Pastor Andrew Hoffman of Solano Community Church
1) Phil grew up in a home with an alcoholic mother. There were numerous attempts to overcome the disease (often in response to Phil’s pleading), but none were seriously followed up on. In many ways, Phil had to raise himself. He lost a good deal of what people traditionally think of as a mother-son relationship and all the blessings that go along with it: tender care, consistency, support, mentoring, stability, counsel, etc. Phil was left with a deep sense of betrayal over which he struggled mightily. As he moved through life, even a minor betrayal by a friend or co-worker could bring out un-expected feelings of anger, bitterness and frustration that harmed him and hindered his relationships. What does the gospel have to say to Phil?
2) Jean grew up in a strict, success-oriented home. The pressure upon her to succeed was tremendous. Gifted and driven, she was able to meet these pressures and even exceed them. Over the years, “meeting expectations” became the locus of her identity and sense of self-worth. Both pressure to succeed and the fear of failure continued to increase and she began to look for escape through drugs, alcohol and unhealthy relationships. As her sense of self-worth was undermined through her sinful activities, she would rebuild it through meeting expectations at work. It became a vicious cycle with seemingly no way out. What does the gospel have to say to Jean?
3) Daniel was a molested as a child. His home environment, where one would expect to process this trauma, was a broken one. Not too long after the molestation, his parents were divorced and Daniel’s father left. He felt his father had abandoned him. Possibly in connection with his initial traumatic sexual experience and the subsequent abandonment by his father, Daniel began to pursue random sexual encounters and pornography. Over years, the pursuit became habitual such that Daniel felt enslaved by it. What does the gospel have to say to Daniel?