Healthy Boundaries for Toxic Emotions and People

What is a toxic person? The answer is simple, a toxic person is someone who has no control over their emotions and thoughts. This person is controlled by subconscious painful memories.  You do not have to be fearful of out-of-control people but put your trust in God.  The Bible says, God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind (see 1 Timothy 1:7).  In this post you will learn how to have power, love and a sound mind so you can establish healthy boundaries.  In my last post I shared a study that described how felt love improves your well-being.  Read it here: Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?.  Being around negative, angry, fearful, and insecure people wear down your well-being.

You can find many articles on how to set-up boundaries for out-of-control people, so I won’t teach that here.  I recommend the book called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, which I read when I was married to an abusive ex-husband.  The instructions in the Boundaries book was very helpful, but I couldn’t set healthy boundaries because I was toxic and out of control myself.  Then I read a book called Why Should I Be the First to Change?  by Chuck and Nancy Missler, which transformed my victim mentality.  In this post, you will learn why and how to change yourself before you can set healthy boundaries.

  1. Have healthy beliefs about yourself so you can set healthy boundaries.
  2. Love and respect yourself so you will maintain boundaries.
  3. Apply the truths in God’s Word to heal your toxic emotions and your toxic relationships.

You cannot change how a person behaves, you can only change yourself.  As you change, your unhealthy beliefs, then you can set healthy boundaries on the destructive behavior of others.  Boundaries identify the problem, consequences, and the way to reconciliation, which will help the emotionally unhealthy person see their need to change.  You can pray for God to intervene and change the person, but God cannot change a person’s will if they do not want to surrender their lives to Him and do what the Bible says.

1.  First, you must have healthy beliefs about yourself so you can set healthy boundaries.

Understand why you were attracted to a person who is destructive.  For me, I grew up in an abusive home and had no sense of self-worth and no sense of how a healthy person thinks.  When I first went to a psychologist who understood abuse and the damage it does to the soul, I learned I had an unhealthy belief that I did not deserve to be loved.  And, because I did not love myself, I felt I deserved the abuse.  I believed I needed to try harder.  But I couldn’t because I was a toxic person as well.  As a Christian, I saw my relationships were not loving according to the Bible.  The Bible tells us the kind of love we are to have in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (ESV).”  Does your life or relationships reflect this kind of healthy love?

Painful memories cause people to be toxic.  Painful memories generate unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking, which shows in what we say and do.  To be a healthy, loving person, you need to heal your painful memories and develop healthy beliefs about yourself, others, and even God.  As your memories are healed, oppressive spirits are removed, and unhealthy beliefs are transformed by Biblical truth, then you can set healthy boundaries on your behavior and other’s behavior.  I explain how to do this in my short book called, Hope for Complete Healing.

2. Love and respect yourself so you will maintain boundaries.

When I began to receive the love of God and learn to love myself, I began to see myself as valuable.  I knew I needed to respect myself, but I couldn’t.  So, I began to practice putting boundaries on my thoughts and emotions.  But because I relied on my will-power, these boundaries only worked to a limited extent.  Lasting change came when I healed my painful memories and transformed unhealthy beliefs.  Desiring to love and respect myself forced me to seek God to show me my painful memories and to heal them.  The Bible says I need to forgive those who sin against me as God has forgiven me. So, as I continued to forgive the unkind people in my life and focused on the things I could be thankful for, I felt peace and joy.  When I saw the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, trust, and self-control in my life, then I could respect myself.

The following quote from Eleanore Roosevelt helped me in a hostile work environment, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Meaning, I can choose not to feel inferior by those who do not respect me and say unking things.  My psychologist explained that the things my ex-husband was saying about me did not represent the truth or reality.  This helped me to not internalize the unkind things my ex-husband said to me.  I was able to set a healthy boundary around my heart to not internalize unkind words and actions.

3. Apply the truths in God’s Word to heal your toxic emotions and toxic relationships.

Knowing Biblical truths, help you identify the problem and explain why you must set boundaries.  Let them know you value them and the relationship.  The person may get angry or anxious and will try to manipulate you or make you feel guilty, but don’t be afraid.  Depending on God to help you is the only way to have the power to set boundaries and see lasting change.  Be accountable to an older person who knows the truth of God’s Word and is secure enough to point out your wrong thinking.

Recently, I had to establish a separation boundary with a person I thought was my friend but who did not respect or honor me.  This was hard to do because I thought I could help her. Helping hurting people is not a bad thing if they submit to God’s work in their hearts and minds and obey Him.  Feeling the need to support and be loyal to unloving people makes a person co-dependent to that person.  You can read many articles about co-dependency, so I will not cover that hot topic.

You can read how I trusted the promises of God during my divorce and custody battle. Read Trust God to Keep His Promises

OTHER RELATED POSTS:

How to be Self-controlled in What We Say (updated)

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words Produce Death or Life Energy

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

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Do you wake-up grumpy or maybe dread going to work? Are you upset by what people do? Are you depressed and worried? Do you want to be joyful and positive? Our mood reflects the level we are offended by unmet expectations or someone. The more offended we are the more despaired or angry our mood is. You may have a good reason to be upset, like when you go through an ugly fight, a divorce, or job loss. I’ve been there and done that, I know. But, allowing those negative thoughts to control your life is not healthy, nor is it good for other relationships. The number one way to change your negative thoughts and negative mood is to be thankful.

You may be thinking, no way, I can’t do that.  Being thankful may be hard and sometimes impossible but with God all things are possible. Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Also read Mark 9:23 and Mark 10:27. And, 2Corinthians 15:57 states, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Also read 2Corinthians 2:14.

How thankfulness changes a negative mood

When someone says thank you or doesn’t say thank you, how does that make you feel? If someone sends you a thank-you card, or you send a thank-you card. Do you feel positive or negative? The act of being thankful takes the focus off yourself and onto something positive. Have you noticed the more you focus on yourself, the more miserable you feel? My last post describes how sub-conscious negative thoughts affect our relationships and how to change your relationships and the world with one simple act. You can read it here if you haven’t read it yet: Relationship and World Changing Kindness

I was a depressed, miserable, angry, anxious person for a long time before I discovered the power of forgiveness, transforming painful memories, and being thankful. I discovered in my research that every thought has a life energy (positive) and a death energy (negative). Being thankful transforms a negative mindset into a positive mindset. A positive mindset makes you feel happy and at peace with yourself and your world. It is amazing how powerful thankfulness is in your life or circumstance. Being thankful is difficult to do at times because we tend to gravitate toward misery for some strange reason. I struggled being thankful my whole life.

What prevents a thankful heart?

First, PRIDE prevents us from being thankful people because a prideful person is only focused on getting their needs and expectations met! I was so focused on myself and having my expectations met, I couldn’t be thankful.  Not appreciating the things my husband did put a strain on our marriage.  Every person wants to be appreciated.  I wrote about how I became free from this roadblock to happiness in my blog called The Core Negative Heart Issue.

Second, painful memories prevent a thankful heart. Conscious and sub-conscious painful memories dictate our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviors, and destiny. Read the following post to learn more: HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR. Growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional home created a host of negative issues in my life. Read my post on how I transformed these painful memories: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.  I also wrote a post on how I overcame the negative effects of a sadistic divorce and job loss: Trust God to Keep His Promises.

And third, unforgiveness keeps our mind focused on the negative, hurtful action that offended us and prevents us from being thankful. To learn why and how to forgive read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

How to be thankful

My husband heard we should think of two things we can be thankful for when annoyed or frustrated. Thinking a thankful thought instantly changes a negative mood. Try it. Think of something that is irritating you right now. Now think of two things related to the situation you can be thankful for. For example, if you are having issues with your co-worker. Think of two positive things about your co-worker and think thankful thoughts about those positives. Keep in mind, everyone has negative issues and trash thoughts that spills out of their mouth, that comes from painful memories or focusing on self-interests. If slow traffic annoys you, be thankful you don’t have to walk, you are comfortable, and you have extra time to pray and worship God. Upset with your partner? Find two to three positive traits or actions and be thankful for them.

(Take a few minutes and try this exercise.) How do you feel?  Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself to be thankful and for what.

Be sure to tell your partner or co-worker what the positive things you are thankful for in them. Telling someone what you are thankful for will powerfully and positively change attitudes. For a while my husband and I kept a little note pad around and we randomly wrote thankful or kind things about the other person. It was so much fun to see what my husband wrote, and I enjoyed writing thankful and kind things about him. It powerfully and positively changed our marriage. Try it.  It was recommended to keep the thankfulness notepad in the bathroom.

Scriptural command to be thankful

The following are Scripture texts commanding us to be thankful and give thanks. Remember, when you disobey God’s commands, you are in sin and will suffer the consequences of unthankfulness, which allows misery and despair.  God knew focusing only on ourselves was self-destructive. He commands us to be thankful so we can experience joy and peace.

Ephesians 5:20-21 state, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21) submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” How would your life, marriage/partnership, friendships, and work environment change if you gave thanks all the time and for everything? 1Theselonians 5:18 states, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Giving thanks in all circumstances is difficult, especially if you are diagnosed with cancer. The people who can find something to thank God for, are the most content and joyful people.  I heard a missionary to China say how joyful the Chinese Christians are despite risking the lose of their homes and being put in prison.

Ephesians 5:4 states, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Does the conversation at your family get-togethers digresses into gossip, foolish talk, and so on?  Next time, ask them what they are thankful for.  Other ways you can prompt wholesome conversations can be found in this post: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When I am thankful for God’s love, provision, mercy, and grace and trust Him to take care of my problems, I feel peace and joy. When I begin to focus on the negative issue, I became anxious and stressed again.

Colossians 3:15, 16 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” When I memorize Scripture, then I can teach and encourage others, and I can use those Scriptures to give thanks in my prayers. See my post on the things we can thank God for in Psalms 103: County Jail Study on Psalms 103. Also read, Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers Colossians 4:2 also states, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

The Old Testament gives us other reasons to give thanks to God:

1Chronicals 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (Also see, 1Chronicals 16:41; 2Chronicals 7:3,6; 20:21, Ezra 3:11; Psalm 106:1; 107:1,8; 118:1,29; 136:1-3.)

Psalm 9:1 A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” (Also see Psalm 86:12; Psalm 105:1.) Many times, I was so angry with a situation that the only thing I could be thankful for was the wonderful things God did for me in the past and will do in my current situation. By keeping my mind focused on Him, I was not focused on the negative situation or circumstance.

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.” (Also see Ps. 50:14, 23; 107:22; Amos 4:5.) Sometimes we must give a sacrifice of thanksgiving even when we don’t feel like it. God is pleased with this sacrifice and will give you joy instead of misery.

Conclusion

Thankfulness is like guardrails that prevents your car from going over a cliff. So, thankfulness prevents your mind from crashing down the cliff of despair. Now, God commands us to be thankful so when we are not, we sin. Ask Him to help you be thankful when it is hard, and He will help you. You can be more than a conquer over negative issues in your life (see Romans 8:31-39), these verses also produce a thankful heart.

I wrote a short book called “Hope for Complete Healing.”  I describe how to transform negative issues in your life by taking the offending thoughts captive and loosing them from your mind.  Then to transform the associated negative, painful memories with truth to render them powerless. Transforming painful memories involves thankfulness to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I describe this process in my book and in this blog post: Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. I made this book available on my website and I can send you a paper copy. If you want me to send a copy of my booklet, please contact me and let me know.

There is hope to change a negative mood into a positive mood through thankfulness.

Other Related Posts:

POSTS Related to Relationships

POSTS on Thoughts

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

Free from Anger–County Jail Testimony and Teaching

I have been teaching the girls in the county jail how to recognize and overcome wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs. One lady received court papers concerning her children being adopted out. Her mother is now the foster parent for the children. The inmate was furious. Her angry thoughts generated a plan to hurt those whom she perceived as hurting her. This situation was a great opportunity to teach why we need to take our negative thoughts captive, and how to transform them so they don’t control our behavior.

I set aside my lesson that night and prayed for God to help me as I helped her apply what I had been teaching. As she shared why she was so angry, she revealed several unhealthy beliefs and the painful memory triggering her anger. She believed her mother wanted to keep her from raising her children. She had painful memories of growing up with a controlling mother who still was trying to control her. I began to ask questions to help her recognize her wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs. I explained how our wrong thoughts come from many sources, such as painful memories and demonic forces creating misunderstanding, wrong perception, misinterpretation, and wild imaginations not based in reality. To learn more about the reality of the Spirit world, read: Four Realities of the Spirit World

Wrong perception and misunderstanding generated negative feelings of anger. We discussed each wrong thought, and the related unhealthy belief. It is amazing how wrong thoughts affects our emotions that then negatively feed our wrong thinking. When you recognize a wrong thought and unhealthy belief, you need to capture them by first asking God to help in your weakness to control your thoughts, then pray to loose (release) and put them off from your mind and heart. Then I led her to think positive thoughts and find things to be thankful for. She admitted she loved her mother and did not believe her mother would deliberately hurt her. She also had a wrong belief that CYS had lied to her.

We explained that her mother and Child Youth Services were not the enemy, but that demonic forces were.  We read and discussed Ephesians 6:10-12, which state, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12) 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.” Then we read 2 Corinthians 11:3, which states, But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” My co-teacher explained how the devil wants to destroy our faith in God and to resist believing the lies and trust God to work everything out for her good and the good of her children. Many who read this post may not believe demonic forces of evil can influence us. According to the Bible, demonic forces are actively looking to devour us (see 1 Peter 5:8,9) but we must stand strong in our faith. If you have this wrong belief, please capture this thought/belief by acknowledging it and pray to loose/put off the wrong thought/belief, and then bind-in/put on the truth found in the Word of God. We need to daily submit our minds to God and resist the devil’s schemes and influence to derail our faith (see James 4:7).

Next, we read and discussed Romans 8:26-28, which state,Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27) And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (The Holy Spirit is in those who believe in Jesus Christ and received Him as their savior from eternal death and the wrath of God for sin.) I explained how the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and will intercede for us according to the will of God. And know whatever happens, when we love God, He will use it for our good to accomplish His purpose. Then we talked about how we know we love God, and we read John 14:15; 1 John 5:3; and 1 John 3:21-24. Next, we went to our theme verses in Hebrews 4:14-16, which state, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16) 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.”  This verse is key to living a victorious life because we are weak to control sinful desires and we need the help of God.  God’s grace gives us the power to overcome our weaknesses to sin.

Then I shared my testimony of how my ex-husband promised that I would never see the children again if I left him. He tried to fulfill his promise, which created tremendous anxiety in my mind. But God came through because I trusted Him. My X even brought a psychologist to court to testify that I was not a good mother and my X should get full custody of the children. God caused the psychologist to testify on my behalf. To learn more about how God showed up for me and the many miracles I experienced read: Trust God to Keep His Promises. After sharing my testimony, the inmate could see how her thinking was wrong and how trusting God was better than being tormented by angry thoughts from the demonic forces at work to destroy her and her faith in God.

The next week she reported good news. When she talked to her mother, she realized she mis-interpreted the court papers and her mother’s intentions. She realized she was allowing her imagination to torment her, and God was for her and the devil was against her. Next, we discussed Ephesians 1:7-9, which state, In him 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 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.” Then, we discussed a few things the Bible describes as the will of God outlined in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18. When we do the will of God, we are training our minds to think right thoughts so the demonic forces cannot torment us with negative thinking, unhealthy beliefs, and out of control emotions.  I also explained the main purpose of God for our lives is to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Lord willing, that will be my next lesson.

There is hope because God is our help in our time of need.

Related Posts:

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

POSTS on Thoughts

POSTS Related to Trusting God

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?