Condemnation, Judgement, and...Discipline

Condemnation, Judgment, and…Discipline: What are they and are they still around?

Most confuse the first two and hardly talk about the last one. Lets explore their real meaning and possible applications in New Testament thinking. Lets dive in and see how many don’t like what I have to say. If you don’t please comment and explain your take on the different sides, definitions, and applications.

First three(ish) Greek definitions

  • Condemnation – katakrima in Greek – an adverse sentence (the verdict):—condemnation
  • Judgment – krisis in Greek – decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially, divine law):—accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment
  • Judge – krinō in Greek – properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:—avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think
  • Discipline – paideuō in Greek – to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment):—chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach

Now our English definitions according to Oxford Dictionary

  • Condemnation – The expression of very strong disapproval; censure
  • Judgment – The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions
  • Judge – Form an opinion or conclusion about
  • Discipline – Train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

Does God still condemn? Does God still judge or give judgment? Does God still discipline?

Many “Grace Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God in no way condemns nor judges or gives judgments. I haven’t heard much if they believe God still corrects or disciplines (could be due to so much emphasis on God not judging). Many “Judgment Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God is still in the judging/judgment business and He does it often and without restraint. This view is usually about how God is angry at sin and sinners and is punishing them for it yet you don’t hear much about restoration or redemption in it. “Death to California and NYC” tends to be their mantra.

Funny thing is the hyper-grace people tend not to offer the same grace to those who don’t align with their thinking. And the judgment people don’t offer grace to much of anything. I think the “Judgment Preachers” need a lot more grace and the “Grace Preachers” need a lot more discernment, which true judgment is. All the while neither side knows there is a balance between the two. Look at the Apostle John. Only the Apostle of Love could receive Revelation and all it’s hard sayings.

Both sides hold very strong beliefs regarding their viewpoints. Both usually tell the other side to question what they’ve been taught. Both are tend to be hardliners. Both, in my opinion, burn bridges and castigate each other. Do they not realize they’ll be spending eternity together? God will one day set us all straight in our beliefs…but until then the schism remains and the devouring lingers. For what it’s worth, which may not be much, here is my belief, not to tear one down nor build another up. I will digress from my ratiocination above and move along.

Do I think God condemns people? In a word no. People think God does but He really doesn’t. People are not meant to condemn other people either. It’s interesting to note that Hell was never intended nor created for human beings but the devil and his angels. But Hell does exist and some invariably will choose to reject Christ and His offer and end up there, despite some Christian Universalist’s claims. It is interesting to note that in Matthew 12:41 that the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it along with the Queen of the south. However there is another Scripture in Luke 6:37 that says not to condemn or you will be condemned. Clearly in John 3:17 it says God did not send Jesus to condemn us. Our hearts can condemn us according to 1 John 3:20. But God is greater than our hearts and supersedes it.

Now what about judgment or judging? The most common Scripture used to say we are not to judge is Matthew 7:1 which says judge not lest you me judged. Like I said most common used Scripture. However many miss another Scripture in John 7:24 which says,

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

There is a righteous judgment that is necessary and allowed, you may even take it as a command but that’s on you. Lets be honest with ourselves for a moment… We all judge. Everyday. Mostly based upon outside appearances. Sometimes internal. As the saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover”, so goes in life. 1 Samuel 16:7 says,

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I ran across another blog written by an outright pagan. Now I wasn’t there and I don’t know either of the parties involved so I can’t judge their hearts but their actions may point to something here. I am not condemning them at all but pointing out something that is sorely needed, especially in Charismatic circles where some strange people seem to surface (I say in jest). She and another visited a Healing Rooms in a very prominent Charismatic church in Cali. There aim was simple and quite neutral and genuine. They wanted whatever this particular Healing Rooms had to offer.  So they went and encountered absolutely loving, gentle, and encouraging people. They received very encouraging words a

Another passage about judging is 1 Corinthians 6:1-11. To keep the word count down I won’t supply the whole passage but the gist of it is this: we are called to judge with righteous truth and discernment. We will judge angels and the world yet it is not politically correct to judge people’s actions according to some. You can see this in the current events. For fear of profiling and judging a terrorist attack in San Bernardino could have very well been prevented. The situation in question was purely an outside appearance issue. But because of the sensitive nature of people these days a person did not come forward with a concern. Spiritually speaking, discernment should one or the only criteria for judging. There is right and wrong plainly explained in Scripture and should be taught, preached, and learned. There is also much gray areas as well. There are also some areas that aren’t touched at all. Some other Scriptures that point to fact that we need to point out issues in our lives and other people’s live, if they have given us authority to do so, I repeat, if they have given us authority to do so are: 2 Tim. 4:2, Eph 4:15Eph 4:25-262 Cor 7:81 Cor. 2:10-16, and 1 Cor. 14:24-25. Many people judge others and have no clue who the person is or where they came from or their story. In these cases judgment should only be used via discernment and not outright rebuke. Discernment is but judgment devoid of outward appearances. Rashness, bigoted, hateful speech is never, ever a legitimate expression of righteous judgment or discernment. Ever. Because of the “Judgment Preachers” people are hating Christians even more these days. And this may very well be the reason for the appearance of “Grace Preachers.” However both have been around since the start of Christianity. The biggest problems with the “Judgment Preachers” are the sub group I call, “Date Setters”. Whether it’s Jonathan Cahn, John Hagee, or the eBible Fellowship people, they have an issue with sin…and obviously don’t know how to handle it. Truth with love, speech seasoned with salt to give grace, grace that empowers change and not that destroys countries. On the discipline…

I’ll start with Heb. 12:5-17

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

And Revelation 3:19 which says,

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Discipline, correction, and rebuke. All three are come from judgment/discernment and are labeled as condemnation by those who don’t fully understand the terms. Hopefully the I answered that and if not then I would encourage you to study it more than I have. This blog is already getting too long…lol

God does indeed discipline and correct us and if Hebrews is right then that proves we are legitimate. And if He doesn’t there is illegitimacy. “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it,” says Prov. 9:8. “Rebuke a fool and he will hate you,” goes the rest of it. Look I don’t like people telling me I’m wrong. Usually people don’t. But to remove that from our lives is to remove growth in areas we don’t think we need growth. Have you ever sought the Lord for a Word concerning something but He gave you a Word about something totally different? It goes the same way. We need to have people in our lives who can challenge, correct, exhort, and come alongside us.

One scripture that is oft quoted is 2 Tim. 1:7 which says,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We love not being given a spirit of fear. He crave love. We yearn for His power. But a sound mind? What does that even mean? Glad I asked! Sound mind in Greek is sōphronismos which means discipline. Ever since I looked up the meaning I’ve wondered why the translators chose such a different phrase that discipline. How many crave discipline? I do as an adult. But hated it as a child. Maybe that’s the difference? Maturity versus childhood.

Redemptive shame, just like redemptive pain, is a gift from God. However, destructive shame and destructive pain from the enemy is a curse and not a blessing. Knowing the difference is key. Yes there is redemptive shame and sorrow (see Acts 5:41, 1 Cor. 1:27, 1 Cor. 6:5, 2 Thes. 3:14) Redemptive shame and destructive shame are only confused by the voice of the enemy. God brings hope. Enemy despair.

James 2:13 says,

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Judgment and mercy. Mercy and judgment. A paradox.

In my experience, mercy, not getting what I do deserve, has often been, getting a little bit of what I do deserve. Shame, fear, hell, judgment, pain is what drove me to Jesus. I felt like a horrible human being who didn’t deserve to live. And God used that feeling to get me to dive to His feet. I was stumbling on a path the led to nowhere but hell and destruction and was enjoying it…until He put His hand on my life and said, “You’re wrong and you and I both know it.” He disciplined and corrected me in the midst of it all and 12 years later I’ve changed and I’m changing…and it wasn’t a pretty process. It was a redemptive process but not a pretty one. Sometimes God gives you what you want to show you what you need as someone has said.

For me I must be open to His many ways of dealings with me. I cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear if He wants to show me how I’m wrong. I should crave it! King David said his judgments (which He uses to correct and discipline) are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired than fine gold or a winning Powerball ticket. Sweeter than honey or stevia, whichever you prefer. For by them your servant and son are warned. In keeping them is great reward.

Condemnation is a no-no for humans. Judgments are a yes-no but only when love, mercy, and true righteousness is established in their heart. Discipline is a yes-yes for without it we are illegitimate. And fear not because God doesn’t correct but for our own benefit and not destruction.

So I did my best, which is far from perfect, but I thought I’d open a dialogue that many have shut down. I aim to regain bridges that have been burned. A good scribe brings from his storeroom treasure both old and new.

There are two sides to every coin and only when a coin has two different sides is it ever of any worth.

 

 

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

If interested click above. To all that have read, commented, likes, shared, re-blogged, I thank from the bottom of my heart. May 2016 continue forward with revelation, insight, inner healing, deliverance, repentance, maturity, and sonship all by God’s grace, mercy, power, and discipline.

Things have been a little foggy...I could use a little help

Things have been a tad foggy…I could use a little help

I’m not one to ask for help. Could be my maleness or my Polishness; unsure at this point. It could very well be my soul vying for dominion because God knows the soul has had the throne uncontested for some time. I feel in my spirit a satisfaction that comes from knowing the affection of my Heavenly Father regardless of activity. My soul has the need for affirmation and perfection, both of which will never come outside of Him. Right now the soul is pinning down the spirit and the count is two with one second left to spare. It may be a last-ditch effort to show the spirit who is boss…at that is where you may come in.

I have 9 blogs in draft, one being a short story, and a two books held in my spirit: a novel and non-fiction. At the moment time is the commodity in need, even though Ravel and Rachmaninoff stole some of it when it was available. So far 100% of my blogs have been written in the midst of turmoil; the turmoil of my job. I work an IT help desk job so I am on and off the phone all day and attempt to write in the between. When I go home I tend to thwart all needs for a computer. All writers know “writer’s block” and loathe it at times. I struggle with that as well.

I am not a popular blogger and don’t have hundreds of likes, shares, or views but that doesn’t matter. This blog is more for me than you but I do it for you more than me (if that makes any sense at all). I am asking for prayer. That I would access the time I have and that it would be redeemed. Also that this last-ditch effort of the soul would be thwarted by an even stronger reversal from my spirit (after all the spirit loves the soul much than the soul loves the spirit (at least according the soul’s current view-point)). That any all fog would lift.

I’m also “planning” on moving to another state and city both of which are Teacher redemptive gift which I also am a Teacher redemptive gift (see http://www.sandylandry.com/) There is an immense blessing that would come with this and an immense ability to respond and redeem the negatives that can also creep in. I could use prayer for a job for my wife and I that could make for a much smoother transition being as I am not moving for work but for God’s leading. He’s provided before and I know He will provide again.

I’m learning and filling myself up with much teaching and tools that I need and that I can minister to others with. As a Teacher I am prone to want to get every teaching, listen to every sermon, or read every book I can on a subject. This can be good but at the same time could take up that commodity called time. I had some responses from my blog: I’d Love To Help In Any Way I Can and so far fruit has come out of it. Prayer points for that would be increased wisdom, discernment, and insight.

In the midst of great things happening things can still get foggy. Please pray that either the fog will lift our for my spirit to focus on the Light in the midst of it. I also am Asthmatic, which sucks, and dealing with panic/stress related feelings in my body both of which I’m looking for insight into healing and deliverance from. I’m also overweight so I need some healthy discipline and self-control in that area. Both Asthma and panic/stress issue hold me back from exercise. The other day I was listening to two individuals who love Jesus but are riddled with health issues and it breaks my heart that surviving is so hard using artificial and fabricated medicines. “White knuckling” life in the midst of a promised abundant life. I wanted to weep and I’m welling up slightly recalling the conversation.

Above all I want a more intimate walk with my Daddy, Dad, Father, and King. To walk in full Sonship. To hear, feel, see, and experience Him more fully. That my spirit would rise to dominion and my soul would finally rest in submission to my spirit and that the full transfiguration process would continue to progress as I look with an unveiled face.

Thank you and God bless!

PS: thank you to those who have sown into my blog with finances, prayer, likes, comments, encouragement, and admonishment. I know change is happening in you and I and I’m blessed to be a part of it. It is this that spurs me onward.

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When Your Feelings Aren't Your Feeling

When Your Feelings Aren’t Your Feelings

Two stories.

First one happened around 7 or so years ago. I was in Church. Then suddenly depressed. Out of nowhere. Sudden.

Second one happened this month. I was at work battling a sinus infection. But something else crept up on me. I’m Asthmatic so it’s not at all uncommon to wheeze from time to time but this was simple lack of breath. No wheeze. No cough. Inhaler didn’t work.

Both happenings were sudden. After the second happening died down to a close I learned that my wife, on the way to work, experienced a very stressful and frightening experience with an undercover police officer. She heard reports that the town North of us had a man impersonating a cop pulling people over. She thought this could be this person due to the circumstances so she called 911 to verify and while on the line she did pull over and the man, dressed in baggy pants and black jacket was yelling at her to slow down through her closed car window. 911 eventually did confirm he was a legit deputy. Needless to say it was very stressful for my wife and she cried because of it…all the while I had this shortness of breath episode out of nowhere.

During the first happening I told someone about it in the middle of experiencing it. Neither did I know anyone experiencing depression or feeling of hopelessness nor did I find out if anyone was. However the person who I told had a response that helped immensely and brought perspective:

Maybe those feelings or emotions aren’t yours…

Not mine! But I’m “feeling” them. Physically and soulishly and probably spiritually as well. It wasn’t just thoughts that I was having but a much deeper feeling. How could I be feeling something that isn’t mine or reacting emotionally by an outside influence not attached to me? Then this Scripture jumped out at me. Hebrews 5:14 says,

 But the solid food is for the mature— the ones because of habit having their faculties trained for discernment of both good and evil.

  • Food is Greek is trophē which means nourishment.
  • Mature in Greek is teleios which means wanting nothing necessary to completeness, that which is perfect.
  • Habit in Greek is a power acquired by custom, practice, use.
  • Faculties trained in Greek is aisthētērion and gymnazō which together mean an organ of perception exercised naked (in a palaestra or school of athletics) (Yes naked) (Humility I believe).
  • Discern in Greek is diakrisis which means a distinguishing, discerning, judging or judicial estimation or disputation.
  • Good in Greek is kalos which means beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable.
  • Bad in Greek is kakos which means of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be or troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful.

Whew… That has partially satisfied by Teacher Redemptive Gift lol. (see http://www.sandylandry.com/ for more on Redemptive Gifts)

Faculties trained to discern. Other translations say “senses trained” or “exercised.” I have a “sense” and it can be “trained.”

Have you ever felt something out of nowhere? A feeling foreign to your current mode of being? A sudden and possibly overwhelming shift in thinking or emotional state? Maybe a house produces it? Maybe a particular piece of land? Maybe a person?

Most emotions and feelings we experience, fight against, and/or fight for come from a build up. We are either building ourselves up on or experiencing joy, love, and peace etc or fighting against depression, fear, anger, etc. Usually our feelings or emotions are responses to external or internal stimuli. These feelings have been stockpiled so to speak over the days, months, years, and decades. Our usual responses. But what I’m talking about is the outside the norm type experiences.

Now there are several other factors that can elicit abnormal feelings and emotions. Sudden loss of a family member or friend, loss of job, divorce, side effects from new medication or nutritional supplements, even certain foods. Never shrug off feelings or emotions. They almost always point to something or someone. Cause and effect if you will. The key is finding out why. Why am I suddenly feeling differently? Was I feeling this before? What is gradual? Did it come headlong? What is the Spirit of God saying? What is your spirit saying (see 1 Cor. 2:11 and Prov. 20:27)?

So how do our senses discern the difference? And why?

First, the “Why” can be answered this way. Simply because. We are called to be sons of God and the Bride of Christ. Now we are first and foremost spirit and spiritual people. There is much, much more going on around us then we can see in the natural. It helps to know what is happening around us with our senses. One of the Gifts of the Spirit is discerning of spirits (plural).

“How” is another interesting notion. We have 5 main physical senses that our body uses: sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste. All of these are used in Scripture to describe our relationship to the Lord and His relationship to us (see Psa. 85:8, Psa. 34:8, Gen. 32:22-32, and 2 Cor. 2:15). We also use these senses to relate to the world.

Our soul has mind, will, and emotions in which we relate to God, He relates to us, and we relate to the world(see 1 Cor. 2:16, Jer 29:11, Jer. 31:3). Our soul is the life of God.

And our spirit has creativity, intuition, conscience, fellowship, light bearing, and more in  which we relate to God, He relates to us…and we relate to the spiritual world (see Mark 2:8, 1 Cor. 2:11, John 4:24, Eph. 6:18, Rom. 8:16, Rom. 9:1).

We can utilize every aspect of who we are spirit, soul, and body to discern good and evil. We discern good all the time. There might be that someone who is just infectious with Joy. People can’t help but be filled with Joy when around them. Others might feel dirty, creeped out, and scared around another person or place…even when a person hasn’t opened their mouth, looked in their direction or the place has no affiliation with a person. Cemeteries tend to be a creepy place for some. Seminaries likewise.

Cold tends to be a feeling many feel from demonic or Alien Human Spirit presence in a house or person. Their hair stands on end (which can also happens with their jam comes on the radio so it can be good or bad). The feeling itself can be pretty neutral oftentimes. Discernment is key. I think the feelings are easy to come by but it’s the discernment that is attained via training our senses or the organ of perception as stated in the Greek. And how do we attain better discernment? Training and being led by the Spirit and our spirit. Our spirits know a whole lot more than our souls and bodies do. Our spirit is the light of God. It can illuminate what the soul and body cannot comprehend. 1 Cor. 2:14 says,

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised

When we remain in the soul/body context of the natural world the feelings of good and evil can be very vague and we can attach these feelings to ourselves unless we are able to spiritually appraise them and come to the conclusion that maybe theses feelings aren’t feelings or if they are then maybe they aren’t mine.

But why discern things that aren’t yours? God is pretty big on community and co-laboring. Togetherness. So when one person can’t do something then we can pick up the slack. Are you feeling a sudden feeling of suicide? Pray against it towards you and ask God, “Who is this for?” and if He gives a name then pray, rebuke, and release His perfect love.

Situational awareness as well. Now I am not a person who looks for every demon under every rock…however maybe under every other rock there may be some critters. We are not to be ignorant of who we are in Christ and who the enemy is around us. By situational awareness we can know the atmosphere we are in and what to look out for. You feel creeped out in that person’s house? Release and bless the house with God’s presence.

Discernment in inner healing and deliverance is a HUGE key to can unlock many doors which can prevent running around and trying to figure things out on our own.

For the sake of not belaboring this blog post, which I can tend to do, I will leave you with this. God is a feeler and we are feelers. Maybe you don’t feel as much and that’s is 100% OK. I’m sure there are some who would love to switch places with you many times lol. But for those who do feel and have been confused I hope this has helped. If you have more question please ask. For those who don’t feel but want to then ask God for His Bread and His Presence. First and foremost we want to discern Him and His Presence and His good above all.

Here is a new teaching by Arthur Burk about Developing Discernment, which I intend to consume soon. http://www.theslg.com/downloads/490-developing-discernment-download.html

Thanks for reading and please like and leave a comment on when you have discerned something good or evil. How did you know it was good or evil? What was the feeling you had?

 

 

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Need Help_

I’d Love To Help In Any Way I Can

I feel my calling, design, and purpose is to help people. I am Elijah House certified and Sozo trained. I would love to be able to help in any way I can. Do you have questions? Concerns? Issues you can’t seem to overcome? Health issues where medicine doesn’t work or barely works? Maybe you are unsure what is fueling the anger you feel or the lostness you experience.

I am willing to listen first and offer help second. If I don’t know the answer I’ll look for the answer. If I can’t find an answer I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction. So please contact me at onejohn417@yahoo.com for any type of question, concern, or insight you may be seeking regarding any issue you may be facing.

I’m not easily shocked and everything shared with me is 100% confidential. If I may say with all humility I’m known by my friends and family as a person who always has a listening ear and where secrets are safe. There are many people hurting and don’t know who or where to go for help so I want to be a place/person where someone can go to. This is a 100% free service. So please contact me at onejohn417@yahoo.com.

Happy a Blessed day and Happy Thanksgiving

 

 

 

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Learned Helplessness: Signs and Freedom

Disclaimer: I’m neither a psychologist nor trained in mental health whatsoever. However, I do read a lot of books, articles, studies, teachings, ideas, etc about mental health and the people who suffer from mental health issues. My heart goes out to them. If it were one people group who I would love to see most set free, healed, and delivered it would be those who suffer with mental illness. History has shown that patients with mental illness have had atrocious things done to them and I am horrified about it. Thankfully science, psychologists, and revelation has increased and brought much growth, understanding, and tools to bring freedom, healing, and deliverance to those precious people suffering under the weight mental illness.

 

This blog is a continuation of sorts from my last blog, Learned Helplessness. I was spurred on to creating a continuation with more examples, causes, and tools for healing. I hope this helps bring comfort, healing, deliverance, and ultimately a fuller experience of our Heavenly Father and your worth to him and others. God wants us whole spirit, soul, and body.

Watch this:

Potential Causes of Learned Helplessness

  • SRA/RA (Satanic Ritual Abuse/Ritual Abuse-Christian or non-Christian) – This usually occurs as a child and consists of persistent religious, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse
  • PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Futility – doing things over and over and never resulting in anything and things designed to keep someone busy yet stuck in one place
  • Extreme Stress – Death of love one(s), losing a job and unable to find another, debilitating illness, etc etc
  • Prolonged Stress – Constant abuse, horrible home life, horrible work life, doing something you’re not designed for, etc etc
  • Self-Pity – I am not ____. I will never be able to _____. (fill in the blanks)
  • Rejection – Perceived (speculation) and Actual (opposite sex ended relationship, opposite said “no” to going out with you etc)
  • Lack of Control – always being pushed around, have decisions made for you, and never being able to think or act for yourself either due to oppression or lack of resources
  • Non-Constructive Criticism – Critical words that bring to aspect of building up or encouragement despite areas of weakness
  • Trauma – Physical, Emotional, Sexual, Car Accidents, Loss of loved one(s), etc
  • Failing Marriage – a marriage where no matter what you do to save it, pour life into it, or revitalize it the spouse refuses to change
  • Addiction – addictions either wanted or unwanted, wanting to be free yet never able to
  • Literal Imprisonment – includes those guilty and not guilty yet imprisoned and also those released from extended incarceration
  • Government Assistance – this one is controversial however please hear me out. This is not a political or economic issue but a mindset issue. When an able-bodied person is dependent upon government assistance like food stamps, Section 8, Welfare, and the like it binds people. Some are helpless now that they are in the system and are unable to succeed even slightly because then their benefits will go away. In some areas government assistance is a generational thing where Grandparents, parents, children, and children’s children are all in the same place. To offer the other side there are many who are on government assistance who absolutely need it, and are due it. The issue is a poverty mindset and not just impoverished circumstances
  • Serving Two Masters – this is shown oftentimes in unions. A worker will have a union boss and the job boss and they have to please both at the same time and it become a helpless situation when one boss gives you contradictory orders compared to the other boss. It can come to a point where you could be out of a job regardless what you do. Also unions can force you not to work and if you choose to work anyway they will force you out and cause you to not be able to find work in the field again
  • Patriarchy – where women are held to a lower class, unable to excel in anything substantial, have no say in anything, demoralized, and a less-than citizen
  • Matriarchy – where men are held to a lower class, unable to excel in anything substantial, have no say in anything, demoralized, and a less-than citizen
  • No Parental Structure – This is a very complex issue with many variables. However, studies show that without a strong Father and Mother (and marriage) in the home, children succumb to what is modeled to them. Fatherless homes and Motherless homes each have unique issues that can carry on to the children.
  • Losing Your Voice – never being asked for your opinion, advice, and not acknowledging what you say
  • (place your own situation where you have learned helplessness and are unable to break free)

Potential Results of Learned Helplessness

  • PTSD
  • DID aka Multiple Personality Disorder
  • Clinical Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts/Intentions
  • Degenerative Diseases
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity
  • Heart Attack
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Chronic Failure
  • Fear of Success
  • Feelings of Lack of Control
  • Sadness
  • Premature Aging
  • Poverty
  • Domestic Violence
  • Addictions
  • Poor Parenting
  • Marriage Issues
  • Academic Achievement
  • Self-Pity
  • Generational Fatherless (and sometimes Motherless) Homes
  • Panic Attacks
  • Mental Disorders
  • General Anxiety Disorders
  • Feelings of Being Out of Control
  • Never Able to Offer Your Opinion
  • Loss of Voice

Both lists could go on and on. You may have noticed that certain Causes and Results are interchangeable. I suppose it would all depend on the logistics of your life. Notice I used the word “potential.” I think that could be a crucial mindset to have in the midst of Learned Helplessness. Oftentimes, with the proper perspective, the things we go through can cause us to grow, seek God’s face more intentionally, and leave us less scathed. Not unscathed but less scathed.

If you have experienced these causes and results know that you are not alone. Millions if not Billions experience the same things. I personally have had about 20 or so of the above happen and let happen to me. It is not a fun road to travel on or be dragged on. You may have had many instances, whether outside of your control or self-induced, where you’ve experienced and learned helplessness…but there is hope. There is freedom. There is healing, There is deliverance. Not many quick fixes or physical deliverance but paradigm shifting and mindset renewing that can utterly revolutionize the pain you’re going through. Now that we’ve talked about and listed the junk let us gaze upon the beauty that Jesus paid for. As the Scripture says in Galatians 5:1,

In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].

Healing and Wholeness

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. – Romans 8:2-25 (MSG)

Such an apt description isn’t it? We know we are not what we should be yet in the midst we can press forward, unhindered with a mind fixed on Him.

Healing provides wholeness. Wholeness provides healing. God wants more than our healing. He wants wholeness and He will get what He wants! There is a slight paradox in the Scripture when we speak of healing, wholeness, difficulties, trials, fire, issues, redemption, salvation, adoption, grace, truth, correction, and love. There are two main types of pain in the world. Redemptive pain and destructive pain.

  • Redemptive Pain – is fueled by God and the mindset that He corrects whom He loves and He trains whom He trusts–which is you! Healing and wholeness for the whole person spirit, soul, and body
  • Destructive Pain – is fueled by satan to defeat, destroy, kill, maim, and obliterate God’s image on earth with the mindset designed to destroy a human’s spirit, soul, and body

I would highly suggest seeking the Lord either by yourself or preferably with another trusted believer to find out, based on the specifics of what you are dealing with, to see if the pain involved in redemptive or destructive. Destructive pain is much easier to figure out. Is what is happening producing the fruit of the Spirit and God’s glory or is it destructive in nature and diminishing God’s glory? Is there a redemptive quality where you would become a more whole person because of it. Redemptive pain is a little more tricky to ascertain.

In my previous post, Learned Helplessness, which you should really read because it gives much more explanation on the subject, I highlighted only one key aspect of healing and that was willingness. God’s willingness to heal which can break through learned Helplessness and for a person being willing to step into a person’s life to help bring healing and wholeness.

Potential Tools for Healing

  • Willingness – know that God is and will always be willing to heal, and to pray for a person to be willing to walk with you in the midst of Causes and Results. Also if you are a person who knows someone else with Learned Helplessness being willing to step into their pain and walk with them gingerly and Holy Spirit and human spirit led
  • Breaking Generational Sin/Curses/Covenants/Agreements – learned helplessness could very well be generational junk passed down and attached to you giving you a predisposition to walk in it. see Generational Deliverance
  • Releasing and Walking Through Generational Grief – also a passed down issue that, with the Lord, you can walk out of grief healthily
  • Releasing and Walking Through Unresolved Grief – grief that has been pushed aside, stuffed, denied, or buried
  • Breaking Word Curses – “You’ll never amount to anything”, “You’re just like your father”, “You’re just like your mother”, “Why do you even try anymore” are all word curses spoken over us and we speak them over us ourselves
  • Renouncing Inner Vows – see I’ll Never Do That Again
  • Breaking Soul/Spirit Ties – see Soul Ties – Legitimate or Illegitimate
  • Renewing the Mind – see Paradigm Shift
  • Worship – this opens up our spirit and soul to receive from the Lord in intimate ways
  • Choose Something to Do That You Have Control Over – whatever that looks like to you. “No” can be a very anointed word. I used to always say “Yes” and resented it. I started saying “No” and felt much more in control and my own person because of it
  • Live to God and For God –  see An Audience of One
  • Pick Up a Hobby – I love reading and writing. You may love the same or collecting things. Maybe knitting, Legos, building model planes, word puzzles, or jigsaw puzzles are more suitable to you. What would make you feel alive? Do that! Part of the 2nd commandment Jesus gave was to love our neighbor as ourselves. We need to love ourselves
  • Individuate – meaning to form into a distinct entity or become your own person. Individuation is a key childhood function and provides the backdrop of adulthood. Those who are unable to individuate as children still need to as adults. This usually occurs via “mid-life crisis.” If you’re married have time with your friends (guys night or ladies night). Do something apart from your spouse, siblings, or parents.
  • Nurture and Develop Your Spirit – this one is key. Blessing Your Spirit, Blessing Your Spirit Part 2, and Blessing Your Spirit Part 3 are great prayers to pray and have prayed towards you. My resources for this is Nurturing Your Spirit, Developing Your Spirit, and Blessing Your Spirit: Beloved Son (free) or Blessing Your Spirit: Precious Daughter (free)
  • For Those With PTSD and other Trauma Issues – see PTSD Healing
  • For Those with DID – see the above Nurture and Develop Your Spirit and also Tools for Freedom Parts I, II, III
  • Fight Futility – see Fighting Futility by Arthur Burk
  • Begin Building an Altar of His Goodness – what this means is replaying His goodness in your soul and spirit. What has He done for you in the past. Visit that and revisit that. Build a mindset of His goodness, faithfulness, and love. Neurological Scientist have found that the more times you recall a memory the more ingrained it become in your mind and the stronger the path to that memory. Philippians 4:8 is a great Scripture on what to think about
  • Submit to God then resist the devil – First submit to God. Confess you are a struggling and need help. His ears are always attentive to His beloved children. Resist the devil. Bind, renounce, rebuke. Spiritual warfare is good but if you can’t do it by yourself get someone else who can do with led by the Spirit
  • Receive – begin receiving from people. Where you have walked out in a little bit of false humility (“I don’t deserve it” “It’s all of Him and none of me” are common replies when someone wants to bless you), instead receive. If someone wants to pay for your meal, pray for you, clean your house, or whatever. I often joke that I am in the ministry of receiving because how can someone be blessed to give unless there is a receive  :)
  • Laugh – I mean deep down belly laugh. Laugh with yourself. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with others. Take it easy. Stop being so serious.
  • God is For You – believe God is for you and not against you. see Mephibosheth
  • Simple Prayer – Father, father me. Amen see Why a Father?
  • Get Help – meet with a friend, talk to a trusted prayer minister or counselor. Get those Blessing Your Spirit resources for free
  • Do What Makes Your Spirit Come Alive – some love being around water, some silence, still other loves crowds. Maybe its walking your dog or swinging in the local park. Maybe it’s taking your camera outside and going on a picture-taking walk (my wife and I do this). Where do you feel alive?

A couple of prayers from my previous post:

For your soul:

Father, yes, you are a father despite my experiences that try to tell me otherwise. I have learned helplessness. I’m not speaking death but being real. I’ve been harnessed and electrocuted. I’ve been hurt. The pain is real and I flinch at the smallest things sometimes. I see faith, I see hope, I see joy but they seem so out of reach. But I choose to say, “You are God.” You are a good Father despite it all. Give me willingness. Holy Spirit breath and birth in me willingness. Send me those who are willing who can walk with me, side by side. Father show me your willingness. Jesus reveal Yourself to me. Show me where you have been throughout my life. Show me that you’ve been with me in this box all along. Apply Your salve. Apply your oil. Heal my soul. Heal my body. Give me back a voice. Give me back my ability of choice. Make my will free again. Father, I ask You to lift off all crushing and shame that’s on my spirit. Lift off rejection from my soul. Release all demonically inspires lies and harassment. Remove the talons of the enemy from my mind. Father, give my soul perspective that in the midst of stress I can choose peace. In the midst of heartache and despair I can walk to the other side of the box and have joy. In the midst of this dark night of the soul I want a bright day of the spirit. Thank you Father for being my Father.

For the spirit:

Soul I recognize the frustration, pain, hurt, and trepidation that you have been experiencing. But, if I may, ask you to step aside for a brief moment. This is not rejection. I am just applying something to the spirit that will assist you along the path of healing. Spirit of _____ I call you to attention in the name of Jesus Christ. Spirit, I understand if you may be distant and afraid to come fully forward and I understand that and I acknowledge your right to feelings of safety. Please stay present throughout this blessing. Spirit if you are fully forward than great. Receive the word of God for you today in Philippians 2:13 , “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. Spirit God has and is giving you willingness to jump to the other side of the box. Where the soul has learned helplessness, spirit you have learned willingness. You are designed to lead, guide, and bring into alignment the soul with the Kingdom and to take all of life’s woes with a more than conqueror mindset. You have the ability to help the soul get free. And spirit only you and the Holy Spirit knows the things of man. The soul does not. I bless you spirit with going to mind and setting things right. Where stress has taken over and damaged the brain, you spirit have the ability to repair. You, spirit, are the sustaining force that God created the whole of man to have. You, along with the Holy Spirit sustain man. Spirit go to the face of the Father and receive instruction, insight, revelation, power, and authority to set things right. Joy, Peace, Love, Faith, Hope are all your forte. It’s who you are. You are created and creative light made from the same substance as God. You are created in His image according to His likeness. You have what it takes. I bless you spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.

I hope and pray that this has helped and will help. Please like, comment, share, re-blog if this has helped or you know someone who may need to read this.  Each one of our lives is unique and is never pre-packaged. What works for one person won’t work for the other. Because our Learned Helplessness is unique so will our healing be unique.

 

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Learned Helplessness

Disclaimer: I’m neither a psychologist nor trained in mental health whatsoever. However, I do read a lot of books, articles, studies, teachings, ideas, etc about mental health and the people who suffer from mental health issues. My heart goes out to them. If it were one people group who I would love to see most set free, healed, and delivered it would be those who suffer with mental illness. History has shown that patients with mental illness have had atrocious things done to them and I am horrified about it. Thankfully science, psychologists, and revelation has increased and brought much growth, understanding, and tools to bring freedom, healing, and deliverance to those precious people suffering under the weight mental illness.

The past several weeks I’ve been reading “Brain Rules” by John Medina. Needless to say the book fascinates me. I just finished the chapter on Stress and you can read the overview of the chapter here: http://www.brainrules.net/stress.

In the chapter on Stress, one point in particular jumped out at me and it was talking about Learned Helplessness. If you Google it you’ll come up with several different links that are much more detailed and scientific that anything you’ll read below. But I’ll do my best.

Learned Helplessness is when a human or animal is subjected to aversive stimuli which is inescapable. The result is that a person or animal stops trying fight against it and just takes it basically. Things will never change so why even try anymore type of mindset. Even when opportunities exist to get out of the stimuli their learned helplessness will forestall any movement to get away from it.

This concept is geared more towards animal psychology however, it can apply to many situations regarding human beings. The notion is that the lack of control a person experiences breeds a helpless attitude, which in turn will cause a person to overlook openings for change and/or growth.

Steven F. Maier and Martin Seligman were the two psychologist who stumbled upon this discovery. They detected this via an experiment on dogs. They found helpless behavior in canines who were trained to expect an electric shock after hearing a noise. After this conditioning, they placed the dogs in another box where there is one side that would provide an electric shock and another side which provided no shock and the only separator was a very low wall which the dogs could easily walk over to get to the other side. The dog who was conditioned to feel the shock never even attempted to leave the electrocuted side. In another test one of the dogs was harnessed and shocked so the dog was unable to vacate the electrocutable side. (To read the rest of the explanations and different test that were fun visit: http://psychology.about.com/od/lindex/f/earned-helplessness.htm)

Now regarding people. It happens all the time. A person undergoing stress for a prolonged time that is inescapable can Learn Helplessness. It can be a root issue that can lead to depression. Personally, I’ve experienced Learned Helplessness, but not to extremes as some have I’m sure, but I’ve felt it’s twinge in my life. However, my reactions usually show up in other ways like being angry at bad drivers or people who mess up by food order.

Here’s a quick backstory. Growing up I, for the most part, was raised in the ideology that a kid is meant to be seen and not heard(some of you may have grown up with “It’s better not to be seen or heard”). It was not always the case but most of the time it was true. I was the quiet one, who didn’t excel in sports, so I was pretty much dragged along to my brother’s traveling sports team. I was raised not to ask questions therefore, my opinion didn’t matter. This was and is still an issue in my adulthood. Without a voice as a child, I “knew” my voice didn’t matter as an adult. I learned that it was pointless to speak my mind because it was never heeded nor sought out. Now as an adult my wife almost always wants my opinion, she even loves my opinion. This was new to me. I lived so long on the electrocuted, your voice doesn’t matter so why even say anything, side of the box. Growing up hearing my father reply to me asking a question, “Just say, ‘Yes, dad.'” was my harness holding me back. I just went along with things.

Another slight pang of Learned Helplessness I’ve experienced is lack of control in my life. For the Alphas out there it is probably the exact opposite you’ve experience. In the lion’s share of my adult life I was again dragged along with others. I didn’t go to college and didn’t have a career. My parents divorced and my dad moved out so I was lived in our house with my mom and brother. It was a trying time to say the least. Both of them were party animals drinking and partying very late in the evenings when I liked to sleep. I felt totally disregarded. They didn’t give a lick of what I had to say. Then when I called them out on it, I wasn’t a righteous person either, they called me judgmental. So my uncle in MN had ALS so my mom wanted to move out there…so I followed with no real choice. I lived in MN for three years, my cousin passed away, my mom dispersed all her money from selling the house, then she decided to move back to MD…I followed. I felt helpless to make my life’s choices because I didn’t feel I had a choice. Electrocuted again.

Now back in MD I lived with my dad, because I didn’t have a choice. Then moved back in with my mom and brother and the partying commenced but this time at other houses thankfully but unthankfully. Unthankfully because I received a phone call at 2:00 AM saying there was a car accident and my mother was pinned in the car. Harnessed and electrocution. I told my mother that evening to come home. She didn’t listen. Thankfully she is in Our Father’s arms. It took me years to be able to keep my phone on during the night after that. Being as I lived with her and she was no longer alive…I was forced to move once again.

Lack of control is still a pain I feel from time to time. This isn’t the need to control everything but simply having a choice and making a choice. I’m going on 32 and am almost three years into a career that I thought I’d like but ended up not being exactly what I thought. Now it’s not that I don’t like what I do but it is a very high stressful job. My biggest problem is that I care. I want to help people. Fixing computers isn’t really helping people but it does partially pay the bills. Being married presses me onward though because I need to support my wife and any future children. The job is stressful and that is the crux of Learned Helplessness. I care and want things to work but I am given poor tools. It’s like giving me a screwdriver when I need a screw gun. Five months into the job I started getting panic attacks at very random times. Not to mention leaving a church and having a brother and father who didn’t want me to get married, didn’t hear what I had to say, and even tried to split my wife and I up. Mixed in was lies, gossip, triangulation, and never being able to provide the other side of the story.

Now my story isn’t that bad and nowhere near other people’s stories. We can all find places in our life where we’ve Learned Helplessness. The issue here is the “learned” part. It’s very hard to unlearn sometimes. The number one thing to help Unlearn Helplessness would be an incredible conspiracy of grace to come upon you. A conspiracy so profound that it would totally shift your paradigm. Thankfully some do experience it. I envy them. However others do not. For those who don’t, there is one word that will explain the medium for healing and that is process. I do not like process. It’s messy, it disturbs my current reality, and can be quite painful. It takes trust and when it’s hard to trust it’s hard to submit to process. As Wm. Paul Young says in The Shack,

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.”

You can’t schedule friendship and friendship is where healing comes from the most. Friendship with God and friendship with His children, our brothers and sisters. Even then it’s incredibly difficult to find friends who are willing to be available. That’s why people have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on counseling or therapy when just having real, available, grace empowered friends would provide the soil for healing. So where do we go from here? Great question!

Pray for willingness. It’s the obstacle that births Learned Helplessness to begin with. We don’t posses the ability to be willing to walk over that small wall to that other side of the box where there are no pangs, twinges, or electrodes. We can’t be willing because we are hurt. Is it no wonder that in Matthew 8:2 the leper asked Jesus,

“Are you willing to make me clean?”

Sometimes we need someone else’s willingness to breath upon the ember of our fading willingness. And what did Jesus do in response? He said,

“I Am willing. Be cleansed!”

Then He reached out and touched him. He reached out. He touched.

Maybe you don’t have any Learned Helplessness…but you know someone who does. Maybe, based upon the Spirit’s movement, it’s time for you to reach out and bring a whole bunch of willingnessness with you. Sometime all someone needs is a touch. A gesture. Intentionality is key. Generally speaking, people know when someone does something intentional. There is usually a cost or sacrifice entailed with it.

Now for those in my boat and so many others what do we do? Is there hope? Are we harnessed somehow? Have we lost the willingness we so desperately need? Like I said above we need to pray. Pray for willingness. God has promised to give us willingness. Philippians 2:13 declares,

For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.

Dearly Beloved God is willing! God is able! Grace is within you whether you know or have experience it or not. Grace and Joy are your inheritance.

Our hurts don’t come prepackaged, so neither will our healing. Our wounds are specific so our healing should be just as specific.

Lets pray.

For your soul:

Father, yes, you are a father despite my experiences that try to tell me otherwise. I have learned helplessness. I’m not speaking death but being real. I’ve been harnessed and electrocuted. I’ve been hurt. The pain is real and I flinch at the smallest things sometimes. I see faith, I see hope, I see joy but they seem so out of reach. But I choose to say, “You are Good.” You are a good Father despite it all. Give me willingness. Holy Spirit breath and birth in me willingness. Send me those who are willing who can walk with me, side by side. Father show me your willingness. Jesus reveal Yourself to me. Show me where you have been throughout my life. Show me that you’ve been with me in this box all along. Apply Your salve. Apply your oil. Heal my soul. Heal my body. Give me back a voice. Give me back my ability of choice. Make my will free again. Father, I ask You to lift off all crushing and shame that’s on my spirit. Lift off rejection from my soul. Release all demonically inspires lies and harassment. Remove the talons of the enemy from my mind. Father, give my soul perspective that in the midst of stress I can choose peace. In the midst of heartache and despair I can walk to the other side of the box and have joy. In the midst of this dark night of the soul I want a bright day of the spirit. Thank you Father for being my Father.

For the spirit:

Soul I recognize the frustration, pain, hurt, and trepidation that you have been experiencing. But, if I may, ask you to step aside for a brief moment. This is not rejection. I am just applying something to the spirit that will assist you along the path of healing. Spirit of _____ I call you to attention in the name of Jesus Christ. Spirit, I understand if you may be distant and afraid to come fully forward and I understand that and I acknowledge your right to feelings of safety. Please stay present throughout this blessing. Spirit if you are fully forward than great. Receive the word of God for you today in Philippians 2:13 , “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. Spirit God has and is giving you willingness to jump to the other side of the box. Where the soul has learned helplessness, spirit you have learned willingness. You are designed to lead, guide, and bring into alignment the soul with the Kingdom and to take all of life’s woes with a more than conqueror mindset. You have the ability to help the soul get free. And spirit only you and the Holy Spirit knows the things of man. The soul does not. I bless you spirit with going to mind and setting things right. Where stress has taken over and damaged the brain, you spirit have the ability to repair. You, spirit, are the sustaining force that God created the whole of man to have. You, along with the Holy Spirit sustain man. Spirit go to the face of the Father and receive instruction, insight, revelation, power, and authority to set things right. Joy, Peace, Love, Faith, Hope are all your forte. It’s who you are. You are created and creative light made from the same substance as God. You are created in His image according to His likeness. You have what it takes. I bless you spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.

I hope this helps. I love people and I want to see them whole, healthy, set free, and walking in the fullness that Jesus died for and God created us for. Be blessed today and for the rest of your life. Let us no longer learn helplessness but to learn willingness to move over and manage, with out spirits and the Holy Spirit, the stress that the worlds brings.

If you’ve read through and I got something wrong please comment below cordially. If you have any insight or tools that may help comment as well.

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