You can heal old memories of bad things that happened to you & old memories of when you reacted badly by applying Agape love. Let me explain….
First, a brief & quick reminder, from 1 Corinthians 13:
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NKJV
So here’s how I do it, I expect this can work well for you, too. (I’d love to hear about your experience with this so I can learn.)
I think of a memory that is painful. First, one where I responded poorly. Then I review 1 Cor. 13:4-7. I see where I reacted without Agape love. I make a new decision, and choose to respond with Agape love, the God, generous kind of love. I choose to respond with Agape qualities in the future. That’s not only a new decision, that’s repentance.
I mentally rehearse or practice having done that. Two or three times if necessary; though once will often be quite enough.
I check to see if my memory of that bad or painful memory is different or better. It usually is.
Then I do this again with a different memory, where I may not have reacted badly, but where I still did not respond with Agape love. I make a new and better decision, with the help of Jesus (which I ask for). A decision to respond with Agape love. Generously. Lovingly. The God-kind of love.
Afterwards, I again check the old memory, am I doing better now when I remember it?
Usually my own response to an event makes a huge difference in how painful the memory is or isn’t.
If I have trouble succeeding with this, I again ask Jesus, who is always near, always at hand (like his Kingdom) – within reaching distance – to help. And I ask for and receive by faith, more of Holy Spirit. I may not feel anything, but I notice I respond differently and can choose Agape love more easily and more deeply.
Let me know how you do with this, I’d love to know!
P.S. Teach this to someone else, maybe by walking them through it. Jesus and the Jesus kind of love can minister to them, too!
Running my race. Sometimes I do well; too often I do not.
I have recently, again and again, fallen short of the Glory of God.
I am a sinner.
I have hurt others, and I have been hurt by Christians I look up to and admire. And I have used that as an excuse to sin even more.
How did all this happen, I wonder. Maybe you wonder, too. Well, it was all too easy.
A lot of it happened through social media. Through the news. And most terribly – in my own heart.
Friends I admire and look up to would send me jokes about democrats, and I would laugh – some of them were really funny. And some of these were not just funny, some were also quite nasty.
Other friends would send me descriptions of religious republicans and the twisted things some of them are encouraging, and I would agree.
Friends from different parties would send me news articles. Too often full of truths that make my heart recoil. And too often — one sided or twisted versions of events. And I would agree for a while, before I saw more broadly and inclusively.
Friends with high ideals and good reasons sending me twisted, one sided, soul shrinking propaganda. And I would read and agree for a while. Until….
Everybody has good reasons. Too often amplified beyond reason – the kind of thing that gives opportunity to unclean spirits. Too often twisted, to make a point. Too often so one-sided as to be sinful in themselves, yet very convincing.
And here I am, a well meaning feckless chameleon; first agreeing with this and seeing it clearly. Then agreeing with that, and seeing that clearly. Boy, talk about being double-minded. I’m an expert. A friend tells me the Greek literally means two-minded, a person with two minds – actually two souls.
I have lost all sense of proportion and of the larger picture: I am bound by love, previous repentance, and duty to a King and Kingdom that is at hand: Immanuel and his Kingdom. How often do I forget the Good News of the Kingdom? Too often.
I get caught up being for this or for that; or against this and against that. As though these were my first allegiance. I forget Whose I am.
I have sinned. Repeatedly. Forgetting Whose I am, forgetting the Kingdom and Immanuel. My first allegiance. I am ashamed.
So I again repent and ask for more of Holy Spirit. For help to live not for what I eat or drink but for righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Putting the Kingdom first.
Lord, help me be a beneficial influence in the culture that surrounds me, influence, share and spread the Kingdom of God. And to do this first, before and more strongly and with more skill, love and determination – than any good thing I do in well intentioned and wordly politics. Help me follow Holy Spirit so well and so much that I am full of Fruit of the Spirit. Love, self-control, kindness, patience…and control my tongue.
The Untamable Tongue
3 My brethren, (A)let not many of you become teachers, (B)knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For (C)we all stumble in many things. (D)If anyone does not stumble in word, (E)he is a[a]perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 [b]Indeed, (F)we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.5 Even so (G)the tongue is a little member and (H)boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And (I)the tongue is a fire, a world of [c]iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it (J)defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of [d]nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, (K)full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made (L)in the [f]similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a (M)fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? [g]Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Heavenly Verses Demonic Wisdom
13 (N)Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have (O)bitter envy and [h]self-seeking in your hearts, (P)do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 (Q)This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For (R)where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But (S)the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, (T)without partiality (U)and without hypocrisy. 18 (V)Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
We all want to hear God well, and nearly all of us want to hear God better.
There are horse whisperers, people who pay exquisite attention to horses and learn; there are dog whisperers, people who pay wonderfully attentive attention to dogs.
What you may not know is that there are people who help you hear God better. Not prophets who hear God for us, sometimes. (Although since Jesus came, we are to hear God for ourselves, and what a prophet says should resonate because of Holy Spirit confirming to us what a prophet says.)
These are people who are what I sometimes call, “God Listener’s”, and their job is to help you hear God better for yourself. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
There is a long tradition of such ministry, going back to at least the “Desert Fathers”, usually solitary monks who lived in the desert. From them a succession of ministers have helped people hear God for themselves.
Today we often call these people, “Spiritual Directors” or “Spiritual Friends”. You can look up these terms, they are well known. There is a long tradition of such people who help others to hear God better. This is a precious ministry.
They don’t listen for you; they help you hear God better for yourself. A ministry worth having, if not having always, at least sometimes.
We have all had periods of time that are rough. I remember one particular time when that was happening to me. My computers were not working right. My dogs were misbehaving. Around the house things were not working well or would break. I prayed about it, for these things and against these things. I finally decided I must be having a problem with demons. So I told them to leave. Usually not a problem for me – but the problems persisted.
So I called on a God Listener who I knew was very good with unclean spirits and asked for help. She managed to convey to me rather quickly that the problems were not demonic in origin. The problems were being caused by my own attitude. She told me that my wrong attitude and my own energy was causing the problems with my computers, dogs, and household appliances.
This was not what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to fix the problem for me. (Sound familiar?) But, I knew she was right. Holy Spirit confirmed what she was saying.
So I changed my attitude and my energy. The problems quickly went away and disappeared. I was blessed to have the help of a good God Listener, because I needed help to hear God well. And to solve problems that I mistakenly thought were being caused by demonic spirits when it was my own attitude and energy that was causing difficulties.
When you have big problems, opportunities you are not sure what to do with, when you need good guidance – a God Listener can be a huge help – so you can more reliably and accurately hear God for yourself – especially when doing so matters even more than usual.
You can easily learn more about God Listeners, Spiritual Friends or Spiritual Directors. There is more information than you might at first suspect.
Point One: God has proven himself to be a skilled planner. If you look at the remarkable number (hundreds!) of advance plans (sometimes called prophecies) that he prepared in advance of his Messiah’s appearance on earth, details as far back as Genesis 3, you realize that God has some mad skills at planning ahead.
Point Two: God is good. That’s not negotiable. God is always (always!) in favor of his kids, always working for our good.
Point Three: In Exodus, God is pretty badass. His plagues confront the Egyptian “gods” and show them to be powerless. Then he leads a couple of million people out of slavery right on the schedule he had announced several centuries earlier.
And here’s where my ears seriously perk up.
God, the omniscient, omnipotent super-planner leads his people into the desert, famous for having neither food nor water. And what a surprise, the people have no water, no food.
So they complained. Like people do.
They wanted food (Exodus 16). So he fed them meat (quail: good eating!) in the evening, and bread (manna) the next morning (v12).
Then they complained about not having water (Exodus 17), and in the midst of their whining, they asked for water (v2). And God gave them water. He used a pretty epic miracle (v6) to do it, too.
And in these ways he provided for his children for forty years in the desert. (Hint: read Exodus again. What epic stories!)
We’ve all heard sermons about their complaining, and how that irritated God and really frustrated their leader, Moses. Reasonable lessons to draw from these stories.
I was talking to God the other day as we were going through Exodus. “You’re so good at planning. Why did you lead them into the desert without food or water?”
And suddenly, my mind was taken back to The Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis’s book about the beginning of Narnia. Polly and Digory were on a mission for Aslan, the Christ figure, and they were hungry:
“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.“
I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.
“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.
“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse. “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”
AndFather whispered to me, “I wanted them to ask me, so I could answer them.”
I realized that God was training them how to come to him to meet their needs: his goal is relationship, a relationship of trust.
Someone smart once said, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God works on our behalf to teach us that faith, how to relate to him in faith.
You may not have thought about this yet, but it can be a wonderful and freeing and healthy thing to do: update yoursoul ties.
Soul ties are your ongoing relationships with people at the level of your soul – your thoughts, feelings, emotions and such. Also included are relationships with places, institutions, groups of people – anything or anybody your soul has ties to or a relationship with. Even your health or age.
God made humans out of the dust of the earth – the body, and the breath – spirit – which when body and spirit combined, humans became living souls.
Your soul is like the dreaming part of you. In fact, it is the soul that dreams.
There are objects and people who are stable, yet plastic and changeable. A chair can become something else in a dream, to name just one example. Not as likely in the physical world, where chairs are more stable.
So here is the key idea: every time a relationship changes, it’s possible, even likely, that the soul tie needs to be updated.
Any relationship that goes through a change needs to be updated. Parents need to let their children grow up and adjust to that, rather than continue to relate to them as children. Your child, yes; but not relating to your child as a child. Children need to relate to their parents differently as you mature and as they continue to mature and age. Suffering will surely result when this is not done. Even graduation from school. Marriage. Any change in relationship. Any.
Someone dies. Relationship changes. Soul ties need adjusting. Whether a family member, friend, or pet.
Soul ties need frequent updating because relationships go through transformations. Any time a status changes, a soul tie update is a good idea.
Here’s another hint: any time there is ongoing pain through a relationship, an updating of soul ties is likely called for. Ongoing relationship pain is a clear signal: an update in soul ties is called for. Literally.
How to do such a thing? Fortunately, it turns out to be easy to do.
People who do a lot of deliverance probably prefer to ask for the blood of Jesus to help make the change. There is a place for that.
Personally, I prefer to utilize the Helper that Jesus sent us to guide and comfort us: Holy Spirit.
Ask Holy Spirit to help you update and adjust your soul ties. Any time – every time – there is a transition or change in relationship. Or when there is ongoing pain or suffering.
And when there are normal things to do that mark a transition in your culture, do them carefully, thoughtfully, and lovingly. These help too.
Easy. Simple. Just ask. Holy Spirit will do this for you with wisdom and love, and do it perfectly, too. If you wish to pray in the Spirit, this is likely a great help, too. You really cannot go wrong praying in the Spirit.
Our Lord cares about how you respond. While what happens to you is not always within your power to control, your response is always within your power. Why does Father care so much about your response?
It’s an opportunity for faith, which pleases God.
I hope I can learn this well and deeply, it will change my life and I believe it can change yours. And this lesson is being brought to me these days in multiple ways, and I would be foolish not to learn.
Worship is our key response. Which opens doors to so much else.
I got sick: this is a call to worship my Healer.
I had financial pressures: this is a call to worship my Provider.
I have a family member who is under tremendous pressures: this is a call to worship my Creator.
(My special thanks to Amanda Rankin who teaches such things as this and who provides timely, needed and loving reminders. May everyone be blessed to have a good friend like she is.)
See the pattern? Problems are literally a call to worship the One who provides help and everything that we need.
You could simply ask for help. Worship as a first response is better; not only is such worship an implied request, it has side effects on you: greater faith. Puts our Lord highest, instead of making idols in your heart out of what you desire.
Putting righteousness and the Kingdom first, all of these other things are added to you.
And…asking for help after you have worshipped connects you better to the One who Helps. Puts the King first instead of your need. Allows and assists you to receive help better from your Helper.
I have some friends, Tamara and Todd Engwall, who pastor an electronic church that I get to attend, and who I have long thought are especially superb at giving blessings. So much so, I wanted to learn from them how to do what they so often do so well.
Today I got new clues that give me what I expect may be an impressive start in that direction.
What I noticed today was that yes, they give a blessing, do it wonderfully well, and differently than I do. This I already knew.
So I knew that a blessing was being given.
What I had not noticed, yet, was that there were more elements to what they were doing to be noticed; it was not just a simple blessing.
Here’s what I noticed that was new for me, that thanks to a question Todd, a highly prophetic person, asked; and I was able to express with words. (This was like some prophecy, I had no idea what would be said until it was said.)
They give a blessing, a good one,
Which is prophetic, and
It is also a prayer. A prayer that is for someone.
Said differently, they pray; they pray for someone. They prophetically say what God says. Their prayer is full of Holy Spirit and the dynamic power of Holy Spirit.
And…their prayer is given in the form of a blessing.
When you want to do this, it’s probably a good idea to ask God how to pray for an inspiring and helpful prophetic blessing.
Notice what you experience next, it’s usually quick! Assume that’s God’s answer unless it’s out of character for God. Then minister like Jesus: do as you are told, do as you are shown.
Pray as you or shown, told, or as you feel; or as an idea that suddenly appears to be in your own head – as if it were your thought.
And keep on praying until God’s answer about how to pray is enforced!
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”