Our beliefs are the root of the pain
A parent or teacher can do tremendous damage simply by saying to a child, “You’re stupid and will never amount to anything!” or “Getting a B on your report card is just not good enough!” Even though that child can grow up and graduate from Harvard, they may never feel good enough because of that lie their heart was made to believe. They may even become prideful over their degree and put others down in order to feel good. That’s because in their heart, they are insecure and feel like they don’t amount to much. Sadly, they will live their life trying to overcome this feeling of inadequacy.
Some of the lies that I run across in ministry might look like this:
- “I’m just not good enough”
- “I’m stupid”
- “I’m just white trash”
- “I’m worthless”
- “God doesn’t care about me”
- “God wasn’t there when I needed Him”
- “My heart isn’t good enough for God”
- “I’m not worthy to be healed”
- “God doesn’t love me or He would have…”
- “I’m unlovable”
These types of heart-beliefs will cause tremendous pain. They usually are believed at the scene of the accident, so to speak, when somebody first does the damage to us. Parents are often the ones to cause the damage, because children tend to look to their parents to form our sense of identity. If they say we’re stupid, we must be stupid, or so our emotions (heart-beliefs) tells us. That’s why somebody can be very intelligent and yet still struggle with insecurity and feel like they are never good enough. Has your mother, father, teacher, or somebody else you looked up to as a child, said something to you that has impacted how you see yourself today?
These lies that our heart believes aren’t just things we are told, they can be born out of things that are done to us (abuse, trauma, abandonment, rejection, etc) or events that happen in our life (car accident, loss of a loved one, etc.). For example, rape and sexual violations have a way of shaping a person for life. But it isn’t because of what happened, it’s because of what we believed about what happened that keeps us in pain.
There are often more than one lie that hide behind each emotion. For example, if you were molested, you likely believe more than one lie which is causing the pain that you suffer from today. You might believe that it was your fault, thereby producing feelings of guilt and condemnation. You might also believe that you will never be the same, that this has changed who you are and that you’re a prostitute at heart because you allowed it to happen. In a counseling session you might deal with the part about it being your fault, and get a measurable amount of freedom and healing in that area, but still feel dirty and shameful. This is a classic example of our logical beliefs not being the same as our heart’s experiential beliefs.
Satan is said to be the father of lies, and when we’re wounded, one of his demons are right there to inject a painful lie into our heart, which will keep us locked down to that pain for the rest of our lives (or so he hopes!). A lie believed in the heart will hold a person in life-altering bondage. Jesus made it clear that the truth is what sets us free from the bondage of a lie, and in saying this, He made it clear that a lie can bring much bondage into our lives. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Do you want to know the truth that will set you free from the tremendous bondage and pain that a lie will put you in? Uprooting those lies is something that the Holy Spirit is very eager to do for YOU (the person reading this article, in case I wasn’t clear)! Jesus said that the comforter (or counselor) would come and one of His jobs was to lead us into all truth. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13). The Bible is also clear that God withholds no good thing from His children (see Psalm 84:11), so we can be absolutely certain that the Holy Spirit’s desire is to lead us into the truth that will set us free. God doesn’t want His child to live in bondage to a lie. So the Holy Spirit won’t withhold the truth from us that Jesus said to clearly He would give us. “…when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13).
We may ask God for a brand new BMW and get turned down, but when it comes to asking Him for truth on what our heart believes, this is an area we can be absolutely sure He desires to speak to us. If we aren’t hearing, then there’s a reason and we need to get to the bottom of it. But don’t think for a minute that somehow God doesn’t want to speak to you, His precious child, about something like this!
A lie believed, will FEEL true!
What feels to be true when you visit that emotion? I didn’t ask you what you believe or know to be true, but what feels true? That’s what your heart believes. Your emotions don’t lie, they merely indicate what it is that your heart really believes. Your mind can be totally convinced and know that you are smart and a person who has achieved much, but you still feel stupid, worthless, or like you’ll never be good enough or measure up. That’s because your heart-belief is that you are not good enough for some reason. It could be rooted in a childhood memory, where you brought home a report card with a B on it, and it just wasn’t good enough for your parents. That’s the kind of stuff that will stick with a person for life, because their heart-belief was damaged through performance-based rejection.
Truth-based negative emotions
While nearly all negative emotions are lie-based (depression, fear, etc.), there are two emotions that are negative but truth based. These emotions are sadness and anger; Jesus Himself experienced these two negative emotions. When a person loses a loved one and experiences sadness, or maybe they saw an injustice and became angry, those are truth-based forms of these emotions. Anger held on to is not a truth-based emotion. The Bible tells us to be angry but sin not, and not to let the sun go down on our anger. The reason that anger is formed is not the reason that it’s held onto years later. Sadness can also be contaminated or surrounded by lie-based negative emotions. The goal is to deal with the lie-based pain, and then when pure sadness or anger is left, give it to Jesus and ask Him to carry it. He will carry both sadness and truth-based anger. If you try to get truth on sadness or anger in their pure truth-based forms, you won’t get an answer because it’s not lie-based. You need to get healing for these emotions differently. Jesus is there to carry them and take them from us if we will give them to Him.
The four basic components of healing
So far we’ve discussed some of the roots of bondage, but never gave you a structure to go by. There is a very simple structure to follow when doing this type of healing. It is broken down into four components, which could be spelled out M-E-L-T.
M – Memory(s) where it happened
E – Emotion that you are feeling
L – Lie(s) that you believe which keep you feeling the pain
T – Truth which the Holy Spirit wants to speak into you
Recognizing the emotion is the first step, then go back to the memories where you felt the same feeling (try to go back to the oldest or strongest memory you can find), then while feeling the emotion, ask what you really believe which is causing this emotion. Once you get to that place, you need to own the lie, and take it before Jesus to get His perspective on it.
The Holy Spirit is eager to speak!
One of the most popular lies that we have been fed, is that God doesn’t want to speak to us personally. Nothing could be further from the truth! A lot of people have self-worth issues that are hangups when it comes to hearing from God. You need to ask yourself, “What is it that I believe about God speaking to me?” Many times if we are honest with ourselves, the answer might sound like this: “God won’t speak to me, because I’m not special enough or I’m a nobody. He has more important people to speak to!” Jesus made it clear that even the children are to come unto Him, and talk with Him freely (see Matthew 19:14). There are plenty of scriptures that make it clear that God is not only willing, but desires to speak to us, and expects us to hear from Him on a regular bases. This is true for ALL of God’s children. Can you expect to have a relationship with somebody that you never talk to? Jesus made it clear that His sheep will hear His voice: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27). Would you withhold if your child came to you with their deepest wounds and wanted to talk about them? Of course not! Then how much more does God want to speak to us and bring us deep healing to our most painful and damaged areas in our hearts!
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
The Holy Spirit is more eager to speak to you than you realize He is just waiting for you to ask and then listen for His reply!