Janet Smith – 4-3-2020 ©gardenministries.org
D.A.D. – Depressed, Addicted, Dependent
D.A.D. – Disciplined, Approved, Delighted-In
Who’s Your Daddy?
If we can properly discern and embrace our Heavenly Father’s seasons of discipline, we will view hardship through a whole different lens than one of disappointment. If we don’t view the tough seasons as overseen by our trustworthy Heavenly Father, we will look to whatever means we can to get out of the uncomfortable hot pot.
If disappointments are left to fester and not resolve upward toward God in greater trust, we may succumb to depression, addiction, and become dependent on things or people instead of God. If we are depressed, addicted, and dependent on false ideologies, we are looking to the wrong D.A.D. Faith in Jesus Christ leads to the right D.A.D. He disciplines, approves, and delights in us.
Depression and addiction are often the fruit of resisting God’s pruning process. When He comes to strip away our self-centered ideologies, if we sulk in anger, it will turn into bitter accusation and drive us away from trusting God. We will look for other ways to deal with our pain. When God pokes our emotional and physical comfort zones and challenges our logical reasonings, He is after our greater trust. It seems counter-intuitive but this is how He works. He confronts our mind to reveal our heart. Will we trust Him?
If we won’t let go of our way and submit to God’s way, self-pity gets in and drives us to endlessly mull on our disappointments. This path leads to depression, addiction, and dependence. Self-pity is the prideful elevation of self. We think we know better how we should be treated and when we are disappointed with apparent contradictions, our pain and anger drive us to look for something and someone to blame for our misery and something or someone to rescue us from it. This leads us to the wrong D.A.D.
Embracing God’s seasons of discipline and growing in greater trust and faith in His leadership will always lead us on a path to humility and the right D.A.D. Humility protects us from depression, addiction, and dependence on other things that separate us from our loving Father. If we view God’s discipline as something we inherently need to feel loved by God, we can better humble ourselves and accept it when it comes. If we don’t think we need His discipline, we will resist it and fall prey to the vultures of despair.
If we have suffered under cruel forms of discipline or were completely neglected and received no discipline from our earthly parents or leaders, we may have an even greater tendency to misinterpret and resist God’s discipline. But God is faithful to all who come to Him. Our Good Shepherd will gently and firmly lead us into valleys of discomfort that compel us to come up to Him.
He wants to bind up our broken and neglected hearts. He is the only true answer to our heart’s cry. Our Father God will carefully peel off the callouses we put up in resistance to Him out of reaction to poor human leadership. If we let Him, Jesus Christ will replace these hard places of the heart with childlike trust in His leadership.
We don’t have to fall into depression, addiction, and dependence if we humble ourselves and if we properly discern and embrace the truth of our heavenly Father’s loving discipline and pruning process.
1 Corinthians 11:31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.