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prisonchaplain

Coping should springboard us to living

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Coping is a sign of resilience, strength and hope.  It’s a powerful mechanism for getting through a hard season of life.  However, it’s no way to live.  Coping ought to be a transitory stage, not a permanent circumstance.

 

I can't cope!  When we hear this—or say it—life is a mess!  Often, something has been exposed:  Alcoholism or drug use, an eating disorder, porn addiction, or even  “chexting”—cheating by texting.  We feel overwhelmed, and are tempted to give in.  We may give ourselves over to the mess, badly abusing drugs, food, porn, or people.  When the matter becomes desperate, suicide tempts our frayed souls.  We may think that if we kill ourselves we will quit hurting others, and stop allowing the mess to control us.  Realistically, many will die—fully immersed in their mess.  Some will claim to have stopped the madness by killing themselves.  Yet, they still die in their mess, and they still hurt the ones they loved.  King Solomon proved his wisdom when he said:  There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

 

Struggle demands that we cope so we can live with it.  I want to cope.  I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, but I want to live!  I want to control my drinking, my drug use, my eating, and my devotion to my spouse.  Through coping I can say that I am okay.  I know that I am an alcoholic, a drug abuser, an anorexic or bulimic, or one given to lust—whether by porn, or by illicit relationships.  So, I learn to cope.  For drugs and alcohol a may join an AA-type group, or even enter into a residential rehabilitation program, like Teen Challenge.

 

Over time the temptation softens, but seldom leaves.  Sometimes recovery meetings seem like the same old same old.  Residential programs are strict and feel insulting—especially in the early stages.  There is struggle.  It is the same for eating disorders, porn viewing, and other sexual temptations.  They all demand our time.  They also impose controls,

 

Arriving at the place of being able to cope seems like a worthy goal.  After a tragedy, or after the revelation of a life-controlling issue, a loved one may ask how we are doing.  If we smile and say, “I’m coping,” there is relief.  However, if there is no known struggle—then what?  If we just asked someone we care about how they are doing, and the response is, “I’m coping,” what do we think?

 

Coping must give way to overcoming.  It is not life, but rather the transition back to life.  Alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, pornography, infidelity, and life-controlling issues will assail us our whole lives.  If we overcome an issue, we will always have extra boundaries that help us resist relapse.  We never get to say we beat the battle.  Instead, we thank God daily for our victories.  We celebrate them.

 

Admitting struggle with life-controlling issues is necessary and important.  Knowing the areas we must guard against is crucial.  Humility towards past struggles is wise.  Nevertheless, let us not be afraid to declare the win.  Let us not live by coping, but rather cope, so we can live.  When it comes to the temptations that come at us, 1 John 4:4 offers the conclusion to the matter:  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

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Coping must give way to overcoming. It is not life, but rather the transition back to life. Alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, pornography, infidelity, and life-controlling issues will assail us our whole lives. If we overcome an issue, we will always have extra boundaries that help us resist relapse. We never get to say we beat the battle. Instead, we thank God daily for our victories. We celebrate them.

I think all-too-often when people say "I'm coping" they mean that they're "dealing with it"... And whatever the "it" might be, they still believe on some level that somehow they are overcoming "it" by themselves.. This is a real common pitfall.. Even for many who consider themselves followers of Christ.

How much do we really do and how much is the grace of God? We probably can give the pat intellectual response of a good Christian: "He is my strength and my beacon". .. But are we really seeing it? If we really are seeing it, then why does it still feel like we're coping rather than *living*? If we're not seeing it as much we should, is there something we can do to open our spiritual eyes wider?

In order to see more clearly, I think we need more of this ------ >. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/grateful-in-any-circumstances?lang=eng

Edited by theSQUIDSTER

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