[PODCAST EPISODE] Why You Behave the Way You Do

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Podcast, Why You Behave the Way You Do by Freddy Cardoza of Podcast Seminary


Why do you behave the way you do?

How do you have a clear conscience? Human behavior confounds us– and even the scientific community. This is because of fundamental confusion about the nature of humanity.
Because human nature is misunderstood, the reasons for behavioral problems (habits, behaviors, addictions, issues, dysfunction, etc.) are also misunderstood– simply because they are related and one follows the other.
In this instructive podcast, Podcast Seminary Dean, Dr. Freddy Cardoza (Ph.D., Leadership) will use his 20 years of experience as a pastor and 22 years as an academic professor at the graduate and post-graduate level to explore this vital topic.


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Why You Behave the Way You Do [Blog Post]

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Why You Behave the Way You Do

If you’re sometimes confused and even surprised by the things you do (especially the bad things), you’re not alone. Perhaps the only thing more shocking that why we behave why we do– is why others behave the way they do!
People everywhere feel the same. Not only now, but for millennia, human behavior has been a topic of discussion and concern. Civilizations throughout history have wanted to understand human behavior and its motivations. Good behavior is no problem. It enriches the world and only makes things better. It’s the bad behavior that concerns people. That’s because of the toll that bad behavior exacts on people, communities, and society at large.
In response to bad behavior, ‘laws’ are created, along with civil, meaning “state” or government punishments. But all laws only discourage behavior, not necessarily prevent it. Civilized societies discovered a long time ago that we can legislate behavior, but that we cannot externally change the human heart.
In fact, as long as a person is willing to deal with the odds of either getting caught and/or the consequences of their decisions, ‘laws’ and other external forces meant to curb behavior have little or no effect. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t have laws– we should and must. But it’s important to understand that laws operate at the lowest level of personal character– external behavior, rather than at the root of behavior, which is its source: the human heart.

Human Behavior is a Wild Card

That leads us to the problem. The problem is that human behavior is a wild card. It’s not always predictable. And that’s because people have free will. We call ‘free will’ “agency.” Agency is the ability to make choices freely, according to one’s own desires. So people are “agents,” and we have the God-given ability to choose what we want to do.
God’s made it that way, even though free will comes with the necessity that we can choose something other than ‘good.’ After all, “free will” wouldn’t be free if people couldn’t ‘will’ “freely.” In other words, if the only choice is “do what is right and good,” then there’s really no choice– then choices are actually determined, not free. So that’s the conundrum of free will– that, to get it, we have to open the possibility of bad behavior.
It isn’t as if God didn’t know that when He conceptualized and, in His inscrutible wisdom, choose to give us free will. There simply was no middle way: logically it wasn’t possible to create free will without the possibility of bad behavior. But God (apparently) deemed it “better” to offer free will or “personal agency” to us than to create a world of wound-up, determined robots going through the motions of a mechanized world. So it was either that– or freedom…. or to just create nothing at all. So, because God is greater and infinitely wise, He created an equitable system where, by the end of it all, He’d work out every injustice and circumvent every illegitimate human hurt, through His great providence, purpose, and wisdom.
So that takes care of part of the issue– that, ultimately, justice for bad human behavior will be addressed, and that God will redeem every injustice and give us everlasting bliss as believers– but FOR NOW, we still have the temporal and troubling daily issue of dealing with our, and others, free will– and the decisions and behaviors that go with it.
That said, the problem is that, sometimes, what we want to do has negative ramifications. Freedom has consequences– and it can produce both positive and negative outcomes.

The Apostle Paul Nailed It

An often-quoted statement from the Apostle Paul in the New Testament nails it:
“I am a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. In my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the sin at work within me. (Romans 7:14-21 excerpts, New Testament)
How much clearer could it be? Written thousands of years ago, we find ourselves sitting beside Paul, with our own hands gripping his ink-dipped quill, helping him write these words.
Paul was dealing with a profoundly important and personal issue we all face: our behavior.
Fundamentally, we behave the way we do because of the two or three causes or mitigating factors: Human behavior can be largely explained by these three factors:
Human Behavior is affected by the fact that we have moral agency– the fact that we have “free will.” I prefer the phrase ‘agency’ but free will is more common of a term and more broadly understood. Some of us who traffic in theology feel there are better ways and more exacting ways to communicate it, but for the simplicity of the discussion, let’s go with “free will.”
Human Behavior is affected by the fact that we have a fallen nature. Our human condition is compromised. We are broken. More about that in a minute.
Human Behavior is mitigated by the possession of and response to factors that include the activity and our response to the Human Conscience (in all people) and the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life (Christian believers).
Now, let’s go back to the topic of this post (behavior) and to the current series– How to Have a Clear Conscience, and see how these relate to human behavior.
Theologians call this problem “Original Sin.” And sometimes it’s also called the Fall of Adam.
The Bible speaks about it in Romans 5:12, through the Apostle Paul. He writes: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”
Here the Bible is speaking of the fact that spiritual brokenness entered the human experience (“just as sin entered the world”) through Adam, the Original Human Being (“through one man”), that sin brought physical and spiritual separation from God (“and death through sin”). And because of this Original Sin of Adam, that condition of being spiritually and physically separated from God was from then on inherited by all people, everywhere (“and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned”).
Wait! What Do You Mean We Have “Original Sin?”
I know, it’s startling. The idea that all people are broken is hard to swallow. Even harder is the idea that every person, when they are born, have something deeply and intrinsically wrong in their personhood. Just the idea– we don’t like it. And on that basis, many people simply reject the idea of Original Sin as being over the top.
So I realize that it’s a sobering concept, but I also believe the existence and reality of Original Sin is demonstrable in several ways. I like to think of it this way…

Indications of Original Sin

When a child is born and is only moments old (this is going to be tough to read, so brace yourself), we already know that, embedded within that child’s humanity is the condition of being mortal. In other words, when a child is born, we know that that child (and every child who ever lived) has a date of terminus– the child, whether he or she grows up or grows old, will ultimately die.
This is true, even if we could keep that person from any physical or medical threat. In such a case, even if no tragedy befell them, we KNOW that even that person would ultimately die of, if nothing else, “old age.”
Mortality affects 100% of people. And mortality itself is a direct result of Original Sin. And so is aging. If Original Sin didn’t exist, it seems that aging, disease, dying, and the like simply wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Why, after all, would or should anyone necessarily die? What explanation might be given for aging and dying of old age, if not Original Sin?
But in addition to this, consider another really obvious indication of “Original SIn.” Specifically, the idea that every person is “born with” a negative moral condition of being fallen. And it seems to me that this is demonstrably true.
Consider this: No good parent ever taught their child to do anything wrong. But kids do wrong things sometimes– even frequently. In fact, not only do we “not have to teach children to do ‘evil,’” they choose to do it quite naturally. In fact, kids often exhibit bad behavior IN SPITE OF the fact that we teach them constantly about good behavior!
What’s more, the very fact that we feel that we NEED to teach people to “behave” shows the implicit realization we have that people, left to themselves, will not always behave very well.
That’s a tacit admission that we innately realize that people carry an inherent brokenness. Meaning, functionally speaking, everyone– deep down– knows that all humans are not only capable of doing bad things– but that people can and will do bad things at times, out of their own volition, even when they are taught to do otherwise. In fact, even with the threat of punishment or pain, people of all ages, including children, naturally and quite easily choose bad behavior at times.
This isn’t meant to be negative— it’s just to establish an important theological truth: That Original Sin exists and that, inherently, we know it– even though it’s hard to admit.

Understanding Our Broken Nature

And because our human nature is broken, we do things we shouldn’t. We do things we don’t want to do. We do things others don’t want us to do. And we do things that, as a result, harm us… and others. These things harm us in all kinds of ways– sometimes emotionally; sometimes relationally; sometimes mentally; sometimes physically– and sometimes our behavior harms us in all of those ways.
So it’s important to understand human behavior and to get this figured out because it affects us (and others), including the ones we love, on a regular, even daily basis.

What Original Sin Does

It’s pretty clear that Original Sin is a serious thing. It has contaminated us. By that Original Sin passing from Adam on to us, we now have the natural predisposition to do things we shouldn’t do. We are, if you please, hard-wired in a way that we sometimes gravitate toward becoming unruly and even rebellious.
Let’s go just a little deeper.
First, I should say that I realize some people won’t or don’t like this idea. In fact, some are even ‘offended’ by it. That, plus it seems counterintuitive.
Didn’t God Create Us as Perfect Beings?
The reasoning against Original Sin goes something like this:

  1. God is perfect.
  2. God created a perfect world (as seen in Paradise or Eden, Genesis 1-3).
  3. In that perfect world he placed perfect people.
  4. These people were created in His image and, as such, must have been perfect and therefore– fundamentally good.

Well, almost.
On the surface it sounds perfectly logical. And it’s almost correct. But there’s more to it than what’s at face value.

  • God is perfect. That part is right on the money.
  • Also, God did create a perfect world. Again, good.

And in that perfect would, God created perfect people. Here, we have to say both, “yes” and “not exactly.” When God created Adam and Eve, they were “functionally perfect” in that they were newly created and had not sinned. But that did not mean they were completely perfect in terms of their human nature.
Don’t miss this.
Adam and Eve were created and were without sin. But because they were created, and finite, they were fundamentally different than God. And as created beings, though they were made “in God’s image,” they were not capable of receiving a completely incorruptible human nature. So while they were created as innocent and without sin, they were given free will and this (coupled with the fact that they were human and not God Himself) made them vulnerable.
Then, ultimately, Lucifer was expelled from Heaven due to his rebellion against God– he exploited this human vulnerability (free will or agency) and the corruptible (but then-innocent) nature of people was tempted and humanity fell.
This fallenness has been passed on, since that time, to all of us. It is the root cause of our estrangement from God, our personal issues, our bad behavior, and our moral weakness, in addition to a host of other things.
And if we take that issue, Original Sin, and add it to on-going human agency, our free will takes us places. And that… is why we behave the way we do.


Learn more about this truth by listening to our similarly-themed but different podcast series (www.podcastseminary.org) and our vlog series (http://www.podcastseminary.net).

Getting Rid of Guilt Once and For All: Why You Still Feel Guilty (blog post)

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Getting Rid of Guilt Once and For All: Why You Still Feel Guilty

It’s sad!

One of the saddest realities of human existence is the fact that so many people carry around the unbearable weight of guilt from past mistakes.
The existence of guilt is one of the primary reasons psychologists, counselors, therapists, physicians, pharmacists, and florists stay perpetually busy. People all around the world seek to assuage their guilt through so many things and yet, for the most part, people remain locked in the grip of either ‘guilt’ itself… or the toxins and captors that promised freedom from guilt.
I doubt if this is overstated.

People truly are riddled with guilt from past mistakes and besetting sins from which they just can’t get free.
It’s really, really, really time for that to end.


Freedom From Guilt is on God’s Terms, Not Ours

But it isn’t automatic. Freedom from the pain of guilt is available to all, but receiving such freedom (emancipation, really) comes on God’s terms, not ours.
For a person, any person, who wants to truly be free… freedom awaits. But the process of being forgiven cannot be short-circuited, otherwise we remain in its suffocating grip.
Let’s explore what I believe are the six scriptural principles of freedom from guilt. And our failure to comply with these six biblical principles is “Why You (We, or I) Still Feel Guilty.”
You can also find a full discussion of these truths on this video version of this discussion, given originally in a Facebook LIVE event.


6 Tips to Getting Rid of Guilt Once and For All

1. To Get Rid of Guilt, We Must Have Awareness of Sin

-We have to become aware that what we’re doing displeases God
-We have to know the difference between right and wrong
-This involves paying careful attention to our hearts. This includes, listening to our conscience. And if you’re a Christian, listening to the Holy Spirit. Half the battle is obeying your conscience, so it doesn’t become abuse and silenced, and then failing to make you aware of sin.
Scripture: Rom 3:20 ESV: For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.


2. To Get Rid of Guilt, We Must Have Acknowledgement of Sin

We must admit or acknowledge it—otherwise we’re keeping secrets from ourselves and we can’t go any further into freedom without acknowledging our sin (individually, not only as a whole set of sins ever committed—at some point, if things are bothering us, we must confess those singularly, one by one).
Scripture: Ps 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
This passages comes from the “Man After God’s Own Heart” (the person God said pursued Him the most in his own time in history) who had to come to grips with this important principle. So, if the Man After God’s Own Heart had to come to grips with acknowledging it—so might we!


3. To Get Rid of Guilt, We Must Have Contrition

To have contrition means we regret something. I’m not a big fan of when people say “I have no regrets in life.” Really? I mean, really, really?
Unless a person has lived sinful perfection, I can’t imagine saying that. Now, people often mean “I learned something valuable” so they wouldn’t take an action back. The only problem with that is that “it’s not all about us.” In other words, the reason regret is important isn’t just because of US… we should have regret because that makes it clear that we recognize the pain we have caused OTHERS. Only a selfish view of our actions would keep us from having regrets.
And regret is the essence behind the concept of contrition. It means that we feel bad about it. We could have, should have, done otherwise.
Scripture: Psalm 51:17 New International Version: My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.


4. To Get Rid of Guilt, We Must Confess

Confess means to “declare the same thing” or “to repeat.” When we confess, we declare to God that His conviction of our action is accurate. It means we repeat that accusation and conviction back to Him… that we agree with it and declare it.
Proper biblical confession holds nothing back. It fully owns what we’ve done. It doesn’t restate the sin to our own liking, but instead restates it just as God has shown it to us. When we say the same thing about our sin as God does, we can be forgiven. When we shirk responsibility by confessing “to a lesser charge,” we remain in spiritual bondage. It’s as simple as that.
Scripture: Ps 32:5 “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”
Scripture; 1 John 1:9 “If we are faithful to confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


5. To Get Rid of Guilt, We Must Repent

Repentance means to change one’s mind. It means to do an about face. It means that we are going in one direction, wrongly, and we recognize and acknowledge that, and then “respond” by changing our mind about what we are doing and the direction we are going… resulting in a change of mind and, after repentance, a change of behavior.
Note that repentance is not the change in behavior exactly—it’s the change of mind. It’s the change of heart. That change and repentance begins to work its way into our behavior and our livestyle. God works His will into us and his transformation from the inside out, which is why it’s mostly about what is going on inside of us. Then, that inward change, results in outward behaviors. But repentance is getting our heart and head right, and that causes a change in our lives as a result.
Scripture: Acts 3:19 –repent that times of refreshing should come from the Lord


6. To Get Rid of Guilt, We May Have to Give Restitution

Genuine repentance leads to a desire to do whatever we can humanly do to right the wrongs in our past. This is what “restitution” is.
Restitution takes many forms. It may mean to approach someone and offer the grace of an apology. It may mean serving a person we’ve violated in some way. It may mean a type of action where we demonstrate penance—and not in “that” way… but to demonstrate to a person we’ve wounded or violated that we are “doing something” as a way to visibly show our contrition and apology. Restitution sometimes even involves cash payment, though that’s when the punishment fits the crime (like when stealing or embezzlement, etc. has occurred).
So what about restitution?
Sometimes restitution is necessary, and sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes restitution is possible, and sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes restitution is practical, and sometimes it isn’t.

Now, it should be clear that—even when restitution isn’t practical, it may be necessary. So “impracticality” isn’t in any way an indication that restitution isn’t needed. Impracticality simply makes it harder to do. But, just as it wasn’t “easy” for Jesus to manifest in human flesh in order to die on a cross for human sin—we can’t use the excuse that showing restitution for our wounding of another person is “impractical” or isn’t “easy.” That’s beside the point.
[Want More Details? Watch The Live Video Talk]
Even so, even if it IS possible, and even practical—that doesn’t mean God always wants us to do it in every situation.
Want to learn more about this principle? See my live video talk.
If you have received forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ, all of your sins are forgiven, whether or not you have been able to make restitution for them. But IF YOU DON’T FEEL FREE FROM A PARTICULAR SIN—ask God to reveal to you if restitution is needed then follow through.
Scripture: Exodus 22:1-14; Leviticus 6:2-5; Matthew 5:23-24
Matthew 5:23-24: “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (of worship to the Lord).


What Happens When We Do These Things?

When we biblically deal with our guilt, God responds.

  1. God forgives our offense and restores fellowship with Him (and sometimes others)
  2. God cleanses our lives- and continues to make us holy (like Him and for His use), increasing the spiritual power in our lives, enabling His mighty work in our lives.
  3. He removes emotional guilt (Ps 32:3-5). That results in the end of self-loathing. It means finally having the grace to forgive ourselves and to stop allowing ourselves to be condemned by Satan and to live under the crushing weight of others’ disapproval.

  4. Like this? Share it!

Newsflash | "How to Have a Clear Conscience" Series | Weekly in August

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Coming in August, we will offer a Spiritual Formation Focus for the entire month. Our series is called “How to Have a Clear Conscience.”

In it, we’ll offer “How to Have a Clear Conscience” Featuring:
Prepare your heart for this powerful series! Podcasts, Blogs, and Vlogs begin launching at the beginning of August 2017!
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Why You 'Still' Feel Guilty (Watch Our Very First Facebook Live Video)

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It’s sad.

One of the saddest realities of human existence is the fact that so many people carry around the unbearable weight of guilt from past mistakes.
The existence of guilt is one of the primary reasons psychologists, counselors, therapists, physicians, pharmacists, and florists stay perpetually busy. People all around the world seek to assuage their guilt through so many things and yet, for the most part, people remain locked in the grip of either ‘guilt’ itself… or the toxins and captors that promised freedom from guilt.
Freedom from the pain of guilt is available to all, but receiving such freedom (emancipation, really) comes on God’s terms, not ours.
For a person, any person, who wants to truly be free… freedom awaits. But the process of being forgiven cannot be short-circuited, otherwise we remain in its suffocating grip.
Let’s explore what I believe are the six scriptural principles of freedom from guilt. And our failure to comply with these six biblical principles is “Why You (We, or I) Still Feel Guilty.”


Thank you!

This event aired live on Facebook on July 22, 2017. It simultaneously aired on Twitter and Periscope livestream as well. Without calculating non-Facebook views, we’re excited that over 300 friends and supporters have now viewed this important discussion on forgiveness and mercy. This is a screenshot from earlier that includes many, but not all of our views and engagement. You’ll see that nearly 1000 of you engaged the Live (or Later) event in some way, in addition to the views that were mentioned. Please accept our thanks. You’re encouraged to view it again, or please share it using the social media buttons on this page– just click and it’s done!


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As also seen on Periscope and Twitter here.

Why You Still Feel Guilty (Podcast)

Blog Header New 2017 July large logoE015, Why You Still Feel Guilty FACEBOOK, podcast version


One of the saddest realities of human existence is the fact that so many people carry around the unbearable weight of guilt from past mistakes.
The existence of guilt is one of the primary reasons psychologists, counselors, therapists, physicians, pharmacists, and florists stay perpetually busy. People all around the world seek to assuage their guilt through so many things and yet, for the most part, people remain locked in the grip of either ‘guilt’ itself… or the toxins and captors that promised freedom from guilt.
I doubt if this is overstated.
People truly are riddled with guilt from past mistakes and besetting sins from which they just can’t get free.
It’s really, really, really time for that to end. But it isn’t automatic. Freedom from the pain of guilt is available to all, but receiving such freedom (emancipation, really) comes on God’s terms, not ours.
For a person, any person, who wants to truly be free… freedom awaits. But the process of being forgiven cannot be short-circuited, otherwise we remain in its suffocating grip.
In this important podcast episode, we will explore what I believe are the six scriptural principles of freedom from guilt. And failure to comply with these six principles is “Why You Still Feel Guilty.”

Listen