Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Will You Be Made Whole? (Part 18: Battle Wounds)

As I’m preparing to head to Cali today, I keep hearing my spirit Battle Wounds. There are so many of you who have been through so many battle wounds (whether it be battles with the devil, or bad choices in which the devil would take advantage). Regardless of the situation, I want you know that you can be made whole. And if there is any message I want you to gain from this blogpost, it would be this: your life is worth fighting for (not only is there someone in your circle fighting for you, your life and your dreams, but God is fighting for you, your life and your dreams and He wants you to win).

Take a moment to look at where you are right now: are you in a situation to where you believe you can’t break free (fear of being on your own), you’re trying to find love in all the wrong places, you’re using a situation to gain the upper hand on others, you’ve gone through an abortion, you’ve been raped, you’ve been neglected, you were lied to, you were physically abused, emotionally abused, verbally abused, sexually abused, abandoned by those you say were for you, those who were supposed to protect you. You may have gone through those things, and you just want people to know how much you’ve been through. Many in this life are oblivious to what you’ve been through, and let me say this: God is not the author of what you’ve been through/experienced.

I know you have battle wounds, and if you let God heal them correctly, they will be a testimony of how God not only healed you, but of how faithful He is to restore what you’ve endured. Some of you have been lied to in saying God caused your experiences or He caused your loved one to die (translation: He took your loved one). Let me say something to you: because of the lies you’ve heard (and the experiences you went through), many of you have given up on what you believed and are striving to reach God or gain His blessings on your terms. Basically, you’ve surrendered because you’re constantly looking at the battle wounds of what others, yourself and the devil inflicted on you. God doesn’t see your wounds (and neither do I), He sees you healed and whole. And yes, you can be made whole from the wounds and scars that you’ve endured. Will you be made whole? Don’t put off going after healing His way any longer. Remember, your battle is not flesh and blood; it’s the devil who’s after your very soul (and most importantly, your faith). If can steal your faith, your view of God will not only be distorted, it will cause you to not only quit life (and your dreams), but God too.

In this thing called life, it is a fight. And because there will be tribulations, you will experience wounds. But understand that the only fight you’re supposed to fight in this life is a “faith” fight. He loves you, but circumstances are doing all they can to deter that love He has for you. For some of you, you have fell to procrastination, almost to the point of giving up because the wounds that you’ve endured hurt other parts of your body (heart, mind and parts of your flesh). I know many of you are warriors and wouldn’t allow this battle to get this crazy! But because it did, you’ve lost your sense of peace and are looking everywhere but up for the peace that surpasses all of your understanding.

In summary: He loves you and has an awesome future for you (that your eyes haven’t seen). You have to believe me when I say this. Your life is worth fighting for, and I want you to know my reader, that I’m fighting for you.  Just don’t quit as you experience battle wounds.  If you’re one who quit (or is on the verge of quitting) because the fight is so over the top, call on God’s angels to fight for you (and those who are focused on seeing you win, and not gossip)! If you don’t quit, and acquire a made-up mind, you will win! It’s a fixed fight!


The Mayne Man

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Will You Be Made Whole? (Part 17: Church Hurt)

I made a note in Part 15: Denial that I would address this topic. In fact, this topic has been on my heart for at least 2 years. So let me begin.

Did the church or something that was said that caused you to leave the church hurt you or scarred you? If the answer is yes, then I dedicate this post to you. I want to divide this post into three categories:
  1. Quotes that are not Scriptural that can cause doubt
  2. No sympathy from the church when you’re going through
  3. My own personal experience of church hurt

Let me start with the easy part: quotes or things that are said from church/religious people that are so no scriptural. This will offend those inside the church, and that’s fine.
Quote #1: Tragedies are acts of God. You know, when I was young, I remember reading the instructions to the first microwave my family bought. Under the warranty, it said that the warranty was not covered by “acts of God.” I always wondered about that. And throughout 2017, you’ve heard about hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and many people (in and out of the church) call them “acts of God.” In fact, some people will call the deaths of their loved ones, “acts of God.” If Jesus came to give life, how can He be the cause of tragedies? When people call tragedies acts of God (especially in the church), that causes people to blame God when their loved one passes away, blame God for every death that has happened. And some will say at the funeral, God took your loved one. That right there can cause church hurt in people. But it’s all a trap of the enemy.
Quote #2: God put this test on you, for He knows how much you can bear. Wait, how can God put cancer on you, cause a death to sweep through your family, etc.? Many will use 1 Corinthians 10:13 to back this quote up. The devil is the one who is bringing tests and trials. Which leads me to Quote #3.
Quote #3: Tests and trials come to make you stronger. No! They come to kill you! If this were really the case, we would all be strong by now. Tests and trials come by the devil to take you out. Why is it that when a test or trial comes, people panic? Or they stay right where they are, and they pass away? End result: God is the blame for all of this – therefore, out of the church they go.
Quote #4: He may not come when you want Him to. All I’m going to say to this, is Hebrews 13:5 – He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.
Quote #5: Do not pass me by! See my Scriptural passage from Quote #4.

I’ll stop there with the first section.

No sympathy from the church when you’re going through. This is where most of the church hurt comes from. I can truly say during this walk, I’m seeing more and more people so entrenched with their own lives that they can’t take a moment to see what’s going on next door. I’m not saying neglect your own life, but if you were to walk in every church, you’ll find at least one person who is internally bleeding to death with something on them. But because so many are just coming to church to get that word for their life, that blessing for them (and forget everyone else), many are hurt because they didn’t even receive a smile, a hug, a “how are you doing today, how can I pray for you?” This particular category breaks my heart. I know I don’t say much especially when I’m inside the church walls, but I’m very mindful of this outside the church walls. Mainly because I know that I am the church – meaning, that I have to be a light to people when I’m outside the church, not just when I’m inside (to impress people). And don’t even get me started on the hypocritical issue. When people are going through, many will say they are attacked, but blame others for their lack of faith. These are half-truths on both sides. It is true that there is an attack, but where’s the love and support (and not just chastisement – or trying to puff how much Word they know or how strong their faith is over another) – and standing in the gap for them? Blaming others for their lack of faith, a real brother and sister will strengthen them and ensure they are not going at this alone (and granted, their foundation may have been shaky from the start due to being in a unscriptural church, bad childhood upbringing – that’s distorted their view of God and what faith in God looks like). I’m finding within the past week and a half, that we are so oblivious to those around us to the point we care more about things we can’t control (like the president) than we do our own lives or the brother/sister living next door. Part of the blame for this church hurt is leaders using their platform as a political platform over teaching the Word. And when they do teach it, they’re teaching it to fit their opinion, denominational teaching, or just to pacify those listening while they’re still internally bleeding to death. So, because there’s no teaching to the congregation how to love their brother and sister, there will be church hurt (and granted, those who are hurt, need to go to a better church hospital).

And let me discuss the final category, my own experience of church hurt. Six years ago today, I wrote a suicide note (When I Wanted To Die). And I’ll be honest, I was going to a church where many in the congregation could’ve cared less if I lived or died. In fact, it was all about personalities and who was in their specific clique. To have that attitude is not showing love (especially when I was crying for help). Today, that attitude in the world as a whole has increased the more. I still thank God that my salvation was based on God’s Word and not a church. When you place their salvation on a church, or a man and not God, your foundation is off. There is no question about that! Anyway, what I’m saying here is that people will let you down, but don’t equate God to the people in the church. I’m not saying that you excuse their behavior, for we are living in a time where people who say they believe need to put up or shut up! It’s just that simple.

In my blogpost Part 15: Denial, I mentioned when it comes to sexual abuse, we deny it because of the shame that it’s placed on us as well as the pain that was afflicted on us. One of the reasons we deny it is because in church, we’re told to either “get over it,” or “that was all in your head.” That’s really putting a band-aid over it and because the root is never addressed, they’re internally bleeding to death sitting inside the church. When it comes to this topic, many churches aren’t equipped to address it, and in the African-American church, the easy drug for anyone who has been abused or suffered in childhood is denial. I understand that denial was taught for decades and centuries, but times have to change, and we have to address it so we can be free. What good is denial when a trigger occurs and you explode? And for the church to frown on those who have suffered in childhood and not comfort them, build them up by letting them know that God loves them and was not the author of the abuse and answering the question roaming in their mind, “why did this happen?” – we are setting ourselves up for casualties in the church, and many will leave and forsake Christianity because of our response. The root of the pain is the devil! And for us to be so passive with those hurting and brushing them off in the church is to literally side with the devil and his purpose to destroy the one who is already hurt. The devil loves to find people (who say they love God) but not loving God’s Word to hurt others. We as the body of Christ have to do better!!

Bonus category that I need to discuss: legalism. This is the biggest area where church hurt comes from. Legalism is all about the rules and regulations to prove your salvation. Now if your foundation was based on legalism, it would not come as a surprise if you have left the church (or you are bound with working as hard as you can to please God. Know that your works don’t please God; it’s your faith and knowing that you are His. Your past is just that in His eyes, let it go.). Legalism will tell you that you have to work on being righteous, which is false. You were righteous the moment you accept Christ. Now, holiness is something you work on. Many who are legalists will be the ones flaunting their perfection over other people’s face, either to control them or to puff themselves up.  In fact, legalistic people won’t pray for you, but will ask for prayers instead – mainly because they want to see you fail because it gives them a reason to act arrogant towards you. If you were hurt by the church due to you being at a church that taught legalism, or you were around people who are too legalist for their own good, I sympathize with you, and you need to be healed and made whole from this (and anything else I mentioned above).

Just know that you can be made whole from church hurt.


The Mayne Man

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Will You Be Made Whole? (Part 16: Bad Men)

Between the blogpost that was released Friday (Part 14:Distorted View of God) and a conversation that I had with some men as we’re reading Dr. Tony Evans’ Kingdom Man yesterday, I’ve been thinking about this issue intensely.

Yes, I’m fully aware of the stereotype of that once you run across a bad man, everyone else is bad as well. In other words, one bad apple spoils the whole batch. Now, is that true or is that false? You have your thoughts on the answer. I’ll answer it and say it’s false. Just because you got one bad apple, doesn’t mean you have to throw the remaining apples out.

As I stated in my blogpost from Friday, my heart goes out to you if you went through life without a father (especially if you’re a woman), but now for this blogpost, I want to extend it by saying that if you ran across a bad man in your life (I don’t care if the man was a biological father, stepfather, adopted father, uncle, grandfather, teacher, coach, or pastor) or if you happened to be in an environment where your father was missing, absent, emotionally unavailable, abusive/controlling or just a tyrant, my heart goes out to you and this blogpost is dedicated to you.

Even though earlier, I was talking about apples, the same principle holds true as it relates to God. Even as a man, I can testify to this (where I placed my view of God as to my relation to my parents). How many of you have (or are currently) seen God based on your current relationship to your parents (or lack of relationship with your father/male figure)? If I could see through your mind and heart, it’s not a pretty picture, I know. You may be crying as you’re reading this, and I say let the tears flow. I can imagine that you’ve been holding the tears for so long, and are feeling like no one cares about the internal pain you’re going through. If no other human being cares, know that I do.

You can be made whole from Bad Men, and you don’t have to live in bondage because of what someone did to you, or didn’t give you the nurturing that you deserved in childhood. Men, let me say something to you: if you didn’t grow up with a father (or had to endure a man based on what I talked about above), you don’t have to live in bondage to where you are abusive to others. You can be made whole too.

To all reading this, please separate God from how a human being treated you. Don’t think that you deserved the pain you’ve endured. You can let it go. I heard Real Talk Kim say this (still on the topic of Bad Men): because you were ill treated and not protected, you are now protecting people that didn’t even protect you. I see men doing this more than women, but it can happen on both sides.

How many of you are willing to go to the mirror and make this declaration? I am not my past, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am not what my parents said that I was (especially if it was negative), I am not the abuse, I am not what a bad man said and did to me. God loves me despite what that bad man did to me. I no longer live my life in anger and shame! I declare that I’m healed from the pain that the bad man did to me (if you have to cry after saying it), do it! I’m free from what religious people say to me, because what’s important to me is what you, God, say who I am. And I accept what and who You say I am. I no longer have to prove to others of my identity, because You God have given me my identity! Thank You Jesus! I surrender all the myths, and false truths that I had of You. You are not like man, and I surrender every feeling that I feel that is keeping me in a cycle of hurt! No bad man has that much power over me to where I am stuck in this situation in my life. I forgive me, and I ask that You forgive me. Amen!

You can be made whole from the bad men in your life! Do you believe it? If yes, walk in it (by faith, if you have to).


The Mayne Man

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Will You Be Made Whole? (Part 15: Denial)

I hope everyone enjoyed his or her fabulous Thanksgiving. When it comes to this particular blogpost, I know, I know, I’m rather late; I initially started writing this blogpost back in April of this year, but a lot has transpired this year for me, so I cease from procrastinating and finish this much needed blogpost. I don’t know about you, but this year has been a year of change for me. As I think about this year as a whole, there are many people (whether they will admit it or not) living in denial. Have you ever looked at someone and see the beauty of someone, but if you look into their eyes and sometimes listen to their words, you can see and/or hear the pain that they’re trying so hard to keep inside. They know they need to alter their mindset, or make a change on the inside, but they refuse to (and end up doing the same things over and over again expecting different results). Now that’s just one area. Let’s take this up a notch.

As you can see, this blogpost is dealing with the mask of denial. Where we know something is wrong, but we just don’t want to deal with it because it’s too messy, or it’s a matter of “I’ve got this under control,” when the truth is, you don’t! That’s denial. Have you ever been in a relationship when a man who was totally at fault, stepping out of the relationship, cheating, lying to you, and your healing process consists of you attacking them in the following manner, “Where were you? See, this is why I don’t trust you. You don’t respond to my texts when I text you? What! You don’t love me? Your words say one thing, but I just don’t trust you! I called your job, and they told me that you weren’t there. In fact, your friends told me that you skipped work! Give me your passwords to your social media accounts and your phone! Let me see who you’re texting?” And the other person says, “Where’s my privacy? You don’t trust me?” Would you say this is a case of jealousy or trust issues? I’ve never been in this situation before that I just type (thankfully), but I know these situations do happen in real life and on the TV screen. If I were to analyze this, there are issues that both parties have to address. The one doing the attacking is possibly struggling with trust and lack of it that he/she received during the course of their upbringing. The one who was asking, “Where’s my privacy?” actually provided no trust in the relationship for whatever reason. The last thing anyone should do is to not address it only to go through the same thing over and over expecting different results in a different relationship. For the one doing the accusing, it would appear that their heart is troubled (and Jesus said to let not our heart be troubled); for the one accused, there’s some hurt within too where they’re not standing up for themselves. So, because they don’t address the hurt, they’re in essence denying the hurt inside. Dealing with hurts inside requires one to own their process. This is how effective change takes place. This is something I’m working through in my life as I look at some areas where I am damaged, fearful, and feeling bound in certain areas. I have to own my process, and stop denying or procrastinate in making a change about it.

But let’s take the above paragraph another level. Sometimes the person doing the accusing may do this and there was never a violation in the first place. In other words, the accused is actually innocent, but the accuser is so used to being betrayed in the past (from the past – whether it be bad relationships, or upbringing), that now, they’re playing the doctor/nurse and just want to operate on something that doesn’t need surgery at all. So this could possibly be denial of what they’re experiencing in their mind and heart. The way this denial is expressed is very extreme. If you really look closely at the situation, the accuser just wants to be safe and secure. If you deny being truly safe and secure (and you just isolate yourself without God’s Word in your spirit), you can never be whole from this feeling that’s within you.

Think about this, have you ever said, “Are you feeling me?” only to just share your thoughts and describing your feelings. Feeling really requires one word, such as “I feel abandoned. I feel hurt.” Those are examples. When you do that, it actually helps you get in touch with what you are going through. This requires your thoughts to be separated from what you feel. Are you willing to understand your process? When there’s pain inflicted on someone, that pain is felt by the person who’s hurt and the response from the person who they hurt that now the person who did wrong has to bear. The key here is to stop denying the pain you really feel – regardless if it’s someone who’s currently in your life, or someone who’s no longer in your life. Let it go and let God create in you a clean heart. If your heart isn’t clean, the devil will allow you to stay in that hurt, and your heart will continue to bleed and will never heal. This is why I am always conscious of what I say and do to others, because I know that my wrongs don’t affect others, they affect me too. Staying in denial doesn’t hurt just you; it hurts others who are around you. For many, they’ll stay in denial because of the fear of the unknown. You’re not mean to go through this alone, that’s why Jesus said to take His yoke because it’s easy and His burden is light. Your body isn’t built to carry burdens. Carrying them just to have someone to carry is really pride (which the devil thrives on).

Did you know that faultfinding is a form of denial? What am I talking about, you might ask. This is where you strive to seek the bad/wrong in every person you are entering a relationship with, and the problems with the relationship are on them and not you. You use faultfinding as a weapon as needed so that you can take the nearest exit out of the door. A lot of this faultfinding is hinged on something you’ve experienced in your life. Would you agree or disagree? Think about this one. I know it hurts, but this could actually hinge on self-sabotage (mentioned in Part 12: Restoration of “Self”).
If you have ever justified your denial, you will probably relate to this part right here. If I deny the pain that I experienced in my abuse (like I did during my teen years) and justify it, then I’m really wearing the mask of “everything is fine,” when the truth is, I’m broken, battered and beaten. Sadly, society and some churches want you to have the mask on and stay in denial (without helping you cope with the pain that you have to take to bed with you every night). Denying my abuse and justifying it looks like this, “if you have protected me, then I wouldn’t hate you as much as I do now!” In a relationship, it will look like this, “I am single because the last man I had punched me in the face, talked down to me, cheated on me, wanted to have a threesome, etc.).” If someone violated your trust, you can easily project that on people who didn’t harm you and justify your reason for being extremely jealous. In other words, this justification of your behavior is denying that you have the ultimate responsibility for how you conduct your life – and you’re blaming other people for your actions.” The beauty of God is that He’s not judging you as hard as you are judging yourself. Your behavior is a work, and it’s not the grounds for your salvation. Religion (and the devil) will tell you that your behavior determines your salvation, and that’s a lie! And on that note, don’t deny your true feelings when you’re talking to God, He already knows and He’s not judging you, like man does!

When it comes to sexual abuse, we deny because of the shame that it’s placed on us as well as the pain that was afflicted on us (I will address the root cause of the pain which will be called Church Hurt, so stay tuned). I have met so many people who have denied their pain and I remember having to tell someone, “If you continue to deny your abuse, if a trigger happens and you haven’t dealt with it, you will explode.” Yes, the pain and the hurt you experienced was not your fault, you see the enemy wants you to take on the pain that was inflicted and denial causes you to assume the blame, pain and then you’re on a downward spiral to where it affects you mentally. I’ll be honest; this is something I had to realize. If unresolved pain isn’t resolved, and it’s denied, triggers have a way to cause the pain to be infected. Years ago, I experienced it, and it shook me to the core.

This might be off subject, but it still applies to the denial concept. On a normal scheme of things, if parents are walking with God, the parent loves the child unconditionally – there is nothing the child could do to make the parent stop loving the child. But of course, not every parent walks with God, and the parent puts conditions on the child (if you do this or that, say this or that, that will prove that you love me – otherwise, my love for you is conditionally). When parents walk with God, a child could say I hate their parents, the parents won’t stop loving and/or praying for them. When parents aren’t walking with God and the child says not only do they hate them, or questions why did they allow the abuse to happen to them, the parent will deny and wonder, “what did I do wrong?” and they deny what’s really going on within them. Then everything goes downhill, to include blame shifting (now everyone becomes the source of their own problem). That’s not healthy for anybody, and it’s just pure denial. I pray this paragraphs sets victims of this kind of abuse free (if you had parents who were manipulative – and denying it till the cows come home), and those who are living in pure denial. If you read Part 14: Distorted View of God, when a child is loved conditionally, this love can create a distorted view of God (and when a parent denies or neglects a child, it creates a distorted view of God to the point that their foundation of who God is to them is on shaky, if not stony ground). And when an adult (who is still longing for the approval from the parent, when the parent neglected them) is trying to discover who God is, it’s distorted (which is all a setup by the devil, not God). Refer back to the blogpost from yesterday on this. This paragraph here is really describing denial that indirectly affects you when you weren’t the one who caused it.

So what we have discovered here in this blogpost is that denial can either start with us, or be passed down from generations. Now, the decision has to be made if you want to be free and made whole from the mask of denial.


The Mayne Man