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Friday, June 21, 2013

Tools for emotional healing

by Mary N.

File:John Bridges Christ healing the mother of Simon Peter.jpg
Christ Healing the Mother-in-law of Simon Peter by John Bridges (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

God wants to heal us. If there is one thing I've learned over the years it is that God desires to heal us more than we desire it ourselves. Christ came to heal the wounds of sin and this healing begins in time. That may seem pretty obvious to many but you'd be surprised at what I hear at times. One of the oddest is that we aren't healed until we reach Heaven. Yes, I've heard this statement a few times too often. Until that time we are left to our own devices. When I think about it I realize that this type of thinking makes God seem...well...


 As if He withholds healing and grace at whim depending on his mood that day.


That sounds more like us, if you ask me.

Many times we are blocking the healing in some way. We may not like to hear that we still have a lot of inner work that needs to be done.

Pride may be a factor.

We are impatient and want God to heal us instantly but very often we need to learn things about ourselves first. What if He gave you an enormous healing but because you have certain patterns of behavior or thinking that aren't healthy you end up right back where you started? Wouldn't that be worst? God wants to heal us...but He wants it to stick.

God's not going to heal an area that you refuse to let Him touch so the first thing to do is to invite Him into the area you are asking Him to heal. A simple prayer like this is fine:

Jesus, I am in deep need of emotional healing and I ask you to begin to bring healing to this area of my life. Today, I place my emotions under your gentle mastery and I  place my trust in your healing love.

Here are some things to consider:

~ Naming your emotions - This is very important for those who have suppressed their emotions for years.   The first step in naming your emotions isn't so much getting this right as it is becoming aware that you have emotions...and very strong ones at that.

~ Feeling these emotions and bringing them  to God in prayer. If I cannot do this during the course of the  day then I do it at bedtime when I go over my day with the Lord.

~Pay attention to your emotional responses to others. Years ago, the Lord made me aware that I sometimes used my emotions to manipulate others instead of speaking clearly and addressing the problem.

~ Many of us were taught that certain emotions were sinful and this is why we suppressed them. Though our brain may tell us it's ridiculous, we automatically feel guilt when we become angry. If you look back  into your earlier years you may find that this is a conditioned response. Anger in itself is not a sin - it's what you do with the anger that becomes the problem (taking it out on others, sitting and stewing in it).

Continue reading at Mary's blog  The Beautiful Gate


  1. When working with destructive emotions, it is good to bear in mind that there are some antidotes that can be applied on the spot.

    For anger, the antidote is patience. Even grandmother's advice to "count to ten" can be enough to stop the train of thought that generates the anger and permit it to dissipate. If you can sit with the anger (neither express it nor "stew" and feed it nor suppress it) and look at it patiently -- it is possible to find an edge of sadness underneath that can be an opening to forgiveness for yourself and compassion for others. Prayer to find this can help a lot.

    For jealousy, the antidote is rejoicing. If the thought is just formed as a wish or a prayer such as "Lord, may ______ find [wealth] [companionship] [social status] and may I be blessed to find joy in their happiness", it helps a lot.

    For desire, the antidote is generosity. Even forming the thought of giving away the material and emotional attachments that we most cherish will cool desire. Even better from time to time to actually give material benefits to others -- or (even better) our time or love.

    For pride, a sense of humor is a great relief. Pride always comes with a very serious attitude. When we are full of pride and someone laughs at us, the pride often turns to anger. But if we can join in the laughter, the emotion is transformed into the great blessing of humility. So, pray to be able to see pride (blindness often accompanies it) and for a sense of humor.

  2. My immediate reaction to change is often not my true belief. My knee-jerk emotional response can fool me and those who witness it. For example, when plans change abruptly, before I even see the benefit of the new way, I am angry that what I thought was sure is not and I must adjust. Again. If I rewind and begin again, even saying to those around me, "let's start over and see how this will work," I see that what I felt initially is not really the way I feel about the situation. I constantly have to remind myself that I have put God in control of my life and he has wonderful surprises to reveal to me, if I will let him and not be blinded by negative emotions.

  3. Hi Nancy,
    My initial response to significant changes is usually anxiety but this often changes once I have the chance to really think it over. I think everyone needs a bit of time to process new things and I liked your words about rewinding and remembering that God is in control. Thanks for commenting!


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