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Featured Book Discussion - Attitudes of a Transformed Heart by Martha Peace

Discussion in 'For New Christians' started by Reborn1977, May 29, 2019.

  1. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    But_First_Coffee and I will be starting a discussion in the next few days on this book and anyone is welcome to read along and join in the discussion. The book is for sale on Amazon in Kindle version or paperback.

    Attitudes of a Transformed Heart


    by Martha Peace

    Book Description:
    "Christians and non-Christians alike often embrace a low view of God, and consequently a casual view of sin and Scripture. This low view of God is reflected in the attitudes of our heart. This book is about being "transformed by the renewing of your mind" and not being "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2).

    Your heart is who you are on the inside. It is what you think, your motives, and your desires. Our hearts have been conformed to the world's way of thinking. It takes grace from God and work on our part for our minds to be transformed to think God-honoring thoughts and to truly discern unbiblical philosophies. If you have a teachable heart, this book will help you truly honor God by what you think. Study questions are at the end of each chapter."


    Here is a link:

    https://www.amazon.com/Attitudes-Tr...4/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=


    The discussion will be done via private email and a thread here on the site. The general discussion will be public, more private matters anyone would like to discuss can go through email.

    Going into this discussion I do wish people to know a couple of things about myself. I have known the Lord Jesus since 1977 and been in fulltime ministry since 1994. I love Jesus dearly and have a deep passion for people to be all they can be in Christ. Getting to that palce is a journey and this will just be another step.
     
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  2. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

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    If this book i worth it's salt,(and I don't doubt that it isn't), one will shortly want to put it down and pick up the Scriptures; just like a good book on prayer, one will want to shortly put it down and start praying.
     
  3. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Absolutely nothing can replace the Scriptures, and the Scripture should always be studied. In addition to the Scriptures, there has been numerous authors that have been used by God to illuminate upon the Scriptures, and it is my belief the God will use this discussion to do just that.
     
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  4. But_First_Coffee

    But_First_Coffee New Member

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    I read chapter one. I have two takeaways. Should I share them now?
     
  5. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Introduction and Chapter 1 are now open for discussion, please feel free to share your thoughts that you have thus far, and do not forget to comment on other people’s insights.



    Once we have exhausted our discussion of this chapter, I will open up discussion on the next chapter. I would like us to read the chapters during approximately the same time frame, staying focused on the discussion surrounding that chapter, as I have found this is best for watching God move among the discussion.



    I am looking forward to what God is going to do through this discussion.
     
  6. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Introduction:


    As a writer, I can appreciate a great opening line to a book. This is an awesome opening sentence.


    “When I was a new baby Christian, I thought how amazing it is that God had made me completely holy.”


    What do we think about that statement? Do all of us realize that when Christ regenerated us that He made us “completely holy” in the spiritual realm? How often do we consider what that means for our life? If I am “completely holy” then why do I not act more holy, we might ask ourselves.


    We are “completely holy” in the spiritual realm but our soul can be filled with garbage, sin, stain, shame, and wounding that keeps us from reflecting that holiness in our daily life. We must invite God into every room in our spiritual house and allow Him to clean it out completely and totally.


    I recall a day in 1999 when I was helping to lead a prayer retreat with our congregation and spoke so clearly to my heart in combination with using the Book of Colossians about how utterly and totally complete I was in Him and that the completeness He brought with Him when He came into my life was going to manifest more and more day by day. Completeness was something that was done instantly at my conversion but would manifest in my daily existence over the course of my lifetime – to the Glory of God. My responsibly before God is to cooperate with the manifestation of that holiness and completeness.


    “I wanted to please the Lord more than anything else and if that meant I would have to change my thinking, then I would just have to change.”


    We do have to change our thinking to please God in that our actions will not change unless our thinking changes - - how we think about ourselves, God, other people, life, society, all of it must change to conform to a God-view or Biblical Worldview.


    The authors words speak for themselves here, I will hold my thoughts. I do recommend thinking about how you view each of the beliefs she has stated here.

    “As I read my Bible and heard good sermons, I was often confronted with wrong thinking on my part. Some examples of the right thoughts I had to adopt are:

    · “God is good. He is always good!

    · I am to obey Him whether I feel like it or not.

    · Being overly sensitive and dwelling on hurt feelings is a manifestation of sinful pride.

    · The feminist agenda is unbiblical.

    · We are not to worship the earth.

    · There are not multiple ways to God, only one.

    · A person can say he is a Christian, yet not really be one.

    · The Lord Jesus really will return but no one knows when.

    · God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

    · God is in charge whether we like it or not.”


    Peace, Martha. Attitudes of a Transformed Heart . Focus Publishing. Kindle Edition.





    I will share my thoughts on chapter 1 by the end of the weekend.
     
  7. But_First_Coffee

    But_First_Coffee New Member

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    That's a bit more of an in-depth review of the introduction than what I had for chapter 1... :sorry:
    I will think/meditate more on it and post what I was going to say on Sunday I guess.

    I agree with those bullet points from the introduction. I am going to write em down in my journal and make personal sub-notes.
     
  8. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    I think if you want to go back and re-read the intro and chapter 1, then share your thoughts that will be great; perhaps, God will reveal more to through that process. However, the extent to which any person comments on a chapter or comments on other people's insights is totally their doing and should not be compared to another person. Each of us are different and those differences will show through the discussion.

    Like myself, I am a writer, teacher, and minister who has been at this for 25 years, been a Christian since 1977, and done I do not even know how many book discussions; therefore, I am going to be a bit more in-depth about my approach than other people. Let's just each do it our way and glean spiritually what we can from each other.
     
  9. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Chapter 1: (first half)


    Wow, there is so much good stuff in this chapter! It is all about how people view God and boy do people have one messed up view of God these days.


    The author compares our Presidential system to the United Kingdom’s Monarchy system, then makes a spiritual connection. The author writes about how we do not relate today to God as The King that He is, with the honor and respect due, and she wonders if we had grown up in a society where Kings and Queens reigned if we might do better. Sadly, it seems that people have a general lack of respect for authority and that has ran uphill so to speak – children have a lack of respect and honor for parents, disobeying and generally disrespecting the authority of a parent, wives have little respect for their husbands, husband do not honor their wives and love them as Christ loves the church, people in general lack respect for their bosses and do what they must not out of respect but instead, to keep their jobs, there is a lack of respect in our society for our presidents just look at how people talk about them, people do not listen to their pastors and spiritual leaders because they do trust the spiritual authority God has given them, and all of this ultimately leads to Christ, why would people listen to, obey, follow properly, reverence, and respect Jesus, the one they cannot see, if they have not done so with all the other people in their life.


    The author rightly states that only if a person has a change of heart about God, who He is, and who He is in their life, will they be able to properly respect and honor Him with their life. I often say many people think themselves Christians for many reasons, most of which are wrong, but among those who do have a real relationship with Christ too often we see a lack of relationship with their LORD – meaning there is a lack of lordship that Christ holds in their life. When someone is your LORD, they are your master, your sovereign, your King, and you listen to, respect, and obey them. So, we have to ask ourselves, is Jesus really our Lord?


    The author makes the following statements, which I totally agree with and believe to be the core of the problem when it comes to why people call themselves Christians but do not act as if Jesus is their Lord.

    ”To the extent, on the other hand, that their understanding was deficient, their thoughts and beliefs were conformed to the world’s way of thinking. The same holds true today. There is no end to the ways sinful man can twist and pervert his understanding of what God is really like. Man perverts his concept of God by inventing a god in his mind who is comfortable for him.”


    People see God however they want to see Him instead of seeing Him as He actually is according to His Word, the Bible. Therein lies a huge problem that mankind is living with the affects, and effects of, and will one day be forced to deal with.


    God is not your benevolent old granddad, nor is some fluffy marshmallow man who thinks everything you do is okay, He is not merely your Creator and now you run your own show in life, then there is my favorite among the so-called ‘intellectuals” of society, God is whatever any person wants Him to be, He is different for different people and as long as a person is sincere in their beliefs God is accepting of that, they make it sound so loving, so evolved, but it is a lie straight out of the pit of hell that keep people in the bondage of “self as god” instead of the freedom found in the One True God, Jesus, and living your life to honor what the King, your Lord, wants of you. The author puts it in different words, but we are essentially saying the same thing.


    Another excellent reflection by the author: She is talking about when she at one time had an incorrect view of God.

    “In my mind God was like an enhanced version of the modern, educated, open-minded, tolerant American. I had a very low view of God and a very high view of myself. A high and holy view of God is one that sees Him and responds to Him as He is revealed in the Bible. It is a view that only God can give you and it changes your life forever.”


    The author then has us reflect on Daniel from the OT. Daniel, as she points out, knew that God had the ultimate power and that man could do nothing to him, not even the king, that God did not allow, thus Daniel was not intimidated by people, any people, even a king. It was more important to Daniel to bring glory to God with his actions than it was to protect himself. Wow, do we do that?


    The author then goes on to recount Daniels story and expound upon it, as well as presenting a few study questions at the end.


    Based on the length and content of Chapter 1 I would like to recommend breaking it into three parts.

    I am going to stop here.

    Then I will do a separate posting for the section of the chapter on Daniel.

    Lastly, a third posting that will reflect on the study questions for the chapter.



    In future chapters I will review their length and content in advance and break it down so we comment on one section at a time, always leaving the study questions for last.
     
  10. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Chapter 1 (second half – Daniel)


    The author notes that “Daniel tenaciously gave his allegiance to God.”


    In our society today we as Christians must ask ourselves if we "tenaciously give our allegiance to God?'


    The reference used in this portion of the book is:

    Daniel 1:3–4 (NKJV)

    3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.

    Which means they were going to teach them their ways, what they believed, and how they lived.


    Likewise, is done today. Our society takes our young people into universities, our best and brightest, and then they teach them all manner of evil which is contrary to God's Word, contrary to God's Truths.


    Daniel 1:8 (NKJV)

    8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

    How many Christian’s today defile themselves to fit in with their society? We must ask ourselves; do I?


    The author writes about Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction to being confronted with the power and supremeness of God – he builds an altar to himself. Think about that for a moment. Doesn’t man do likewise? As they are confronted more and more with the realness of their Creator, with the lordship of their Saviour, with the kingship of the One True God, with the Almighty Power of Jehovah; they grasp more and more for what they can control, for control of their life, to set themselves up as the only one they must answer to, they are their god – it is self alone and their own desires they worship.


    Regarding Daniel 3 - There will be times in life when we will have to decide if we are willing to serve and honor God even if it means we get thrown into our own fiery furnace.


    In Daniel 4 Daniel tells the King the correct interpretation of the dream despite the fact that the King will not like what he has to say. Ask yourself, do you tell people the Truth and Principles as found in God’s Word when they ask you about what they should do or if this or that is the right thing to do? For some Christians, they just remain silent when they know they should speak the truth.


    I cannot tell you how many people I have seen come to ruin because like Nebuchadnezzar they would not do what was needed, make the changes they needed to make in their lives, to honor God with their lives.


    “Daniel’s consuming passion was God — the God Most High, King of heaven. He lived his life in Babylon rightly respecting and revering God. …

    Instead of seeking to have his own needs met, Daniel saw himself there to serve God on God’s terms, no matter the cost.”

    I pray that God is our consuming passion as well and that this might be our desire as well, to serve God on God’s terms, no matter the cost.



    End of the chapter questions:

    #2 Jesus made it clear that He, a relationship and dependence upon Jesus, was the only way to be reconciled with God.

    John 14:6 (NKJV)

    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.



    The questions at the end of the chapters seem like they are going to be very redundant of what we might have already noted in our discussion. I recommend foregoing answering the questions on the discussion board unless there is just one we specifically like and want to answer. Agreed?
     
  11. But_First_Coffee

    But_First_Coffee New Member

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    My Chapter 1 takeaways were:

    1)God wants us to have Him in the highest view, as the one and only God... even if the society around us tells us we need to worship other "kings" and "Gods" and even if not doing so could result in extreme punishment even death.

    2) Society confuses us by portraying God as either a) Santa Claus b) A talk show host c) an angry punisher d) a powerless wimp e) Man is in charge of his own life, not God ... when there is only one RIGHT way to view God: The one and only true God, holy, as revealed in the bible, and sovereign over all our lives. The story of Daniel is proof of that.

    3) Daniel treated God as he was supposed to. Nebuchadnezzar did not. He had an inflated vision of himself, and because of this, God allowed him to be a madman in the wild for a bit. You can see similar types of things happen present day when a person tries to control a situation or gets a huge ego. At some point, they will be humbled.

    4) We should view God with an all-consuming passion for Him like Daniel did.
     
  12. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    I really like your comments here about people being humbled. You are absolutely correct when the ego rages the downfall is sure to come. I was thinking about the connection you made here between Nebuchadnezzar’s (wow those biblical names) madness and ego, nice connection, when you think about it narcissism is rated in our society a mental disorder, not sure I agree with that, but nevertheless the APA views it as a mental disorder, and narcissism is all about having an inflated ego, a me-centered thinking pattern. Therefore, stringing that thought out….I guess ego, pride, and narcissism can drive you mad.


    Sadly, society today feeds that narcissism in that everyone wants to be a celebrity - - followers, likes, post, friends, selfies, it is all about self it seem and how much attention people can get to feed their fragile egos; oh yes, narcissistic people down deep under all the pretense have a very fragile sense of self-worth, which is why it always has to be feed by external and superficial forces.
     
  13. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    But_First_Coffee what types of other “gods” do you see and experience society trying to drag people toward?
     
  14. But_First_Coffee

    But_First_Coffee New Member

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    SORRY I'VE BEEN AWOL!!! I had "vacation" (staycation) last week, which I thought meant MORE time to read and journal and blog and such... NOPE. Not when there's a baby in the house!

    So I am getting ready to talk about chapter 2 give me just a minute.

    To answer your question from June 3: "What types of other "gods" do you see and experience society trying to drag people toward?"
    Well, there are the obvious ones that all the scholars point out:
    -Social Media
    -Money and materialism
    -Sex as a deviant "sport"
    -Substances like alcohol and drugs
    -Celebrities ranging from wealthy and political powerhouses like Trump to musical and art talent like Queen or Ariana Grande
    -Other spiritual concepts like "the universe" "mother earth", paganism, buddhism etc etc

    In my personal circle of things?
    It would probably be the social media, namely Facebook and the foodie culture in this area I live in. Some big names in creative culinary and the ways they get promoted have earned us a spot on the map... the big map. Like recognized in the whole country for food. So there are some chefs with big egos here. There are Facebook foodie group creators and admins with huge egos as well. Since I admin two Facebook Groups, I come head-to-head with it and it can be easy to let the politics be all-consuming.
    I'll admit it took a little while to learn to separate that from my walk with Christ, and not allow it to overtake all my free time and energy. Every so often I will take a break and just turn it off for a couple of days. It's a hobby. Not a paycheck. And certainly NOT the way into heaven.
     
  15. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Thanks for your input, I do believe among the millennial generation you have hit on it that the social world so to speak, as in social media, has become a big god for them.

    We are in no hurry on the discussion. I wanted to wait until I saw whether or not you had any discussion that you wanted to do regarding my postings on chapter 1 and the intro before I moved on to chapter 2. However, if you're ready to move on to chapter 2 I will go ahead and proceed.
     
  16. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Chapter 2 is now open for discussion, please feel free to share your thoughts that you have thus far, and do not forget to comment on other people’s insights.



    Once we have exhausted our discussion of this chapter, I will open up discussion on the next chapter. I would like us to read the chapters during approximately the same time frame, staying focused on the discussion surrounding that chapter, as I have found this is best for watching God move among the discussion.



    I am looking forward to what God is going to do through this discussion.
     
  17. But_First_Coffee

    But_First_Coffee New Member

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    Chapter 2: Religious Man Most High

    One of the really corrupted world-views is man as God. Man thinks he's the center of everything. This person (it can be a woman too) will take their quest for personal worth much farther than what the bible allows. They might be narcissistic, loving themselves to a point where it hurts others...or they might be acting out in self pity, dragging everyone down with their self-centered negativity. Either way, they are drawing attention to themselves when it should be God.

    Religious man most high incorporates making himself the center of everything with making himself feel/seem holy. "look at me, I do so many good deeds! I deserve to go to heaven". He forgets that deeds don't justify his flesh, the only way to heaven is through Christ and he thinks that attending church makes him "good".

    This chapter goes on to summarize that if he (or she) had the proper perspective, they would think like this:
    "God chose to love me and have mercy on me."
    "If I got what I deserved, I'd go to (eternal damnation)"
    "I can't be born a Christian, I have to be reborn through God"
    "Praying a prayer is only the beginning. From there I need to be filled with a desire to love Jesus and please him"
    "God, please be merciful to me"
     
  18. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Chapter 2: Religious Man “Most High”


    This entire chapter will primarily focus on expounding on the following statement the author made.


    “Daniel was not like many Christians today who have unbiblical views of God and man. Rather than seeing God as “Most High,” they see man as “Most High” while God is somewhere in the background.”


    The number one question we should be asking ourselves every single day when we open our eyes is, ‘Am I going to put God first today; His Will, His Plan, His Purpose or am I going to fulfill my own will, plan, and purpose?’



    The author states:

    “I tend to think of “Man Most High” in two broad categories: “Religious Man” and “Psychologized Man.” Often he is a mixture of both. Regardless of which category one falls into “Man Most High” has been influenced by the world’s wisdom and logic. Since God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, what may seem perfectly logical to us may, in actuality, deceive us.”


    Where you see “religious man” you see deadness. People who have lost the sense of what it is to follow The Holy Spirit of God, churches that are lifeless and do not grow, and a lack of real love among the people, just politeness.


    In groups, congregations, churches where “psychologized man” has become common, you find people often view themselves as people of great intellect and enlightenment (so he or she thinks), yet, the people live in the most damaged broken state and they stay that way, they just never seem to get better, just more and more dependent on the psychological principles that were suppose to help them.


    1 Corinthians 3:19–20 (NKJV)

    19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”



    Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV)

    12 There is a way that seems right to a man,

    But its end is the way of death.




    Now we focus on “religious man” for the balance of the chapter.


    For the religious it is all about what they do…they do good deeds, they go to church faithfully, they take communion, they are baptized, they tithe, ….they, they, they….it is more about them than it is about Jesus. Yes, all the above-mentioned things are good but the relationship with Jesus is FIRST place, the desire to please and honor Jesus is FIRST because you love Him, not because you want something, or you do not want to go to hell.


    The author makes the point about how deceived religious man is; how he or she is evaluating themselves and dethroning God. When that evaluation results in a stamp of approval that they are good enough for God or good enough for God to bless it shows his or her low view of God.


    It is not about what we do or don’t do it is about being who God created us to be! If that means we do not do certain things great, if that means we do adapt godly traits even better, but God wants to free us to be our true selves, who HE and HE ALONE created us to be - - not the results of our parents, our peers, society, the people who harmed us distorting our personality, not the psychology that tries to tell us who we are or should be, and not the result of self.


    As the author points out some of the wrong views religious man has, she hits on one I have often spoken about. I call it “reverse pride” a person may not be holding up all their great works for the world to see (a commonly accepted form of pride) but this individual is instead always talking about what is wrong with them, their problems, their issues they are working on, their character defects, their disorders, etc. pride in the reverse because the focus is still just them, them, them. The author calls it having one’s focus “sinfully on self.”


    “Man is not “Most High,” — God is. Man is completely dependent on his Creator.”

    Amen!
     
  19. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    I like the connection to the narcissist, that is definitely a person without a doubt who has made themselves a god. When they suffer from it to the degree that it causes other people pain they are in deep sin.

    I also like the fact that in your summary of your thoughts you included the following list of what our godly perspective should be.

     
  20. But_First_Coffee

    But_First_Coffee New Member

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    You may not agree with this one, but I firmly believe probably 80% of society (at least in America) Suffers a mental disorder, possibly multiple. It's just that some have it very mildly. Almost everyone I know has something going on. Depression. Anxiety. OCD. ADD. Bipolar tendencies. Some wallow in it until I can't stand talking to them anymore. Others you didn't know they had any REAL problems because their walk with Christ is so strong. Like they say "We all have a burden, it's how you carry it."
    If I had a guess, the rampant brain issues may have mostly to do with environmental factors, diet and upbringing (like how lots of sugar in the regular diet makes people act ADD, or some people clearly have seasonal affective disorder, or like me where my mother has anxiety and it rubbed off when I was little)
    But I also think that the wide-spread presence of "internal imbalance things that mess with your head" is probably an after-effect of the fall of man and how evil forces are always trying to ruin us so we won't follow God. What better way than to capitalize on how the human brain usually goes haywire under less-than-desirable circumstances? (a high stress environment, poor diet, negativity all around)

    I know that's sort of a tangent.... but this book IS acknowledging the not-God-centered attitudes right? Sometimes they spawn from an imbalance.
    What matters is how you carry it.
     
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