Our Need for Love

love in all the wrong places
Every human being has an inward need and craving for love. As children our parents were meant to model and fill our need for love often failing because many can only pour out what was poured into them, either healthy love or unhealthy love. If our need for love is not met, we will go through life trying to get our need met through people, places and things apart from God. We will go seeking after the wrong bread and start to feed off that which never satisfies our hunger for love.

Psalm 27 says, “A satisfied man craves the honeycomb, but to a hungry man even the bitter thing seems sweet.” What does this mean in modern language? Bad love is better than no love at all. It’s easy to judge those who stay in abusive or dysfunctional relationships, or the young woman who cruises bars giving her body away freely. How about women, young and old, who dress provocatively and cheapen themselves because they do not know their value and worth? The sad reality is that they are looking for love and acceptance, but like the song says, they are looking for love in all the wrong places. This cheap imitation of love is better than no love at all. Chances are they have never had their need for love met, so they try to get it anyway they know how.

So we keep running to people, places and things hoping they will fill our deepest need for love, but we are left continually unsatisfied. It is not wrong to desire to be loved, God created us for love, but it is desperately wrong for us to think that we can get our deepest need for love in anything other than the love of Christ.

Psalm 107:9 declares, “God satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with goodness.” In other words, He will not take away our craving for love; instead He satisfies it the right way. Oswald Chambers wrote, “No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first.”

Some of us know these truths in our heads but not in our hearts. If you are having a difficult time letting this truth resonate deeply into your heart and soul, it may be that there are some wounded areas that need to be healed so that you can experience the fullness of His radical love for you.

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Requirement for Healing

Made Well

Jesus asked one question to the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:2 “Do you want to be made well?” This is the pivotal question for every person seeking healing for emotional wounds. The simple truth is that not everyone wants to be made well. They may start off eager with the best intentions, feeling emotionally that they cannot go on another day, but at the end of the day, do not want to be made well, and those who do not want to get well are not going to get well.

Why would I not want to walk in the freedom from the bondage that Christ set me free from? F-E-A-R! Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of what may be uprooted and exposed, fear of pain, fear that we may have to give up (someone or something); Or we may not be desperate enough yet.

Perhaps we have grown comfortable in our dysfunction and are comfortable in a victim role. We may not have reached a breaking point yet where we face losing someone we love, such as a spouse, or a relationship, maybe even a job, our freedom, and in our minds – we tell ourselves as bad as our current situation is – “it’s not as bad as so and so’s”, or at least we know how to respond, or how to continue to do life and even serve in ministry. However, we are putting on the painted smile while living in a prison in our own mind. But make no mistake…It is never God’s fault. If we do not want to embark on the journey and “be made well” – we won’t get well. Healing is a choice.

If you are in a place where you are desperate enough to get help and want to be made well then I pray that nothing will hinder you from getting the healing that you need and will encounter the Healer in a deep and intimate way.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:3

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Emotionally Crippled

emotionally crippled 2We are told in scripture to let go of the past and reach forward to what’s ahead. Sadly, many of God’s children cannot let go or forget the past because they have been wounded and crippled emotionally in one way or another, and the past is affecting their present life. So instead of running the Christian race they limp along the way often overcome with guilt and shame for not “getting it” like other Christians seemingly do.

Our Churches are filled with two types of emotional crippled Christians, The first have open wounds in their hearts that they medicate through negative behaviors such as addiction, immorality, anger etc. They live in denial not realizing their destructive and hurtful behaviors have a root cause.

The second group of wounded believers are also in denial but through sheer will power they have chosen to bury and rise above their past often pouring themselves into ministry, volunteer work, charities, and other busy activities out of a personal need to be needed and valued rather than a healthy heart to serve. By staying busy they don’t have to face themselves and the wounds inside, or learn to receive from others.

These two groups have one important thing in common – they have never accepted the Grace of God. Whatever they do, even spiritually, it never seems to be enough. It’s as if they have to earn God’s acceptance, and yet never feel they are good enough to fully receive it. The first group is overcome with sinful behaviors; while the second group is so busy “being good” they don’t even consider the possibility that they may have festering wounds inside that need healing.

It is only when unresolved areas within are dealt with that the past can truly be put behind and we are able to run the race with endurance and assurance of God’s calling and purpose for our life.

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

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Rejection

Rejection
Nothing wounds a heart more than rejection. The dictionary defines rejection as “an act of throwing away or discarding someone or something,” which implies a lack of value in the person or thing being thrown away. Being rejected then can make us feel valueless and worthless.

Since every human being has three fundamental needs ….to be loved, valued and accepted, rejection results in wounding in the heart so painful that people cannot deal with it so they suppress it in their mind, stuff the pain away inside, pretend it’s not there and live in denial of their pain, but later it surfaces in various negative behaviors causing deeper pain, problems and conflict much like a layering affect.

Rejection can be rooted in our family of origin, peers, those in authority (teachers, pastors, etc.), resulting from verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, troubles in the home, adoption, divorce, abandonment, infidelity, and peer rejection.

Sadly rejection can breed more rejection if the roots are not dealt with. People with rejection issues often feel victimized and place themselves in situations where they are always the victim, whether real or imagined and it sets a pattern that becomes a way of life, Others turn to exhausting ways to feel accepted – people pleasing, perfectionism, workaholic, etc. Others refuse to deal with it all together and check out through, drugs, alcohol, anger, immorality, and other negative behaviors. Unless the root is dealt with, the truth is accepted and replaced –the by-product or rejection will always be rejection.

Despite the past rejection our God can heal you. He can walk into the darkness of rejection and shed His marvelous light on the path of your healing journey. The one who created you and numbers the hairs on your head will never reject you. He wants to heal those painful roots of rejection so that you can live in His acceptance.

“I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do: I will not forsake them. “
(Isaiah 42:16)

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True Intimacy & Sex

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Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. This is something that we all long for because that is how God made us. We were designed to connect. It requires openness, honesty and transparency – the ability to share our true selves and have security knowing that we are loved and accepted just the way we are despite our imperfections. This is true intimacy.

 
Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love within the boundaries of marriage but we are lying to ourselves when we think that sex is proof of love. How many men do you know that demand sex as proof of love and how many women give in to sex in hopes of getting love?
Real intimacy does not come by merely coming together in sex. Many couples go to bed at night sharing their bodies but feel lonely because they don’t share their hearts. You see sex is not the source of love, it’s merely an expression of it . And no matter how hard you try, if real emotional and spiritual intimacy does not take place before sex, it probably won’t after.

 
True intimacy begins with your relationship with God first. This relationship is the foundation for all healthy relationships. When you let the living God be the source of intimacy and love in your life, you won’t fall for the pitfalls of relationships devoid of emotional and spiritual intimacy that leave your heart longing and unsatisfied.

 

“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9

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Signs of Unhealthy Bounaries

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Healthy boundaries are essential in establishing healthy relationships. Unhealthy boundaries lead to unhealthy relationships and broken boundaries lead to broken relationships. People with unhealthy boundaries….

Allow wrongful behavior that hurts them, the person acting out and the entire family.

Sacrifice their personal values, plans or goals to please others.

Allow others to define who they are and make decisions for them.

Expect others to fulfill all their needs.

Feel guilty when they say “No!”

Hesitate to share their opinions or assert themselves if they are being treated unfairly.

Frequently feel used, taken advantage of, unappreciated, threatened, victimized or mistreated by others.

Offer unsolicited advice, or feel pressured to follow some else’s advice.

Take responsibility for other people’s feelings.

Let others tell them how to think, feel, or act.

Tell others how to think, feel, or act.

If you struggle with unhealthy boundaries, you can also struggle with being afraid to disapprove of others, receiving criticism from others, or losing the love of others.

By choosing to allow God to heal you, fill you with His love and identity, and allow Him to be the source of the only love that will satisfy your every need — you will gain a newfound freedom knowing your value and worth, and begin seeing yourself through the filter of His love and not through the filter of the unhealthy people around you. Then you can stop being a victim and walk in victory, stop blaming others and start taking ownership and responsibility of your own life as a precious child of the living God.

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Free Counseling Workshop

12Fear, betrayal, rejection, anger, unforgiveness, addictions, relationship conflict, are just some of the real life struggles facing God’s children today. Proverbs 4:3 says “Above all else, guard your hearts, for everything you do flows from it.” Is your heart troubled? Do you know someone who is hurting? Healing only comes when we deal with the matters of our hearts.

Come join us as we explore the issues and struggles that affect God’s people every day that cause so much pain and conflict. Hear practical advice and learn biblical counseling solutions that will walk you into freedom and victory. This counseling workshop is designed to not only provide you with help for personal struggles, but will also equip and empower you to help and disciple others who are hurting.

Help for Hurting Hearts Workshop is offered free of charge and open to all. However, registration is required as seating is limited. Hope you can join us. We are covering you in prayer. May God richly bless you.

For more information and registration please visit us at our website.

http://www.thebalmofgilead.co/

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The Root of All Hurt

The Root of All HurtThe painful wounds in our hearts can always be traced back to the effects of sin, whether ours or someone else’s. Understanding the root of hurt is the first step to healing.

Most people run from emotional pain and try to medicate through all sorts of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse, alcohol, anger, etc. While others stuff their pain, pretend it’s not there, pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become perfectionists, workaholics, overachievers, involve themselves in one activity after another, overextend themselves and wear themselves out.

Disguising your pain with either good or bad habits, or addictions creates a vicious cycle of guilt and shame. Whatever the coping mechanism, until the root of the hurt is dealt with the wound will continue to fester.

God wants to heal your broken heart. No matter what you have been  through, God is bigger than anything you have experienced or are experiencing now. No matter where you’ve been, what you have done or what has been done to you … the Master Healer, Jehovah Rapha, can transform your innermost hurts into conduits of His blessings.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead can heal and restore you. He only asks one thing…”Do you want to be made well?” Healing is a choice.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

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What Are Boundaries Exactly?

Boundary LineIn the physical world, boundaries are easy to see….. lines, fences, signs, hedges…..these are all physical boundaries. They give the same message….THIS IS WHERE MY PROPERTY BEGINS. As the owner of the property, I am legally responsible what happens on my property line. Non owners are not responsible. In the spiritual realm boundaries are just as real only harder to see. Yet they serve the same purpose. They protect ownership.

The word of God says that our bodies are the temple of the living God and His Spirit lives in us. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)  We have been bought at a price…by the precious blood of Jesus . (1 Corinthians 6:20) Therefore, we belong to Jesus first and foremost and our identity is in Him and Him alone. Boundaries merely help guard and protect that relationship and our relationship with self and others.

Boundaries also defend us physically, emotionally and spiritually from intrusive or unwanted dangers. They also make it possible to engage and enjoy a mutually healthy relationships because they protect those relationships  by setting the course for mutual respect, consideration and safety.

Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins….leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. If I know where my yard begins and ends, I am free to take responsibility for my life and it opens us options to pursue the person that God created me to be. It also gives me the freedom to allow you to be who God created you to be and take responsibility for your own life. This takes the burden off both you and me.

When you have healthy boundaries you guard yourself from giving more than you should and protect you from others taking more than they should.

Boundaries help bring order to your personal world and the world around you and guard against enmeshment and codependency where you are controlled by others and stripped of your identity in Christ causing great conflict in all areas of your life.

Gods word tell us to……” Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

How about you? Do you have healthy boundaries? If not ask the Lord to show you how to put boundaries in place that will guard your heart and help you engage in mutually healthy relationships that are blessed by God.

 

 

 

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Identifying Hidden Anger

 

Many people are completely unaware that they harbor hidden anger – suppressed anger that surfaces occasionally. While this hidden anger is usually rooted in past childhood hurts, what lies beneath is ready to erupt at any moment much like a volcano. For instance when someone does or says something wrong, the one with hidden and suppressed anger often overreacts. Or when someone makes an innocent mistake the magnitude of anger unleashed is out of proportion with the simple mistake.

If you have hidden anger you may find yourself at one extreme or another – hopelessness to extreme hostility and yet be completely unaware why you are experiencing  these feelings and may even be clueless to the  severity of your outbursts of anger towards others and how they are being hurt emotionally in the wake of your anger.

The bible describes this perfectly. “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.”
(Psalm 73:21–22)

Unresolved anger causes burning deep wounds into your relationship with God and with others. This powerful emotion robs your heart of peace, joy and steals contentment from your spirit.

Signs of Hidden Anger:

• Do you become irritable over little things?
• Do you smile on the outside, while you hurt on the inside?
• Do you find your identity and worth in excessive work?
• Do you deny ever being impatient?
• Do you have to have the last word?
• Do those close to you say that you blame others?
• Do you become easily frustrated?

If you find that you have hidden anger commit to letting go with God’s help.

“You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8). These things defile our hearts and keep us from intimacy with ourselves,
God and others.

A willingness to admit you have hidden anger is the first step to freedom. The next is identifying the source. Anger is a secondary emotion. It’s typically started and fueled by one of four sources: hurt, injustice, fear, or frustration. With these roots, anger is a secondary response to one or more of these four sources. Digging into buried feelings from your past can be painful. So, it can seem easier to stay angry than to uncover the cause,  but God wants to set you free. He wants you to get rid of the bad fruit and be a storehouse that houses a plentiful harvest of good fruit. It’s not easy. It requires work and persistence. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

“ Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)

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