On yesterday I had an encounter with a group of individuals that was a very impactful for me. The encounter impacted me in a way that made me consider this thought, a body of individuals can force their leaders to be away or act out of character based off of previous experiences. To say this another way, individuals can be so accustom to old environments in their lives that when they come into new environments they try, whether conscious or unconscious, to re-create the environment that they are most familiar with. The reason why I use the word impacted in describing my encounter is because the overall feeling that I walked away with was “hopeless”. Now you might be saying why would you walk away feeling hopeless or why would that be your overwhelming feeling or emotion? The feeling of hopelessness comes from the constant struggle or resistance to get an individual to operate outside of their norms. Most people established norms in their lives and that is, the boundaries for the manner in which they operate. We spend years developing a comfort zone, that sweet spot in life that we find and live in, that place called there. When a challenge comes or change comes to elevate your thinking or cause you to function at a level or in a way that you’re not used to functioning, then the resistance (an opposing or retarding force) to be different kicks in. No matter how great or how minute the challenge to change is, it still triggers that innate defense mechanism where all our walls go up in all the old tapes began to play that locks us into being the same.

Now, am I saying that we should not have a standard of living? A standard of living that keeps us in at certain level in our lives, no. But the ability to remain open to new things in your life comes from the security of knowing oneself. Knowing yourself to a level that new things will not shatter nor shake your identity, so no matter what you walk into or where you go, the essence of your character still remains intact. So no matter what work situation you are in the character of good work ethics should still remain. Regardless of the relationship, faithfulness should still remain because the standard of living that you have worked to establish is the basis of who you are.

The encounter that I experienced on yesterday was discouraging, but it was also eye-opening and challenging for me as an individual. The challenge for me was not to let a group of individual’s change who I am, but the work is in remaining consistent and allowing the individuals around me to adjust. How many times have we heard stories of women being in abusive relationships, and when they find a man who treats them with respect, honors them, and praises them for the accomplishments that they’ve achieved. When the first sign of conflict arises the female reverts back to the old abusive defense mechanisms by preparing herself to be physically mentally or emotionally abused. I’ve talked to several men who have questions this fact. At length we’ve discussed how she would perceive him as being in an abusive person when he’s never put his hand on her never called her out of her name and has often had to defend himself based on the woman’s perception of the conflict. Now I understand that this is an extreme example, but the basic principles still apply. We often try to adjust our present based off of past, when the present is constantly presenting new opportunities and challenges that require skills that we’ve not learned or do not possess. Is it possible that we can use tools from our past absolutely. The old saying, past success breeds presents confidence, is most definitely true, but the key fact that everything in our past does not always help us in our present or future is also true. So learning to manage learning to balance new skills with old lessons requires constant maintenance and monitoring of ourselves. I like the way the 12 step program says it, we continued to take personal inventory and when we are wrong we promptly admit it. The constant or continual inventory of ourselves is both psychological, physiological, and spiritual. Being a sci-fi fan, I am most definitely familiar with the term that is often used in artificial intelligence, becoming self-aware. As humans being we have to become more self-aware to the point where we will constantly run self-checks and diagnostics on ourselves to always ensure you that we’re putting ourselves in the best position for success.


About Marlon Martin

Marlon Martin first turned his life over to the care of God in 1987 when he attended an alcohol and drug treatment center. Through his commitment and service to God, he was delivered from a 10 year drug addiction. Equipped with the word of God, Marlon returned to the field of addiction where he was trained as a License Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). He worked as an LCDC at the Austin Recovery Center, while at the same time working as a counselor at Praise Tabernacle where he helped establish their Restoration Recovery Class. He also worked at a non-profit organization, ACTS (Assisting Communities Toward Success) where he was the program director of their counseling center, Soterion. As founder of MK Martin Ministries Inc., Marlon has been working with rural churches by establishing their presence on the internet and teaching the members how to have a greater commitment to the Lord and better service to their local church. Marlon has worked to serve his community for the last 26 years. He has volunteered with public and private facilities such as drug and alcohol treatment centers, local schools, and local prison facilities. In the past 17 years, through preaching and teaching, Marlon has assisted the men at the Travis County Community Justice Center where he has had the privilege of seeing hundreds of men turn their lives over to God. Since then, Marlon has joined forces with the Carl Vance Unit in Sugar Land, TX to assist with a class on marriage through “The InnerChange Freedom Initiative” and has been certified by the State of Texas to work with those who are in the criminal Justice system as a “Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional”. With his passion for the things of God and through God’s favor, Marlon has truly strengthened the body of Christ.

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