In the last few blog posts I poured out my journey to living free in Christ. I faced lies that derailed my healing. At about this place on the road to freedom I encounter the Spirit of “Not me, I’m too unworthy. Poor pitiful me, I’ve known and done too much evil. God can’t heal this in my life.”
This is Pride. Instead of I’m too powerful I don’t need to be saved, I can do it myself. Pridefully, we say I’m too worthless, I can’t be healed. We mistakenly confuse being humble with self-abuse.
We confuse being valuable, God created us and being worthy, nothing bad should ever happen to us.
Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Pride twists this scripture to say something very different than what Jesus is saying. His response is recorded in Matthew 22:37-40
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
He does not say to hate yourself, and every bad thing that has ever happened to you is because you are unworthy. Those of us who experience abuse or trauma internalize this abuse as our fault; therefore, we hate ourselves for what happened. We should have been able to stop it. We must have been born different for this to happen to me. In response, we feel no confidence before God. Mistakenly, we think this is humility, but truthfully, it’s dangerous pride. We’re saying that we believe our sins are greater than God’s grace. The sins that were committed toward us are so bad God can’t forgive.
Bad things happen to everyone because all of us seek to satisfy fleshly desires at the expense of others. When we doubt the power of Christ’s blood, we’re stuck staring at ourselves instead of Christ.
This passage assumes that we will love ourselves. We will show compassion and grace when we fail, being patient and slow to anger, providing for healthy needs, as we would care for others. If we hate ourselves, then we will have a harshness to us that finds fault with others, while excusing ourselves. We will be defensive and unable to admit fault. We will be constantly concerned with what others think about us. This is a nice way to say we will be jealous and envious for others’ approval. We will be hungry for attention and respect, and very offended when others don’t treat us in the way we think they should, especially, when we’ve done something for them. We will consciously or unconsciously neglect the weak, the inconvenient, and the unattractive because they don’t seem to offer us much. Or, we will constantly be playing the hero for them because we think we will feel better about ourselves, if we act like a stand in savior. Then we will despise them because they don’t worship us as savior.
The focus will always be on ourselves. No one can live under this microscope of self-focus. The more focused on ourselves the more depressed we will become. We will never measure up. This cycle of negative thoughts is very addictive. The more negative we feel about ourselves, the more isolated and hopeless we feel. Hormones initiate every process in our bodies, and we can be addicted to depression at a chemical level. We cannot get spiritual and override the physical without acknowledging the physical problems we have.
The body, the mind, and the soul are connected to one another.
Many physical things influence our spiritual lives. Depression is real, and not always spiritual. Abuse and trauma change the brain. High blood pressure can make us feel anxious. Thyroid problems and vitamin B deficiency can cause depression, anxiety, forgetfulness to name a few symptoms. Blood sugar fluctuations causes a host of physical problems. Only a doctor can diagnosis these problems, and they don’t go away with more prayer and Bible study.
Emotional development disrupts our spiritual lives. Feelings of safety and acceptance from parents is a natural need. Managing emotions can be taught. Exploring the reasons why we are emotionally stunted, with a counselor, can be the first step to enjoying a closer walk with the Lord. Peter Scazzero’s book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is very helpful. Take his Personal Assessment test.
Don’t be afraid. Jesus came to set the captives free. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to feel out of control of my emotions.
Some of us have deep hurts that can’t be fixed with just pills and more prayer. Walking out of the darkness into God’s glorious light will free us, but no, time alone doesn’t heal. Not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. Ignoring past hurts allows them to fester and influence our present lives, sometimes unconsciously. We can live and feel better, but we don’t live in a magical world. God has a plan for discipleship. He has many doctors and counselors with the gift of healing. Healing doesn’t just happen. The process of sanctification is a journey.
God wants to heal our past, present, and future hurts. The physical brain can change. Please read this blurb about the book, The Brain that Changes Itself.
“The brain is not, as was thought, like a machine, or “hardwired” like a computer. Neuroplasticity not only gives hope to those with mental limitations, or what was thought to be incurable brain damage, but expands our understanding of the healthy brain and the resilience of human nature.” Norman Doidge, MD, a psychiatrist and researcher.
Counselors, trusted friends, living within a church family can help us heal emotionally. We can learn new ways of managing emotions.
Because of my journey through recovery, I believe not only that God can heal us, but that HE WANTS to heal us. In my search for healing I found God. My purpose became about knowing and loving Him because He knows and loves me.