Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Will You Be Made Whole? (Part 7 - The Bitter Pill)

Everyone has tasted the bitter pill at some point in life, and the truth is, it’s no fun tasting it because not only does it not taste good, it affects other areas of your body (mentally, emotionally and in many cases, spiritually). I want to address the bitter pill from an emotional perspective and a spiritual perspective – and how the perpetrators cause victims to taste it when they really weren’t supposed to. As a result, the pill has created hurting souls and those souls have walls up (note: there are pros and cons to this). Please grab some tissue as this will touch emotions and cause certain feelings to emerge (and I ask that you not tune me out as you read).

Bishop Jospeh Mattera wrote a blog post entitled Why Hurt People Hurt People. A few things stood out to me (to include this statement).
Until we as a church deal with the whole person as shown in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 our congregations will be filled with people who are spiritually gifted but act like emotional infants. As in other words, the church must deal with emotional health and not just spiritual health and power.

Bishop Mattera said that these are typical traits that hurt people display in their interactions with others. Many of his explanations underneath each posts were edited for the purpose of this blogpost; however, you can read his entire blogpost here – which is a great post in my humble opinion:
  1. Hurt people often transfer their inner anger onto their family and close friends (Often those around them become the recipients of harsh tones and fits of rage because they have unknowingly become the vicarious recipients of transferred rage).
  2. Hurt people interpret every word spoken to them through the prism of their pain (Because of their pain, ordinary words are often misinterpreted to mean something negative towards them. Because of this, they are extremely sensitive and act out of pain instead of reality)
  3. Hurt people interpret every action through the prism of their pain (Their emotional pain causes them to suspect wrong motives or evil intent behind other people’s actions towards them)
  4. Hurt people often portray themselves as victims and carry a “victim spirit.” (Hurt people have a hard time entering into a trusting relationship. Hurt people often carry around a suspicious spirit)
  5. Hurt people often alienate others and wonder why no one is there for them
(They often continually hurt the ones they love and need the most with their self-destructive behavior).
  6. Hurt people have the emotional maturity of the age they received their (un-dealt with) hurt. (For example, if a girl was raped by a man when she was 12 years old, unless she forgives that man and allows Christ to heal her heart and allay her fears, in that particular area of her life (sexuality with a man) her emotional growth will stop. Even when she reaches her later years she may still have the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old).
  7. Hurt people are often frustrated and depressed because past pain continually spills over into their present consciousness. (In many instances, they may not even be aware of why they are continually frustrated or depressed because they have coped with pain by compartmentalizing it or layering it over with other things over time).
  8. Hurt people often erupt with inappropriate emotion because particular words, actions, or circumstances “touch” and “trigger” past woundedness
  9. Hurt people often occupy themselves with busyness, work, performance, and/or accomplishments as a way of compensating for low self-esteem
  10. Hurt people often attempt to medicate themselves with excessive entertainment, drugs, alcohol, pornography, sexual relationships, or hobbies as a way to forget their pain and run from reality. (Until the church learns to deal with and emphasize the emotional life and health of the believer, the church will be filled with half-Christians who pray and read the Bible but find no victory because they do not face the woundedness in their souls). Note: The Mayne Man has to say Amen to this one!
  11. Hurt people have learned to accommodate their private “false self” or “dark side” which causes them to be duplicitous and lack integrity (Often their private life is different from their public life, which causes hypocrisy and compounds feelings of guilt, condemnation, and depression)
  12. Hurt people are often self-absorbed with their own pain and are unaware that they are hurting other people. (They are often insensitive to other people because their emotional pain limits their capacity for empathy and their capacity for self-awareness)
  13. Hurt people are susceptible to demonic deception. (Satan works in darkness and deception, and stays away from the light. Hurt people often have destructive habit-patterns that are practiced in the dark. Hence, their mind becomes a breeding ground for satanic infiltration and deception. If the church would deal more with the emotional health of the individual, there would be less of a foothold for demonic infiltration. Also, there would be stronger relationships, stronger marriages, healthier children, and a more balanced approach to ministry with less of a chance of pastoral and congregational burnout)
  14. God often purposely surfaces pain so hurt people can face reality. (Whether it is because of a marriage problem, or continual personal conflicts on the job, God often allows conflict and spillover because he wants the infection to stop spreading and the person to be healed. Often Christians are fighting the devil and blaming him for conflict when in essence God often allows conflict so that people would be motivated to dig deeper into their lives to deal with root causes of destructive thought and habit patterns. God’s purpose for us is that we would all be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This does not just happen with Bible studies, prayer, and times of glory but also in painful situations when we have to face what has been hurting us for many years).
  15. Hurt people need to forgive to be released and restored to freedom. {The Gospel of St. John 20:23 says that we have to release the sins of others if we are going to be released. This means that if we do not forgive others then the very thing we have become victimized with will become a part of our life. For example, alcoholic fathers breed alcoholic sons if their sons do not forgive and release their fathers. The good news is that, through the efficacious blood of Christ, we can all be healed and set free from all past hurts so we can comfort others with the same comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4)}.

As I read those 15 bullet points, I found myself in a couple of them. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you actually see yourself in one or more of them. And that’s OK. If you fit into at least one of them, please read the final bullet above. Why am I emphasizing this so heavily? Because bitter pills as a result of a hurt, can cause emotional and spiritual damage.

Can I just meddle for a minute?  Many of you reading may have been in relationships or situations where it’s disappointment after disappointment, or perhaps you were constantly neglected numerous times. Because of this, it makes good sense to put a wall up and to guard your heart. The good side of doing this is that it gives you a chance to recover and heal (and then understand what it means to truly discern); the bad side is that it can cause your heart to become callous toward people, and in many cases towards God. Situations like this would make someone quit in a heartbeat, that’s a natural response especially if you’ve suffered needless neglect or abuse. Note: I am not telling anybody to stay in a situation where your life is in danger. If this is your predicament, please seek help and safety!

This past Sunday on Christian TV, Bishop TD Jakes was preaching from his lesson The Danger of Giving Up Too Soon. I listened and realized that he was preaching from two blogs I had written between this year and last year (Bitter Like Naomi and the previous part of my current series subtitled Lemonade). Because what he said was so powerful and in line with this topic, I will expound on what he says (and his direct quotes will be in italics).

If you look at the story of Lazarus (John 11), Mary and Martha were grieving because Jesus didn’t come when they wanted Him to. Martha said that if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Notice that they didn’t thank Jesus for coming, as a result, they were bitter. Bitter people blame you for their problems. But when life doesn’t turn out the way you think it ought to turn out, you look for someone to blame, “it’s your fault that I’m in this condition.” Don’t let life make you change your name like Naomi. Naomi went through devastating losses, and she requested that her name be changed to Mara (which means bitter).

I need to clarify blame for a second. If you were molested or raped and you contracted a virus, the molester should bear the blame for you contracting a virus.  But if you allowed yourself to blame every other man for what the rapist did, now you’ve moved to a state of bitterness. Another scenario: if you were having unprotected sex, and the father of your child either said the child isn’t mine (or refuses to own up to his role in your pregnancy), blaming other men for what the one man did to you is what Bishop is talking about. This kind of blame breeds bitterness.

Bitterness is when the things on the outside have contaminated the person on the inside. Have you allowed your past to bleed into their present and pollute your future? If you have, you may not know it (because it’s easier to see bitterness and hurt in others than it is to see your own). In fact, you may not use the word “bitter,” you may use other words such as “careful.” Until you call it what it is, you’ll never be free. You’re not a wimp because you’re bitter. Life will bring situations that will cause you to be bitter. If you don’t know how to deal with it, you’ll give up. Many of you ladies have probably felt like David when he said in Psalm 116:11 (All Men Are Liars)!

Bitterness contaminates your judgment (read Hebrews 12:14-17). When you are bitter, you can’t trust your own judgment. If you look at Esau, he was bitter because he didn’t wait but hastily gave up his birthright to Jacob. When bitterness gets down inside of you, you’ll walk away from something and say it’s worthless. You sell it for nothing, not realizing that what you gave away was valuable, it was going to take time to bless you.

Take the power of God to the place in your life where you became bitter. What you want is the anointing on that troubled place in your life where you find it hard to believe that things will work out.

Here’s the entire sermon if you want to listen to it:

I want to challenge you to throw those pills away, take the healing pill prescribed, and most importantly, fall in love with Jesus and His Word! Believe, Trust and Obey Him concerning your life. Don’t let the devil cause you to be impatient and to give up because you’re hurt; or let the walls cause you to turn your back on God or miss small blessings that may not be packaged in a way that you anticipated.

I want to close this with some questions and notes to consider (you could call this a review from the prior 6 parts within this series):

  1. If you think about the story about the woman with the issue of blood, she was determined to get to Jesus. Why do you think many opt not to get to Jesus now (whether through His Word or via His presence)?
  2. Do you find that many declared their healing but are expecting God to do everything – even if God gave them a set of instructions that required their part? As a result, they die prematurely?
  3. Back to question 1, the woman could’ve been stoned because she wen to Jesus. Under the OT, she was forbidden to be out in public. Do you think many are embarrassed to go to Jesus with their issue?
  4. Can isolation be a blessing and/or a curse when you know you are in need of a healing from Christ? And do you think that’s the enemy’s objective (to get those who need a touch from Christ to be shut up and locked away from society)?
  5. This is a bonus – this was a tweet from one my brothers in Christ: I saw a tweet saying a woman got LAID by over 900 men. The truth is her soul has been split into more than 900 parts. So I ask, do you agree or disagree? If you agree, then that brings a series of questions: can she heal? If so, what would her healing process look like? How can a person intercede her healing/wholeness? And why do we in the church cast them off as basket cases (even if they isolate themselves from society)? Jesus didn’t turn His back on the woman at the well, why do we? He came to bring the Word (which she would receive and was made free), and to make this more interesting, the woman at the well was from Samaria but the Jews didn’t mingle with them.
  6. Second tweet from the same brother: Ladies, each time a man has sex with you, your soul is split and you are scattered. When a man hits you, he splits you. Do you agree or disagree? If you agree, I then say Wow! This should make a real man like Boaz cry and start praying for her wholeness. Healing is the children’s bread. Bozo could care less if he splits a woman. Your thoughts on this?


The Mayne Man