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"With profound insight, compassion, and solid biblical support, Jim resurrects one of the most forgotten and overlooked truths in our day."

~Dwight Edwards, author and advisor to Larry Crabb

"Still the best book on the theme out there."

~Alice F.; Arizona

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Prone To Wander Myth

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 What if your heart is no longer 'prone to wander?'  What if God is more interested in releasing a noble goodness He's already placed within you, rather than pressuring you to be more 'holy?'  Discover the book by Jim Robbins.

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Entries in recovery (2)


Your stories: recovering from religious shame

This is Meredith's story of recovery from shame, and how she found freedom in the truth that her heart was made good and noble when she met Jesus:
Meredith's story:

Before I completely understood my good heart I often felt badly about myself and I didn't know why. In churches I was viewed as someone who was very flawed.  I left church on Sundays feeling burdened and tired. This feeling spilled into every corner of my life and I couldn't understand why it was. I knew I was a good person but didn't understand why I felt the way I did.

Church was a hostile environment and I left because the pressure to conform and perform was too much and it felt like I was missing something. In church I was criticized for the way I dress, although relatively modest, and even for wearing red lipstick. I was treated with suspicion and was excluded for that and other things. Things didn't make sense and I felt alone.

Learning about my good and noble heart put a name to the bad feelings I had. It helped to to recognize the teaching that I had heard for so long and that had impacted me so badly. As I understood what Jim teaches more deeply I was freed from the burden of feeling like I was not good enough and that suspicion that I have encountered in churches. My self-esteem has improved and I feel genuine joy in freedom in understanding the true message of Christ and the truth of who I am.  I am free from hostile judgment and burdens and most importantly I am healed from that old belief!



This is Amy's story of how an introvert experienced the hyper-drive, push and pressure environment all too common in performance-based churches:

Amy's story  [how an introvert experienced "church":

My story is going to focus more on the extra difficulties that introverts encounter in today's performance-based religious institutions. The ones I ended up in, largely by default, were big, showy, noisy environments. The ones who looked the happiest, sang the loudest, had their hands up highest and prayed the most 'spiritual' sounding prayers were lauded as 'spiritual leaders.'

Unfortunately, for years all I got was the message that I wasn't good enough. The church institutions I was involved were all well-propped up by natural achievers who thrived on always doing more. I often encountered teachings and articles written by blazing extroverts that said do more, work harder, run faster, keep up the good walk for Jesus! Remember, He's keeping your scorecard and you want to hear Him say, Well done, good and faithful servant! You don't want to be one of the ones that hears, Depart from me, I never knew you!

This type of religious environment cuts especially deep with introverts. We tend to be more sensitive by nature, and more deeply internalize the arrows hurled at us by the enemy, who unfortunately finds his job all to easy to do through the hands of often well-meaning religious leaders. We also find it more difficult to find a place to belong in the midst of the frenetic activity and performance of today's average church institution.

So these years left me with so much shame that I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown until years later, I finally began doing some serious internet research and found better answers. Jim's book was one of the tools that God used to show me how many poisonous lies with a "Christian" label that I had been fed. Thankfully, one book I have greatly benefited from is "Introvert Power" by Laurie Helgoe.

I am not "all the way healed" but it is a journey. I am so much healthier and more whole than I ever was during the days I was being told that my heart was not good and that there was always one more thing I had to do to try and earn God's favor. Now I am creating my own space and my own ways to be an introvert IN Christ, not an extrovert always doing things 'for' Him. I ponder. I create. I write. I work on and share music.  I connect more closely with others one-on-one however I can, one of the things I do best. I do things for others that are uniquely me, but were never valued by the institution. I am learning that being an introvert the way God made me is just fine, and there may be reasons for it that I haven't even discovered yet.


SHARE YOUR STORY:  If you'd like to share your story here with others about recovering from "bad heart" messages and the  discovery that your new Christ-shaped heart is good and noble, send me an EMAIL

GET JIM'S BOOK:  To read more stories of people who were shamed under a "bad heart" or "wandering heart" message, you can also read my book, "RECOVER YOUR GOOD HEART." 



Book review - "Spiritual Abuse Recovery"

Book Review:  Spiritual Abuse Recovery - Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness, by Barbara M. Orlowski

From the book:

I have always believed that conflicts between Christians can be worked through when both parties submit their will to God.  Intentional, malicious action against me by a church leader blew me away.  The unwillingness of others involved to challenge the leader's actions, but instead look the other way in denial, preserving their positions, shattered my trust in church leadership.  [Quoted in Spiritual Abuse Recovery. Taken from the website, Kingdom Grace, 'Shattered Illusions.']

Spiritual abuse is likely to be minimized by those in Christian leadership.  However, it is affecting more Christians and churches than people want to admit.  Spiritual abuse is causing many very committed followers of Christ to leave abusing churches to seek out other options for Christian community.  Barb Orlowski provides a research-based, serious and needed look into the abusive dynamic occurring in many churches. 

What is "spiritual abuse?"  One definition the author uses is:  "Spiritual abuse takes place when leaders to whom people look for guidance and spiritual nurture use their positions of authority to manipulate, control and dominate."  Spiritual abuse often occurs when there is a distorted and unbiblical view of leadership authority. 

Barb Orlowski outlines distortions and belief systems that contribute to spiritual abuse:

1.  Legalism:  "When Christians struggle with feelings of shame, of never measuring up, and of feeling like they have to constantly try to earn God's approval, they often do not grasp why their Christian life is so spiritually draining." 

2.  A Faulty Hermeneutic [a faulty way of interpreting Scripture]:  "...makes a person vulnerable to erroneous teachings and the malpractices of controlling leaders."

3. Fully Understanding Healthy Church Leadership:  "Developing a biblically-sound understanding of Christian leadership based on Christ's teaching and the New Testament example will create a renewed appreciation  for godly leadership expressed in healthy communities."

4.  Personal Spiritual and Emotional Injury:  "A person's spiritual life has been severly marred by personal injury inflicted by church leadership."  Those injured can experience healing and restoration despite the trauma.

Spiritual Abuse Recovery includes the research results of the author's study on the topic.  A representative population of actual persons who suffered spiritual abuse were interviewed.  Some of the participants' comments read like these:

There was a tremendous dichotomy between what was said by leadership, and the message they actually conveyed.  They often spoke of the freedom we have as believers, as well as our individual value in God's eyes.  But any attempt to think or act with any degree of freedom was quickly and firmly labeled as unsubmissive to leadership.  An overarching theme in most of the subtle messages was that only a few were actually spiritual enough to hear and follow God for themselves, and that everyone else must follow them.

He [the pastor]  had left such a trail of hurting and damaged people, and I felt that I could no longer be a part of that type of destruction.

A toxic view of spiritual authority:  Orlowski outlines the flaws of bad, unbiblical leadership and delves into the restorative and biblical model of leadership hinted at in the Old Covenant and revealed in Jesus and the New Covenant.  This is particularly helpful for those who haven't given the issue much thought.  Assumptions can kill, and this book challenges faulty leadership assumptions.

Commenting on her own experience with leadership that wounds, the author says, "Those who had raised concerns were seen as agitators..."  Those who have also experienced wounding leadership will agree with her sentiments.

As Barbara Orlowski suggests, even the concept of spiritual abuse can be minimized by those who have never experienced it, or not even on the radar of many Christian leaders.  The issue of spiritual abuse needs to be exposed and addressed; and her book capably exposes this critical issue, giving the research results of her study into spiritual abuse.

Those who would most benefit from this book: 
.Pastors, church leaders, counselors, and seminary students - who want to know the research behind spiritual abuse and how it affects those who are marred by it.  The book also would serve to provide them with a deeper look into biblical authority.

.  Anyone interested in a more research-based look at spiritual abuse, that backs up claims of abuse with real data into the victims' of spiritual abuse traumatic experiences.

Author's website:  Church Exiters

Amazon link:  Spiritual Abuse Recovery - Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness


Reviewed by Jim Robbins, author of Recover Your Good Heart - Living Free From Religious Guilt and the Shame of Not Good-Enough