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Dr. Joel Freeman, success coach, professional counselor,  advisor to pro athletes and president of The Freeman Instituteô, knows what it takes to get your conscience to work for you. In Living With Your Conscience Without Going Crazy, he couples his sometimes off-the-wall brand of humor with personal vulnerability and ancient wisdom as he demonstrates how all of us, even great heroes of faith, struggle with issues of conscience.

IN THIS IMAGINATIVE BOOK, YOU WILL:

  • Eavesdrop on make-believe conversations with angels.
  • Attend an imaginary "Neurotics Anonymous" meeting made up of prominent biblical characters.
  • Learn what caused the Old Testament prophet, Balaam, to compromise his message as told by, who else? His donkey!

Combining biblical case studies and examples from his own life experience, author Freeman helps us find freedom from the tyranny of unrealistic expectations and false guilt. You'll learn what the Bible says about the power of the clear conscience, and you'll discover how to experience integrity with God, yourself, and others.

Our conscience was not designed to hold us hostage. Freeman shows us how well it can work for our good by reinforcing a healthy fear of the Lord, which is "the beginning of wisdom". Get your conscience on your side at last by reading this powerful book. Joel is the author of four other books. Plus Dr. Freeman facilitates a number of seminar programs.

By the way, Dr Freeman's books are currently in 25 foreign translation editions. Check out the open letter inviting you to participate in more of these foreign translation projects.

 

 

Neurotics Anonymous Membership Card


-- or continue reading --

 TABLE OF CONTENTS


Foreword by Warren Wiersbe

  Introduction Ė Horror Stories

  1. Another Day Shot to Heaven
  2. Neurotics Anonymous
  3. INtegrity, UPtegrity, OUTegrity
  4. Give Your Angel a Break
  5. Weasel Clauses
  6. The Power of the Squeaky Clean Conscience
  7. Rock of Jell-O
  8. Confessions of an Approval Addict
  9. Jackass Theology
  10. Live Right, Anyway
  11. Prepare for Failure, Plan for Success
  12. Elevator Express
  13. In Time of Need

  APPENDIX

  1. The Fear Advantage
  2. Choices
  3. Twenty Choices

188 PAGES

"Hits all of us right where we live."

  Albert Einstein said that real issue in progress depended on conscience. That includes individual progress as well as progress in society. It includes you and me and what we do with our lives. Conscience can mean progressÖin building characterÖin achieving goalsÖin relating to other peopleÖin the handling of the defeats and disasters of lifeÖin making a life as well as a living. This book is about progress and hope. It's about you and your conscience. Take it seriously. The future you save will be your own.
~ Warren Wiersbe, Author and Speaker
  From his unique style and perspective, Joel Freeman exposes the human conscience. He asks readers to look that their own conscience with both laughter and conviction. The conscience has an intricate function in God's design of human beings. Making peace with our conscience God's way is necessary for healthy Christian living. Freeman's book is a source of reflection and insight on this important topic.
~ Paul Meier, M.D., New Life Clinics
  With wit and disarming style, Joel Freeman explains the many benefits that come from a clear conscience. He offers refreshing insights on a subject that hits all of this right where we live.
~ Dr. D. James Kennedy, President, Evangelism Explosion
  Living With Your Conscience Without Going Crazy is for the many men and women whose conscience is cluttered with guilt over things they may or may not be responsible for. Joel's humorous approach makes it easy reading as he leads you on a journey to resolve the guilt resulting in the freedom of a clear conscience.
~ Florence Littauer, Author and Speaker

Integrity, ethics, conscience. These attributes are sorely lacking, not only in the world today, but within the church as well! Joel's book gently confronts the real issues which the church faces today. Rationalization and excuses have replaced truths and repentance which Joel so poignantly entitles " weasel clauses". Living With Your Conscience is easy to read but hard to digestÖI heartily recommend this book for all who desire to remove the "sludge" from their Christian walk.
~ George Otis, President, High Adventures
  Combining biblical case studies with examples from his own experience, Freeman gives freedom from the tyranny of unrealistic expectations and false guilt.
~ Christian Retailing

CLICK HERE to order this book (or continue reading)

ANOTHER  DAY  SHOT  TO  HEAVEN

CHAPTER ONE

  She was young, probably in her early twenties. Her straight, dark hair hung down to a red, semi-revealing halter-top and framed a rather fine-featured, pretty face that was lined with boredom. Her smile seemed forced, but inviting. But what about those cold, calculating, lifeless eyes? Steel-blue. Penetrating. She seemed to be looking through him - beyond him.

  There he was, all alone, with his car idling pleasantly while stopped at a red light, minding his own business. Michael, a hard-working, God-fearing, father-of-four, mow-the-lawn-every-Saturday insurance broker, was at an all-American intersection. You know the kind with a McDonalds to the right, a hardware store on the left and a fire station straight ahead.

  All of a sudden, out of nowhere she came. It mustíve been from his blind spot. He didnít see her until a tapping noise on the passenger side window caused him to turn suddenly and look. She made a circular movement with her hand indicating that she wanted him to roll the window down. Involuntarily, he reached over and cranked the lever - awkwardly straining to comply.

  The first question out of her mouth stunned him. (For the sake of decency we will not print what she said.) He had always considered himself to be a fairly unshockable person, but he was shocked. It was as if someone had sucker-punched him in the solar plexus.

  His mind jerked instantly into high gear with a hundred rationalizations bombarding him from all sides. Hereís you opportunity. No one will ever find out. She is rather cute. Címom, you can receive Godís forgiveness afterwards. Loosen up, dummy. Youíve walked the "straight and narrow" for a long time now. How about a slight, pleasurable detour?

  For what seemed like and eternity, Michael stared back at her. Their eye contact probably lasted no more than one whole second. "No, thank you," he responded, trying hard to conjure up a tone of voice that sounded non-judgmental, yet firm.

  Without changing her facial expression, she turned and walked to the rear of the car. Whew, that was too close for comfort! His emotions turned to Jell-O. He felt like the moments following a near head on collision with another vehicle: dazed; relieved; panicky; acutely aware of his mortality.

  He reached shakily up to his rear-view mirror, adjusting it so he could see where she was going. The guy behind him in the blue sedan was watching her too. After a brief verbal exchange at the other guyís passenger window, she hopped in. The light turned green.

  Michael turned left on the Double-lane Boulevard. The guy in the blue sedan wasted no time as he sped around and then ahead of him. Michael caught a glimpse of her gazing vacantly out of the window. He tried as best he could to follow them, but soon lost sight of the car. His mind continued to race.

  Are they going to a motel that rents by the hour? To her apartment? To a secluded park? Am I getting some kind of vicarious thrill out of this whole thing?

  Did Michael handle this situation with integrity? Oh, sure, he said no to temptation, but why did he feel a twinge of regret for saying no? Why did he even have second thoughts? Where did the adrenaline come from?

  Integrity. Though stuff. Another day shot to heaven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

  It was a "typical" day at the office. Phone calls to be returned. Reports to be drafted. A general atmosphere of tension.

  Saundra, a pleasant, professionally attired woman in her thirties, was suddenly interrupted by the half-whisper of her respected co-worker, Harold.

  "I need to talk to you real bad," he confided in hushed tones. "Can we get together at lunch time? I canít stand it any longer. Iíve got to talk to somebody real soon or Iím going to burst. Youíre the only person I can trust."

  As Saundra went back to her task at hand, she smiled. It sure feels good to be trusted.

  The morning passed quickly. Before she knew it, Harold was calling her by name and they both settled down for a hearty lunch.

  "Itís Duane," Harold said. "I canít stand him."

  Saundra knew Duane vaguely. He had been on the job for approximately a month. "What seems to be the problem?" she queried.

  As Harold detailed the situation, Saundra listened intently with genuine desire to help. Within a matter of minutes, however, she made the awkward conclusion that Harold was gossiping. It was the way he tore Duane down and built himself up. It was his tone of voice and demeaning spirit.

  Several times Saundra attempted to interject thoughts that would objectify the situation, but to no avail. She soon realized that he wasnít really interested in a solution. She was merely a sounding board for his frustration. Harold kept plowing forward - full steam ahead.

  She began to feel extremely uncomfortable. Harold wouldnít be talking like this if Duane were present. She didnít want to be unkind or represent and attitude of superiority yet she didnít want to be a party to what was transpiring, either.

  Should she keep quiet and not say a word in order to avoid injuring her working relationship with Harold? Or should she tell Harold to work out his differences with Duane - alone?

  Perhaps she should gently stop him. Admitting, "I have a real problem with listening to gossip. I love to hear every nasty juicy bit a scandalous rumor. In fact, I have to slap my hand every time I stand in line at the grocery store checkout counter. While Iím waiting I have to fight the desire to read about Liz Taylorís latest UFO lover in one of those national sleaze journals. You see, I have real tough time hearing negative things about other people when Iím not a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Thank you for understanding."

  Integrity. Tough stuff. Another day shot to heaven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

  Sharon, a woman in her mid-fifties, had been attending several months worth of meetings at the church I pastor. Her husband Jerry had come with her several times but portrayed a general disinterest in spiritual matters. He was a no-nonsense, gruff, General Patton-type of guy. I was intrigued by him, and for some reason I had a desire to really get to know him.

  One evening my wife, Shirley, and I were invited to their home for dinner. Shirley immediately joined Sharon in the kitchen, Jerry and I settled down in the living room. In short order we discovered a common interest - hunting. We discussed such esoteric subjects as muzzle velocity, bullet weights and shell reloading techniques. He showed me his gun cabinet. With near-reverential awe, I inspected each piece of his collection of firearms.

  "By the way," he said as he watched me fondle his finely etched double-barreled shotgun, "how would you like to go rabbit hunting with me in a couple of weeks?"

  "Hey, that would be great," I responded, thinking about the welcome break it would bring into my busy schedule.

  "Good! Iíll arrange a date with my friend who lives up near the Pennsylvania border. He owns a fruit orchard and there are plenty of good places on his land."

  Then came the crucial question. "Do you have your hunting license?"

"Oh, sure," I said quickly. "No problem there. Itíll be all taken care of."

  Actually, I had no intention of getting my license. My rationalization gears were already whirring. Hey, nobodyís gonna check for my license. Weíll be hunting on private land, anyway. Furthermore, why blow a twenty-dollar bill for a lousy license that I probably wonít have time to use for the rest of the season? What? Me worry? No problem! The rest of the evening went by quickly. All was well. Or so I thought.

  I pulled into Jerryís driveway about 4 oíclock on the morning we were to go hunting. The early morning air was clear crisp. His hound dogs knew what was on the agenda for the day. Their enthusiasm was catching.

  After we exchanged some small talk, he asked, "Whereís your hunting license?"

  This took me by surprise. I didnít expect him to bring the subject up. Instinctively, I began to pat my pockets as if I was looking for my license. "Oh my gosh," I blurted, "I mustíve left it at home." Secretly I was hoping that heíd consider the forty extra minutes it would take to drive to my apartment a waste of time and say, "Oh, letís just forget about it."

  But he didnít. Instead he made the dreaded statement, "OK, then, weíll drive to your house and pick it up."

  Yikes! Why did he have to play this one by the book? My emotions bottomed out. Whatís he gonna think of me when he finds out the truth? Heíll probably lose all respect for me. Suddenly I had a surge of hope. Maybe I can find last yearís license and put it in the plastic holder pinned to the back of my jacket. Sure, last yearís license is a different color, but during the whole trip Iíll position myself so that heíll never get a good look at my back. Itíll be hard, but I can do it.

  I couldnít allow him to catch me in this lie. After all, heíd probably never come back to church and Iíd be a laughing stock behind closed doors. Heíd say, "Sharon, are you going to hear that hypocritical, lying preacher again this Sunday? Donít waste your time. Heís a phony!" I could almost hear those accusing words burning in my ears.

  The pickup truck ride over to my apartment was one of the longest Iíve ever experienced. It was still dark, so he couldnít see the glum expression on my face. Upon our arrival, I walked purposefully up the steps and unlocked the door; once inside, however, nervous energy took over as I raced to the bedroom. I grabbed a flashlight, not wanting to wake my wife. Frantically I searched through my infamous junk drawer filled with maybe-it-will-come-in-handy-sometime treasures. Last yearís license was not to be found.

  I looked at the clock. Five minutes had elapsed. What was I to do? I buried my face in my hands. When everything else fails - tell the truth. The simple truth. Right? Wrong. At least not yet. I went to one more spot where it could be hidden. It wasnít there. Now it was time to really panic!

  I walked back to the truck. The light flickered on in the cab as I opened the door. I could see the expectant look in his eyes. Quickly I shut the door. I felt more comfortable in the darkness.

  "Jerry," I said tentatively while looking straight ahead, "I lied to you. I do not have my hunting license. Please forgive me."

  He started the truck and shifted into gear. Silence. I felt like a tiny grease spot. A little blob of quivering humanity.

  We drove for a good ten minutes without talking. What a stupid idiot! Why didnít I have the guts to tell him the truth right from the beginning? Why did I prolong the inevitable? I was forced to tell him the truth anyway. Why did I try to cover it up? Iím a poor excuse for a pastor. My credibility with him is shot to smithereens. Why doesnít he say something?

  He finally broke the silence. "Weíll pick up a license at a sporting goods store thatís on the way. Oh, by the way donít let what just happened bother you. Itís all going to work out." It was his way of accepting my apology.

  I finally told him the truth, but did I do so only because I was caught? Why did I feel so guilty even after asking for and receiving forgiveness both from God and Jerry? Was I more concerned about Jerryís estimation of me than I was Godís? After all the Bible training, counseling and preaching experience I had, why did I succumb to the age-old trap of trying to cover up one lie with a bigger one?

  Integrity. Tough stuff. Another day shot to heaven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

  In the manufacturerís handbook, the Bible, the apostle Paul claims that it is possible to do such incredible things as give our bodies to be burned, sell all we own and give the money to the poor, or have such faith that we could actually move mountains - and still not possess divine love.

  The same principle holds true with integrity. It is possible to return undeserved change given by the grocery store cashier, report every earned penny to the IRS, and drive 54.9 mph in a 55 mph zone - and still not have genuine integrity.

  "Iím depressed,í I can hear someone groan. "I might as well stop reading now."

  Donít give up. Thereís hope! I have discovered some wonderful principles that, when applied, can transform the lousiest attitude and can sharpen the blurriest focus. Instead of having our days shot to "hell" by the unexpected, unplanned-for circumstances, we can undergo an attitude change and can literally find ways to bleed the most impossible situations for every drop of spiritual maturity we can squeeze from it. Then weíll be ready to say. "Well, itís been another day shot to heaven. Itís been filled with eternal value. Canít wait till tomorrow to learn more about integrity!"

  Are you ready to grow together with me?

  As we head into the next chapter, pull your Neurotics Anonymous membership card out of your wallet, tilting your head while looking at it with a rather neurotic fondness and letís enter into a meeting that is about to be called to order. My card had already been presented.

  Bert and Ferd will be there.

Points to Ponder

  1. When was the last time you were confronted with a lack if integrity in your life? Try to remember what your innermost feelings were at that time.
  2. Your past, present and future lapses from integrity are prime candidates for Godís healing love and grace. As you read Living With Your Conscience Without Going Crazy, ask Him to help you apply the principles you will be learning.

 

CLICK HERE to order this book (or continue reading)

H O R R O R     S T O R I E S

I N T R O D U C T I O N


  Has the gift of blab ever gotten you in trouble?

  Deep trouble?

  Has your mental gymnastics exercise program ever included "jumping to conclusions" and "throwing temper tantrums"?

  Do you hate being in the presence of phonies?

  Have you ever focused your hatred upon a number-one jerk?

  Have you ever tried to build your success upon someone elseís
defeat?

  Have you ever struggled with the highs and lows of guilt addiction?

  Does your conscience have an 8th degree black belt?

  If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. Hey, join the club. I know a bunch of people who can join me in answering yes to every one of these questions. Even though I have an all-consuming desire to serve God in an honorable, fervent manner, sometimes I, like many others, feel like a hypocrite and a fraud - professing one thing while experiencing another.

  As a radio talk show host, pastor and trained counselor, I have counseled literally hundreds of people over the years. Many have expressed acute agony over the guilt experienced because of the frightening disparity between their actual emotional state and their perception of the way they ought to be. Itís like living in "no-manís land."

  Itís plain and simple. Sometimes we lack integrity. Sometimes we feel like weíre going crazy. Weíre not proud of it - but thatís reality.

  Iím not, however, content with staying in a rut. How about you? I want to grow - Godís way. Thereís a poster hanging above my younger sonís bed that says it all: God loves me just the way I am and too much to let me stay that way. How true! Thatís what itís all about.

  Warning. This is a serious book. Everyone has heard a "horror story." You know the kind - the respected minister suddenly leaves wife and kids, quits the ministry and moves in with another woman. Everyone is shocked. It was discovered that the affair had been in the works for over a year, complete with secret meetings and clandestine rendezvous at various motels. And he seemed to be so sincere. Lip-smacking, finger-wagging, head-shaking scandal.

  What about the "Christian " businessman who has all the appearances of a genteel rip-off artist? He tools down the highway in his vehicle, complete with "Honk if You Love Jesus" and "Christians Arenít Perfect, Just Forgiven" bumper stickers. Anyone who deals with him on any level deeper than his saccharine smile and bionic handshake is left with a sour taste and feels used. He leaves a trail of people who stock their bookshelves with volumes on the subject of forgiveness.

  Or how about the girl who was a typical (whatever that means) teenager? You watched her grow up and remember her as a vivacious, fun-loving youngster, but something happened. Almost overnight, it seemed, she turned into a sullen, obstinate person. The transformation was frightening. Right around fifteen years of age, you figure. One morning you wake up to see the bold print headlines screaming, Local Girl Dies in Suicide Pact. You become unnerved. Shattered. What went wrong? Why? Why? Her internal world mustíve been a confused mess.

  This is a challenging book. Everyone had lived a "horror story." You know what I mean - the kind where you lie on the floor, drawn up in a fetal position, sobbing until there are no tears left. A cruel verbal attack from someone you thought was a dear friend? Divorce? Rebellious son or daughter? Fired from your job? Jilted by a girlfriend or boyfriend? You fill in the blanks.

  This is a probing book. Everyone had told a "horror story." Itís no laughing matter. Ignoring tons of scriptural mandates about the dangers of judging and the wily, untamable nature of the tongue, you listened to some juicy gossip about another person. It felt to good to hear that someone else had "blown it." You had thought all along that underneath the exterior goody-two-shoes image of that individual was a two-faced hypocrite. And now what youíve heard about him had justified your suspicions. The spotlight was shifted from you and your own imperfections to someone else. You couldnít wait to blab it to some acquaintance, adding a few embellishments of your own.

  Many of us have settled on the big issues. Embezzlement. Murder. Sexual immorality. Drugs. Legalism or the fear of getting-caught-with- your-pants-down may keep us from blatant sins.

  But what about the "tiny" things? What can a series of small compromises do to the course of our lives? Are there tangible, positive benefits that flow from a life of integrity - one characterized by a clear conscience?

  A life of integrity. Is it dull? Is it a boring, rule-laden endeavor? Is it an unattainable goal? Is it one step forward thirteen steps backwards? Just how do you live with your conscience without going crazy?

  Iíve done a lot of contemplating on those issues, the bulk of which you now hold in your hands. But before addressing those questions and more, I want to thank God for many people who have contributed to my life and my way of thinking. In the 13th century, Bernard of Clairvaux said, "We are like dwarves on the shoulders of giantsÖ"

  Such "giants" of the past as Andrew Murray, Oswald Chambers, Watchman Nee, C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, and a host of others have influenced my writings. Many of my contemporaries, some of whom are mentioned in this book, have also supplied their "shoulders" for me to "stand upon." Many of my contemporaries, some of whom are mentioned in this book, have also supplied their "shoulders" for me to "stand upon."

  Bert and Ferd know them all.

Click here to order this book

WAIT! Before ordering I want to
check out Dr. Freeman's other three books.

 

     By the way, Dr Freeman's books are currently in 28 foreign translation editions. Check out the open letter inviting you to participate in more of these foreign translation projects.

 

 

"Dealing  With  People  Who  Drive  You  Crazy!"ģ
The Freeman Instituteô Box 305, Gambrill, Maryland 21054
TEL 410-729-4011   CELL 410-991-9718   FAX 410-729-0353
EMAIL info@freemaninstitute.com

 

 

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