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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

A Christian Response to Suicide

posted by Linda Mintle

This past week we all heard the tragic news of Rick Warren’s son’s suicide. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family  as they mourn this painful loss.

Suicide is not a topic talked about in the church even though Christians can be tempted to see suicide as an escape from life’s pain when depressed. Today I am actually presenting on elderly suicide in the church, a problem that is more prevalent in older people than in the young. Suicide is the cause of 11 out of 100,000 deaths in the US (NIMH) and impacts all ages.
I am often asked  to comfort those who have experienced suicide in their families. The question of eternal destination comes up. Eternity with God is based on one thing- does a person claim Jesus Christ to be his or her Savior? Scripture is clear that there is one way to heaven, through the saving grace of Christ. No act, no one, can take salvation away from a person. Salvation is not based on works, but on the work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:2-24).
In those cases in which the person does not claim Christ as his or her personal Savior, we still don ‘ t know what transpires in those last moments of life. So it is not out place to make a judgment call on someone ‘s life.
So why would someone who professes Christ commit suicide? The answer is found in Scripture as well. The temptation of suicide is a satanic one. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, Saul killed himself after consulting the witch, and Judas hanged himself after Satan entered him. Jesus ‘ response to Satan was to resist, knowing this was not God’s plan for his life. In a moment of desperation, a person can give in to temptation and cut short the purpose of God in his or her lie. He or she can momentarily believe a life of hopelessness.
In a helpful sermon, given years ago by Pastor Jack Hayford, he gives  four areas of help for those touched by suicide:
1) Release the guilt, the anger and the shame that comes. Release it all into God’s mercy and hands. People can succumb to temptation and give in to despair when depressed, but you are not bound to carry the guilt or shame that can accompany suicide.  God does not override our free choice.
2) Recognize the thought of suicide in not sin, but a temptation that is demonic. Satan is the father of lies. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus can to overcome the darkness and deliver us from all temptation. Christ in us can bring victory,
3) Resist the devil. Put on the helmet of salvation. Daily, renew your mind with the truth of God ‘s word. In Christ, there is always hope and peace to be found. Exalt Christ in every detail of your life, honor the power of the cross and let it work deliverance in your life. Know the warning signs of depression and stay in the truth.
4) Surround yourself with fellow believers who can lift you up when you are tempted to give in. Link together and stand firm on the Word. We need each other when we face our pain and the lies of the enemy.
As a therapist who has treated many with depression, I would add that depression is treatable in many cases. Don’t be afraid or feel stigmatized for taking medication if it helps. Recognize that some types of depression are more resistant than others but don’t give in to despair. What Pastor Warren told us all is still true, God has a purpose for every life. Don’t cut that purpose short.
Dr. Linda Mintle is the author of Breaking Free from Depression,  depression treatment from a biblical perspective.

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And the Worst Customer Service Retail Award Goes to…

posted by Linda Mintle

I can’t comment on heavy stuff everyday, so after yesterday’s shock and awe about Yale, I need a lighter blog!

If you shop and care about customer service, check out the top 9 worst retailers for customer service according to  a story in USA Today (3.16.13).

Are you surprised by any of the picks?

Only one was an on-line retailer.

9. Walgreens  -they certainly are on every corner and I never can find anyone to help me at the Photo section!

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8. TJ Companies (T J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods)-pretty much a do it yourself kind of place. The people checking in at the dressing rooms never look like they want to be there!

7. The Gap  -this one surprised me. People have always helped me! I like Gap and am satisfied!

6. Supervalu –supermarkets (Save-A-Lot, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shop N Save)–Name a grocery store that has people available to help. When you ask for help in an aisle, they usually say they don’t work for the store and are only stocking shelves.

5. Sears–the one in my town just went out of business….hmmmmm

4. CVS-Caremark -Are prescriptions ever ready when they say they are? And some of the in-store pharmacy counters treat you like a military drill–get in the right line, now!

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3. Safeway-supermarkets–can’t remember the last time I was in one! No comment.

2. Netflix--e-commerce –increased pricing didn’t sit well with the neighbors.

1. Walmart–it’s hard for me to go there after a kid on a cart in front of me spilled a 5 gallon jug of oil on me. I kept asking him to get off my cart, his mom ignored me and didn’t say a word or offer to help me when the kid made the mess. And no one in line or at the register would help me either. So I tried to clean myself up with paper towels I found behind an unmanned register and move on. Forgiveness doesn’t mean going back.

 

Based on 14/7 Wall St. review of America Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI);  & MSN MOney/JZ analytics 2012 Customer Service Survey

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After the Admission of an Affair

posted by Linda Mintle

Susan was devastated. Her husband Dan was supposed to be in Cleveland on business. Instead he was seen vacationing in the Virgin Islands with a female co-worker. The betrayal took her by surprise. She couldn’t believe Dan would risk the ten-year marriage for another woman.

Susan called a therapist. Dan admitted to the affair. He apologized profusely and cut off all contact with the other woman. The hurt and anger in Susan’s face was hard to bear. Dan hoped that by apologizing and admitting his sin that Susan would get over the affair. He felt his apology and cut off from the other woman was enough to reconcile the relationship.

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But Susan couldn’t stop thinking of the betrayal. She found herself obsessing on thoughts of the other woman. She worried Dan would be unfaithful again. She felt guilty. Dan had apologized and promised not to ever have an affair again. Dan went back to church, talked to the minister and put himself under the accountability of a men’s group. But Susan couldn’t sleep and was anxious.

Susan sensed Dan was mad at her for not “getting over” the affair. Dan said, “Forget it ever happened. Why are you still talking about it when it’s over?” He was frustrated with her nervous anxiety whenever the phone rang late at night. He resented her constant questioning about late business meetings.

Dan and Susan represent many couples stuck in the aftermath of an affair. They think because the affair is acknowledged, things should go back to the way they were before. They don’t recognize the traumatizing effects of the affair.

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Susan never really talked at length about her feelings regarding the infidelity. She was too afraid Dan would leave the marriage and felt vulnerable due to her financial dependence on him. All through her marriage she avoided conflict. She pretended to believe everything was great when it wasn’t.

Dan apologized but showed little remorse. He broke the marital covenant and expected Susan to be over it much too quickly. He didn’t understand the trauma his wife experienced. The apology wasn’t enough.

Dan needed to:

· Share his feelings of remorse more than once

· Allow Susan to question him and give reassurance

· Be empathetic for the pain his actions caused Susan

· Understand Susan’s reactions were typical

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· Learn to share his emotions including his fear that Susan may leave

· Be patient. His wife needed time

 

Susan needed to:

· Have time to process, talk and explore her feelings more deeply

· Understand that the injured spouse usually has post -traumatic stress like symptoms (difficulty sleeping and concentrating, hyper-vigilance and intolerance for things that brought up memories of the affair)

· Be allowed to question Dan whenever she needed reassurance

· Not feel guilty when she needed to talk more about what happened

Admission of infidelity is just the first step of reconciliation. The betrayal raises complicated emotions that don’t usually fade away without additional work. A one-time apology is not enough to cover the reactions of the partner. Your partner needs to forgive but also process his/her reactions over time. The one who committed the offense needs to be patient and humble.

 

For more, read about the way back from infidelity in I Married You, Not Your Family by Dr. Linda Mintle. Click on the picture.

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What Makes You Happy? 10 Secrets You Must Know

posted by Linda Mintle

Click here to read the blog!

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