I am reading some material that is reminding me of the late 1980's when I went through some seriously bizarre times of thoughts and feelings of shame, condemnation and feeling totally polluted. I now think some of the whispers were ways of defending myself from seeing how I was acting out. Do you advocate ignoring the past or not acknowledging emotions that are generated from what I guess would be the flesh? I was very afraid at the time that I was sinning willfully against Christ and God could not even look at me, I was filled with anger and possibly hatred toward my family. How should I have looked at this then, and how should look at this now. This is very important to me, since it seems to lately occupy me whenever I read certain things. I think this is the clearest I have been able to express it. This is submitted most gratefully in light of your recent emails to me. Thank you, I realize you're not a counselor, but your comments have been most helpful to me and frankly not counselor has been soaked in scripture enough or had the insight or concern to do so. Plus they're dam expensive... Sincerely submitted, Franco
Do you advocate ignoring the past or not acknowledging emotions that are generated from what I guess would be the flesh?
No, not at all. Instead I think it best to recognize it for what it is. For the past is not the problem, nor are fleshly emotions. Regarding the past, what is it that we are actually remembering or holding on to? Is it not our own perceptions built around our constant obsession between self-condemnation and self-defense? No doubt some may remember certain periods of time and/or past dialogs or encounters better than others, yet even accurate memories are selective. The fact that you are now reconsidering your past experiences and reactions has less to do with the past and more to do with true life and freedom. Your fears previously kept you bound to memories that haunted you as if your perceptions of shame, condemnation and self-pollution defined who you really are.
No, the reality of the past is not the problem; it is instead the fear, guilt, condemnation, false pride, self-justification, etc. that is inextricably linked to it in our perceptions. We don't need to ignore this but instead to realize that we have been freed from it in Christ. For he has taken it out of the way. To ignore it is to leave it as buried alive; to see it in Christ is to see it as having already been put to death. Ironically, attempting to ignore our past only sets ourselves up to dwell on it as sure as if we had determined to purposely remember it. The only difference in believing ourselves rid of our past by ignoring it is that those effects become misdiagnosed and attributed to other causes. There's an awful lot of that going around.
Likewise, emotions need to be seen for what they are. To ignore emotions is to ignore the causes behind them, for our emotions are complex reactions tied to our perceptions. As long as you and I believe ourselves to still be what we were (according to the mind of the world) our perceptions will be rooted in lies and deception. Our anger, for example, will likewise be rooted in that old perverted sense of right and wrong. It will be driven by the corresponding need to justify ourselves by either self-promotion or self-abasement. It will recall all things and all memories to support its false premise.
When such emotions kick in they are irrational ... and we know it. We do not need any psychological BS by which to analyze ourselves, for in reality it is that very BS by which man has kept himself in ignorance and darkness. We need to stop hiding and ignoring that which is obvious to ourselves when it happens. When an emotion overtakes me so that I find myself wondering where it possibly may have come from, and I "ignore" it, that is a lie. It is not ignored, for instead it gets rationalized.
While some seem to think that confronting/recognizing these emotions is nothing but a grueling psychological process the opposite is actually true. For we have gotten so used to the constant ongoing agony, stress and strain of reevaluating every piece of information that enters our consciousness that to refuse to continue in the delusion appears difficult. It only seems so when we are trying to hold on to most of the delusion while hoping to integrate a different mind, but the two are against each other. What I'm saying is that we cannot bridge the gap between the old mind of the world (which is what we came from) and the new mind of Christ (which is what we now have in him).
I say, listen to those objections you hear within yourself and let the lies fall away under the light of Christ. When you hear the irrational voice stirring your emotions let it be seen for the false cover that it is. Let the freedom of Christ destroy the false premises and rationalized fears and guilt that have led you down the road of constant self-analysis and condemnation/justification. Instead, stand firmly in the only true justification made in Christ. :)
I am so glad you responded... I love what you wrote. But how do I build from here. You must have gone through a lot in the system to give out what you did in the email.... I want to know more of the flood of love, the truth, the truth, the truth!!! I must say i have been in some serious bondage. It is nothing I take lightly... Any suggestions for nurturing my soul? I would pick your spirit-brain all day if you let me..... I love the site..... Franco
Perhaps by seeing what it is that he has built and continues to build in you. He is working in you according to his life. That is why you have seen what you have seen and know what you now know. Who you are is not defined by your past, nor is it defined by what appears to be (which includes any system of man). Refuse to judge yourself accordingly. Live as one truly alive ... for that is what you are.