#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

Let’s explore the reasons people break off a relationship, quite a job, or divorce. When we know a cause then we can find a solution. I was the kind of person that was upset about everything though I wanted peace. I was quick to get angry. Why? After many years of research and thinking deeply about causes, I figured out the solution. After trying the solution I can testify it works.  I chose the picture above as an example of what is destroying relationships today and why,

Think back to a time you were upset about something. Why were you upset? What caused you to get upset?  Does the picture of this post upset you?  In this post I want to challenge you to think deeply about what causes arguments and strife. It is helpful to journal your thoughts concerning causes for strife in your relationships.

Let’s begin our exploration with the following understanding. Most of us are self-centered people, and we live and work with self-centered people, who want our own way.  And, we don’t know how to love well. Would you agree?

Whatever the reasons for strife, it always comes down to someone becoming offended, then getting upset. An offense is a resentment, hurt feeling, or displeasure from unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, being ignored or not getting what they want.  Becoming offended can happen many times a day, especially when you have to share the road with other drivers or space with another person or watching the news. So, be mindful of the times you are annoyed, angry, miffed, irritated, frustrated, etc. Why? Really think about why. Why do you think you got offended?

A major cause of strife is pride. Pride caused me to be offended most of the time.  I would think the following thoughts: “How dare someone (fill in the blank).”  “They had no right to do that.”  “Who do they think they are?”  If you were honest as to why you get upset, you too would recognize a pride issue.  Please read my post on pride to learn more: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Another cause for strife is when someone says something hurtful that creates an offense in our hearts. Often words hurt our pride. A person’s words reveal the condition of their heart.  Therefore, the person saying the hurtful words is also hurting from offenses they have stored in their hearts. Read the following posts for a better understanding:  WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words  and WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

Another cause for strife is unrealistic expectations. For example, I became upset with my husband because he did not take care of me when I was sick like his father takes care of his mother. This is an unrealistic expectation because my husband is not like his father, and it is not reasonable for me to expect him to be. Once I realized why I was offended, then I could deal with it rationally. But before I rationally thought through why I was irritated with my husband, I said a hurtful things to him. My hurtful words caused him to become offended, then he said hurtful things back. Do you see how this situation could escalate quickly and dissolve the relationship?

Unresolved negative issues also causes strife. For example, I became offended by the words on an anniversary card my wonderful husband gave me.  The card reminded me of an unresolved painful issue with my first husband.  Unfortunately, I allowed the offense to get into my heart and control my feelings, and I became miserable and said hurtful things.  When I dealt with the negative issue with my first husband that caused me to be offended, then I could resolve my offense and live in peace. To become free from the control of our past negative heart issues and painful memories, I invite you to visit my website and read my short book: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

As soon as we recognize we do not have peace, we should ask if we are offended.  When we become offended, we enter the fight-or-flight mode. The fight-or-flight stress response stimulates the lower brain and we enter survival mode. Survival mode stops us from thinking rationally about the situation, which is why relationships dissolve quickly. You know you are in survival mode when you become upset when a goal or expectation is not met.  If you see yourself losing control of your emotions, walk back your emotions and ask, why am I upset? Why is this important to me? What is my part in this disagreement or unexpected negative situation? What solution do I need for a win/win? What am I willing or not willing to do?  Consider if the concern causing you to lose peace is within your circle of influence.  If it is not, then let it go or pray about it.  These are only suggested questions to help you think rationally and not reactively. 

Think about the last argument you were in or the last time you were frustrated. Using the definition of an offense, which is a resentment, hurt feeling, or displeasure from (fill in the blank), can you identify what you or the other person was offended about? As you may have already figured out, being offended is the single most destructive force in any relationship. But, once you discover the cause of the offense then you can work to solve it. My book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website identifies many causes for offense and the solution. I encourage you to read it so you can have stronger relationships.

Follow these seven actions for a great relationship; eight for SUPER GREAT!

1) Always stay in forgiveness and do not hold grudges. Expect that your partner/spouse/friend will let you down and may not meet your expectations from time to time. Being offended blocks love, kindness, peace, joy, and patience.
2) Be thankful for strengths and abilities and focus on these. It is easy to focus on what you don’t like and tell them about it.
3) Be committed. Genuine commitment is to be wholly focused on what is best and what will strengthen the relationship.
4) Communicate complete thoughts.  Don’t assume the other person heard you or understands. Have a respectful discussion to help you convey your meaning and expectations.  Don’t mind read and make assumptions.  Seek to understand what the other person is thinking without being critical.
5) Resolve conflicts using the “pen method.” The person holding the pen explains their perspective and logic. Then hand the pen to the other person, and they reflect on what they heard you say and explains their perspective and rationale. Go back and forth until you come to a win/win for both people.
6) Create a relationship vision or mission statement. Ask yourself and each other this question: “How do I want our relationship to be in 5, 10, 15, or 30 years. Write out a plan to accomplish your vision or mission.
7) Work through past issues, so your reactions and expectations are not controlled by your past.
8) Make the Lord and the Word of God a priority in your life and relationships.  The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so if you want to be wise, then God needs to be your source.

If you ever get a chance, go to a Mark Gungor marriage seminar called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”  My husband and I went to one of Mark’s seminars and he is funny and to the point. https://markgungor.com/.  On this website is a test that determines what motivates you the most.  He calls it the Flag Page, because it determines what country you are from: Control, Perfect, Peace, or Fun.  Finding out what motivates me is very helpful to understand why I do what I do.  It was also very helpful to know what motivates my husband.

I also encourage you to read about the adapted summary of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

Have you ever considered the power of the spoken or written word?  When someone says something hurtful, it creates an offense in our hearts.   A person’s words reveal the condition of their heart.  Therefore, the person saying the hurtful words is also hurting from the offenses they have stored in their hearts from painful memories.  This post explains how to overcome the power of offensive words and actions.  But first, let’s review the power of words.  Imagine how the progression below is influenced by negative words, then imagine how the progression is influenced by positive words.

Words (positive or negative) create like thoughts.

Thoughts create feelings.

Feelings create beliefs.

Beliefs create attitudes.

Attitudes influence decisions for behavior.

 Decisions directs the course of our life.

Change the course of your life by changing your thoughts.

Often, when we become offended, it is because the words or action triggered a subconcious painful memory of an unmet need or expectation.  Other times, we become offended because a selfish desire was not met or our pride was hurt.  All of humanity struggles with being self-centered.  For instance, someone does something to you or says something about you that you thought was unloving; your first response is to think; that wasn’t right; I didn’t like that.  Or you weren’t acknowledged for an achievement, or accepted into a group, or ignored, etc., which hurt your pride.  So, when we become offended, we open the door to the temptation to be angry, bitter, depressed, then to slander, gossip, and say hurtful things.  Our thoughts and feelings become controlled by the offense, and we do and say hurtful things.  To be free from the control of offenses, do the following three actions.

First, is to forgive, which may be hard to do, but it is to set you free from their control on your mind, not for them. Forgiving sets your mind free from the unseen control of negative energy from the hurtful words or actions.   Forgiveness also releases the unseen control of negative energy from painful thoughts, so they don’t control our feelings and actions.  Second, pray for the person who hurt you, because they are hurting.   Praying generates positive energy, that gives you positive feelings and positive thoughts.  And third, set your mind on the things of God by reading the Bible and transforming your thoughts to think His thoughts of love for yourself and others.  The following post describes this process in detail: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Sometimes though, you need to set boundaries for people who continue to say abusive, hurtful words, after you have first spoken to them about how their unloving words affect you.  You need not let their words control your thinking, feelings, beliefs, and attitude, which is hard to do, but possible when you are quick to forgive.

For example, I became offended by the words on an anniversary card my wonderful husband gave me.  He did not intend to offend me, but when I explained why I was offended, he apologized and tried to make it right.  Unfortunately, I allowed the offense to get into my heart and control my feelings, and I became miserable and said hurtful things.  I’m sure no one else has done that.

When I had enough of feeling sorry for myself, I remembered that I needed to forgive the offense, even though it was not intentional.  Then I asked God to forgive me for being hurtful, and to take the power of that memory and negative energy of the offense from my mind and heart.  I felt so much better.  So often relationships are ruined by hurtful words and holding onto offenses.  I realized the quicker I forgave, the more love, peace, and joy I would experience, and the more love, peace, and joy others would experience when they were in my presence.

The anniversary card situation caused me to ask myself, why did that card offend me?  I knew from my research that it had triggered a painful memory.  So, I asked God to show me what the offense was.  He showed me that I was still offended by a hurt from my first marriage.  I went through the “Kindness Issues” worksheet on my website to release the offenses I was feeling.  Next, I forgave my ex-husband for the hurtful words he had spoken to me, and I asked God to lose and remove the power of that memory and all negative energies from my mind and heart. I also applied the right thinking and truths from the “Joy” and “Peace Issues” worksheets to transform the feelings of hurt and anguish in my heart and mind.  After going through the process of healing these negative heart issues, I felt so much peace and joy.

To learn more, please visit my site and read a short book I wrote about how I transformed many negative heart issues and discovered a new reality. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you found this helpful.  May God Bless you richly.

To understand the power of forgiving, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

You may enjoy reading my next post called: WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

 

HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

Dr. Caroline Leaf researches how the brain works and she wrote the book, “Switch on Your Brain.”  She discovered what we consciously think and what we say and do comes from the information and memory images in the unconscious mind that has been accumulating since our birth. These memories form the perceptual base through which we see life and react to stressful situations.  She explained how we can change our thinking, and ultimately our reactions to stress.  Check out her lectures on YouTube.

Dr. Penfield also did years of extensive research on the brain and memory.  He knew the whole nervous system uses a slight amount of electrical current to transmit sensory information to the brain.  The brain, in turn, uses that current to record and store the data.  He experimented by stimulating the memory areas of the brain with small amounts of electricity and discovered that every experience we have ever had is recorded in minute detail by the brain.  Whether or not we can consciously recall them, they are still stored in our memories including the feelings that go along with the stored experiences.  We not only remember what we felt, but we tend to feel the same way as adults when we go through a similar experience. Dr. Bruce Lipton is a Cellular Biologist, and his research shows that over 90% of what affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions can be attributed to subconscious memories stored in the cells of our bodies. Southwestern Medical School calls them cellular memories.

The following story is my experience of how an unconscious memory affected my relationship with a friend.  I often got angry with the kindest person ever, who said nothing mean or unkind, so why would I get angry, so I asked God to show me why.  The word “irresponsibility” came to my mind. I asked Him to show me why this would cause me to be angry. I waited for a little while until God brought up the repressed painful memories of my father’s irresponsibility I had taken offense to.  My friend’s irresponsibility triggered my unseen hurts and anger of my father’s irresponsibility. I went through the forgiveness process for each of the painful memories God brought up from my subconscious. Then, I verbally loosed and put off the offenses from my heart and the negative energies associated with the painful memories. Next, I sought God’s forgiveness for my anger toward my friend. When I completed this process, I was no longer angry with anyone who acted irresponsibly.  To learn more about forgiveness, see the post: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE. To learn how to hear from God, read my book I posted on my website.

I was addicted to anger, and it controlled me.  Little by little, with God’s help, I worked through my painful memories and broke many strongholds in my life. If you have anger problems, please read the following post: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds.  Dr. Leaf emphasizes the importance of changing toxic memories to effect a change in our lives.  My book, called “Hope for Complete Healing” is my testimony of how I have changed my toxic memories and transformed my thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

The sooner we realize how painful memories affect our present beliefs, decisions, and behaviors the sooner we will seek to transform these memories.  Only God can help us find subconscious memories that keep us from being healthy and whole. God created us and loves us, and He intimately knows everything about us (see Psalm 139). The concept of God may not be part of your thinking or belief,  but ask Him to show Himself to you.  I know He is an Almighty Spirit, who always was, always will be, and is the creator of Universe and mankind. He also wants to be in a loving relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ, who died to pay the penalty of our sins.  If you are offended by God, which we all have been if we are honest, then seek His forgiveness and healing of that hurt.  There is so much more I could say, so I encourage you to read my web page called Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers and look up the verses I reference.

I was healed of many painful memories that controlled my reaction to stressful situations.  Visit my website to learn more about how our memories control our lives and how to transform them. https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/

Trust God to Keep His Promises

This post recounts the miracles I experienced when I trusted God to keep His promises.  In my last post, I explained my experience of feeling peace knowing I can trust God to keep His promises.  God keeps His promises even if we don’t physically see it, which is why we need faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Doubt keeps us from experiencing miracles.  We cannot have faith and doubt, that is a double mind. James 1:6-8 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” My encouragement is to expect God to keep His promises through faith. Remember what Hebrews 11:1 states what faith is? “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  For example, we don’t see the flower bulbs in the ground, but we have the promise that when spring comes the bulbs will miraculously produce beautiful blooms.  The promises of God are assurances, and we can expect for God to keep His promises, just as we can expect flower bulbs to bloom.

One of my favorite Old Testament stories of faith is when King Jehoshaphat faced enemy armies, and he became frightened. See 2 Chronicles 20 for the whole story. So, he prayed and reminded God of his promises to the people of Judah and recounted all that God had done. Then God spoke through a prophet, and he said, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” Then He said to go out against them and He will be with them.  They worshiped God and obeyed. So, Jehoshaphat sent the singers first, and they sang, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His steadfast love endures forever.” Then what happened next was amazing. God caused the armies to destroy each other during the night. When they arrived at the battle field and saw what happened, they worshiped the Lord.

The application to our lives is that situations will happen that frighten us. When this occurs, pray by faith; recount God’s promises, remember what he had done in the past for you, and seek His help. When He tells you what to do, then obey and worship Him. When you see the victory, give God the thanks and praise.

For example, when I became a single mother of two toddlers with no job, I was frightened. When the father of my children said, if I leave him I will never see the children, I was frightened. When I did not know where I would live, I was frightened. So, I prayed and told God that He promised to supply all my needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19), and I reminded Him that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10) and can provide for all my needs. Also, I was very afraid my ex-husband would kill me and the children, so I trusted in God’s promise to protect me and my children as He protected David when King Saul tried to kill him.  Luke 18:27 states, “But He said. ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’  Think about your situation.  What promises of God do you need?  In my next post, I will list key promises we can trust God to keep and the corrupt thinking that keeps us from having the faith to believe.  God kept the promises that I claimed over my situations.

The first major miracl; a friend suggested I become a seamstress and run an alteration business. Though I did not know what to expect, I advertised and went to dry cleaners looking for work. Praise God, I earned enough money to pay my bills and put food on the table and keep my children at home with me.  Not having to send my children to daycare was an answer to one of my many prayers.

The second major miracle was providing a place for us to live. I didn’t qualify for a mortgage and rent was high. But, a banker in my church called me up and said he found someone who would give me a mortgage, which is a modern day miracle.  I can testify to many other miracles of how God provided for me and my children.

The third major miracle was how God protected my children and prevented my ex-husband from making sure I never saw them again. I have to admit that I had anxiety attacks every time he came to pick up the children.  One time he kidnapped the children and refused to let me see them. I paced and prayed for 11 days until my lawyer was able to get them returned. I have feet problems to this day from that event. God was with me and helped me through all the court hearings. During one court hearing my ex-husband had a psychologist come in to testify that I was an abusive mother and I should not have any custody. The psychologist testified on my behalf and my first husbands lawyer even advocated for me; what an incredible miracle.

His next attempt to get full custody was to get married.  He took me to court and told the Judge it would be better for the children to be in a two parent home.  The Judge did not go for. God is good. Though I went through many trials, I learned I could trust God to keep His promises.  To clarify, I was not a perfect Christian. I had a lot of anger and anxiety, which manifested often, from all the abuse I went through. I continually confessed my sin and sought God’s help.  And, I trusted in another promise found in Hebrews 4:16 which states, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Paul also sought God’s help during a trial he was suffering and God said, “My  grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9.  God’s grace is His power.

The fourth major miracle was sending me a wonderful second husband.  I was not looking to remarry or date because I had a 90% chance of marrying another abusive man.  When my separation happened with my first husband, I claimed the promise in Isaiah 61:7,8 which states, “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.  8) For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.”  I received a double portion for sure.

I describe my transformation from anger and anxiety to peace and joy in the following blog called: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION?

 

 

 

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

You know you have a patience problem when you get upset every time you drive on the road.  Also, do you often get frustrated with people when they do not meet your expectations?  You probably already know if you are not a patient person.  Our goal should be to love others well from a pure heart, and the first attribute of love is patience (1 Cor. 13:4).  So, when we are patient, we are loving well.  I have heard people say they pray for more patience than any other attribute of love. Why? Why are we not patient?  Only God can tell us why, because only He knows the hurt in our hearts, and only He can heal it.

So what is patience?  The following definitions come from Webster’s dictionary.  Patience is bearing or enduring pain, trouble, inconvenience, etc. without complaint, losing self-control, making a disturbance, etc.  To be forbearing: tolerate (to put up with).  Keep oneself in check.  Refusing to be provoked or angered, as by an insult or frustration.  And, it is merciful: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or person in one’s power.  It is persevering: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement (does not quit).  Lastly, patience is being just: living with a moral principle that determines right conduct, and fair: treating all sides alike.

Every time I read these definitions of patience I can see where I am still falling short of not loving well. This post is my testimony of how I destroyed the mental strongholds of unfairness and injustice that control my thoughts and reactions.  So, if you have not read my post on strongholds, please read it first to understand what they are. STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

At a young age, I developed mental strongholds of injustice and unfairness that protected the authority seat of impatience.  Impatience ruled my behavior, which explained why I  over-reacted when I perceived something was unfair or unjust.  I had an unhealthy belief that trials or difficulties were unfair, wrongful actions against me and I needed to fight against them and the people involved.  But, in fact, trials and difficulties strengthen our ability to be patient, that is, practice makes perfect.  I also had the unhealthy belief, if I didn’t get what I needed, wanted, or what I expected, I would become frustrated and angry, which happend often.

How often do you hear a child say, “That’s not fair?”  Have you said it?  Because I thought my parents were unfair, I couldn’t trust them.  This stronghold combination prevents us from being submissive since we do not trust those in authority to be fair. So, when a person doesn’t think they can trust someone or submit to them, then they become rebellious.  Also, not being able to trust and submit our self-focused wills has adverse effects in all areas of our life (i.e., work, family, social, spiritual, etc.).

When I became free from this stronghold combination, I could then control my thoughts and emotions.  To be honest, it took some time to transform all my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs, that triggered automatic respone programming from my childhood.  To eliminate this stronghold combination, I asked God to show me the memories of offense of what I thought was unfair.  Past memories include childhood up to a moment ago.  Note, if a situation is fair, but you don’t think it is, this still creates an offense, just look at our political landscape.

Here is one example of many, I was responsible for doing all the dishes for a month for five members of my family, and each month my sisters and I would take turns.  I thought this was so unfair, and I had issues of doing the dishes for many years.  This memory caused many needless conflicts with my children and husband.  Eliminating the power of the memories of offense and unhealthy beliefs from our hearts and minds, frees us from the control of stronghold combinations.  The key is to overcoming is to stay mindful of the goal to love others well and not be self-centered, even toward other drivers.

The need to heal issues of frustration became clear after eliminating this stronghold combination.  So, I transformed the memories of my mother’s frustration by eliminating the negative energy and forgiving her.  I also had to forgive myself for being frustrated with my children and husband.  Next, I transformed the unhealthy belief that I have to control circumstances and what people do with the truth that I can only control my self.  Then I applied to my heart and mind the positive attributes found in the “Patience Issues” prayer focus on my website.  A truth statement I chose to believe was that I can be humble, gentle, and patient and show tolerance for others in love (Ephesians 4:2).

If you identify with what I have written, and you want to eliminate the power of offenses then go to my website: hopeforcompletehealing.com and learn how to be free to live a new reality.

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Many of the women I minister to feel there is no hope for overcoming their situations. And sadly, I often meet women who are put in jail right after having a baby that tested hot for drugs. Equally sad are the women whose children have been taken away from them, which drives them to use drugs and alcohol to escape that emotional pain. These women feel defeated and hopeless. When I asked them why they use, 99% of them say it is to avoid feeling emotional pain. They know the drugs and alcohol takes them further away from the life they desire. But, they feel they have no inner strength to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Their hearts are full of emotional pain from unloving acts from those who should have loved them. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a love hunger that they are trying to satisfy with everything but the true source of love.

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.  Read about my transformation here.

The following five facts have helped the women in jail have hope to achieve lasting peace, love, and victory.  I pray they help you as well:

1. Know the source of offenses that steal your peace, love, and sense of worth.

a) Taking an offense to something is when you feel resentment for something done or said which often causes hurt feelings or displeasure. These resentments build up in our hearts throughout our lives.

b) The demonic powers around us are destructive forces in our lives. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Also see Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4.

c) The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). The lies we believe cause us to be offended, which results in resentment and hate. For example, my oldest son believed the lie that I hated him because I disciplined him. He believed the lie that my discipline was abusive, therefore, he says he hates me. I can’t change what he believes because resentment is consuming and the demons keep it stirred up in him to keep him in bondage to these destructive thoughts.

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts, also called unresolved childhood issues. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated.

For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which may sound impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

2. Know your source of help to resist the demonic attempts to destroy you.

a) Jesus knows what it is like to suffer demonic attacks and temptations. He overcame the devil and defeated the enemy of our souls, and is able to help us overcome (see Hebrews 2:17&18; Heb. 4:15&16; and 1 John 3:8).

b) To receive this help, we need to put off the pride of being self-focused and the lie that we don’t need Jesus.  Then, humbly ask Him by faith to transform our lives. When we do this, then we will be rooted and grounded in His love and nothing can separate us from His love (see Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10; and Romans 8:35-39). Also, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is our helper (see John 14:26; 15:26; and Romans 8:24-27).  To learn more about pride, read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

c) After receiving Jesus into our hearts and submitting to God, which is to obey Him, then we will have all the divine promises in Christ Jesus. We will also have his divine nature and power to have lasting victory over all our issues and addictions. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” We tap into this divine power by faith through prayer and believing. We do not see the divine power in us, but we know it is there by faith and that it is ours through prayer.

3. Know the true source of love, peace, and victory.

a) God will always love us and He gives us His worth. (See Colossians 3:12). He is our only source of love; not our parents, not our boy/girlfriends, not our family, not our spouse; no one can love us as God does. Our love is flawed because each of us has wounds and hurts (offenses) from the sins and weaknesses of those around us.

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

c) God is our only source of victory over the demonic world; James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Victory occurs when we submit to God and resist the devil through prayer and standing firm in our faith.  Victory also requires that we remove sin from our lives. Also see 1 Peter 5:8,9a.

4. Know the truth and pray the truth to stay in perfect peace, love, and victory.

a) Our responsibility is to keep our minds on the truths of the Word of God and remain with Him through prayer. As we stay in prayer, we will be victorious over the many temptations to believe the devil’s lies and become offended (see John 15 and Colossians 3:1-3). But first, we need to humbly confess our sins through prayer and seek God for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). You see, sin blocks our prayers and God will not hear our prayers because He is Holy (see Is. 59:2).

b) If we keep our minds on our problems and what we don’t like, then we will be worried, fearful, angry, depressed, etc. So, when you find yourself focused on a problem or an offense, then turn it into a prayer of repentance and submission to regain your peace, love, and victory. For example, we can get upset with a family member for the things they did or said or how they said it, and it can consume us. But when we turn the problem over to God and trust Him with it, then we will be filled with peace and love again. I have also found that being thankful keeps me in peace. As you know, when you don’t feel peace in yourself, you are not at peace with others around you.

c) Our prayers and words have power and we can take every thought captive in the name of Jesus and command them to be gone. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world, NIV), we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (this world), but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds). We are destroying speculations (arguments) and every lofty thing (pretensions) raised up against the knowledge of God (truth), and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Taking our thoughts captive is critical to have lasting victory over our destructive emotions and actions.

5. Lastly, remove the many offenses in our hearts through prayer and forgiving.

a) Offenses hinder love but purifying out hearts by removing offenses allows us to feel love and to love others. Purifying our hearts begins with obeying the Word of God, that is, to do what it says. 1 Peter 1:22 states, Having purified your souls (heart, mind, and conscience) by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” We are able to love with a pure heart when our soul wounds are healed as outlined in my healing booklet found in my website (hopeforcompletehealing.com).

b) One of the truths we need to obey to be victorious over offenses is to forgive those who offended us. Then to put off the lies we believed. (See Matthew 6:12; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32). Our unforgiveness perpetuates the inner pain we feel and keeps us in bondage to it. We will never have lasting peace, love, or victory if we do not forgive.  If you find it hard to forgive, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

I hope you found these five facts helpful and know that lasting peace, love, and victory is possible. In my website, I list many truths concerning key character traits to help you replace the devil’s lies with truth. I encourage you to take a look at these and be blessed.

You may be interested in reading: #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

 

 

PEACE—A Parenting and Marital Goal

What would it be like if our children lived in peace with each other and we had a peaceful marriage?  Let us take a moment to imagine that the people in our lives are serene, tranquil, calm, undisturbed, friendly, kind, and helpful.  How does this make you feel?  Does this make you feel relaxed?  Does this describe how you relate to people?  Consider, with me, three causes that deprive us of peace and how to restore peace.

Peace was the only Mother’s Day gift I would ask from my children, which never happened.  The reason was because I never sowed peace into my children.  Have you ever heard the saying, “you reap what you sow?”  A farmer sows seed into the ground and depending on what the seed is that is, what the farmer will reap.  So, if you don’t have peace in your family and marriage then maybe peace has not been sown.  If there is strife in your life, consider where the source of strife is coming.

The first and main source of strife comes from past offenses stored in our memories and unforgiveness in our hearts.  Because I was an angry person inside from the many painful memories of being abused, I could not live in peace with anyone, though I desperately wanted to.  After God healed my painful memories, offenses, and unhealthy beleifs, I no longer was upset about everything all the time.  I can now live in peace with those around me, including myself.  Had I known about this when when I was raising my children, I would have dealt with the strife differently.  I would have located the offenses in their hearts, instead of reacting in anger.  To learn more, read the chapters of my book, listed in the right margin.

The second source of strife comes from daily offenses that we react too.  Just drive in the city, and you will have plenty of reason to be offended.  Being around people offer many opportunities to be offended.  These little offenses steal our peace, and the best solution is to take those thoughts captive by first, recognizing them, acknowledging them, and then taking hold of them.  Next, ask God to remove those thoughts of offense, forgive if necessary, and then ask God to give you patience and love for those around you.  Again, I elaborate more on this in my book on my website.

The third reason we lack peace can also be from the following peace robbers.  In fact, these peace robbers greatly affected my health and your health.  I share my testimony of how I transformed these peace robbers in my book found in my website.

  • Tension: mental or nervous strain
  • Fear of something bad happening:
  • Dread: to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension
  • Fright: sudden fear or terror
  • Nervousness: emotional tension; agitation
  • Anxiety: distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
  • Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret
  • Anger: a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath
  • Terror: intense fear

For example, my husband took my two young sons (10 and 12) spelunking in an abandoned cave.  I objected greatly but the boys wanted to go, and my husband was an experienced spelunker.  Needless to say, I experienced all the above peace robbers.  Thankfully, the Lord was watching over my children and husband as there were many dangers.  My husband had fun but my children to this day never want to go spelunking again.

Not only do we need to pray and ask God to remove these peace robbers from us but also the associated unhealthy beliefs.  The following are some examples of unhealthy beliefs that need transforming through prayer and truth:

  • Something bad will happen.
  • The future will be like the past.
  • There is no peace for me.
  • I don’t deserve peace.
  • Why even try to get peace? It is useless to try.
  • I lost any chance for peace when I lost _____.
  • I caused ____ to lose peace.
  • I am afraid I will never have peace.
  • If I have peace, bad things will take it away.
  • If I can just get more ____ I will have peace.
  • My lack of peace is due to my lack of ____.
  • Other people have taken my peace from me.
  • If only others would leave me alone I would have peace.
  • They don’t deserve peace.

The following truths can be used to transform the above unhealthy beliefs and any other unhealthy beliefs that God shows you when you ask.

  • The peace of Christ rules in my heart, and I am thankful. 3:15
  • I pursue peace and do what is good. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11
  • I can be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for others. Titus 3:2
  • When I make peace, I will be blessed and be called a child of God. 5:9
  • The peace that comes from God is beyond understanding when I give my troubles to Him and thank Him. 4:6
  • God fills me with all joy and peace as I believe and trust Him, and I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 15:13
  • I will have great peace and will not stumble when I love God’s Word. 119:165
  • I can be at peace with others. 9:50; Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14
  • Peace comes when I trust Jesus, and I will not let my heart be troubled or anxious. John 14:27; John 16:33; Phil. 4:6, 7; 26:3