How to Be Teachable and Build With Life Skills Through Prayer Ministry. This gives you the tools to overcome feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness.
I worked in prayer ministry with Barbara who had been in two abusive marriages. She was very frustrated that, “God didn’t protect her.” She had feelings of helplessness: “Why didn’t I see the red flags, especially the second time?” She had experienced much loss in terms of the pain she went through and even more so in what it put her children through. The powerlessness was because Barbara didn’t know what she didn’t know.
Principle of Meekness
Consider meekness. In John 6, Jesus gave a hard teaching and many turned away; but Peter said, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Galatians 6 (Amp) says, “If a person is in misconduct, restore him in a spirit of meekness, considering yourself.” In Hebrews 12:5-8, there is the picture of a son receiving instruction and correction from a father. Meekness means a teachable heart.
It may seem odd to view Barbara’s issue in this light, until we look a little closer.
Principle of Independence
Independence is an opposite of meekness. It can often be expressed as a victim mentality. Here lived the children of Israel in the wilderness. “Moses brought us out here to kill us.” They were expressing their feelings of powerlessness and helplessness and a belief that God had abandoned them even after all the miracles God had done in their behalf. Believing you are abandoned is a shame belief. Shame results from feeling either abandoned or flawed. I used to view shame as something someone either had or they didn’t. I didn’t see it as more of a continuum that ideally is diminishing as we mature in the Lord. In other words, we all have areas where we struggle with feelings of worthlessness or powerlessness.
We all have a ‘shame pool’ at some level. It causes us to focus on others rather than take personal responsibility; not embracing the idea people can only make us mad if we let them. It causes us to draw wrong conclusions like, “I’m cursed,” or “God’s angry with me,” or “God doesn’t protect me,” or “nothing ever works out for me.”
Consider this picture: Joey comes home deflated from being made fun of in gym class. He was “terrible at basketball.” Joey had no fear of telling his father of his troubles because his dad was safe and not critical. Dad helps him to see that there’s nothing wrong with him, he simply lacked skills. This communicates his problem is solvable; he’s not helpless or without power to change this situation. Dad also begins practicing with him to help improve his skill level. These experiences teach Joey that it is okay to be vulnerable and to talk out his problems. That someone will be there with emotional and even material or physical support. This leads to Joey growing up to have a deep faith in God and an ability to walk in community with others. He’s an overcomer because he has learned the skills to be a champion problem-solver.
Barbara’s family never dialogued through any issues. There would be yelling, critical comments or the silent treatment when issues arose. This would last for a couple days and then magically disappear. It was never clear how or even if resolution occurred, leaving her feeling somewhat powerless to do or say anything about the problem and living in the “unknown.”
Barbara was able to see the missing skills in her family and come to terms with it, embracing that her parents were not able to give her what had never been given to them. This broke off feelings that God had abandoned her. Seeing the missing skills gave her the ability to now learn them. Now she walks in healthy relationships, well able to see both red flags and good relational skills in others.