To what do you run – to escape pain or avoid conflict?
by Ken Dyck
When life becomes difficult, relational conflicts emerge and tensions rise or you simply become bored, what do you turn to? TV, food, alcohol, work, blaming, pornography, performance, manipulation, your hobbies, masturbation, romance novels, social media, rescuing, the affirmation of others or…?
Seriously, take 30 seconds to think about it right now and lock in your answers.
If you were honest, and actually did what I suggested, you just identified your “drug of choice,” the behaviour you turn to in order to illegitimately escape pain or avoid conflict. We all have at least two drugs of choice: our most frequent and our most damaging.
Now ask yourself another question. If you were no longer allowed to do that…
In other words, if you were no longer allowed to turn to pornography, food, blaming others, work, alcohol, TV etc. the next time you felt stressed, angry, rejected or lonely,…what is it in your life you would have to face?
If you were honest with that question, you just identified the area in your life God wants to heal and deal with this coming year. So now what?
One of the best decisions you could make it to attend Freedom Session, a 20 week healing-discipleship ministry offered in many locations, mostly churches, and hopefully a church near you. Freedom Session is a deeper journey than recovery with a different goal – healing. It consists of large group teaching, small group experience and weekly homework assignment. It is for both men and women who desire the abundant life God promises in John 10:10 and are tired of dressing up Sunday mornings to pretend all is well.
Over the years we have learned that in our churches today:
• our divorce rate is approximately 30 percent. Our emotional divorce rate is even higher.
• 40-60 percent of our men (60-80 percent of our young men) struggle regularly with pornography and for about half of these, it would have become a sexual addiction. About 25 per cent of our women are likewise struggling with pornography and if we’d add the female forms of pornography (soap operas and steamy romance novels), it would be closer to 40 per cnt.
• one in four women who attend church today has been sexually abused and one in seven men.
• approximately 80 percent of our young adult singles are sexually active (these are Christian young adults)
• approximately 25 percent of our women have terminated a pregnancy (abortion) and most live in secret shame.
• food addiction is a real issue in our churches, as is depression, workaholism, perfectionism, bitterness, closet alcohol dependency, prescription drug abuse, people pleasing and low self-esteem. The list goes on.
So what does salvation mean for people like this? What does salvation mean for you?
Salvation means to be set free, made whole and delivered from whatever is destroying or threatening to destroy you. So how saved are you? On a scale of one to 10 (with no five’s), how saved are you?
If it’s anything less than a nine, I strongly encourage you to attend Freedom Session this fall. Sign up at a local church. Lean in and enter into a journey that will change your life forever.
Freedom Session is a solidly biblical and practical process that will provide you a road map to your own personalized healing journey. It will help you discover the negative conclusions you made during painful or traumatic experiences, judgments and inner vows satan uses to control you and the reasons beneath some of your unhealthy relational struggles. Into these areas you will invite Jesus’ truth and experience a freedom you never thought possible. FS is for people from all walks of life, all educational or socio-economic backgrounds and any age from 18 through 84 (could be higher – that’s just the oldest participant we remember.)
Freedom Session registration is happening right now all around you in BC and across Canada. In a few weeks, groups will be full and you’ll have to wait another year. So check out our “Group Finder” at freedomsession.com and attend an orientation night at a church near you. If there are no Freedom Sessions in your area, find a few friends, order the teaching and workbooks on line and start one in your living room.
From a Freedom Session alumni: “I was a people pleaser. The main cause of my bitterness stemmed from not speaking up or giving myself permission to say ‘no’. I was too afraid of being rejected to be honest with myself and others. One of the gifts Freedom Session has given me is an experience of being unconditionally loved by God!” – Carmen
It won’t be easy…but it will be rewarding. And it will be life-changing. See you on the journey.
ken b. dyck (FS author and Executive Director of Freedom Session International)