Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?

So, what is well-being and how do you improve it?  Dictionary.com explains it as a state (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity.  I told you in my last post, I was going to write about abusive relationships.  This is a very hard topic to write, and though I have the experience, it is still very emotional and hard.  Abuse destroys a person’s well-being.  The opposite of abuse is love and not just love for the sake of love but felt love.  I care about your well-being and the well-being of your family, which is why I have written a lot of posts on how to have a healthy relationship, see POSTS Related to Relationships.  Also, read what healthy love is in Love From a Pure Heart.

So, what is felt love and how does it affect our well-being?  I came across a research article about this topic, and I share it below.


Feeling loved in everyday life linked with improved well-being

Research suggests that those small, but important daily gestures of love and support may be connected with improved well-being.   By Matt Swayne

November 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Poets and songwriters may tend to focus their artistry on passion and romance, but it may be those unsung, brief feelings of love throughout the day that are connected with psychological well-being, according to a team of researchers led by two Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) researchers. They added that the findings could one day lead to interventions aimed at boosting well-being.

In two studies, the researchers found that people who experienced higher “felt love” — brief experiences of love and connection in everyday life — also had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being, which includes feelings of purpose and optimism, compared to those who had lower felt love scores. They also found that people with higher felt love tended to have higher extroversion personality scores, while people with lower felt love scores were more likely to show signs of neuroticism.

“We took a very broad approach when we looked at love,” said Zita Oravecz, assistant professor of human development and family studies and ICDS faculty co-hire. “Everyday felt love is conceptually much broader than romantic love. It’s those micro-moments in your life when you experience resonance with someone. For example, if you’re talking to a neighbor and they express concern for your well-being, then you might resonate with that and experience it as a feeling of love, and that might improve your well-being.”

According to the researchers, the baseline of the subjects’ felt love experiences, in general, rose throughout the study, suggesting that the nudges to recognize examples of love and connection during the study may also have gradually increased the subjects’ overall sense of being loved.  Stronger experiences of felt love, in turn, are associated with improvements in psychological well-being.

“It’s something that we’ve seen in the literature on mindfulness, when people are reminded to focus attention on positive things, their overall awareness of those positive things begins to rise,” said Oravecz. “Similarly, just by paying attention to those everyday moments of felt love, we may also increase our awareness of the overall positive aspects of love in our daily lives. This effect replicates in both studies, implying that raising awareness of felt love in day-to-day life may itself be an intervention that raises levels of felt love over a longer period of time.”

The researchers, who report their findings in the current issue of Personality and Individual Differences, added that because the studies have only shown a correlation between felt love and well-being, more research would be needed to establish a causal relationship. If a firmer connection is established, the researchers said possible interventions could be designed, such as sending regular reminders to a person’s smartphone to draw attention to the felt love that they may be experiencing in that moment to raise psychological well-being. Similar interventions have been designed for mindfulness and gratitude.

The team relied on smartphone technology to gather data from participants throughout their everyday lives. In the first study, they recruited 52 people of various ages. The second study consisted of 160 undergraduate students. Participants received six random prompts throughout the day over a four-week period to assess felt love and well-being, according to Timothy Brick, assistant professor of human development and family studies and ICDS co-hire. He added that sending these messages randomly throughout the day was critical to manage the possible effects of expectation bias.

“It’s important from a research point-of-view,” said Brick. “If the participants expect a call or a text at a certain time of day, they are no longer reacting to what’s going on in their daily life but are expecting the prompt and reacting to that expectation.”

Gathering data multiple times throughout the day from more than 200 subjects over a month can produce a lot of data, said Brick. Also, these everyday experiences of love tend to fluctuate during the study, which can result in what the researchers termed “noisy” data.

“It’s often very difficult to measure psychological quantities because we don’t always have a great idea about what’s going on in our own heads,” said Brick.

Oravecz added, “But with the right statistical methods, we can start to get at questions about difficult constructs like love or compassion, and hopefully build interventions to promote them.”

To analyze this large amount of noisy data, the researchers used nuanced statistical tools. According to Oravecz, the researchers specifically used a Bayesian latent stochastic differential equations model to cut through the noise in the data and identify processes happening underneath. This method is especially suited to help scientists investigate intricate social systems, which often involve relationships that generate complex, highly variable data, she said.

According to the researchers, this statistical method may be used more as social scientists begin to gather large amounts of real-world data from sensors on wearable devices. The researchers used computational resources of ICDS’s advanced computer infrastructure for their analysis.

The team also included Jessica Dirsmith, clinical assistant professor of education, Duquesne University; Saeideh Heshmati, assistant professor of psychology, Claremont Graduate University; and Joachim Vandekerckhove, associate professor of cognitive sciences, University of California Irvine.

This research was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

 

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

We are told to be self-controlled and disciplined. But why can’t we? What blocks us from being self-controlled and disciplined? As I pondered this question and reflected on my own self-control issues, God showed me it is because of my pride and resentment.

In the last post, I wrote of our need to give up childish thinking, which includes childhood resentments. So, how do we know if our thinking is childish? Children are emotionally reactive when they don’t get what they want. In fact, we are born with a prideful, self-centered, sin nature, that causes us to focus on our own wants and needs. To have a base understand for this post please read my last post Self-control and Maturity

What does healthy emotional self-control look like?

People who have emotional self-control do not over-react, but are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (see James 1:19). In the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, he describes what it means to be a principle-centered person and not reactive. Instead of being reactive self-controlled people are proactive. Principle-centered people stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on them, and they evaluate the options.

Besides the Bible, this book was the next best book to helped me transform my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.  Covey’s book describes how a healthy person should think and act. I wrote thought transforming truth statements for each chapter of Covey’s book and put them on my website called, Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

What is resentment and how do we develop it?

The dictionary defines resent as feeling or showing displeasure and indignation at (some act, remark, insult, etc.) or toward a person, from a sense of being injured or offended. A person who has resentment will show anger and ill will for any real or perceived wrong or injury, which they believe is unfair. If you remain resentful, you will become bitter, which will keep you self-focused and prevent you from maturing. The dictionary defines bitter as causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain, and bitterness is feeling or showing hate or resentment. When people are prevented from getting what they want, they will show anger and resentment in how they respond. Resentment will control your reactions when triggered, as I explain later in this post.

Watch how you react to disappointment.

When we become depressed and pouty, or angry and unkind, it is because we have become offended by a disappointment. Disappointment creates an offense when there is a real or perceived sense of unfairness, and you feel wounded. Dealing with disappointment in a healthy way will prevent becoming offended and resentful. So, if you currently become offended by disappointment when someone or something does not do what you want, it shows self-centered immaturity. To learn more, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.

I recommend the following actions to handle disappointment in a healthy way. First, capture (acknowledge) offended thoughts.  Offended thoughts are evident when you do not feel peace and joy. Once you acknowledge you are offended, then ask what disappointed me? Next, forgive the person who has disappointed you or accept the situation you are disappointed by.

For example, if you did not get a raise, or was demoted. You may feel disappointed or you may feel it was unfair and become offended and resentful. If you were honest, you will first feel depressed, angry, and resentful, which is very destructive. Remove yourself from the emotional response and seek to understand and learn why, then either develop a plan to do better, or accept it and move on to another job you can excel at.

A personal example. I was disappointed when my husband could not help me with a garden project that I wanted to get done that day. It so happened, my husband had lost his driver’s license, so he was focused on finding his license, then getting it replaced. Instead of understanding his situation, I became offended and let wrong thoughts control my emotions and spoke hurtful things in revenge for disappointing me. I know I am not the only one with this problem, and therefore, I am writing about self-control right now.

I began to capture my wrong thinking and loose them from my mind, next, I asked God’s forgiveness, and then replaced my wrong thoughts with truthful thoughts of thankfulness, see my post A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER. But I did not gain full self-controlled until I accepted my disappointment and loosed the false beliefs concerning my husband that controlled my destructive behavior. I have a great husband and I should be thankful. I repented and asked my husband for forgiveness. My husband put Proverbs 25:18 on the bathroom mirror, and I have been pondering that verse ever since. To understand how false beliefs control our emotions, read UNHEALTHY BELIEFS: What are they and where do they come from?

God showed me how my wrong thoughts were created by painful memories of resentment. When I was a teen, my mother made my sisters and me do all the chores, including laundry, cooking, and hand-washing dishes for five people. I developed resentment because I perceived my sisters did not do their part, and I felt this was unfair and became resentful. My mother had just divorced my father, and went off to college, so she was focused on getting her education and did not help either. I never saw my father again, which created a host of issues.  So, I did not have parental guidance to learn how to handle disappointments and the resulting resentment.

I went through the five steps to heal my heart and purify my soul to heal these resentments.  See; Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. God also showed me I had current resentment toward my husband for not meeting other expectations when I needed help. I took those resentful thoughts captive and loosed them and then asked God to forgive me and asked my husband to forgive me.

Put away resentments so you can mature.

The bible says in Ephesians 4:31,32  “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32)  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” To put something away is to no longer be emotionally invested in the negative or painful memory. Putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice involves asking God to reveal painful childhood memories that caused you to become resentful of a real or perceived wrong done to you. Many adults have subconscious bitterness that keep them stuck in self-focused childish thinking. To find these subconscious memories, begin reading my book here 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories to understanding the why and how for healing past issues to mature and love well.

After you put away any wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice from your heart, then bind in kindness and forgiveness to your heart.  See my post called; Relationship and World Changing Kindness and WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

There is hope for maturity and self-control as we put off resentfulness from disappointments we perceived as unfair. When we put off resentfulness and accept disappointment then we can be self-controlled.

Related Posts:

SELF-CONTROL Issues

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

What ever happened to kindness?  Most of my hurts and painful memories come from unkindness, beginning with my childhood to the present.  I would venture to guess that everyone has painful memories from unkind people.  These painful memories affect our thinking and beliefs, and they prevent us from being kind. We know being patient is hard, but have you considered your struggle to be kind?

For instance, I was not being kind to my husband, though he was being patient with me. Later, he said, if I treated my friends like I treat him, I would have no friends. OUCH! The next day, my husband asked if I was mad at him. I said, “I don’t think so.” So, I went to God and asked Him to show me why I was disrespecting my husband. The next day, as I was memorizing Ephesians 2:1-7, I read verse seven,so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” God quickened my mind when I read “grace in kindness.” And He revealed I was angry at my husband for what I perceived as his unkindness towards me. I had repressed my offense and was being unkind in return.

I began to think deeply about grace and kindness. What does kindness look like in action? God brought me back to the phrase, “grace in kindness.” Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and is demonstrated by God’s kindness towards us. Grace involves forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7,8 states, “In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” I asked God to give me insight whether I was holding a grudge?  I know when we hold onto an offense, we can’t show grace to the person who offended us. Do you agree?

If God is willing to forgive our sins, then we can forgive the sins of others (see Matthew 6:12). Please note, God’s grace is immeasurable which He lavishes on us richly. This is hard to comprehend.  How much better the world will be if we each lavished grace and forgiveness on those who don’t deserve it? If we can comprehend the immeasurable grace God has for us, how grateful we will be. Trying to wrap my mind around this kind of grace has made me realize how ungrateful I am.

For example, in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells a parable of a man who was beaten and robbed, then left naked on the road. Three men came upon the naked man, the two religious leaders walk by and the third man, a Samaritan, who is despised by the Jews, showed mercy and compassion and help the man. Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (Luke 10:36).  The good Samaritan was not selfish with his time and money.  He went out of his way to take the man to an Inn, and then paid for the man’s stay and care.  It is hard to be kind and show mercy to those who are not kind to us, but that is the love God wants us to show to the world.  Remember, love is patient and kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4a).

1 John 3:17-18 also says,  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  Love focuses on the needs of others.  But if our thoughts are only about meeting our own needs and expectations, then we will not be patient or kind, and we will not love others well. To love well and show kindness we must transform our self-centered thoughts and beliefs to reflect God’s immeasurable grace.

Yes, I was not kind to my husband because I became offended when my demands were not met. My thoughts of being offended created a false belief my husband did not love me, and I can’t depend on him. My false beliefs caused me to feel disrespected and disrespectful. My unkindness to my husband was the result of my wrong thoughts and false beliefs. To learn more read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.

The wrong thinking that my husband should serve me was transformed by a blog I read by healingmission, The Christian Healing Mission Daily Blog.  The author encouraged her readers to serve as Jesus served.  This truth is found in Matthew 20:28, which states, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  I was convicted of my sinful desire to be treated like a Queen and to be served.  I expected my husband to be my servant, for which he was not a willing participant. Satan wants us to live self-centered and selfish lives to keep us in bondage to misery.  Jesus wants us to follow His example and serve others in love.

I took out my “Hope for Complete Healing” booklet and looked up “Kindness Issues.” Using the list of offenses in the “Kindness Issues” worksheet, I prayed and asked God to show me why I was offended. He showed me I felt rejected when my husband didn’t do what I expected him to do. And, I was offended by how rough he spoke to me. I then went through the “Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul.

Next, I prayed and bound to my heart and mind the positive attributes of kindness and the transformation truths found on the worksheet. God then showed me I had painful memories of my mother speaking roughly to me, which triggered my response to my husband’s roughness. I went through the five steps of healing again to transform that painful memory.

I remind myself, I can only ask God to change my heart and correct my thoughts. And, I cannot expect God to change my husband because he has a will to choose how he behaves. Read the following post to know what is and is not our Authority in Prayer, Four Reasons Why We Have Authority in Prayer.

If you find you identify with my struggle to love well, then please go to God and receive healing and His immeasurable grace and forgiveness. Begin reading my short booklet today for guidance. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

There is hope for complete healing as we receive God’s grace and forgiveness, then show grace in kindness.

If you want a paper copy of the booklet on my website, contact me by email. I can mail a copy of my booklet for a small donation to cover the cost of printing and mailing.

Related Posts:

Love From a Pure Heart

WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

The Core Negative Heart Issue

POSTS Related to Relationships

POSTS on Thoughts

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

You have heard the saying, “If you are too heavenly minded then you are no earthly good.”  This saying is a lie. I am definitely no earthly good when I am angry, prideful, and anxious.  By surrendering my mind to God, I have become free from anger, pride, and anxiety.  With my new heavenly mind, I now trust Him to take care of all the things that concern me.  So, as long as I am heavenly minded, I will not give in to the temptation to sin in my reactions when I am angry or be anxious and become depressed or be prideful and not treat people with kindness.

Complete victory over sin can only occur when we invite Jesus Christ to rule our lives and receive His forgiveness for our sins.  After we surrender to His Lordship, then we can ask His help when we are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:18 states, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”  Also read Hebrews 4:14-16.  Have you surrendered your life to God’s loving care?  If not, please take a few minutes to do that now.

Can we be too heavenly minded and no earthly good? No, because sin begins in the mind from temptations to do wrong (see James 1:13-15). Our conscience sends a signal of discomfort when we are being tempted to do wrong.  So, when we rebel against the good God says we should do and give in to the temptations, that is sin.  Sin corrupts our heart and messes up our lives.  So, to be victorious over temptations, keep your mind on what pleases God instead of what pleases your self-centered desires.

Paul encouraged the Colossians to seek the things of Heaven and not focus on the things of earth.  Colossians 3:1-2 states, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  In fact,  Ephesians 2:6 says we are raised up with Christ and seated in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus after we are saved by His grace from the control of sin and God’s wrath. But, keeping our thoughts on the truths of God is hard to do because the world offers so many enticements to take our minds away from Him.  And, there is so much to be anxious and angry about.  The solution is to ponder Scriptures and turn every thought into a prayer to protect your mind from temptations to do wrong.

So, if you want to prosper and succeed, you must resolve to keep your mind on spiritual principles found in the Bible.  In Joshua 1:8, he explains, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  King David said in Psalm 119:11, I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  The best way to store God’s Word in our heart is to memorize it.  To stay focused on heavenly things, get involved in a Bible teaching church and take part in Bible studies. Be quick to forgive and not take offense.  And, fellowship with other Christ centered believers.

If you don’t want to stumble by sinning and wreck your life, do not hang out with people who take part in earthly enticements. Earthly enticements could be gambling, sexual sin, drinking, drugs, hate, violence, lying, stealing, etc., which are no earthly good. It is also wise not to immerse yourself in foolish, worldly entertainment such as plays, concerts, hours of television, or non-Christian movies. Think for a moment. If the people creating the entertainment have not submitted their minds to God to bring Him glory, then their foolish, evil thoughts are directing their actions and creativity. Worldly entertainment deceives you into thinking the foolishness and evil is acceptable, when the goal is to enslave you in sinful thoughts and actions.

King David said, I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” What you view on the internet, television, and at the movies clings to your mind and cannot be unseen. I also recommend not spending much mindless time reading social media and other worthless materials that do not encourage you to love God and other people. Do the magazines and books you read draw you closer to God or draw you closer to self-centered worldly thinking. Each of us should consider how much time we want to waste on unprofitable activities and instead seek the things above where we are seated with Christ in the Heavenly places.

Remember, Christ following Christians are strangers and exiles on the earth (see Hebrews 11:13 and 1 Peter 2:11), and our true home is heaven. Philippians 3:20 states, but our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, if our true citizenship is in heaven, it stands to reason, we focus our mind and heart on the things of God, not the things of the world.  We are called ambassadors for Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:20,21 which states, Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  

An ambassador represents another country while living in a different country. The ambassador speaks on behalf of their home institutions. How are you doing as an ambassador of Heaven?  Are you representing the Kingdom of Christ well?  Are you helping your neighbors, friends, and family be reconciled to God?

There is hope for complete healing as we turn our minds to Christ and the things of Heaven.

Related Posts:

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Why, What, and How to Submit to God

The Core Negative Heart Issue

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

POSTS on Thoughts

 

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Why do I become offended?  Why don’t I consider the interests of others?  Why do I want to control what other people do or don’t do to satisfy my interests?  Why do I find it hard to do what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-7 (ESV)?

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  NIV – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  KJV – Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  NASV – Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. NIV – not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  KJV – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. NASV – do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

5) Have this mind (attitude) among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Why is it hard to value others as more important or significant than ourselves? God put His finger on the core issue of my heart. PRIDE. When someone doesn’t do or say what we want, then we get hurt or angry. Why?  According to verse 3, we may not value others as more important than ourself.   When God does not answer my prayers the way I want, I get hurt and angry.  Pride says, “What I want is more important than you or what you want.” The fact is, pride fuels every negative thought and emotion we have. To learn more about pride read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS.

You know you are free from pride when you consistently do what the Apostle Paul exhorted the Philippians to do in Chapter 2, verses 3-4. The Apostle Paul says we are to do nothing from selfish ambition, selfishness, strife, or conceit. HELP. James tells us in Chapter 3, verses 13-18 that selfish ambition is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. YIKES. I need to repent.

James 3:13-18 state, Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness (humility, gentleness) of wisdom.

14) But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

15) This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (sensual), demonic.

16) For where jealousy (envy) and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile (evil) practice.

17) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

18) And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Are you a person who is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere? Pridefulness prevents us from being wise.  We need to put off our pride if we are to have the same attitude as Christ. We are born self-centered beings, which only gets worse. So, what is the remedy? Since pride generates negative heart issue and is a sin, go through the five steps to heal your heart and purify your soul.  I have added the process for purifying sin from our soul since it was first posted. Remember, sin is doing evil by not loving and valuing others and God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.


I know I am being vulnerable when I share my prayer, but I want to be the example of how to purify your soul.  As I was asking God to show me the things I needed to put off, I wrote them down.  This was not an easy prayer to pray and I was visibly shaking because pride had such a grip on my soul.  It is through our pride that evil spirits can control our thoughts and emotions, so it needs to go.  I use the name of Jesus because we are commanded to in John 14:13, 16:24 and other Scripture passages. Read, Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess the contributing issue to not loving others well, and not considering the interests of others, or seeing them as more significant than me is the sin of pride. I loose and put off the sin of pride out of my soul and the negative spirit attachments in Jesus’ name. Lord, forgive me for being prideful and not seeing others as more significant than myself.

Forgive me for wanting others to serve me instead of me serving others in love. I bind in your attitude of humility and servitude into my heart and mind in Jesus’ name. Lord, help me to focus on doing what pleases You and not on the negative issues of (I prayed through the various issues God brought to my mind.)

Lord, I loose and put off the unhealthy belief that my interests are more important, and people should do what I want. I bind in the spirit of humility to every cell of my body, so I can have the wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, in Jesus’ name. I loose and put off all selfish ambition from my mind and heart, in Jesus’ name. Forgive me for insisting that things are done my way and becoming ugly and say unkind things. Loose and put off the negative energy I put into my family associated with my prideful attitude and the unkind things I said, in Jesus name.

Remove the guilt from the sin of pride from my heart and mind. Lord, loose and destroy the generational sin of pride from my genetics and the genetics of my children, in Jesus’s name. I thank You, Lord, for helping me in my weakness when I focus on my needs to focus instead on You through praise, prayer and pondering the Scriptures. Thank you for cleansing me from all unrighteousness and making me a more loving person.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Posts:

Love From a Pure Heart

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Wise Thoughts vs. Foolish Thoughts

Bondage to Unseen Controls

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

 

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Do you know you have two hearts? Do you know both hearts react to our experiences? Everyone knows we have a physical heart that pumps our blood. But we also have an emotional heart that process our feelings into memories and determines what we believe.   What we think directs how we feel in our emotional heart. To understand more about the power of thoughts, read the following posts: What Controls Your Thoughts?,  ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, and Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

A.  The Emotional Heart and the Soul

Did you know your emotional heart is part of your soul?   The following verses describe how the soul contains our feelings. Job said his soul grieved for the needy (Job 30:25). King David said in Psalm 6:3, My soul also is greatly troubled.” And, Psalm 35:12 states, They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft [left sad and lonely].” And, Psalm 43:5a states, “Why are you cast down (in despair), O my soul, and why are you in turmoil? Hope in God…” And, Psalm 88:3a states, “For my soul is full of troubles…” Last, Lamentations 3:17 states, My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.”

The Apostle Peter explains in 1 Peter 1:22 how to purify our soul so our heart is pure, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” Only as we obey the truth found in the Bible to put off our old self and put on a new self, can we love others well (see Ephesians 4:17-32 and Colossians 3:5-17). Read my short book to learn how to do this: DISCOVER A NEW REALITY

The Webster dictionary says the soul is our mind, emotions, and will.  Some people credit the soul as containing our sense of morality and conscience with the functions of thinking and willing. No one truly understands the soul’s specific function, though we know it sets humans apart from the animal kingdom.

Animals do not have a conscience or sense of morality; knowing the distinction between right and wrong conduct or action, and they do not feel guilt.  Sin creates guilt, which makes us feel dirty inside. Hence, the need to purify our soul.  Sin is doing what is harmful and selfish and disobeying what the Bible says is the right thing to do.  People with wounded hearts often do not feel guilt for the wrong they do. Therefore, healing the wounds in our heart through the love of Jesus and His sacrifice will allow our conscience to direct us into right thinking. When I became free from my guilt, I could love myself and then love others better.

Another distinction from animals is our soul longs to be in right fellowship with God. Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:29 to, …Seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” The wounds and guilt in our heart and soul hinder us from seeking God and being in right fellowship with Him, which is another reason we need to heal our heart and purify our soul.

?? How does the hurt in our hearts keep us from seeking God?

The hurt in our heart creates pride and is often protected by pride. Our pride maintains our right to be hurt and angry. Pride keeps us from taking our hurt to God and forgiving those that hurt us.  To learn more about pride read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

B.  Where do Heart and Soul Wounds Come From?

Painful experiences and guilt from sin, wound our soul by creating negative thoughts that then develop into offenses. Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, unacceptance, and being ignored. Offenses create painful memories, which then create stress in our body and conflicts in our mind through wrong beliefs. We know we are offended when we feel angry or hurt. Painful memories and guilt handicap our spirit, and keep us from loving God and others well, and we appear hypocritical to non-believers. Read my post on memories: HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

When something triggers a painful memory, it then controls our thoughts and feelings, and then our behavior follows.   Hurt feelings create wrong beliefs. The only way to know your wrong beliefs is to ask God to show you and then listen to what you say or think. For example, I heard myself say to my husband he doesn’t care. Then when I was praying, I thought God did not care what I wanted. This is a lie and wrong belief from painful memories when my parents abused and disregarded me. I still carried this wrong belief in my heart, and it was still directing my thoughts. Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm. Abuse also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone. Read my post on wrong beliefs for more details:  Identify and Replace False Beliefs

With God’s guidance, He has shown me how to heal my heart and purify my soul, which I share in my book called “Hope for Complete Healing.” Healing and purifying our soul are the removal of offenses, unhealthy beliefs, and guilt. As our souls heal and become pure, we will experience freedom, peace, love, and joy. And, we will love others better. Read the following post:  Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

C.  Emotional Health is Directly Related to Physical Health

One major benefit of healing the negative issues of my heart and soul is physical healing. The Bible explains this process in 3 John 2, which states, Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” And in, Proverbs 14:30 it states, A tranquil (peaceful) heart gives life to the flesh (body), but envy makes the bones rot.” Envy is a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc.; and a resentful dislike of another who has something desirable. The synonyms of envy are: jealousy, greed, bitterness, resentful, and spite, all of which is sin.  Sin corrupts our soul, so we need to purify the sin out of our soul to heal our heart.

When we envy our minds are on the things of the earth and on what other people have and we don’t have, which will cause us to be discontent and miserable. Misery leads to negative feelings of resentment and bitterness, which generate painful memories.  Painful memories generate negative energy, which creates stress that then causes the cells of our body to degenerate.  So, our physical heart will suffer harm from the negative feelings in our emotional heart.  There is a lot of research on this topic, I explain this in more detail in the following chapter of my book: 4–Physical Healing

The following verse also equates healing with turning away from evil. Doing evil is synonymous with sinning. Proverbs 3:7-8 states, Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body) and refreshment to your bones.” Evil is being and doing morally bad or wrong things to harm or cause trouble for people. Fearing the LORD is deep respect and awe for the power, majesty, and holiness of God and His judgment and wrath for those who do evil. This respect causes us to turn from evil and do what is right in God’s eyes, not our own.  Proverbs 8:13 states, The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil (evil behavior) and perverted speech I hate.”  You may like to read the following posts. EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy? and HOW PRIDE DESTROYS and  #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

When you feel peace, you feel positive don’t you?  Peace generates a positive energy that removes negative stress from our bodies.  When we pray and put our trust in God, we feel peace.  And, as we look to Jesus and keep our minds focused on the things above, the life of Christ will flow through us and give life to our physical bodies. And according to Isaiah 26:3 we will have perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him, because we trust Him to provide what we need and what is best for us. This is accomplished by turning every thought into a prayer to God. I have several posts on trust and peace you might like to read: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and WithoutTRUST Leads to PEACE,  Trust God to Keep His Promises,  15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep, and Psalm 91 Posts

D.  Conclusion

Healing our heart and purifying our soul has the following benefits.

  1. Allows us to make right and moral good choices.
  2. Allows us to seek God with a pure heart and be in right fellowship with Him.
  3. Reduces the negative stress on our bodies to allow physical healing.
  4. We will love others well.

Psalm 91:14-16 — RESCUED FROM TROUBLES

Where does the Bible state, we will not have troubles? It doesn’t. In fact, troubles are a part of everyday life. Webster defines trouble as something or someone who causes pain or discomfort; mental agitation; worry; harassment; etc. One of the devil’s schemes is to cause trouble in our lives so we focus our minds on the trouble and not on God. Troubles can come from our own foolish decisions and wrong choices. When troubles happen because of wrong choices, we can humble ourselves and call out to God for help, and He will help us (see Hebrews 4:15-16 and James 4:6-8).

The next two verses describe how God wants to rescue and protect us from the troubles that come from the unseen demonic world, but there is a condition.

Psalm 91:14-15 states, “Because he holds fast to Me in love, therefore,

I will deliver (rescue) him;

I will protect him, (set him securely on high) because he knows My name,

15) When he calls to Me, I will answer him; (Also see, Psalms 138:3)

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue (deliver) him and honor him.”

WOW! What promises! These five promises are for those who hold fast to God and love Him. Other Bible versions translate verse 14 as “Because He has set His love on Me...” Since the above five promises depend on how well we love God, I want to explore a few scriptures that clarify how to love God well.

      [!] How do we know we love God?

John 14:15 explains, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” 1 John 5:3 also states, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” So, what are the commandments of God? We all know the two greatest commandments recorded in Luke 10:27, “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ (Also read Matthew 22:37 and Mark 12:30.) 1 John 3:23 further explains, “And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us. 24) Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” Abiding in God is the same as holding fast to Him and setting our love on Him. How well we love people, shows how well we are abiding in God and holding fast to Him in love.

At one time, I struggled to love people. I was judgmental, critical, disrespectful, impatient, etc. I asked God to show me why I could not love people well. He revealed I did not love myself and in fact; I hated myself. I asked God why I hated myself, and He disclosed I was full of guilt for all my anger fits. During a bible study, I learned there were two sacrifices in the Old Testament; an animal sacrifice for sin and a freed animal for guilt. For the guilt sacrifice, the priest laid his hands on a goat’s head and set it loose into the wilderness as a symbol of their guilt being taken away. God then disclosed to me I had received His blood sacrifice for my sins, but I still held onto my guilt. When I asked Him to take my guilt away, I began to love myself and love others better. When I failed to love others well by not being patient, humble, forbearing, etc., I felt convicted. So, I would repent by asking God to forgive me and show me why I sinned. Then I put off my old way of reacting and asked Him to help me love better. Pride is the most common sin that causes us to not love God and people well. Read Colossians 3 for a detailed explanation of how to put off your old ways of reacting and to put on new behaviors.

     [!] In what ways can you love God and people better?

    [!] How can you set your love on God and hold fast to Him in love?

You set your love on God by keeping your mind on Him and living a new life through Him. You love God by doing what pleases Him, communicating with Him through prayer, delighting in Him through praises, and finding security in Him by trusting Him. The following promises are ours when we truly love God.

God will protect and set us securely on high because we know His name. Ephesians 2:5 and 6 explains when we are saved by His grace, we are “raised us up with Him [Jesus] and seated us with Him [God] in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The word securely means we are safe and free from danger or attack. God’s name means many things and when we know His name Proverb 18:10 states, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and are safe.” Psalm 9:10 explains what happens when we know His name; “And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” God does not forsake those who seek Him, how wonderful is that.

[!] According to the previous verses in Psalm 91, what is God protecting us from?

God protects us from the schemes of the devil and the troubles he brings on us. God never said we would not face troubles and persecutions, but He promises to deliver us “IF” we humble ourselves, love Him, and call on His name in prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.This verse tells us that God promises to hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and heal our lives from our troubles when we humbly seek Him and turn from our sins.  Sin brings trouble into our lives, which is why we need to repent and seek God’s forgiveness and help to overcome our sin nature.

The next verses verify the fact that God will deliver us from troubles and persecutions.

Psalm 107:6 states, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.”

Psalms 34:19 states, “Many are the afflictions (troubles) of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Psalms 55:22 states, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved (shaken).”

John 16:33 states, “…In the world you will have tribulations (troubles). But take heart; I [Jesus] have overcome the world.”

2 Timothy 3:11-13, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12) Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13) while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

2 Timothy 4:17b-18, the Apostle Paul states, “…So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.

Psalms 25:18 states, “Consider my affliction and my trouble and forgive all my sins.” [King David makes the association between trouble and his sins]

[!] After reading the above Scriptures, what has the most meaning to you and why?

[!] What kind of afflictions have you endured that resulted from sin?

The last verse in this Psalm is another promise we can trust God to keep. Psalm 91:16 states, “With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.” The following supporting Scripture is one of my favorites and is a great encouragement to me, and I hope it is to you. Isaiah 46:3b-4 states, “…who have been borne (upheld) by me from before your birth, carried from the womb (since conception); 4) even to your old age I Am He, and to your gray hairs I will carry you (sustain you). I have made you, and I will bear; I will carry, and will save (rescue you).” The Greek meaning for salvation is “to be made whole,” rescue, save, or to be delivered. When God says He sustains us it means He will keep us supplied with the necessities we need.

[!] Knowing the truths in Psalm 91, how will you refrain from being fearful or angry when you experience trouble or persecution in your life?

!! Memorize this Psalm, so you never forget these truths, then turn it into a personal prayer.