Today, there are a number of gifted folks who are burned out with life, disappointed, discouraged, and marginalized to the sidelines no longer on the playing field. Many have been deceived by something that was said or written by an ungodly or misinformed person. Others have been falsely accused by a loved one or an associate with the mental/emotional impact similar to a devastating bullet tunneling within their mind. Some have been bullied and maybe even humiliated by the insensitivity of personal agendas. Often, manipulative people who candidly don’t care how you feel prey on your vulnerable mind. A number have lived in the world of depression seemingly without hope surviving one day at a time. If you are bitter and defeated and have “shrink wrapped” your world and goals because of harsh, ever present anxieties, I am going to ask you to consider two things.
First, read Proverbs 18:1 and understand what this means for your life, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” I spent 30 years in self-isolation from ministry and goal orientation ashamed of being buried in the darkness of depression not wanting anyone to know how bad off I was spiritually. Living a “shrink wrapped” life severely reduced my effectiveness towards others by being mentally and emotionally enslaved. Those years were multiple cycles of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Finally, I found hope versus the ever-present emotional and mental eclipse. A Life Group leader who had patiently earned my trust challenged me to get involved in a ministry mentoring young couples before they were married. God started working in me and using me. I came out of my self-imposed cave by B-E-L-I-E-V-I-N-G T-R-U-T-H and S-P-I-T-T-I-N-G O-U-T L-I-E-S and started to cut through “the strands of a mental/emotional spider web.” Once, I started breaking free from unsound self-judgment, I became enCOURAGED.
Please start taking the steps to free yourself from self-isolation. “Chew on” the following verses, and they will guide you. Matthew 11:28-30 tenderly calls us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” You will never regret being yoked to Jesus!
Second, allow someone to help you to heal. Galatians 6:1&2, “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness… 2 Bear one another’s burdens.” Romans 15:1&2, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Give a trusted Godly person the opportunity to support your restoration. Each of you need a patient, tender hand from someone who is healthy, whole, and real. Be transparent. 1 Peter 5:6&7 is clear, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
“Shrink-wrapped” is diametrically opposite of what we should be experiencing in Christ. Jesus declares to Christ-followers, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Paul the Apostle testifies about the enabling power of the Holy Spirt in your life, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” It’s time to get out of the dark cave of isolation. Allow God who is patient and trustworthy to shine His light in the crevices of your soul cleaning up the debris from years in darkness. Jesus tells us in John 8:32, “Abide in my Word, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Freedom based on the authoritative truths in the Word of God is powerful and liberating…no longer “shrink-wrapped!”