This article shows the root cause for a lot of issues like: eating disorders, anger, depression, anxiety, broken relationships, addictions, guilt, stress, OCD, insecurity, which is fear of man, and a host of other issues. Fear and a low view of God is the root cause for most problems. In other words, this article will apply to all of us. -PD's notes.
By Rick Thomas
Maria has been struggling for years with guilt and shame. She is introverted, though she has learned to mask it well. Only her closest friends have any idea about the internal angst that rumbles in her soul. Eighteen years with a lazy, critical, and mean-spirited father has left a mark on her soul that she has never been able to scrub away.
To compound matters she has mapped her relationship with her dad over her understanding and experience with God, the Father. This is a common occurrence. Children are only given one father, which makes him their earliest and most profound definition of what a father is like. In situations like Maria’s the definition of father is powerful and confusing. She has always lived with the underlying message from her father that there was something wrong with her.
Unfortunately, Maria bought the lie that bled through her father’s unending disappointment with her. Maria perpetually dangled between what she could do to overcome what was wrong with her and total failure. Boyfriends, body image issues, and relational conflict made up a “three-man tag team” against her soul. Though she hoped to overcome this internal struggle of the soul, she always found herself on the mat, prostrated and defeated.
Her God is small because of the oppressive fear that controls her. Though she became a believer during her teen years, the footprint her father planted on her soul skewed her view of God. No person becomes untangled from what is wrong with them at regeneration. The untangling process is progressive, which happens over decades of cooperative effort with the LORD (Ephesians 4:22-24; James 2:14-17). Salvation gives you the equipment you need (2 Peter 1:3-4), but it does not transform you into Christlikeness. Maria could not fully enjoy her new-found relationship with the LORD.
Though she enjoyed a brief honeymoon with the LORD, as things appeared to be better, it was not long before the old crippling fear began to dominate her thinking again. Maria’s mantra, “There is something wrong with me,” ran on an endless loop tape in her brain; it was a theme that captivated her thoughts and made her angry. The real source of her anger came from unmet desires to be liked, appreciated, approved, and loved (James 4:1-3).
Since she could not rely on the LORD, because she viewed Him in a similar way she experienced her father, she had no choice but to figure out how to overcome her problems on her own. The self-reliant approach was far more palatable than trusting God, her Father. Maria was perfectly fit for legalism.
The legalist will always pick-and-choose the rules they want to follow because failure is not an option for the performance-driven person. Since it is not possible to be a perfect legalist, there has to be an explanation for occasional failure. Maria typically blamed others for things that went wrong with her or with her relationships.
Anger, criticism, blaming, and cynicism helped to insulate her from owning any failure. Maria’s underlying sin pattern was fear, which was born out of her functional unbelief. Because she could not trust the LORD in all the matters of her life, she became the modern definition of the unbelieving believer (Mark 9:24).
Just like Adam before her (Genesis 3:10), the choice to not trust the LORD in all things will lead you down a path of fear. Fear thrives in a heart of unbelief. She would have seasons of sleep, seasons of overeating, seasons of under-eating, and seasons of binge TV viewing. There was no consistent pattern, other than atoning for her sins by taking them out on herself, rather than allowing Christ to take her punishment.
Her self-reliant solutions gave her varying degrees of results; some of them felt good in that they brought temporary relief to life and relationships. If you want to change the way you do life, then you have to start at the beginning, which is your presupposition. Your presupposition is the thing that comes before the thing. In the case of every person, regardless of our allegiances, it is how we think about God.
Our view of God, whether right or wrong, will determine the kind of life we will experience. Maria’s view of God was skewed–a misguided starting point that set the course of her life. Her parent’s main job was to teach her a right view about God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), but they failed miserably.
Maria needed to be set free. She needed to be introduced to the true and living God–her heavenly Father, the one who loves her immeasurably and would go so far as to crush His one and only Son to save her soul (Isaiah 53:10). Maria will need a support team to help her. Her husband will be a key discipler, plus a few close and patient friends (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
If you know someone like Maria, then I suggest you print this article and the accompanying Mind Map so you can thoroughly unpack and help your “Maria” in a community of helpers. The key for Maria and for her helpers is how well they are able to identify the things on this Mind Map that affect her. (See the above attached photo. Click on it to get a bigger picture. The Mind Map describes Maria's life).
She must create a new muscle memory that reflexes a Godward orientation. The more she is retrained to have a greater affection for her heavenly Father, the more her soul will be stabilized in the Gospel. RickThomas.net