I wish there were a non-Christian-lingo way of explaining the cornerstone of the concept of breaking the cycle (of dysfunctional living). I can’t think of one. The reason why I try to explain a lot of these recovery points in non-Christian-lingo language is because too many of us are way too familiar with church lingo to fully address real, soul-level, life-controlling issues and general felt-needs areas. We can too easily and quickly dismiss someone’s true-to-life struggle when we inject all of our answers with biblical jargon including one or all of the trinity words (i.e., God, Jesus, Holy Spirit). One of the main challenges I face as a writer who is a Christian is not to fall into the habit of painting everything with the wide brush of Christianity. It would be so easy to do! After all, when our faith consumes all of us, it overflows out of our heart and is heard in our words and is seen in our lives. When we have found the answer in Jesus Christ, we want to shout it from the rooftops. Yet this approach to sharing our life-changing discoveries isn’t always the most effective with everyone. For a lot of people, what will mean the most to them is to see our beliefs reflected in the way we live our lives—which means that there will be a lot more being and doing than talking and shouting. Nevertheless, I recognize that at some point, we all must decide how we will fall (I am thinking of the line from The Lorax movie that says something like a tree falls the way it leans). At the end of the day, to whom do you give credit? Your own self and your effort and your will? Or a greater being, a higher power? And if you credit someone larger than you with helping you, who will it be? Some random, nameless god thing? Or a personal, loving God who has revealed himself in history and is still doing so today?
So the cornerstone of the concept of breaking the cycle is to know whose you are. That is, know that you belong to the Lord. And who is the Lord? The I AM. The God of the Judeo-Christian Old Testament. The God who gave us the Jesus of the New Testament. The God whose Spirit we have residing within us if we have invited Jesus into our heart. Why not any of the other gods? Why not the “Gods” of any of the other religions or belief systems? Because if we are listening to the real God’s voice, we will know that anything and everything else is counterfeit. And I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in wasting my time with something that isn’t real.
Breaking the cycle of dysfunctional living is impossible without God. Why? Because knowing that we belong to him is exactly what quiets our soul and gives us peace of mind and heart (John 14:27 NLT). Anything else that any of us could say really just isn’t enough. All efforts are insufficient without having a firm grasp of the understanding that we are the Lord’s. Because of this truth, we have help and everything else we need to live a well-functioning life that is free and happy.