A Crushed Spirit

StonesThink of a precious child. Maybe it’s your grandchild, a friend’s little boy, the little girl you teach at Sunday school who God leads you to lavish extra love on.  Now picture someone screaming  “You’ll never amount to anything!” “I wish you had never been born!” “You’re worthless!”  into their innocent little heart. It’s unimaginable that people could hurt a child in such a way. Unfortunately, it happens every day in homes across America. And the wounds in the heart of that little child can last a lifetime. Maybe that child was you long ago.

Often because all the child knows is abuse they will be drawn to people in adulthood who will abuse them much in the same way where control is at the forefront of the abuse.  Angry threats like “If you leave me, I’ll kill you!” Or, “You and the kids won’t get a dime from me.” Both are examples of verbal and emotional abuse and are controlling tactics in abusive relationships

Abuse can also happen without a spoken word – it can be degrading looks, threatening stares, aggressive body language or other threatening behaviors. These actions are meant to inflict fear with great success leaving the person who is on the receiving end with emotional pain that stunts emotional growth.

In some circles even Christian ones people don’t want to talk about emotions and when they are discussed the importance of emotional health and wholeness is minimized. Yet, we know that with deeply wounded people negative emotions are at the center of thinking, feeling actions, and poor choices.

Emotional abuse attacks at the core of a person’s value, crushing their confidence, and chips away at their self-worth, breaking their spirit in the process. God’s word says “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries us the bones. “(Proverbs 17:22)

Stop the cycle. Seek help. God takes broken things and makes them whole. Run to the Balm of Gilead. Jesus is the balm who can heal the wounds of God’s children.

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Letting Go of The Past

imageWe are told in scripture to let go of the past and reach forward to what’s ahead. But what if we can’t?

Some of us have been so wounded that we are crippled emotionally, and the past continues to affect every area of our lives. So, instead of running the Christian race with endurance, we limp and struggle along the way often overcome with self-loathing, guilt and shame for not ‘getting it’ like other Christians.

Some mask their wounds with out of control negative behaviors, others by staying busy “being good’ so as not to deal with the pain.

Neither has ever fully accepted the love and grace of God. Only when the wounds of our hearts are deal with that we can truly put the past behind us, and 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 the race with endurance that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith “Hebrews 12:1-2

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Life Beyond Emotional Pain

life beyond pain“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Cor. 1:4

It is in our greatest struggles and pain that we encounter The Comforter – Our Jesus in the deepest intimate way. And we emerge on the other side with a heart of compassion for those who face the same hurts and struggles.

Our God not only heals and restores our broken hearts and lives, but He is faithful to turn our pain into a ministry of compassion to reach the hurting so we can comfort others as we have been comforted.

He truly gives us beauty for ashes.

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Do You Want To Be Made Well?

do youJesus asked one question to the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:6 “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 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 of emotional pain. 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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Love Need

imageLove is the bond of perfection.” Colossian 3:14

It is absolutely true that hurting people hurt people. Don’t be quick to judge the behavior on the surface and not see the need below.

When children feel unwanted, unheard, not valuable, incapable, powerless, or hurt, they often lash out. Parents love your children well.

The lack of love will damage a child emotionally and will have consequences throughout their lives affecting their own children. Stop the generational sins.

You cannot do it alone. Put on God’s love. His love is perfect. It leads towholeness. Jesus makes broken things new.

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Own Your Part

As Much as dependsWe can’t change people’s hearts. But God can! Where there is relationship conflict, we must remember that people react by the way they have learned to deal with matters of the heart, and it might not even be rooted in truth.

There are three sides to the story, but only one is accurate – God’s perspective. We are only responsible for our junk. We must ask God to show us our part – confess, repent and ask for forgiveness where applicable and give the rest to Him.

Don’t hold on to things and demand that people see things your way because it may be skewed by your own unhealthy life experiences. Keep your own side of the street clean. If you can change it, change it. If you can’t release it!

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Forgiving From The Heart

forgiveness heartDo you still feel this person owes you? Are you expecting them to pay you back for the hurt they cost? Do you feel bitter, angry and resentful towards them? Do you think they should suffer for what they did? Do you want revenge? If you answer yes to any of these, then you have not forgiven in your heart.

Holding on to unforgiveness will pollute your heart and allow their sin to continue to hurt you. Choosing to forgive does not condone their sin. It doesn’t mean there should be no justice. There are consequences to sin, but only God is the righteous judge.

Release the offender to Him and refuse to harbor negative feelings towards those who have hurt you. If you don’t know how to forgive, seek Jesus. He is faithful to put people in our lives that will help us process the hurts so that we can grieve, accept and release them to the feet of the cross so we can forgive from the heart. That’s true freedom.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:23

 

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Stuffing Feelings

coffee beans“Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13

Sometimes we hold on to hurt without communicating the nature of hurts to others.

They often aren’t even aware they have offended us. When we stuff our feelings eventually, the stuffing is going to come out.

That’s because when you fill anything with pressure, it will explode. In the same way, the outburst in our hearts can result in broken marriages and relationships, especially our relationship with God.

Some are shocked to find out that we have been keeping score of their wrongdoings against us.

Give people a chance to state their case and learn to forgive. Don’t stuff your feelings. Express them, forgive and release others to Jesus – the One, who displayed to us with His precious blood how mercy triumphs over judgment.

 

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The Root of Bitterness

“As much as depends on you live at peace with all people.” Romans 12:18.

People hurt, mistreat, abuse, abandon and betray us.

God sees and validates our pain. But he also tells us to pursue peace so that we do not fall short of His grace and let bitterness take root to defile us.

Bitterness comes when we hold on to hurt and refuse to forgive those who have hurt us. It affects everything around us and causes us to have a hardened heart. We can even take on a victim mentality where we feel constantly wronged by others. It will pollute our overall view of the world and affects how we treat people.

No matter what we are not entitled to our sinful responses to how others have hurt us. Doing so only causes separation between God, ourselves and others. We can’t change people or make them see the error of their ways but God can. But we can take our wounded hearts, bitterness and unforgiveness to the one who has shown us how to love mercy instead of demanding justice.

Bitterness hinders repentance and forgiveness in relationships. The cure for bitterness starts with our hearts. It’s not something we do flippantly or dismissively without considering the cost of the sin committed against us, its effects and the wounds left behind.

Ask Jesus to help you process the hurts and choose to forgive. You will then have a beautiful gift to offer others – true forgiveness from the heart. A heart that says what you did to me hurt me deeply but I choose to forgive you and release you from a debt you cannot repay just as my precious Jesus forgave me and released me from mine.

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Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

looking for love
Every human being yearns to be loved. It’s a legitimate need placed in us by our creator. If our need for love is not met as children, we will go through life with an empty void in our hearts looking for love in all the wrong places taking our empty love cups to people, places and things desperate to have our cups filled.

We can also try to fill our cups through approval, achievements, affirmation, control, money, success, appearance or immediate gratification. Unfortunately, none of these things will satisfy the ravenous craving in our hearts for love because only God’s love satisfies. His love is unfailing, unwavering, unconditional and never ending. His love is enough. Any other kind of love will leave us wanting, even suffocated, drained, yearning for peace and contentment. Because it’s not the real deal. It’s a counterfeit. It leads to captivity – bound to someone or something.  Authentic love leads to freedom.

God’s word says ” That you being rooted and grounded in love will be able to comprehend with all the saints how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is, and to know this love which passes knowledge; that you may filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

We will never be able to experience the depth of God’s love unless we have a healthy love foundation.  Have you experienced the fullness of God’s love? If not, there may be something you were rooted in preventing God’s love from taking root in the soil of your heart that may be causing you try to get your love cup filled in all the wrong places.

Take your empty cup to Jesus and ask Him to fill it and remove any barriers and false beliefs preventing you from receiving His deep, satisfying love. He is faithful to meet us at our point of need. His love never fails.

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