripture is full of them. But unlike our old conception of warfare, where battle lines are clear and the times of battle can almost be predicted, this is modern warfare in which you are not always sure where the enemy lurks. It is guerilla warfare. There are strategically placed snipers. You let down your guard for a moment and the village you thought was safe suddenly opens fire on you.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 226, Used by Permission. Get this book!


19.
It is interesting to note that secular approaches have embraced an approach to confrontation that mirrors church discipline. It is technically called intervention. In essence it says that we can no longer wait for people to destroy themselves and others. They must be presented with the facts about their problem. They are out of touch with reality and need others to present it to them. Furthermore, this is best done by a group of people who deeply love the substance abuser. Curiously, intervention is hailed as one of the most significant advances in drug treatment. Yet church discipline is the original and intervention the imitator.

It is interesting to note that secular approaches have embraced an approach to confrontation that mirrors church discipline. It is technically called intervention. In essence it says that we can no longer wait for people to destroy themselves and others. They must be presented with the facts about their problem. They are out of touch with reality and need others to present it to them. Furthermore, this is best done by a group of people who deeply love the substance abuser. Curiously, intervention is hailed as one of the most significant advances in drug treatment. Yet church discipline is the original and intervention the imitator.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 96, Used by Permission. Get this book!


20.
[Alcoholism] is not like a disease. It is something we do rather than catch, we confess it rather than treat it, the disease is in our hearts rather than our bodies, and only the forgiveness and cleansing found in the blood of the Great Physician is sufficient to bring thorough healing.

[Alcoholism] is not like a disease. It is something we do rather than catch, we confess it rather than treat it, the disease is in our hearts rather than our bodies, and only the forgiveness and cleansing found in the blood of the Great Physician is sufficient to bring thorough healing.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 61, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
21.
[Addiction] is not like a disease. It is something we do rather than catch, we confess it rather than treat it, the disease is in our hearts rather than our bodies, and only the forgiveness and cleansing found in the blood of the Great Physician is sufficient to bring thorough healing.

[Addiction] is not like a disease. It is something we do rather than catch, we confess it rather than treat it, the disease is in our hearts rather than our bodies, and only the forgiveness and cleansing found in the blood of the Great Physician is sufficient to bring thorough healing.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 61, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Addiction
22.
As people who want to help addicts, we need something very powerful to break the hold of idols. Pleas, tears, arguments, or threats will not penetrate. Reason is useless. We cannot simply say, “Stop doing drugs, get control of yourself, stop worshipping an idol.” As a result of spiritual oppression, drug worshippers may be very intelligent, but they can be oblivious to the destruction and slavery associated with drug abuse. They need the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18), the message of Christ crucified and risen. Other therapies can offer sobriety, but only this good news is powerful enough to liberate the soul.

As people who want to help addicts, we need something very powerful to break the hold of idols. Pleas, tears, arguments, or threats will not penetrate. Reason is useless. We cannot simply say, “Stop doing drugs, get control of yourself, stop worshipping an idol.” As a result of spiritual oppression, drug worshippers may be very intelligent, but they can be oblivious to the destruction and slavery associated with drug abuse. They need the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18), the message of Christ crucified and risen. Other therapies can offer sobriety, but only this good news is powerful enough to liberate the soul.  

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 55, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Addiction
23.
Using the perspective of idolatry, addicts are blinded by their own desire. They refuse to see themselves as dependent on God. God’s glory and fame is not their goal. In their self-addiction or selfishness, they worship and bow down before false gods. Addicts have defected from the living God. Instead of worshipping in the temple of the Lord, they perform addictive rituals that give them more perceived power, pleasure, or identity. They see in their addiction a form of magic (Deut. 18:10-14). The promises of the idol, however, are lies. Any identity, power, or peace they bring is false and temporary. There are only two choices: putting your faith in a loving God and thus knowing freedom, or putting your faith in idols (Satan) and being enslaved. Curiously, our selfish pride prefers slavery.

Using the perspective of idolatry, addicts are blinded by their own desire. They refuse to see themselves as dependent on God. God’s glory and fame is not their goal. In their self-addiction or selfishness, they worship and bow down before false gods. Addicts have defected from the living God. Instead of worshipping in the temple of the Lord, they perform addictive rituals that give them more perceived power, pleasure, or identity. They see in their addiction a form of magic (Deut. 18:10-14). The promises of the idol, however, are lies. Any identity, power, or peace they bring is false and temporary. There are only two choices: putting your faith in a loving God and thus knowing freedom, or putting your faith in idols (Satan) and being enslaved. Curiously, our selfish pride prefers slavery.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 54-55, Used by Permission. Get this book!


24.
The true nature of all addictions is that we have chosen to go outside the boundaries of the kingdom of God and look for blessing in the land of idols. In turning to idols, we are saying that we desire something in creation more than we desire the Creator.

The true nature of all addictions is that we have chosen to go outside the boundaries of the kingdom of God and look for blessing in the land of idols. In turning to idols, we are saying that we desire something in creation more than we desire the Creator.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 47, Used by Permission. Get this book!


25.
While you struggled with addiction, was it ever accompanied by the fear of the Lord? Did you ever have a keen sense of the presence and holiness of God when you struggled with addictions? Did you ever have a sense that you were spiritually growing in repentance, faith, and obedience while in your addiction? When we have a disease, we can still be growing in the knowledge of Christ, but addictions are incompatible with spiritual growth.

While you struggled with addiction, was it ever accompanied by the fear of the Lord? Did you ever have a keen sense of the presence and holiness of God when you struggled with addictions? Did you ever have a sense that you were spiritually growing in repentance, faith, and obedience while in your addiction? When we have a disease, we can still be growing in the knowledge of Christ, but addictions are incompatible with spiritual growth.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 41, Used by Permission. Get this book!


26.
The diagnosis of sin is never the last word. Instead, the last word is Jesus Christ. Sin should take us right to Jesus. The way out of addictions is to talk more about Jesus, the Redeemer and Liberator, than about sin…The biblical arithmetic is this: for every one look at your sin, take ten looks at Christ.

The diagnosis of sin is never the last word. Instead, the last word is Jesus Christ. Sin should take us right to Jesus. The way out of addictions is to talk more about Jesus, the Redeemer and Liberator, than about sin… The biblical arithmetic is this: for every one look at your sin, take ten looks at Christ.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 40, Used by Permission. Get this book!


27.
The progression of addiction is that it begins as the sin of the naïve and develops into the sin of one who is hardened and trapped.

The progression of addiction is that it begins as the sin of the naïve and develops into the sin of one who is hardened and trapped.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 38, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Addiction
28.
We begin to believe our lies. What started as lying to others has turned against us. We tried to keep other people from seeing our private addictions; now we can barely see them ourselves. We once tried to persuade others that we didn’t have a problem; how we have persuaded ourselves that we don’t have a problem. When we are blind to our own problem, there is no reason to change.

We begin to believe our lies. What started as lying to others has turned against us. We tried to keep other people from seeing our private addictions; now we can barely see them ourselves. We once tried to persuade others that we didn’t have a problem; how we have persuaded ourselves that we don’t have a problem. When we are blind to our own problem, there is no reason to change.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 38, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Addiction
29.
Addiction is bondage to the rule of a substance, activity, or state of mind, which then becomes the center of life, defending itself from the truth so that even bad consequences don’t bring repentance, and leading to further estrangement from God. To locate it on the theological map, look under sin. More specifically, since sin is a broad category that includes both self-conscious disobedience and victimizing slavery, find addiction on the side that emphasizes slavery.

Addiction is bondage to the rule of a substance, activity, or state of mind, which then becomes the center of life, defending itself from the truth so that even bad consequences don’t bring repentance, and leading to further estrangement from God. To locate it on the theological map, look under sin. More specifically, since sin is a broad category that includes both self-conscious disobedience and victimizing slavery, find addiction on the side that emphasizes slavery.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 35, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Addiction
30.
When you look at it closely, drunkenness is a lordship problem. Who is your master, God or your desires? Do you desire God above all else, or do you desire something in creation more than you desire the Creator? At root, drunkards are worshipping another god – alcohol. Drunkenness violates the command “You shall have no other gods before me.” Heavy drinkers love alcohol. They are controlled by it as if they were its subjects and it was their ruler-lover. This alcohol-worship, however, is actually a form of self-worship. We worship people and things to get what we want. Those who worship money do so in order to get what they want. Heavy drinkers drink neither to glorify God nor to love their neighbor. They drink to indulge their own desires, whether those desires are pleasure, freedom from pain, alleviation of fear, forgetting, vengeance, or a host of others.

When you look at it closely, drunkenness is a lordship problem. Who is your master, God or your desires? Do you desire God above all else, or do you desire something in creation more than you desire the Creator? At root, drunkards are worshipping another god – alcohol. Drunkenness violates the command “You shall have no other gods before me.” Heavy drinkers love alcohol. They are controlled by it as if they were its subjects and it was their ruler-lover. This alcohol-worship, however, is actually a form of self-worship. We worship people and things to get what we want. Those who worship money do so in order to get what they want. Heavy drinkers drink neither to glorify God nor to love their neighbor. They drink to indulge their own desires, whether those desires are pleasure, freedom from pain, alleviation of fear, forgetting, vengeance, or a host of others.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 23-24, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
31.
The biblical view of drunkenness – the prototype of all addictions – is that it is always called sin, never sickness. Drunkenness is against God and His law. Scripture is unwavering in this teaching and relentless in its illustrations. Noah (Gen. 9:18-27), Lot (Gen 19:30-38), Elah (1 Kings 16:9), and Nabal (1 Sam. 25:36) all portray the moral foolishness of being mastered by alcohol.

The biblical view of drunkenness – the prototype of all addictions – is that it is always called sin, never sickness. Drunkenness is against God and His law. Scripture is unwavering in this teaching and relentless in its illustrations. Noah (Gen. 9:18-27), Lot (Gen 19:30-38), Elah (1 Kings 16:9), and Nabal (1 Sam. 25:36) all portray the moral foolishness of being mastered by alcohol.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 22, Used by Permission. Get this book!


32.
If sin is not our core problem, the gospel itself – the thing of first importance – is marginalized. The good news that Jesus proclaimed and offered is that there is forgiveness of sins, not through our own attempts to please God but by placing our confidence in Jesus Himself, in His death and resurrection. If sin is not our primary problem, then the gospel of Jesus is no longer the most important event in all of human history.

If sin is not our core problem, the gospel itself – the thing of first importance – is marginalized. The good news that Jesus proclaimed and offered is that there is forgiveness of sins, not through our own attempts to please God but by placing our confidence in Jesus Himself, in His death and resurrection. If sin is not our primary problem, then the gospel of Jesus is no longer the most important event in all of human history.  

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 21, Used by Permission. Get this book!


33.
On this side of the cross misery persists, but the scales are tipped in favor of joy.

On this side of the cross misery persists, but the scales are tipped in favor of joy.


34.
Idolatry…includes anything on which we set our affections and indulge as an excessive and sinful attachment… Idolatry includes anything we worship: the lust for pleasure, respect, love, power, control, or freedom from pain. Furthermore, the problem is not outside of us, located in a liquor store or on the Internet; the problem is within us. Alcohol and drugs are essentially satisfiers of deeper idols. The problem is not with the idolatrous substance; it is the false worship of the heart.

Idolatry…includes anything on which we set our affections and indulge as an excessive and sinful attachment… Idolatry includes anything we worship: the lust for pleasure, respect, love, power, control, or freedom from pain. Furthermore, the problem is not outside of us, located in a liquor store or on the Internet; the problem is within us. Alcohol and drugs are essentially satisfiers of deeper idols. The problem is not with the idolatrous substance; it is the false worship of the heart.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 49, Used by Permission. Get this book!


35.
The purpose of all idolatry is to manipulate the idol for our own benefit. This means that we don’t want to be ruled by idols. Instead, we want to use them… Idolaters want nothing above themselves, including their idols. Their fabricated gods are intended to be mere puppet kings, means to an end… Idols, however, do not cooperate. Rather than mastering our idols, we become enslaved by them and begin to look like them. As idols are deaf, dumb, blind, utterly senseless, and irrational, so “those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (Psalm 115:8)… How can these lifeless idols exert so much power? They dominate because of a powerful but quiet presence that hides behind every idol, Satan himself.

The purpose of all idolatry is to manipulate the idol for our own benefit. This means that we don’t want to be ruled by idols. Instead, we want to use them… Idolaters want nothing above themselves, including their idols. Their fabricated gods are intended to be mere puppet kings, means to an end… Idols, however, do not cooperate. Rather than mastering our idols, we become enslaved by them and begin to look like them. As idols are deaf, dumb, blind, utterly senseless, and irrational, so “those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (Psalm 115:8)… How can these lifeless idols exert so much power? They dominate because of a powerful but quiet presence that hides behind every idol, Satan himself.

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 49-50, Used by Permission. Get this book!


36.
The fool’s attention wanders, never focused on wisdom (Pr. 17:24). He ignores all consequences (Pr. 9). He is persuaded that his way is the right way, so there is no reason to listen to others (Pr. 14:12; 28:26). He thinks he will always get away with it, but he will be exposed (Pr. 15:3). He goes with his feelings, not realizing that they can mislead (Pr. 14:8). Of course, the fool feels the consequences of his behavior at times, and he might even have glimpses into how he has brought pain on others (Pr. 17:25), but consequences are no deterrent (Pr. 27:22). The destructive pattern is repeated because folly is enjoyed (Pr. 26:11).

The fool’s attention wanders, never focused on wisdom (Pr. 17:24). He ignores all consequences (Pr. 9). He is persuaded that his way is the right way, so there is no reason to listen to others (Pr. 14:12; 28:26). He thinks he will always get away with it, but he will be exposed (Pr. 15:3). He goes with his feelings, not realizing that they can mislead (Pr. 14:8). Of course, the fool feels the consequences of his behavior at times, and he might even have glimpses into how he has brought pain on others (Pr. 17:25), but consequences are no deterrent (Pr. 27:22). The destructive pattern is repeated because folly is enjoyed (Pr. 26:11).  

Reference:   Addictions – A Banquet in the Grave, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 59, Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Foolishness
37.
Fears see only in part. They see that we might lose something dear to us, such as our money, our health or the health of someone we love. They see the potential for loss with microscopic acuity. But they don’t see God’s presence, they don’t see his faithfulness to his promises, they don’t fixate on unseen realities but are dominated by what is merely seen with the naked eye (2 Cor. 4:18).

Fears see only in part. They see that we might lose something dear to us, such as our money, our health or the health of someone we love. They see the potential for loss with microscopic acuity. But they don’t see God’s presence, they don’t see His faithfulness to His promises, they don’t fixate on unseen realities but are dominated by what is merely seen with the naked eye (2 Cor. 4:18).

Reference:   For the Fearful and Anxious, www.ccef.org/resources/blog/fearful-and-anxious. Used with permission of CCEF.


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Fear-General
38.
If we are angry [with] God…we should be reminded that His love is much more sophisticated than we know. Our anger shows that we are small children who think we know what is best.

If we are angry [with] God…we should be reminded that His love is much more sophisticated than we know. Our anger shows that we are small children who think we know what is best.

Reference:   Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, Punch Press, 2004, p. 70. Get this book!


39.
AA has been helpful for many people. It provides accountability, mutual understanding in an environment that doesn’t judge and wonderful support for many people. It does not, however, strive to find distinctively biblical answers to the problems of life. As a result, it is bound to have some problems:1. Its disease model doesn’t really let anyone get to the heart of the matter… When we examine our hearts, we find is that the greatest danger is that we are hooked on ourselves… This means that even if I give up alcohol, unless I deal head on with my biggest problem, I will never truly find freedom. I will just find something else to serve my desires.2. Its theory of change does not reveal the against-God nature of the addictive behavior. Even though we are not always consciously aware that our addictions are disobedient before God, the reality is that they are.3. Jesus is optional. If it is true that addictive behavior is rebellion against divine authority, then addicts have no hope but to run to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing, and power.

AA has been helpful for many people. It provides accountability, mutual understanding in an environment that doesn’t judge and wonderful support for many people. It does not, however, strive to find distinctively biblical answers to the problems of life. As a result, it is bound to have some problems: 1. Its disease model doesn’t really let anyone get to the heart of the matter… When we examine our hearts, we find is that the greatest danger is that we are hooked on ourselves… This means that even if I give up alcohol, unless I deal head on with my biggest problem, I will never truly find freedom. I will just find something else to serve my desires. 2. Its theory of change does not reveal the against-God nature of the addictive behavior. Even though we are not always consciously aware that our addictions are disobedient before God, the reality is that they are. 3. Jesus is optional. If it is true that addictive behavior is rebellion against divine authority, then addicts have no hope but to run to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing, and power.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 197-198. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
40.
The knowledge of God [must become] our most important goal. After all, if the root of our problem with addiction is a problem of worship, then we need to learn who should be the true object of that worship. As this idea takes hold of your heart, you will find that you feel more at home in a good church than in an AA fellowship. You will draw strength and wisdom from sermons, find encouragement in corporate singing, be spiritually fed in communion, and search the Bible for the living God. You will come to know more about the God who is bigger than you ever thought: bigger in justice, in power, and in love. You will see how His greatness works in your behalf. One problem with AA is that the “God as you understand Him to be” is never large enough.

The knowledge of God [must become] our most important goal. After all, if the root of our problem with addiction is a problem of worship, then we need to learn who should be the true object of that worship. As this idea takes hold of your heart, you will find that you feel more at home in a good church than in an AA fellowship. You will draw strength and wisdom from sermons, find encouragement in corporate singing, be spiritually fed in communion, and search the Bible for the living God. You will come to know more about the God who is bigger than you ever thought: bigger in justice, in power, and in love. You will see how His greatness works in your behalf. One problem with AA is that the “God as you understand Him to be” is never large enough.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 199. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
41.
One of the problems [with the] disease model [is that it] doesn’t really let anyone get to the heart of the matter. The addictive substance can be dangerous, but our hearts are more so. When we examine our hearts, we find is that the greatest danger is that we are hooked on ourselves. If I am an alcoholic, my ultimate idol is not the bottle. It is I. I idolize myself. My desires are of first importance. My cravings rule – cravings for popularity, freedom from pain, revenge, or freedom from frustrations at home or work. Addiction is self-worship. This means that even if I give up alcohol, unless I deal head on with my biggest problem, I will never truly find freedom. I will just find something else to serve my desires.

One of the problems [with the] disease model [is that it] doesn’t really let anyone get to the heart of the matter. The addictive substance can be dangerous, but our hearts are more so. When we examine our hearts, we find is that the greatest danger is that we are hooked on ourselves. If I am an alcoholic, my ultimate idol is not the bottle. It is I. I idolize myself. My desires are of first importance. My cravings rule – cravings for popularity, freedom from pain, revenge, or freedom from frustrations at home or work. Addiction is self-worship. This means that even if I give up alcohol, unless I deal head on with my biggest problem, I will never truly find freedom. I will just find something else to serve my desires.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 197. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
42.
What about cravings? The Bible understands them well. It refers to them as temptations. The Bible recognizes that people with years of sobriety often still struggle with huge temptations. Sometimes this is just a normal part of the slow process of change. Sometimes it is simply a consequence of being reminded of something we once loved. But at other times it can be a result of mentally cherishing and nurturing the addiction while physically abstaining from it. Instead of asking God for a desire to hate sin at its roots, some people cling to the pleasant memories associated with their addiction. They remember that they once had a potent escape, whereas now they experience the pain of facing daily problems.

What about cravings? The Bible understands them well. It refers to them as temptations. The Bible recognizes that people with years of sobriety often still struggle with huge temptations. Sometimes this is just a normal part of the slow process of change. Sometimes it is simply a consequence of being reminded of something we once loved. But at other times it can be a result of mentally cherishing and nurturing the addiction while physically abstaining from it. Instead of asking God for a desire to hate sin at its roots, some people cling to the pleasant memories associated with their addiction. They remember that they once had a potent escape, whereas now they experience the pain of facing daily problems.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 196. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
43.
Alcoholism…has only gone from sin to disease. Because of the horrible consequences of heavy drinking on both the drinker and the family, no one is willing to say it is normal. Yet there are very few who would say that the abuse of alcohol is sin or, at least, solely sin.

Alcoholism…has only gone from sin to disease. Because of the horrible consequences of heavy drinking on both the drinker and the family, no one is willing to say it is normal. Yet there are very few who would say that the abuse of alcohol is sin or, at least, solely sin.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 183. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
44.
The [unbiblical] language of alcoholism captures this [“disease”] experience.1. “Treatment is best done in the hospital by professional medical personnel.”2. “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. There is no true cure.”3. “One drink, one drunk.”4. “That’s the disease talking.”5. “Medical treatments might soon be available.”6. “You didn’t choose this, so how could it be anything but a disease?”

The [unbiblical] language of alcoholism captures this [“disease”] experience. 1. “Treatment is best done in the hospital by professional medical personnel.” 2. “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. There is no true cure.” 3. “One drink, one drunk.” 4. “That’s the disease talking.” 5. “Medical treatments might soon be available.” 6. “You didn’t choose this, so how could it be anything but a disease?”

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 186. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
45.
If you have ever been to an AA meeting, you know that while the cause is always spoken of in disease terms, the cure is decidedly moral. There are no medications dispensed or surgeries to be had. You arrest the course of the disease by saying no. You both give up your will to a higher power and determine, with the help of others, to live and abstinent life. According to the AA tradition and the disease model, you are not responsible for the cause but you are responsible for the cure.

If you have ever been to an AA meeting, you know that while the cause is always spoken of in disease terms, the cure is decidedly moral. There are no medications dispensed or surgeries to be had. You arrest the course of the disease by saying no. You both give up your will to a higher power and determine, with the help of others, to live and abstinent life. According to the AA tradition and the disease model, you are not responsible for the cause but you are responsible for the cure.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 190. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
46.
The Bible has a different view of how we first get involved in addictions. Instead of explaining the overpowering urge for [something] as a disease, the Bible talks about our motivations and desires, forces so powerful that they can take over our lives. The Bible says that we first choose our addictions, and only then do our addictions choose us.

The Bible has a different view of how we first get involved in addictions. Instead of explaining the overpowering urge for [something] as a disease, the Bible talks about our motivations and desires, forces so powerful that they can take over our lives. The Bible says that we first choose our addictions, and only then do our addictions choose us.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 191. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Alcohol
47.
The way to eliminate shame associated with sin is to admit sin, be confident that God forgives sin, and engage in battle against it.

The way to eliminate shame associated with sin is to admit sin, be confident that God forgives sin, and engage in battle against it.


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Guilt
Shame
48.
Suffering is God’s surgery that leads to health when we respond by faith.

Suffering is God’s surgery that leads to health when we respond by faith.


49.
“Sinner” is a present-tense description of everyone, including those who have put their faith in Christ. Of course, those who have called Jesus “Lord” are justified, meaning that they are no longer guilty. Also, they have been given the Spirit, which makes them slaves to Christ rather than to sin. But we all are sinners. Perfection awaits eternity.

“Sinner” is a present-tense description of everyone, including those who have put their faith in Christ. Of course, those who have called Jesus “Lord” are justified, meaning that they are no longer guilty. Also, they have been given the Spirit, which makes them slaves to Christ rather than to sin. But we all are sinners. Perfection awaits eternity.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 150. Used by Permission. Get this book!


50.
The church must move toward the depressed person and mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15), pray for God’s deliverance (2 Cor. 1:9-11), and search for encouraging words that can bless and give hope.

The church must move toward the depressed person and mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15), pray for God’s deliverance (2 Cor. 1:9-11), and search for encouraging words that can bless and give hope.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 121. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Depression
51.
With depression, assume [a lie from the devil] is present. Consider it a permanent attachment.

With depression, assume [a lie from the devil] is present. Consider it a permanent attachment.

Reference:   Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, Punch Press, 2004, p. 69. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Depression
52.
The basic steps of a biblical approach to helping them… First, you understand the experience of depression. Second, you make tentative distinctions between physical and spiritual symptoms. Third, this distinction will allow you to focus on heart issues. In doing this, you will point the person to Christ as her hope in suffering, you will encourage her in her faith, and you will guide her in her battle with sin. This focus on heart issues may actually relieve the depression. Fourth, if the pain of depression is excessive, consider using medical treatments to possibly ease the pain.

The basic steps of a biblical approach to helping them… First, you understand the experience of depression. Second, you make tentative distinctions between physical and spiritual symptoms. Third, this distinction will allow you to focus on heart issues. In doing this, you will point the person to Christ as her hope in suffering, you will encourage her in her faith, and you will guide her in her battle with sin. This focus on heart issues may actually relieve the depression. Fourth, if the pain of depression is excessive, consider using medical treatments to possibly ease the pain.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 115-116. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Depression
53.
Don’t assume that you understand what someone means by “depression.” Don’t fill in the meaning from your own experience, which may or may not be similar. Instead, listen. Allow the depressed person to fill the word depression with the meaning it has for him or her. When you do listen, you will hear pain, fear, hopelessness, dread of the future, terror, silent screams, and emptiness that threatens to destroy.

Don’t assume that you understand what someone means by “depression.” Don’t fill in the meaning from your own experience, which may or may not be similar. Instead, listen. Allow the depressed person to fill the word depression with the meaning it has for him or her. When you do listen, you will hear pain, fear, hopelessness, dread of the future, terror, silent screams, and emptiness that threatens to destroy.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 117. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Depression
54.
Possible physical and spiritual symptoms in depression: Physical – insomnia or hypersomnia, significant weight changes, feeling or being restless or slowed down, fatigue, loss of energy, problems concentrating, sense of alienation from things once deemed beautiful and pleasant, feeling sad, blue, down in the dumps. Spiritual – shame, guilt, fear thanklessness, unforgiving spirit, hopelessness, unbelief, anger.

Possible physical and spiritual symptoms in depression: Physical – insomnia or hypersomnia, significant weight changes, feeling or being restless or slowed down, fatigue, loss of energy, problems concentrating, sense of alienation from things once deemed beautiful and pleasant, feeling sad, blue, down in the dumps. Spiritual – shame, guilt, fear thanklessness, unforgiving spirit, hopelessness, unbelief, anger.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 120. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Depression
55.
Scripture considers repentance a path to liberation, not condemnation.

Scripture considers repentance a path to liberation, not condemnation.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 123. Get this book!


56.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 19:19) is considered the biblical proof text (for those who need one). When interpreted through cultural spectacles, this verse means that we must love ourselves in order to love other people. But in reality the passage doesn’t even suggest such an interpretation. Jesus spoke of these words to rich young man who clearly loved himself and his possessions too much. There is only one command in the passage, and it is “love your neighbor.” Nobody, including the writers of Scripture, could have dreamed that this passage taught self-love. It took some cultural changes to reinterpret it and turn our eyes inward.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 19:19) is considered the biblical proof text (for those who need one). When interpreted through cultural spectacles, this verse means that we must love ourselves in order to love other people. But in reality the passage doesn’t even suggest such an interpretation. Jesus spoke of these words to rich young man who clearly loved himself and his possessions too much. There is only one command in the passage, and it is “love your neighbor.” Nobody, including the writers of Scripture, could have dreamed that this passage taught self-love. It took some cultural changes to reinterpret it and turn our eyes inward.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 80.  Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Self-Love
57.
Most sins are ungodly exaggerations of things that are good.

Most sins are ungodly exaggerations of things that are good.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 101. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Sin-Defined
58.
[The body] is the mediator of moral action rather than the initiator. In a sense, it is equipment for the heart. It does what the heart tells it to do; it is the heart’s vehicle for concrete ministry and service in the material world. In this capacity, it is not the source of sin and is never called sinful.

[The body] is the mediator of moral action rather than the initiator. In a sense, it is equipment for the heart. It does what the heart tells it to do; it is the heart’s vehicle for concrete ministry and service in the material world. In this capacity, it is not the source of sin and is never called sinful.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 40. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Body
59.
No second class citizen, the body is a “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19) and is indispensable to the activity of the heart. Without it we would have no access to the physical world and we simply would not be persons. Accordingly, Paul could not imagine a person without a corporeal nature (1 Cor. 15). The whole person consists of body and heart together. Both are essential and neither can function in the material realm in isolation of the other.

No second class citizen, the body is a “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19) and is indispensable to the activity of the heart. Without it we would have no access to the physical world and we simply would not be persons. Accordingly, Paul could not imagine a person without a corporeal nature (1 Cor. 15). The whole person consists of body and heart together. Both are essential and neither can function in the material realm in isolation of the other.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 39-40. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Body
60.
Aren’t the most popular mission trips the ones that take us far from our own neighborhood? Russia is easy; our own neighborhood is a constant challenge. Has anyone consistently had the boldness and clarity of Jesus in testifying about the gospel? Never. Has anyone consistently avoided the fear of man in evangelism? Certainly not. There is a “foolishness” inherent in the message of the cross. The clear proclamation of the gospel does not make us look good. It doesn’t make us popular.

Aren’t the most popular mission trips the ones that take us far from our own neighborhood? Russia is easy; our own neighborhood is a constant challenge. Has anyone consistently had the boldness and clarity of Jesus in testifying about the gospel? Never. Has anyone consistently avoided the fear of man in evangelism? Certainly not. There is a “foolishness” inherent in the message of the cross. The clear proclamation of the gospel does not make us look good. It doesn’t make us popular.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 39- 40. Used by Permission. Get this book!


61.
Since we were forged by the Lover, we should delight in loving and in being loved.  It would be inhuman not to delight in love.  It would also be inhuman if we didn’t hurt deeply when rejected or sinned against by others.  The problem is not that we desire love, the problem is how much we desire it or for what purpose we desire it.  Do we desire it so much that it overshadows our desire to be imitators of God?  Do we desire it for our own pleasure or for God’s glory?

Since we were forged by the Lover, we should delight in loving and in being loved.  It would be inhuman not to delight in love.  It would also be inhuman if we didn’t hurt deeply when rejected or sinned against by others.  The problem is not that we desire love, the problem is how much we desire it or for what purpose we desire it.  Do we desire it so much that it overshadows our desire to be imitators of God?  Do we desire it for our own pleasure or for God’s glory?

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 148-149. Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Love-Desired
62.
Although it is not wrong to take these medications, they are rarely our first line of attack against personal suffering. Instead, we should first consider that God can bless us through our suffering, and we might also weigh the possibility that psychiatric medications could numb us to the refining benefits of suffering. There is a worthwhile point here. Although it may sound strange or even unloving to those who don’t share a biblical position, there can be real benefits from having our faith tested and strengthened through trials.

Although it is not wrong to take these medications, they are rarely our first line of attack against personal suffering. Instead, we should first consider that God can bless us through our suffering, and we might also weigh the possibility that psychiatric medications could numb us to the refining benefits of suffering. There is a worthwhile point here. Although it may sound strange or even unloving to those who don’t share a biblical position, there can be real benefits from having our faith tested and strengthened through trials.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 110. Get this book!


63.
Whether a person takes psychiatric medication or not is not the most important issue. Scripture is especially interested in why someone is taking medication or why someone is not taking medication. And it is clear that medication is never the source of our hope. With these guidelines in mind, there is biblical freedom to try, or not try, psychiatric medication.

Whether a person takes psychiatric medication or not is not the most important issue. Scripture is especially interested in why someone is taking medication or why someone is not taking medication. And it is clear that medication is never the source of our hope. With these guidelines in mind, there is biblical freedom to try, or not try, psychiatric medication.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 111-112. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Medication
64.
What exactly does medication help? Medication cannot change the heart: it cannot remove our tendency toward sin, it cannot revive our faith, and it cannot make us more obedient to Christ. It can, however, alleviate some of the physical symptoms associated with some psychiatric problems.

What exactly does medication help? Medication cannot change the heart: it cannot remove our tendency toward sin, it cannot revive our faith, and it cannot make us more obedient to Christ. It can, however, alleviate some of the physical symptoms associated with some psychiatric problems.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 109. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Medication
65.
What is the result of…people-idolatry?  As in all idolatry, the idol we choose to worship soon owns us.  The object we fear overcomes us.  Although insignificant in itself, the idol becomes huge and rules us.  It tells us how to think, what to feel, and how to act.  It tells us what to wear, it tells us to laugh at the dirty joke, and it tells us to be frightened to death that we might have to get up in front of a group and say something.  The whole strategy backfires.  We never expect that using people to meet our desires leaves us enslaved to them.

What is the result of…people-idolatry? As in all idolatry, the idol we choose to worship soon owns us. The object we fear overcomes us. Although insignificant in itself, the idol becomes huge and rules us. It tells us how to think, what to feel, and how to act. It tells us what to wear, it tells us to laugh at the dirty joke, and it tells us to be frightened to death that we might have to get up in front of a group and say something. The whole strategy backfires. We never expect that using people to meet our desires leaves us enslaved to them.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 46. Used by Permission. Get this book!


66.
Either we will love and serve God, or we will love and serve our idols. Idols exist in our lives because we love them and invite them in. But once idols find a home, they are unruly and resist leaving. In fact, they change from being the servants of our desires to being our masters.

Either we will love and serve God, or we will love and serve our idols. Idols exist in our lives because we love them and invite them in. But once idols find a home, they are unruly and resist leaving. In fact, they change from being the servants of our desires to being our masters.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 194. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Idolatry
67.
God and his kingdom are, simply put, about God – the triune God, the Holy One of Israel. What are the triune God’s needs? He has no needs. He is completely fulfilled. The Father loves the Son. The Son is ecstatic about the Father and wants nothing but the Father’s will.  God’s greatest pleasure is Himself.

God and his kingdom are, simply put, about God – the triune God, the Holy One of Israel. What are the triune God’s needs? He has no needs. He is completely fulfilled. The Father loves the Son. The Son is ecstatic about the Father and wants nothing but the Father’s will.  God’s greatest pleasure is Himself.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 153.  Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
68.
If we think we are usually good, then God is usually irrelevant… Such thinking ignores the depths of sin in my own heart, and, in essence, it elevates me so that I am just a mildly flawed imitation of God rather than someone completely dependent on Him.

If we think we are usually good, then God is usually irrelevant… Such thinking ignores the depths of sin in my own heart, and, in essence, it elevates me so that I am just a mildly flawed imitation of God rather than someone completely dependent on Him.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 100. Used by Permission. Get this book!


69.
Persons searching for their gifts think that they can “find” their gifts in isolation from the body. They have forgotten that the orientation of God’s people is outward rather than inward. The question should be this: How can I grow in love for and service to the body of Christ? Gifts are the way we naturally love and serve. To paraphrase Augustine, if you want to know your God-given gifts, first know that the purpose of spiritual gifts is to bring unity to the church. Then “love God and do what you feel like doing.”

Persons searching for their gifts think that they can “find” their gifts in isolation from the body. They have forgotten that the orientation of God’s people is outward rather than inward. The question should be this: How can I grow in love for and service to the body of Christ? Gifts are the way we naturally love and serve. To paraphrase Augustine, if you want to know your God-given gifts, first know that the purpose of spiritual gifts is to bring unity to the church. Then “love God and do what you feel like doing.”

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 204.  Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Spiritual-Gifts
70.
Am I now suggesting that it is biblically possible for the body to cause homosexuality? Indeed, I am, provided – and read carefully – the word “cause” in this context means “biologically shape or influence,” not “irresistibly compel.” Used this way, there is nothing shocking about what I am saying. Our sinful hearts express themselves in behavior via hundreds of factors, biology being one. A person whose sinful heart acts out in murder may have been influenced by unjust treatment, by parents who allowed him to vent his rage on siblings and by Satan’s incessant suggestions to kill. But none of these influences remove his personal responsibility for his intentions or actions. The ultimate cause of sin is always the sinful heart.

Am I now suggesting that it is biblically possible for the body to cause homosexuality? Indeed, I am, provided – and read carefully – the word “cause” in this context means “biologically shape or influence,” not “irresistibly compel.” Used this way, there is nothing shocking about what I am saying. Our sinful hearts express themselves in behavior via hundreds of factors, biology being one. A person whose sinful heart acts out in murder may have been influenced by unjust treatment, by parents who allowed him to vent his rage on siblings and by Satan’s incessant suggestions to kill. But none of these influences remove his personal responsibility for his intentions or actions. The ultimate cause of sin is always the sinful heart.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 169. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
71.
Remember that it is on the question of homosexual orientation that the world, the flesh, and the Devil converge. The world, with its sub-biblical views, has voted that homosexuality is normal. Our flesh wants to exonerate itself from homosexual fantasy and maintain that sexual gratification is a sacred right. And the Devil stands behind both, whispering his murderous deceptions. The deception of homosexual orientation must be exposed and corrected. It is a false teaching that will eventually lead to bad fruit. We truly do have an “orientation,” but it is a spiritual orientation that is against God. It is not a simple physical propensity.

Remember that it is on the question of homosexual orientation that the world, the flesh, and the Devil converge. The world, with its sub-biblical views, has voted that homosexuality is normal. Our flesh wants to exonerate itself from homosexual fantasy and maintain that sexual gratification is a sacred right. And the Devil stands behind both, whispering his murderous deceptions. The deception of homosexual orientation must be exposed and corrected. It is a false teaching that will eventually lead to bad fruit. We truly do have an “orientation,” but it is a spiritual orientation that is against God. It is not a simple physical propensity.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 175-176. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
72.
Has the church been, at times, self-righteous in its attitude toward homosexuals? Is there homophobia in some of our congregations? Do we tend to think of homosexuality as worse than the gossip and private idolatries that are rampant in the church? Has the church been unwelcoming to unbelieving but spiritually searching homosexuals? The answer to these questions is certainly yes. More specifically, the answer is, “Yes, we have sinned.”

Has the church been, at times, self-righteous in its attitude toward homosexuals? Is there homophobia in some of our congregations? Do we tend to think of homosexuality as worse than the gossip and private idolatries that are rampant in the church? Has the church been unwelcoming to unbelieving but spiritually searching homosexuals? The answer to these questions is certainly yes. More specifically, the answer is, “Yes, we have sinned.”

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 180. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
73.
The biblical position is that there is a creation order for human sexuality. God’s ordained design for sexual relationships is male-female. Homosexual acts and homosexual desires, male and female, violate this creation ordinance and are thus sinful. The church must therefore warn and rebuke those who call themselves Christians but persist in homosexual practice. And the church must actively teach that homosexual affection is sinful. It can never suggest that there is morally neutral, constitutional, homosexual orientation. To urge those struggling with homosexual desire simply to refrain from acting on their desire is to sin against these brothers and sisters.

The biblical position is that there is a creation order for human sexuality. God’s ordained design for sexual relationships is male-female. Homosexual acts and homosexual desires, male and female, violate this creation ordinance and are thus sinful. The church must therefore warn and rebuke those who call themselves Christians but persist in homosexual practice. And the church must actively teach that homosexual affection is sinful. It can never suggest that there is morally neutral, constitutional, homosexual orientation. To urge those struggling with homosexual desire simply to refrain from acting on their desire is to sin against these brothers and sisters.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 165. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
74.
Biology can’t make us sin. At most, biology is analogous to a friend who tempts us into sin. Such a friend might be bothersome, but he can be rebuked and resisted.

Biology can’t make us sin. At most, biology is analogous to a friend who tempts us into sin. Such a friend might be bothersome, but he can be rebuked and resisted.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 167. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
75.
The issue of homosexual orientation is where the church must engage the homosexual community in biblical discussion. The problem, however, is that the idea of homosexual orientation does not rest on any foundation that can be discussed. It relies on neither biblical data nor medical research. Instead, it is a political premise for gaining homosexual rights and is rooted in personal experience. Therefore, neither biblical data nor refutation of the medical literature will persuade most homosexual advocates. Ultimately, most homosexuals appeal to their own feelings and the experience of their homosexual brothers and sisters. “Homosexuality feels right to us, so it is natural. It is part of our created constitution.” But that should not keep us from examining their arguments biblically and engaging them in as much careful discussion as they are willing.

The issue of homosexual orientation is where the church must engage the homosexual community in biblical discussion. The problem, however, is that the idea of homosexual orientation does not rest on any foundation that can be discussed. It relies on neither biblical data nor medical research. Instead, it is a political premise for gaining homosexual rights and is rooted in personal experience. Therefore, neither biblical data nor refutation of the medical literature will persuade most homosexual advocates. Ultimately, most homosexuals appeal to their own feelings and the experience of their homosexual brothers and sisters. “Homosexuality feels right to us, so it is natural. It is part of our created constitution.” But that should not keep us from examining their arguments biblically and engaging them in as much careful discussion as they are willing.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 158-159. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
76.
Is it possible that the biblical texts were ignorant about homosexual orientation and were thus prohibiting only “unnatural” homosexual practice by participants of heterosexual orientation? This would suggest that the practicing homosexuals in the Bible were involved in homosexuality against their natural inclinations. Yet the nature of sin is that people sin because they want to sin (James 1:13-15). It comes from our desires. No one is dragged into sin kicking and screaming. Homosexuality existed in biblical times because people enjoyed it; they were drawn to it by their own hearts (Mark 7:21-23). An artificial distinction between (sinful) homosexual practice and (justifiable) homosexual orientation contradicts the Scripture’s constant connection of desire, orientation and deed. If the deed was prohibited in Scripture, the desire was too.

Is it possible that the biblical texts were ignorant about homosexual orientation and were thus prohibiting only “unnatural” homosexual practice by participants of heterosexual orientation? This would suggest that the practicing homosexuals in the Bible were involved in homosexuality against their natural inclinations. Yet the nature of sin is that people sin because they want to sin (James 1:13-15). It comes from our desires. No one is dragged into sin kicking and screaming. Homosexuality existed in biblical times because people enjoyed it; they were drawn to it by their own hearts (Mark 7:21-23). An artificial distinction between (sinful) homosexual practice and (justifiable) homosexual orientation contradicts the Scripture’s constant connection of desire, orientation and deed. If the deed was prohibited in Scripture, the desire was too.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 160. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
77.
Why does it feel natural? The biblical answer is relatively straightforward. Like many other sins, homosexuality does not have to be learned. The child who never witnessed a temper tantrum can be proficient at throwing them; it is an instinctive ability of the human heart. Homosexuality is natural in the same way that anger or selfishness is natural. They are embedded in our fallen humanness. Indeed, homosexuality is “natural,” but only in the sense that it is an expression of the sinful nature… Sin is more than mature, rational, conscious decisions. It is our moral inclination from birth.

Why does it feel natural? The biblical answer is relatively straightforward. Like many other sins, homosexuality does not have to be learned. The child who never witnessed a temper tantrum can be proficient at throwing them; it is an instinctive ability of the human heart. Homosexuality is natural in the same way that anger or selfishness is natural. They are embedded in our fallen humanness. Indeed, homosexuality is “natural,” but only in the sense that it is an expression of the sinful nature… Sin is more than mature, rational, conscious decisions. It is our moral inclination from birth.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 160-161. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
78.
It is true that, on some level, there can be great affection and commitment in a homosexual relationship. But this doesn’t mean that the relationship is approved by God. If a man is unbiblically divorced and marries a woman he believes he truly loves, that union is still wrong. Adulterous relationships may, on some level, be loving and committed, but they also are still wrong.

It is true that, on some level, there can be great affection and commitment in a homosexual relationship. But this doesn’t mean that the relationship is approved by God. If a man is unbiblically divorced and marries a woman he believes he truly loves, that union is still wrong. Adulterous relationships may, on some level, be loving and committed, but they also are still wrong.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 162. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
79.
Jesus did not speak against homosexuality specifically, but neither did He specifically address many other sexual behaviors, such as incest, bestiality, and rape. That doesn’t mean that they were permissible. Jesus consistently upheld the Old Testament law. He stood against all legalistic attempts to narrow its intent, and He maintained that the law addressed both behavior and attitude. He consistently spoke for marriage, and He indicated that the only alternative to heterosexual marriage was celibacy (Matt. 19:12).

Jesus did not speak against homosexuality specifically, but neither did He specifically address many other sexual behaviors, such as incest, bestiality, and rape. That doesn’t mean that they were permissible. Jesus consistently upheld the Old Testament law. He stood against all legalistic attempts to narrow its intent, and He maintained that the law addressed both behavior and attitude. He consistently spoke for marriage, and He indicated that the only alternative to heterosexual marriage was celibacy (Matt. 19:12).

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 155.


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Homosexuality
80.
[Why our guilt often continues:]1. The person may be involved in things for which he or she should feel guilty.2. The person does not believe what God says about forgiveness.3. The person wants to use guilt as a way to punish himself to pack back for his own sins. This betrays a heart of pride that thinks it can deal, in some small way, with its own sins.

[Why our guilt often continues:] 1. The person may be involved in things for which he or she should feel guilty. 2. The person does not believe what God says about forgiveness. 3. The person wants to use guilt as a way to punish himself to pack back for his own sins. This betrays a heart of pride that thinks it can deal, in some small way, with its own sins.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 124. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Guilt
81.
Guilt is an excellent warning light that says something is wrong. Yet when it persists too long, it provides fuel for Satan’s lies and strangulates spiritual growth.

Guilt is an excellent warning light that says something is wrong. Yet when it persists too long, it provides fuel for Satan’s lies and strangulates spiritual growth.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 124.


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Guilt
82.
They hurt us in that lies deceive us, not just other people. They persuade us that we are on top of our problem. We think we can fool others, but we can’t be fooled. With other people, the power of lies is obvious. Anyone who has been lied to knows that lies divide people; lies are the language of war. With God, lies provide evidence that our allegiances are not with Him. Instead, they show that our allegiance is to Satan – the Father of Lies – and to ourselves.

They hurt us in that lies deceive us, not just other people. They persuade us that we are on top of our problem. We think we can fool others, but we can’t be fooled. With other people, the power of lies is obvious. Anyone who has been lied to knows that lies divide people; lies are the language of war. With God, lies provide evidence that our allegiances are not with Him. Instead, they show that our allegiance is to Satan – the Father of Lies – and to ourselves.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 200. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Honesty
83.
Lying and other forms of living in the dark are usually ways to make ourselves look better before other people.

Lying and other forms of living in the dark are usually ways to make ourselves look better before other people.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 16. Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Honesty
84.
If we allow the Bible to reveal the unseen spiritual realities behind addictions, we suddenly realize that addictions are more than self-destructive behaviors. They are violations of God’s laws: His laws that call us to avoid drunkenness and immoderate self-indulgence (Rom. 13:13), His law that calls us to love others (1 John 4:7), and His law that calls us to live for Him rather than ourselves (1 Cor. 10:31). This means that addiction is more about someone’s relationship with God than it is about biology. It reveals our allegiances: what we want, what we love, whom and what we serve. It brings us to that all-important question, “Will you live for the fulfillment of your desires or for God?

If we allow the Bible to reveal the unseen spiritual realities behind addictions, we suddenly realize that addictions are more than self-destructive behaviors. They are violations of God’s laws: His laws that call us to avoid drunkenness and immoderate self-indulgence (Rom. 13:13), His law that calls us to love others (1 John 4:7), and His law that calls us to live for Him rather than ourselves (1 Cor. 10:31). This means that addiction is more about someone’s relationship with God than it is about biology. It reveals our allegiances: what we want, what we love, whom and what we serve. It brings us to that all-important question, “Will you live for the fulfillment of your desires or for God?

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 193.


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Addiction
85.
We should be careful about saying, “Jesus meets all our needs.”  At first, this has a plausible biblical ring to it.  Christ is a friend; God is a loving Father; Christians do experience a sense of meaningfulness and confidence in knowing God’s love.  It makes Christ the answer to our problems.  Yet if our use of the term “needs” is ambiguous, and its range of meaning extends all the way to selfish desires, then there will be some situations where we should say that Jesus does not intend to meet our needs, but that he intends to change our needs.

We should be careful about saying, “Jesus meets all our needs.”  At first, this has a plausible biblical ring to it.  Christ is a friend; God is a loving Father; Christians do experience a sense of meaningfulness and confidence in knowing God’s love.  It makes Christ the answer to our problems.  Yet if our use of the term “needs” is ambiguous, and its range of meaning extends all the way to selfish desires, then there will be some situations where we should say that Jesus does not intend to meet our needs, but that he intends to change our needs.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 89. Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Felt_Needs
86.
Scripture questions the whole purpose of psychological needs.  It talks about denying self rather than feeling better about ourselves.  It talks about pride, not a need for higher self-esteem.  Also, it is faulty logic to draw a connection between God’s commands and our ‘need” to receive what is commanded.  If you applied that logic to the command to “consider others better than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3), you would reach a conclusion that is clearly wrong.  You would conclude that since others are commanded to do this, you have a God-given need to be more important than other people!

Scripture questions the whole purpose of psychological needs.  It talks about denying self rather than feeling better about ourselves.  It talks about pride, not a need for higher self-esteem.  Also, it is faulty logic to draw a connection between God’s commands and our ‘need” to receive what is commanded.  If you applied that logic to the command to “consider others better than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3), you would reach a conclusion that is clearly wrong.  You would conclude that since others are commanded to do this, you have a God-given need to be more important than other people!

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 147-148. Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Felt_Needs
87.
Don’t say, “How could God forgive me for that!” (whatever that is). Don’t think that God’s forgiveness is a begrudging forgiveness and with that thought deny some of God’s glorious love. And don’t think that God’s promises are only for other people. If this is how you are thinking, you must realize that your own sins, no matter how big, are not bigger than God’s pleasure in forgiveness.

Don’t say, “How could God forgive me for that!” (whatever that is). Don’t think that God’s forgiveness is a begrudging forgiveness and with that thought deny some of God’s glorious love. And don’t think that God’s promises are only for other people. If this is how you are thinking, you must realize that your own sins, no matter how big, are not bigger than God’s pleasure in forgiveness.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 169- 170. Used by Permission. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: God-Forgiveness
88.
You may think that God is no better than you. In other words, you couldn’t imagine forgiving someone seventy times seven, so you can’t believe that God would. If this is the way you are thinking, then you are believing a lie. God is not like us. His forgiveness is not like ours. Don’t use your own weakness as the standard by which you understand God’s greatness! Just listen as He reveals Himself in His Word.

You may think that God is no better than you. In other words, you couldn’t imagine forgiving someone seventy times seven, so you can’t believe that God would. If this is the way you are thinking, then you are believing a lie. God is not like us. His forgiveness is not like ours. Don’t use your own weakness as the standard by which you understand God’s greatness! Just listen as He reveals Himself in His Word.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 201. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: God-Forgiveness
89.
When God says “work,” He doesn’t say that everyone must produce two tents daily. No, He simply implores us to work “unto the Lord,” to the best of our abilities (see e.g., Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 12:47-48; Eph. 6:7). Although we never minimize or excuse sinful behavior, we treat people with one talent as if they have one talent, those with five as if they have five. We treat people according to their abilities.

When God says “work,” He doesn’t say that everyone must produce two tents daily. No, He simply implores us to work “unto the Lord,” to the best of our abilities (see e.g., Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 12:47-48; Eph. 6:7). Although we never minimize or excuse sinful behavior, we treat people with one talent as if they have one talent, those with five as if they have five. We treat people according to their abilities.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 55. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Work
90.
The knowledge of God cannot be denied; it can only be distorted.

The knowledge of God cannot be denied; it can only be distorted.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 85. Get this book!


91.
We should remember that it is through Christ’s death that we are reconciled to God and each other. He has made us one, and we set our hearts on pursuing unity in love. The Lord’s Supper is a great time to pray and plan for oneness with our brothers and sisters.  It is a time to explore new ways to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.

We should remember that it is through Christ’s death that we are reconciled to God and each other. He has made us one, and we set our hearts on pursuing unity in love. The Lord’s Supper is a great time to pray and plan for oneness with our brothers and sisters.  It is a time to explore new ways to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 206.  Used by Permission.


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Communion
92.
With many children labeled ADD, the arena of the heart is ignored. Yet isn’t it possible that some of what we call ADD is sinful self-indulgence and laziness? Is it possible that a prominent cause of the behaviors is a heart that demands its own way? The truth is that ADD sits at an intersection where physical and spiritual meet. Like other psychiatric labels, the root cause may be physical or spiritual; it is typically both.

With many children labeled ADD, the arena of the heart is ignored. Yet isn’t it possible that some of what we call ADD is sinful self-indulgence and laziness? Is it possible that a prominent cause of the behaviors is a heart that demands its own way? The truth is that ADD sits at an intersection where physical and spiritual meet. Like other psychiatric labels, the root cause may be physical or spiritual; it is typically both.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 137. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: ADHD
93.
Ritalin affects a number of areas of the brain, but its mode of action is uncertain. One thing, however, is clear. Ritalin does not treat any known chemical deficiency in a child’s brain. No one needs Ritalin. Like most psychiatric drugs (including the antidepressants discussed earlier), the best analogy would be to say that Ritalin-type drugs act like aspirin: they suppress symptoms in some people, but they are not a cure.

Ritalin affects a number of areas of the brain, but its mode of action is uncertain. One thing, however, is clear. Ritalin does not treat any known chemical deficiency in a child’s brain. No one needs Ritalin. Like most psychiatric drugs (including the antidepressants discussed earlier), the best analogy would be to say that Ritalin-type drugs act like aspirin: they suppress symptoms in some people, but they are not a cure.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 142-143. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: ADHD
Medication
94.
It is imperative to stress that drugs cannot change a child’s heart. If a child seems more obedient when taking Ritalin, it is because an influence on the child’s life has changed. That is, in the same way that parents and peers can influence our hearts, so our bodies can influence us. Our bodies bring pleasure and pain, intellectual clarity and confusion. Such physical changes can act like a temptation to which some children respond sinfully. When the temptation is removed, these children might be less prone to certain kinds of sins.

It is imperative to stress that drugs cannot change a child’s heart. If a child seems more obedient when taking Ritalin, it is because an influence on the child’s life has changed. That is, in the same way that parents and peers can influence our hearts, so our bodies can influence us. Our bodies bring pleasure and pain, intellectual clarity and confusion. Such physical changes can act like a temptation to which some children respond sinfully. When the temptation is removed, these children might be less prone to certain kinds of sins.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 144. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: ADHD
Medication
95.
Parenting those with ADD symptoms is ultimately like parenting any child: you accommodate your biblical instruction to the child’s abilities. Parenting children who are like us is relatively straightforward because we instinctively understand their strengths and weaknesses. But children whose strengths and weaknesses are out of the mainstream require more careful observation and creative teaching. Remember that these children too have God-given strengths, and whatever weaknesses they have will not slow their growth in the things that are most important.

Parenting those with ADD symptoms is ultimately like parenting any child: you accommodate your biblical instruction to the child’s abilities. Parenting children who are like us is relatively straightforward because we instinctively understand their strengths and weaknesses. But children whose strengths and weaknesses are out of the mainstream require more careful observation and creative teaching. Remember that these children too have God-given strengths, and whatever weaknesses they have will not slow their growth in the things that are most important.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 144-145. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: ADHD
96.
[Contrary to] people-pleasers, only people-lovers are able to confront.

[Contrary to] people-pleasers, only people-lovers are able to confront.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 41. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Reproof
97.
The Bible always portrays our sin problem as being deeper than any pain we could experience. To ignore sin, especially when it is obvious, is to offer only a very superficial kind of love and compassion, and to withhold help that is needed at the deepest level.

The Bible always portrays our sin problem as being deeper than any pain we could experience. To ignore sin, especially when it is obvious, is to offer only a very superficial kind of love and compassion, and to withhold help that is needed at the deepest level.

Reference:   Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 123. Get this book!


Author: Edward Welch
Topics: Reproof
98.
We stand at the crossroads between fear of others and fear of God. The road leading to the fear of man may be expressed in terms of favoritism, wanting others to think well of you, fearing exposure by them, or being overwhelmed by their perceived physical power. When these fears are not combated with the fear of the Lord, the consequences can be devastating. But when God is given his rightful place in our lives, old bonds can be shattered.

We stand at the crossroads between fear of others and fear of God. The road leading to the fear of man may be expressed in terms of favoritism, wanting others to think well of you, fearing exposure by them, or being overwhelmed by their perceived physical power. When these fears are not combated with the fear of the Lord, the consequences can be devastating. But when God is given his rightful place in our lives, old bonds can be shattered.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 71. Used by Permission. Get this book!


99.
We are more concerned about looking stupid (a fear of people) than we are about acting sinfully (fear of the Lord).

We are more concerned about looking stupid (a fear of people) than we are about acting sinfully (fear of the Lord).

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 40. Used by Permission. Get this book!


100.
Fear of people is often a more conscious version of being afraid of God.  That is, we are more conscious of our fear of others than our fear of God.  Granted, fear of others is a real phenomenon.  We really are afraid of the thoughts, opinions, and actions of other people.  But under that we hide as best we can the more desperate fear of God.

Fear of people is often a more conscious version of being afraid of God. That is, we are more conscious of our fear of others than our fear of God. Granted, fear of others is a real phenomenon. We really are afraid of the thoughts, opinions, and actions of other people. But under that we hide as best we can the more desperate fear of God.

Reference:   When People are Big and God is Small, P&R Publishing, 1997, p. 33. Used by Permission. Get this book!