Episode 65: Dissection of “My Blackness”

Episode 65: Dissection of “My Blackness”
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I just recently released a book entitled, “My Blackness” over the weekend. This podcast episode gives you a little bit of background on the book, along with a reading of four different poems coming directly from the book. Just in case you missed the last episode, here is the link: What will they say about you and me?

My Blackness Podcast Outline:

  • The Why and How of Writing “My Blackness”
  • Reading of Four Poems

If you are interested in purchasing “My Blackness”, here is a link to the book on Amazon. The kindle version is available for free until midnight, August 6, 2020. Purchasing this book means that I will receive a commission.

Have a blessed, restful week!

Katina

Episode 63: Do What I Tell You

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Episode 63: Do What I Tell You
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How many of us often think, “If only they would just do what I tell them!” How many of us become angry and frustrated when others try to control us, but we never do anything about it? Listen to some helpful tips on today’s podcast episode, “Do What I Tell You”.

Episode 63 Podcast Outline

  • What is control?
  • What is intentional control?
  • What is unintentional control?
  • How did King Nebuchadnezzar deal with his pride and control issues?
  • What are the two things lying at the root of control?
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Thoughts for the week: What will we do differently to make sure that we are not trying to control others? What are we going to do differently to make sure that we are not the victim of the spirit of control?

Episode 60: Listen to Your Body

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Episode 60: Listen to Your Body
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We listen to our friends, our enemies, “our hearts”, the radio, our children, etc. How many of us listen to our bodies? Did you know that listening to your body can give you clarity into listening to the needs, longings, and desires of your soul? Take a listen to this week’s podcast to gain a bigger perspective. Just in case you missed my last podcast, you can grab that one here: Episode 59: The Gift of Margin. God bless!

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Podcast Notes

HALT

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

Bible Passage Focus for Meditation:

1 Kings 19

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

1 Kings 19

Episode 54: The Art of Authenticity

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Episode 54: The Art of Authenticity
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The Art of Authenticity: When was the last time that you felt like you were truly yourself? How did it make you feel? What did you do? Did you continue in that walk, or did you go back to the incongruent you? Click to listen to our latest episode, ” The Art of Authenticity” to see where you fit in.

God bless!

Podcast Breakdown

  • Our Productions:
  • Authenticity with Friends
  • Authenticity at Work
  • Authenticity at Church
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Episode 52: Living in the Moment

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Episode 52: Living in the Moment
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Living in the Moment Introduction

We all have a never-ending list of things to do. We are so maxed out that we are piling up three and four things at a time, but not fully present to any one thing. How can this change? Take a listen to today’s podcast episode.

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Show Notes

Podcast Outline

  • My Encounter
  • What Jesus Says

Challenge Questions:

What are some of the steps that you can take in order to be more present?

What are some of the patterns of behavior that you have observed that prevents you from living in the moment?

Episode 43: The Big “D”

Episode 43: The Big “D”
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Have you ever been divorced? Do you know of someone who has been divorced? When you found out that this person was divorced, did you treat them differently? Today’s podcast is entitled, “The Big “D”, and that “D” stands for divorce. Click above to listen to the latest podcast episode.

It has been said that divorce is worse than death.  There was a time when the word divorce was taboo.  Older television shows reflect these ideas.  When children mentioned that their friends’ parents were getting divorced, they were shushed by their parents, and/or the parents came up with an excuse as to why Johnny or Susan couldn’t play at the neighbors’ house anymore.  They were outcasts.

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Prior to getting divorced, I heard someone use the phrases “It’s no big deal.  People get divorced every day.”  This is true.  However, what is also true is that you don’t have people lined up to tell you the real impact from divorce.  Divorce leaves lifelong effects in every area:  financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc.  Basically, there is no table left unturned.    

Grief experienced from divorce can be draining.  With this pain, you must grieve the loss of the marriage, the loss of the family as a unit, and then grieve that part of your identity that is being taken away.  There is no magic formula for the intensity of the pain or the amount of time that it will take to heal.  My grief so far tends to run in spurts.  The grief might be off and on all day for three weeks, and then there is a month break before it starts up again.  I have had other women tell me that theirs was every day for two hours for the length of anywhere from two to five years.

There are some individuals who have gotten divorced because of severe abuse that has gone on for years.  In Malachi 2:16, we are told, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” (NASB)

Others have gotten divorced as a result of extramarital affairs:  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made

at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.   And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19: 3-9)

 It is possible for God to heal marriages from any situation, even the ones listed above.  However, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that one person can fix the whole marriage.  As individuals, we can only do our part.  We cannot be the Holy Spirit for others.  I am a planner.  I like organizing, analyzing, and figuring things out.  I thought that if I could just do A, B, and C, things would be fine.  If things weren’t getting better, it was because I hadn’t figured out the right formula yet.  Satan led me to believe that I was responsible for the entire relationship. 

He led me down the path of dishonoring God, and disrespecting myself and children “all in the name of love”.  The best thing that we can do is pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then in turn get professional help for ourselves.  It is easy to pass judgment upon others who are considering divorce.  However, the truth is, only the individuals involved in the marriage are aware of the severity of the situation.  I stayed in a toxic situation for twenty years.  Thank God for Him getting a hold of my heart and mind.  We can pray the same thing for others whom we know of that are walking in this path.

Dear God,

We thank you for your word to go to when we are unsure, and don’t know where to turn.  Please help us to help others by sending them to your word and prayer when it comes to decisions about divorce.  We also pray that we would not pass judgment upon others when they are going through divorce because we don’t know the whole story.  Only you do.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Episode 35: The Value of Prayer

prayer, value, the value of prayer, healing, healing our brokenness, Jesus praying, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, podcast, podcasting

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In case you missed our last episode on surrendering, you can find it here. Today’s episode is Episode 35: The Value of Prayer. What are some of the things that you value in life? Why do you value them? Have you ever thought about prayer having value? Tune in to our latest episode to find out why prayer should be at the top of our list.

The Value of Prayer Podcast Outline

  • Necessity of Prayer
  • Examples of Prayer
  • Praying for Our Children
  • The Act of Praying Over Food
  • We Can Pray Alone
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness. Today’s episode is entitled, “The Value of Prayer”.

prayer, value, the value of prayer, healing, healing our brokenness, Jesus praying, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, podcast, podcasting
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Value of Prayer

Prayer is necessary in developing our relationship with God.  Sometimes the hardest part about doing anything, including prayer is getting started.  Satan fills our hearts with so many excuses as to why we aren’t doing something, when the bottom line is that once we are willing to start, God can give us the desire, strength, and perseverance to finish: “For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 1:6, BSB)  Jesus’ prayer life was a perfect example of the who, what, when, where and how’s of praying. 

Luke gives us an account of the impact placed on one of Jesus’ disciples from watching him pray, and witnessing John teaching his disciples.  He wanted in on this action:  “Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.  And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. “(Luke 11:1-2, ESV) When we pray with earnest hearts and conviction, it rubs off on other people, and they want what we have.

Jesus showed us how to pray for our children:  “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” (Matthew 19:13-15, NIV)

When our children are little, there are so many ways that we can pray for and with them.  We can place them on our laps and pray for them, and as they get older, we can pray for them even as they are sleeping.  Sometimes I have found myself praying with my kids before they leave out the door on the way to school, or as we are literally pulling out of the driveway to begin our day.  There is no better example of showing that there are no restrictions when telling our children about God, his goodness, and his Word than in Deuteronomy 11: 19-21:  “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”(NKJV)

Jesus showed us how to pray over and give thanks for our food.  He showed us that even though he was the one distributing the food, the fact that he had it to give himself was God’s grace:  “After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.” (Acts 27:35, NIV) 

The two fish and five loaves of bread multiplied after he said the blessing.  This was a pure reenactment of the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath.  Jesus showed us the results of what the power of praying and trusting in God with the little we have can do:   “And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.  (Matthew 14: 19-21, NIV)

Jesus showed us the importance and power of praying with others.  Luke 9:28 tells us, “About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.”(NIV)  There is something about experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirt as we pray with others.

Jesus also showed us the importance of praying alone: “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”  (Matthew 14: 23, Holman)  In order to avoid suffering burnout and spiritual emptiness, there is a need for us to pour into ourselves before we can pour into others.  Once we are filled up, we are ready to go out and serve.

Dear Father,

We thank you for your grace and power of prayer.  Please help us to remember that prayer reaches the doors of heaven, and changes things.  We also ask that you would help us to get into the habit of developing a routine for prayer, whether it is by ourselves or with others. 

In your name we pray,

Amen

Thank you for visiting Healing Our Brokenness, and if this episode has blessed you in any way, please tag a friend on Social Media, share it, review it on Itunes, and pray for the show as well.

Until next time,

Blessings!

Episode 34: Surrender

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In case you missed last week’s episode, “Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, “Episode 34: Surrender”, is covering the topic of surrender.

Episode 34: Surrender Podcast Outline

  • What is surrender?
  • What does surrender look like?
  • How I Am Learning to Surrender
  • Podcast Transcript

Surrender

When you think of surrender, you think of yielding, giving up control, crying “Uncle”, giving in, waving the flag. Surrender has a negative connotation, but it can have a positive outcome when it’s done in the proper context.

If we had the choice, there are some trials that we just wouldn’t sign up for.  However, God gives us these trials in order to refine us like gold.  These trials will show that our faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold: So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  (1 Peter 1:7, NLT)

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One of the worst things that we can do is to think that we have it all under control.  The devil tricks us into thinking that we can fix problems on our own, and that we just have to figure out the right plan, or perhaps we just didn’t do something “enough”. A very tender spot for any mother’s heart is their children.  Oh, how I wish that I could take away the pain and effects from trauma that my kids have endured over the last five years.  However, this isn’t possible. No matter how old they are, our kids’ issues stay on our hearts.  However, if we don’t surrender these very issues to God, then we find ourselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained.  Of course, because of the mind-body connection, these issues then takes a turn on the fourth area: physical.  They can literally eat us alive with immobility and heaviness of heart.  I have just recently had my moment of realizing that my kids will have to have their own journey of healing.  I can support them.  However, I can’t take on the responsibility of doing the work for them.  It hinders them from growth, and the ability to get clarity on their own. 

Surrender is not a once in a lifetime thing.  If only it was that easy.  It is daily.  In Luke 9: 23, Christ tells us:   “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (ESV)  Focusing on God and his promises helps us in this journey called life.

Dear God,

Thank you for the shining beauty that comes from our trials when we are refined.  Thank you that we can take all of our burdens and our kids’ burdens and lay them down at your feet.  Please help us to understand that surrender is a daily thing, and that we have to put our trust in you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times

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Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times
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Praying During Desperate Times Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • My Situation
  • Podcast Transcript
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How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to proceed.  You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place.  We know that the bottom line is that God is in control.  Even with that, sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.

This was pretty much what Hannah had to go through.  Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb.  We all know that fear is from Satan himself.  

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year.  As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat.  (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)

Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace, pleading to God to open her womb:  “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son,

then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)

Hannah was so intentional with her prayers, that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart and her spirit.  She was on a mission.  Eli the priest thought that she was drunk:

Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit.  I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.  Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1: 13-16, ESV)

It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:

Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am

the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.   Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”  And he worshiped the Lord there.

(I Samuel 1: 24-28, ESV)

About six years ago, when I was at the peak of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar.  I had done everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position.  I felt led to write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”  (KJV)

God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer for the next forty days.  As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from every corner.  I was on a mission, and I continued to pray.  My friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same prayer New Year’s Eve night. 

Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we were downstairs praying.  The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept praying.  We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried out, and we could no longer talk. 

Like Hannah, we needed an answer.  We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first.  And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests.  My prayer was answered thirteen days later.  I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers.  It was soon after.  God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage.  Praise God for his word and his promises!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your word and your promises.  Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are still there.  You never change.  You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the time is right.

In your precious name we pray,

Amen

Last episode

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2

emotional health, mental health, psychology, spiritual health, katina horton, podcasting, podcast, blog, author life, scornful, prodigal son, Jonah, bitterness, resentment, cynical, sin, anger

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2
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In case you missed last week’s recording, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”, you can find that here. Today’s recording is Episode 26-The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.

The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Outline

  • Reflection on Part 1
  • Dissection of The Older Brother
  • Jonah’s Rights
  • Our Rights
  • Solution
  • Closing
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Part 2.  Today’s recording is episode 26:  The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.  Just as a quick recap from Part 1, we discussed the fact that Cynicism has several factors that lead up to its brokenness as a state of mind:

Reflection on Part 1

Those factors are:

  • You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
  • There are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
  • You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things will be different.
  • Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
  • The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.

In the case of the two stories that we are going to look at today, the two biblical characters carried out the sin of cynicism because of two main reasons:

  • The historical pattern of character of the authority figures.
  • The lack of legalism that existed for these authority figures.

The two men that we are going to dissect is Jonah and the older brother of the prodigal son. 

Their reasons for cynicism contradict the normal factors.  Cynicism set in with both of these men because of the recognition of the good qualities of the father and God.

Dissection of The Older Brother

  • Let’s explore the story of the prodigal son first.
  • The dad was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

After the prodigal son returned home penniless, hungry, and exhausted from wild living, the father could have greeted him with judgment, coldness, and distance.  Instead he accepted his son, welcomed him with a grateful heart that he was safe and sound, and embraced him for who he was. 

The fact that he ran to meet him to diffuse being shamed by the community was a bonus.  It showed the son that he was going to be welcomed.  There is nothing worse than messing up big time, and not knowing what other Christians are going to say as you reenter the house of God or run into them while you are in public.

Luke 15 tells us:  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The father knew that hitting rock bottom was enough of a consequence for the younger son.  He didn’t need to enforce further punishment.  He also possessed enough self-acceptance that he didn’t worry about being embarrassed in regard to the reaction of the community.

Oh Self-Pity

The older son dwelled on his sin of cynicism that is evidenced through dialog that is filled with scornfulness, bitterness, and resentment.  He felt that he had been failed.  He didn’t focus on his younger brother’s condition of going from “lost to found”.  Along with his cynicism, he was filled with self-pity and envy: Luke 15: 28-31 reads:  “28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The father tried to get the older son to go in twice.  We are left wondering what eventually happened.  Did he stay outside and continue to sulk?  One thing this clear about the brother’s dialog is that not only is he resentful, but he is filled with broken thinking.  Two words suggest broken thinking when resentment is present: “always and never”.

Our dialog goes something like this: 

“I always have to clean the house.”

“She always gets to do something special.”

“I never have the opportunity to do anything.”

Nine times out of ten, these statements aren’t true.  If they are true, there is some type of dynamic that has been setup that needs to change.  Or, perhaps, the financial situation has changed that allows you to do more for the younger child than you were able to do for the older child.  Whatever the case may be, broken thinking is present.

First-born children tend to be rule-followers.  With that thought in mind, the older son definitely felt that he was cheated since he was the “rule-follower”.  However, one thing about rule followers is that they can get caught up in being legalistic because they follow the rules.  God is more concerned about our hearts than checking off boxes to say that we did something.

Let’s explore the story of Jonah.

Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to warn them about their sin and God’s judgment for their sin if they continued going in the direction that they were going.

Jonah decided that he knew best, and so, he skipped out on the trip altogether, and took a boat ride to a different part of town.  God had a fish to swallow Jonah.  And Jonah prayed inside of the fish for God’s mercy and grace, and the fish released Jonah. 

Let’s discuss the character of the authority figure in Jonah’s story.

In Jonah’s story, this figure is God.  Not surprisingly, the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.

What are the characteristics of God that Jonah was familiar with?

  • God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

In Jonah’s story, Jonah was bitter, resentful, and cynical because God proved that his heart was all of those characteristics that were just mentioned.  It was okay for God to have all these attributes when it came to saving him.  However, it wasn’t okay for him to possess them when it came to saving the Ninevites.

 

God gave Jonah a chance to get it right.  He sent him to Nineveh a second time:

 

Jonah 3 King James Version (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of theLord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Part 2

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

The Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right away: 

Jonah 4: 10 says:

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Like the older brother in the prodigal son story, Jonah was so angry that he didn’t know what to do with himself.  God tried reasoning with him.  Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t haven’t it.

His cynicism showed up in verses 1-2, when he basically said, “See, this is why I didn’t do what you told me.  I know this is how you would respond.”

Here are his exact words: “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

God told Jonah that the people were lost, just as the father tried to help his older son to understand about the prodigal: 

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Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Jonah and His Rights

Jonah pouted outside of the city underneath the tree just as the older brother pouted outside of the party celebration that was going on inside for the prodigal son.  Both men felt that they were right.  Both authority figures tried reasoning with them twice.  Both were caught up in anger, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism.  And both missed out on blessings because of it.  But why?  They ignored the sovereignty of God.  We have all been in both of their shoes.  WE know best.  WE know what justice should look like.  WE can play God and have mercy and grace poured out on us, and others should not.  When we don’t adhere to God’s plans, his timing, and his will, we trade whole faith for broken pieces of bitterness, resentment, and cynicism every time.

When cynicism becomes our brokenness, it becomes our idol, and we began to scorn God directly and indirectly because of our trials and other peoples’ success.  This is how Satan works.  If he can get us to lose trust in our faith due to our trials, others’ brokenness, and the hurt and pain of “church hurt”.  Then, he has got us.

Solutions

So, the question is, how do we get out of this sin.  Prayer.  Lots of it.  Cynicism is spiritual like all other sin.  Getting grounded in our identity.  Getting rid of our broken thinking.  Changed thinking equals changed talking and changed talking equals changed behavior.  Accept that God is sovereign.  Pray and ask God to help you to be able to trust again, knowing that we can’t live in this world without it.  It takes time to heal, but it is possible.  Trust God’s sovereignty and plans for our lives.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s episode.  Thank you for listening, and if today’s episode has impressed upon your heart, share it with a friend or coworker.

God bless!