Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Healing the Past

by Pastor Blake Cromwell
April 2003

Recently I finished a series of teachings about God’s desire to heal us from the wounds of the past. My premise was that we all carry around memories that rob us of joy and sour our disposition. People are affected by hurtful memories of ridicule, of severe criticism or of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. These memories cause oppression that drains us of the abundant life that Christ desires for us.

Where do these hurtful memories come from? Many times they come from those nearest to us—our family members, our siblings, and even from our past playgrounds. In a moment of cruelty, someone near to us unleashed an assault of wounding words or physical blows. After pastoring for more then twenty-five years, I have discovered that everyone has hidden emotional wounds and they take longer to heal then physical ones. The good news is that Jesus desires to heal us of all the bruises of yesterday.

For all those who have gone through a war or lived in a home that was a war zone, God says, “I heals the brokenhearted and bandage their wounds.” For those who are brokenhearted over the death of a loved one or over someone walking out, this verse says God wants to heal your heart. Let me share with you four steps God uses to heal our emotional scars.

First, bring your hurts into the light. The worst thing you can do is to shut down, retreat, and rehearse the offense over and over. This mistaken strategy only amplifies the emotional wound and enlarges the problem. Psalms 32:3 says, “When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me, I moaned all day long.” Constant fatigue can be a sign of an unhealed emotional wound. If you find yourself moaning and sighing throughout your day you might need to deal with suppressed emotional wounds. Find someone you can confide in and begin bringing these hurts into the open. It’s the only way you’ll truly find freedom.

Second, let go of the right to get even. You only have a limited amount of emotional energy and if you are consumed with hate and revenge you become unable to maintain a healthy emotional balance. The question is, Do I want to get even or do I want to be healed? You can’t have both. Romans 12:17 and 19 tells us, “Never pay back evil for evil…never avenge yourself. Leave that to God, for He has said, ‘He will repay those who deserve it.’” Don’t forget that Father God saw the injustice done to you and He will even the score perfectly. You can spend the rest of your life seeking revenge or get on with your life and allow God to deal with those who hurt you.

Third, reprogram your thinking. Your brain is like a computer’s hard drive. Everything people have said and done is stored in your brain. Too often we operate on faulty data, believing the lies spoken against us. You must choose to replace negative memories with the truth of God’s Word. The Bible says in Proverbs, “As a man thinks so He is.” Those who are assaulted by persistent negative memories must refuse to rehash them and begin to meditate on positive words from the Bible.

Lastly, redeem your pain by becoming a wounded healer. The most effective blow against your emotional hurt is to take what has happened and make it into a life-giving tool. God’s promise in 2 Corinthians 1:4 is that God will comfort us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble we can comfort them in the same way. As you take your emotional wounds to Christ and begin these healing steps, there will be healing. Those who have walked through this process can help others. All of Koinonia Christian Fellowship’s recovery support groups are based upon this concept. All of them are facilitated by people in the process of recovery.

The healing ministry of Jesus is powerful and effective. If you would like to begin your healing process why not speak with your pastor and allow him to guide you through these steps? If you aren’t connected to a church, just pick up a phone and call one of the churches in Kings County. These churches are all full of wounded healers eager to help you find what they have discovered.

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