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Got guilt?"
October 18, 2023

October 2023 Issue 211

Time to get rid of needless guilt

If you've ever thought guilt is an unavoidable part of life, this month's feature article is a must-read. It explains the two types of guilt—one that helps you become more like Jesus and another that may send you in the opposite direction.

I wrote this out of experience, an experience I want you to miss. Needless guilt is another way we singles put ourselves down, obsessing over things that in the long run just don't matter.

We get caught up in the "shoulds" and "musts" of this world, worrying about its false expectations. It's an impossible bar to reach because someone keeps raising it.

Before the holiday season begins, it's time to clean your mental house, starting with needless guilt.

How can it be?

Healing the hurt I thought was forever,
turning my tears into balm.
Soothing my soul with words of assurance,
mending my mind with his calm.

Miracles don't have to be dramatic.
Sometimes they're secret and still.
Yet they can change your life in an instant
through the power of his holy will.

How can it be?
This God so kindhearted,
loving a beggar like me?
Giving me hope
when faith has departed.
I ask you:
How can it be?

Pain is the path of the world-weary pilgrim,
life can be callous and cold.
Lied to and left alone on the wayside,
a sad story too often told.

There is a truth more precious than diamonds,
redemption when people are lost.
A gi'ft called grace that rescues poor sinners
by the sacrifice made on the cross.

How can it be?
That Love lived among us
and answered humanity's plea?
Eternal life
with God in his heaven.
I ask you:
How can it be?

~ Jack Zavada,, 2023 ~

"I told the truth and she didn't like it…"

She bought the paperback edition of Hope for Hurting Singles and wrote a critical review of it on She was angry because the last chapter tells the truth that some singles will never get married.

She liked the book except for the way it ended. She thought the final chapter was a downer and does not give readers hope.

I disagree. Hope for Hurting Singles gives honest advice on the single life, written from a Christian perspective. It doesn't spin fairy tales or sugar coat anything. But I made sure it provides hope, especially in the final chapter.

If you place all your hope in getting married, you're setting yourself up for a fall. Instead, single people should hope in Jesus Christ. Whether you get married or not, Jesus is the only 100 percent guaranteed thing in life. If you place your belief and hope in him, he will not let you down.

Jesus is not a consolation priz'e for folks who don't get married. Salvation and love from Him are the greatest g'ifts on Earth. Of course you should hope for marriage. That's healthy. But hope first in Jesus: That's wise.

Hope for Hurting Singles is $10.99 for the paperback, and $3.99 for the Kindle edition.

QOTM: Stifling growth

October's Quote of the Month comes from former Franciscan priest and author of The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning:

In my experience, self-hatred is the dominant malaise crippling Christians and stifling their growth in the Holy Spirit.

~ Brennan Manning (1934 - 2013) ~

Where does it come from? Why do so many Christians engage in self-hatred?

Social media is a popular scapegoat, but this phenomenon was around long before the Internet. We singles could blame loneliness, yet millions of married believers beat themselves up too.

The Holy Spirit wants to assure you of God's love for you, right this minute. You're all right with God. The most important Being in the entire universe says you're lovable. Worthwhile. His child.

This truth is liberating: God loves you passionately, exactly as you are.

Rearview living can send you into the ditch

I have a busload of blunders from my past to warn you against, and this month's doozy is the mistake of rearview living.

If you've never heard of it before, it got its name from the rearview mirror on your car, which you periodically check to see what's behind you—except in this case you spend more time dwelling on your past than you do eagerly anticipating your future.

Yep, I did that. For years. I rehashed old events ad nauseam. I beat myself up for poor decisions. I even schlepped around with a poor self-image from criticism I got as a teenager. Single friend, the only reason I admit this idiotic behavior is to warn you: DON'T DO IT YOURSELF!

What? You're already doing it? You're tempted to do it a lot? You only do it when you're trying to get to sleep at night?

Luckily it's not too late. Here's my proven strategy for avoiding and eliminating rearview living.

Why Jack's lectures are better than the alternative

I admit it. I lecture you sometimes. Okay, pretty often.

Old people have a habit of doing that, but some of us have a legitimate motive. We want you to learn from our mistakes so you don't have to repeat them yourself.

Take your pick: My pain or your pain.

If you're into pain, it is an effective teacher. The problem is, well, it's painful.

When I lecture you, I try to have something important to say. One of the great truths of life is that some people think they can escape the consequences of their actions. That's why I like to read the Bible and why I think you should too. God gives us lots of lessons there on what happened to real, historical people.

Joseph: Trusted God and everything worked out. Moses: Obeyed God and had a miraculous life. Jesus: Served God and saved millions from their sins. Paul: Persecuted Christians and was struck blind; followed Jesus and became a legend.

Yep, this was another sneaky lecture about reading the Bible, but as I said earlier, it's important. God will bless you through his Word. He promises.

Church: Have you drifted away?

If you've drifted away from attending church services, you're missing out on a regular opportunity to connect with God.

It's easy to make excuses for not going to church: It's boring; the sermons are irrelevant; the people aren't friendly; the people are hypocrites; I'm too busy; I don't like the music. All of those put together don't outweigh the best reason for going: God deserves your worship.

Some singles feel God hasn't answered their prayers so they're "punishing" him by not going to church. I know a single man who attends but only puts 25 cents in the collection plate. Really?

If you're a believer, your salvation is assured. But if, someday, Jesus asks you, "Why didn't you go to church to visit with me?", what are you going to tell him?

Enough of the lecture then. (See article above) Here are some ways to enjoy church again.

So there's your lecture-packed October Inspire-O-Gram, fellow singleton. Less painful than a root canal, and lots less expen'sive.

Send those e-mail bouquets or brickbats my way through our secure contact form. I'll read them and reply personally. And best of all, I won't lecture you.

Until November,

Jack Zavada
PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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