How can we heal emotional scars?

Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not the best editor.

The bible tells us we must love God with our whole heart, our whole soul and whole mind. In doing so it will protect our hearts and our minds. I am going to discus how to deal with the emotional hurt we experience and how to overcome it and even avoid it. The first thing I will discuss is how to avoid it because if we do not avoid it we are asking to have a lot of emotional scars on our hearts which is a heavy burden to carry. Then I will discuss how we can heal those scars. We need to keep in mind we are imperfect also and others also will be hurt by us. We need to expect to be hurt because all fall short of God. We need to learn to deal with it in a way God would approve. We also need to learn how to avoid being hurt, how to avoid hurting others and how to overcome being hurt. Our refuge should be in God. We need to keep in mind we are temporary residents in this system and this system belongs to those who choose Satan’s side in matters by disobeying God and putting their trust in man, themselves, and the world. This is going to cause us many problems. God should be our refuge not the world. If we turn to the world to heal our hearts and minds we will usually end up with more emotional scars and pain. God cares for us and he does not like when we suffer.

(Mark 12:28-30) 28 One of the scribes who had come up and heard them disputing, knowing that he had answered them in a fine way, asked him: “Which commandment is first of all?” 29 Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, 30 and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’

(Psalm 46:1-3) 46 God is our refuge and strength, A help that is readily found in times of distress.  2 That is why we will not fear, though the earth undergoes change, Though the mountains topple into the depths of the sea,  3 Though its waters roar and foam over, Though the mountains rock on account of its turbulence. (Selah)

(Psalm 34:18, 19) 18 Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit. ר [Resh] 19 Many are the hardships of the righteous one, But Jehovah rescues him from them all.

God did not tell us we would not suffer. He told us he would give us thoughts of peace. It also told us he would give us a future which gives us hope. That hope can help protect our minds and hearts.

(Jeremiah 29:11, 12) 11 “‘For I well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you,’ declares Jehovah, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope. 12 And you will call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’

This system is rapidly winding down. The bible warned the gate is narrow and few would enter. So many would put their trust and faith in the world, man and themselves. Because of this their minds are corrupted. This means we will be dealing with a lot of emotional pain from the many things that come from mans rebellion against God and them putting their will over God’s. We will experience betrayal from lack of loyalty, we will be deceived which causes a lot of hurt and makes it difficult to trust others. If we hold on to the pain it can make us feel empty and disconnected from others. It can also effect us spiritually by crowding out our desire to draw closer to God. It is very important to do our best to avoid the negative effects of being hurt can have on us. We may even bring emotional pain on ourselves if we do not know what God requires and leave his word guide us.

We can limit how much we get hurt by putting God first in our lives and by associating with those who also put God first. We should let God guide all we do and those we associate with should also let God guide all we do. If we associate with those who do not put God first and show the fruits of the spirit or know love we are asking to be hurt. If someone puts money, power, material possessions, popularity, or many other things before God then we can surely expect to be hurt by them. They are not going to do what pleases God first but they will please themselves first. God would never want us to hurt others emotionally or physically. By knowing his will and what he requires we can avoid being hurt as much and avoid hurting others. The bible tells us to store up treasures in heaven. It warns where our our treasure is that is where our hearts will be. If we or those we associate with are not putting God first then we are bound to be let down and disappointed. By putting our trust and hope and happiness in God no one can take those away because we are storing up treasures in heaven. This trains our eye and heart to identify those who may cause us emotional pain or even spiritual harm. This can limit the pain we experience. If we dwell on the past then how can our eye and our heart stay focused on storing up treasures in heaven?

We will suffer because we are all imperfect and fall short of God. When we have been wronged or hurt we need to learn to forgive the person so we do not hold on to the anger, resentment and many other negative emotions that come from it. If they repent and do things to set their error straight we are to accept them back. If they refuse to repent, apologize and try to make things right then it would be foolish to continue to have them as a part of our lives because then we are asking to be hurt. When we have been hurt we should search God’s word on how to deal with it and how to avoid being hurt in such a way in the future. If we desire God to forgive us we must forgive others. If a person is truly repentant they will admit their error to you and God and will pray about it and we also are to pray for them. If they do not admit their error even if they are being nice it shows they have not repented and will most likely commit the same error in the future. If we continue to associate with them and have them as a part of our lives then we will only invite more hurt on ourselves. By forgiving others we are storing up treasures in heaven. Some sins are so severe that they leave scars that effect us the rest of our lives. In such instances it may be best to limit our contact with the person so we can move on but we still need to completely forgive them.

(Matthew 18:15-17) 15 “Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.

(Matthew 6:19-23) 19 “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. 23 But if your eye is envious, your whole body will be dark. If the light that is in you is really darkness, how great that darkness is!

(James 5:16) 16 Therefore, openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. A righteous man’s supplication has a powerful effect.

We should never retaliate when we have been wronged. Jesus tells us if someone strikes us offer them the other cheek. He does not mean this literally but he is saying we will be struck emotionally and struck in others ways so we should expect it , especially if the person does not put God first. We need to forgive them from the heart the bible tells us. So we do not only need to forgive them mentally but we need to leave go of the hurt that was caused by their error even if they have not repented. We have to remember we are all accountable to God and even if it seems the person who wronged us escaped untouched they will have to face God on his great day of judgment and will be held accountable and have to pay for the things they have done. It is God who will give vengeance, we are imperfect humans so do not have a right to judge others. God is perfect so his justice is perfect. By forgiving them from the heart we let go of any desires to seek vengeance, and the anger or resentment that may come from being wronged. by putting God first we do not have excess expectations of others especially if they are not putting God first in their lives. By being aware of this fact we can expect to be hurt and can better deal with it in a way God would approve of. If we obsess on others errors and how they wronged us it could even blind us to our own errors and we could get caught up in a cycle of looking at the bad in others and not reflecting in the mirror of God’s word so we can work on perfecting our worship. It will also prevent us from being able to fully love because if our hearts are full of hurt, anger or resentment it does not leave room for love.

(James 1:22-25) 22 However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.

(Luke 6:27-30) 27 “But I say to you who are listening: Continue to love your enemies, to do good to those hating you, 28 to bless those cursing you, to pray for those who are insulting you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your outer garment, do not withhold the inner garment either. 30 Give to everyone asking you, and from the one taking your things away, do not ask them back.

(Mark 11:24, 25) . . .. 25 And when you stand praying, forgive whatever you have against anyone, so that your Father who is in the heavens may also forgive you your trespasses. . .

(Matthew 18:32-35) . . .. 33 Should you not also have shown mercy to your fellow slave as I showed mercy to you?’ 34 With that his master, provoked to wrath, handed him over to the jailers until he repaid all that he owed. 35 My heavenly Father will also deal with you in the same way if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart.”

By putting our trust in God and Jesus and realizing we are all imperfect we learn to expect to be hurt sometimes and to let it go because we have the confidence that God and Jesus would never let us down , betray or hurt us. When we have been hurt by someone we care about we are to make them aware of their error. If they repent and apologize then we should forgive them they have proven they are a true friend. If they get angry then they have shown they do not have a desire to repent and will only hurt you more. If the person is a spiritual relative then we should talk to the elders and take at least two witnesses with us. If the person does not repent after we have taken the actions the bible tells us to then we are to view them as a worldly person. They have shown their true heart condition. I know it is hard to leave people go but it is for our own protection , such ones will only hurt you more and cause you more problems. By reflecting in the mirror of God’s word and doing the work God has given us to do the bible says we will be happy in the things we do. So by taking in God’s word and sharing it with others it will bring us happiness. Keep in mind our actions and others actions, if their actions show whether they know love or not. By knowing what God would require concerning love we need to learn what God’s view of love is and make sure those we associate with have a complete understanding of love.

There is a saying “actions speak louder then words” . If we only listen to a person’s words but do not pay attention to such things as do they put God’s first, do they know how to love the way God tells us to love? If we do not make certain of those things we are asking to be hurt because God gives us his word to guide and protect us. If we have been hurt because we did not make certain of these things we should take actions to make sure we know God’s word well enough to protect us from making such errors in the future. We need to hold ourselves accountable also and learn not to be blinded to such things in the future. Many will make excuses for someone when they continually error instead of speaking to them about their error. The bible tells us we are to speak to them about their error. If we do not then we can expect them to continue committing those errors. If they continue to follow the same course of conduct then they are of the world and we are to treat them likewise. We are to be no part of the world which means we should limit our association with them when possible.

(1 John 3:17, 18) . . .? 18 Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth.

The earth is rapidly changing , things are going to become much worse. It will be more and more difficult to find family , friends and associations we can trust. By using God’s word to guide us it can help us to deal with the negative emotions that we will experience from the world. By putting God’s word in our hearts it will heal our hearts and our minds. We will endure trying times. The bible tells us in doing so we learn to find comfort in God and we do not seek comfort in ourselves. When we learn to seek comfort in God , we then can teach others how to seek comfort from God. If we turn to our own reasoning or the world for answers to our pain then we could be drawn into sin and suffer as a sinner. If we do that what hope would we have?

(2 Corinthians 1:3-7) 3 Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our trials so that we may be able to comfort others in any sort of trial with the comfort that we receive from God. 5 For just as the sufferings for the Christ abound in us, so the comfort we receive through the Christ also abounds. 6 Now if we face trials, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are being comforted, it is for your comfort, which acts to help you to endure the same sufferings that we also suffer. 7 And our hope for you is unwavering, knowing as we do that just as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort.

(1 Peter 4:15-17) 15 However, let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or a wrongdoer or a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but let him keep on glorifying God while bearing this name. 17 For it is the appointed time for the judgment to start with the house of God. Now if it starts first with us, what will the outcome be for those who are not obedient to the good news of God?

Some of our pain may be from sin we have committed. As discussed earlier we should confess our sin . Study God’s word to help us overcome it and do our best to set matters straight. Sometimes our sin can cause changes that will permanently alter our life and the lives of others making it impossible to try and correct the problems our sin has caused. If this occurs we need to repent, pray to God that those we have effected will heal and pray for God to help us overcome our sinful nature. Many struggle to get the life back they formerly had when they have sinned. This will not occur. We need to accept our life has changed. If it was someone else sin that has changed our lives , we must except that things have changed for us. By putting our trust and hope in God it will make it easier to deal with the changes and the emotional pain. If it was our error that caused the pain we should not continue in sin we should do our best to correct the actions that brought about the self inflicted pain. If we continue in sin when we know it is wrong the bible tells us there is no forgiveness. The things in this system are temporary. Why would we put our trust in things that will end soon when we have the hope God has given us in the future promises? How empty someone must feel if they have forfeited their future hope just to indulge in sin? The bible says those who are sinful in the least are sinful in the most. This is because one little sin can open the door for many more. The bible tells us those who continue to practice sin are of the Devil. Surely we would not want to choose his side in this spiritual battle, he and those who sided with him will be destroyed. What hope do such ones have? If we are sinning we should confess our sin and repent so we can be shown mercy. We are going to suffer no matter what, because we are in the last days. Why forfeit our hope in the promises God has given us?

(Hebrews 10:26-29) 26 For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, 27 but there is a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a burning indignation that is going to consume those in opposition. 28 Anyone who has disregarded the Law of Moses dies without compassion on the testimony of two or three. 29 How much greater punishment do you think a person will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God and who has regarded as of ordinary value the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has outraged the spirit of undeserved kindness with contempt?

(1 John 3:6-8) . . .. 7 Little children, let no one mislead you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous. 8 The one who practices sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, to break up the works of the Devil.

(Proverbs 28:13) 13 The one covering over his transgressions will not succeed, But whoever confesses and abandons them will be shown mercy.

(Luke 16:9-13) . . .. 10 The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much. 11 Therefore, if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with the unrighteous riches, who will entrust you with what is true? 12 And if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with what belongs to another, who will give you something for yourselves? 13 No servant can be a slave to two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves to God and to Riches.”

Whether it was our sin or someone else that caused us pain we need to learn to look forward and not look back. If we continue to look back we cannot move forward spiritually or in life. We have to accept our life has changed and dwell on what God would want us to do. By looking forward it will keep fresh in our minds that we are in a spiritual race and Satan and the world is trying to overtake us so we will not receive the prize. By moving forward we can keep focused on the race and the prize that will be received by those who win the race. In order to win the race we need to read God’s word and meditate on it daily. In doing so we have the hope in the salvation God has promised. If we suffered hurt from someone else sin we should not look back at what we may have lost or how we have been hurt. This will prevent us from moving forward. When driving a car if we only looked in the rear view mirror we would surely crash because we cannot see the road ahead of us. Likewise if we continue looking to the past then we cannot see the spiritual road and life ahead of us. People of the world easily tire out when they suffer but those who put their trust and faith in God are renewed daily.

Sometimes if our lives have changed enough it may be necessary to move. When our lives have already been dramatically changed it may be difficult to imagine starting a new life. Often times it is difficult for others to forgive us even if we have repented and it is difficult to prove to them you have repented , which means it would be difficult to regain their trust. If we were sinned against and the person is unrepentant and we are living close to them then we would have the constant reminder of the past and how your life has been changed meaning we could not focus on moving forward. If it was a spouse who sinned against us and the sin was serious enough to result in divorce and we are living in the same house. It could be a constant reminder of how your life has changed and could keep us from moving forward. If we are unable to move maybe we could make some changes in our lives by finding new friends who would build us up spiritually and not draw our short comings out. If we cannot move we could make changes to the house so it will be different helping to reduce the constant reminders of how life used to be. We must do our best to put God first, and to stay focused on the future hope God has given us. If we do not put God first in our lives we cannot heal from the pain we experience in life. Healing from emotional pain means we need to focus on healing spiritually. Without putting God first we will not fully heal from the pain and we risk experiencing more emotional pain and scars. By putting God first and putting our trust and hope in him it helps us to continue to look forward and to leave go of the pain of the past. We have the hope in the future promise and a security in knowing things will be much much better very soon. We need to forgive as God forgives us in order to move on and heal from any emotional scars we have experienced. If it was our own sin that caused the pain and we have repented then we need to forgive ourselves.

(1 Corinthians 9:24-27) 24 Do you not know that the runners in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25 Now everyone competing in a contest exercises self-control in all things. Of course, they do it to receive a crown that can perish, but we, one that does not perish. 26 Therefore, the way I am running is not aimlessly; the way I am aiming my blows is so as not to be striking the air; 27 but I pummel my body and lead it as a slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow.

(Joshua 1:7-9) 7 “Only be courageous and very strong, and observe carefully the entire Law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not deviate from it either to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go. 8 This book of the Law should not depart from your mouth, and you must read it in an undertone day and night, in order to observe carefully all that is written in it; for then your way will be successful and then you will act wisely. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.”

(Hebrews 2:1-3) 2 That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things we have heard, so that we never drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved to be sure, and every transgression and disobedient act received a punishment in harmony with justice, 3 how will we escape if we have neglected so great a salvation? For it began to be spoken through our Lord and was verified for us by those who heard him,

(Isaiah 43:18, 19) 18 “Do not remember the former things, And do not dwell on the past. 19 Look! I am doing something new; Even now it is springing up. Do you not recognize it? I will make a way through the wilderness And rivers through the desert.

(Mark 10:28-31) . . .” 29 Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, no one has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news 30 who will not get 100 times more now in this period of time—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the coming system of things, everlasting life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

(Isaiah 40:29-31) 29 He gives power to the tired one And full might to those lacking strength. 30 Boys will tire out and grow weary, And young men will stumble and fall, 31 But those hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; They will walk and not tire out.”

(Romans 15:13) 13 May the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace by your trusting in him, so that you may abound in hope with power of holy spirit.

Recognizing denial.

Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not the best editor.

Denial can cause hatred, anger, resentment and other negative emotions that will prevent us from being able to love others, God and Jesus in the way the bible would require us to. If we feel those emotions to someone and we are not asking why and addressing it then it can cause us to be stuck in a sickle of negative thinking towards others. The denial occurs when we do not want to accept the facts, information or things occurring for what they are. Or we have our own perception of what will make us happy. Where the narcissism comes in is when we ignore things, or do things to try to shape reality to what we perceive it to be instead of accepting it for what it is. We may even try to change other peoples reality to suit our needs. So denial could occur for selfish reasons also. The bible tells us we are to serve others and to view others as superior to ourselves. If we do these negative things then we will only be going through the motion in obeying the scriptures , while we are in denial our minds will be in conflict with our hearts. This causes us to have a variety of negative emotions including depression. If we experience denial and we do not address it this is when it reaches the point of narcissism and we will start to try to control people emotions for gratification and for approval, we will start to try to manipulate things to make reality suit our needs. The bible teaches us the reality of things and who to accept them , and to accept changes which may not be pleasing at first. A person in denial will go out of their way to prove they are correct and others are wrong. They will justify in their minds their actions. If we find ourselves doing this then we may want to things about why we are having such a strong reaction. When a person is telling the truth or correct they will tell the person the truth and if they do not accept it then they have the peace of knowing they told them the truth and the rest is up to them. We should not assume they are doing these things intentionally it is a protective mechanism they are trying to protect how they perceive reality or they do not want to change the perception of themselves. It takes self reflection and time for a person to realize they have certain short comings they need to work on.

(Acts 20:35) 35 I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way, you must assist those who are weak and must keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said: ‘There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.’”

(Philippians 2:3, 4) 3 Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility consider others superior to you, 4 as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.

(John 13:1-11) 13 Now because he knew before the festival of the Passover that his hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father, Jesus, having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was going on, and the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Is·carʹi·ot, the son of Simon, to betray him. 3 So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he came from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the evening meal and laid aside his outer garments. And taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. 5 After that he put water into a basin and started to wash the feet of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him: “Lord, are you washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him: “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will understand after these things.” 8 Peter said to him: “You will certainly never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him: “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him: “Lord, wash not only my feet but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him: “Whoever has bathed does not need to have more than his feet washed, but is completely clean. And you men are clean, but not all of you.” 11 . . .

Denial is dangerous because it is a form of self deception. Denial is one of the major causes of narcissistic behavior which we all are guilty of at one time or another. So we do not want to be in a constant state of denial. When in denial we will push away certain facts as unimportant, we will try to justify things, even dismiss things entirely, we may even convince our selves that the negativity of the of matters is not as severe as they are, in other words we will thing the opposite of what is actually true. When in denial about something we become open to manipulation because when in denial we tend to not see the whole picture and those who see this know it is a vulnerability and will try to take advantage of it by doing or being what they realize you would want them to be. Those who are in denial try to reconstruct reality to what they believe it should be. This is why it is very important to let the bible guide us. It prevents us from being vulnerable and even harming ourselves or others. Denial also prevents us from growing as a person. Often times we may be in denial concerning someone we care about. We may see a short coming but are afraid to confront them about it. A true friend would not want to see someone go down this road. If they are a friends they will listen. If they do not then it may indicate they do not want to change and we should be cautious associating with them. Denial requires someone to falsely reason with themselves. If someone points out an error we have made whether correct or not we should let love guide how we respond. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.) . Before responding to something that may make us feel anger, frustration, confusion, or other negative emotions we should look into God’s word. It can helps us discern our thoughts or the thoughts of others and help guide us. (Hebrews 4:11-13 12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is not a creation that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account.) , (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.)

Denial can eventually lead to narcissistic behavior if we do not deal with it. A person who is in denial will try to shame or guilt the person who has caused them to face their denial, they will even provoke someone and point out another person’s short comings to try and divert attention so they do not have to face their denial, they will misinterpret events or even deny they happened. If they cannot get results then they will try to get you to question your sanity. Those in denial will play like you have victimized them. These are not the types of behavior God would want us to participate in. If we find ourselves showing symptoms of denial we should take time to think about it and ask ourselves why we are reacting in such a way. Whether right or wrong we should not be quick to take offense at something. If we do we may say or do things we should not do. (Ephesians 4:31-5:2 31 Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious. 32 But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you. 5 Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and go on walking in love, just as the Christ also loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice, a sweet fragrance to God.) , (Philippians 4:4-7) 4 Always rejoice in the Lord. Again I will say, Rejoice! 5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.) , (James 1:19-21 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, put away all filthiness and every trace of badness, and accept with mildness the implanting of the word that is able to save you.)

Symptoms of denial, a person will become very defensive and even attack the person causing the mental anxiety, fear , or other negative emotion. When in denial you will avoid talking about something, you may justify your actions or thoughts by using other peoples behavior as evidence it is not you who have the problem, if it is a short coming you have or a bad habit you may make excuses to justify the things you do, you may become defensive and even deny a problem exist. If you do not want to accept what the reality is you may try to shame or guilt the person who caused you to go into a state of denial and even attack their short comings. Often times people in denial will blame others for their problems. When in denial you will ignore any advice or counsel from others. If a person does not want to overcome the short coming they will do little things to make it appear they are trying to overcome their denial , it is a form of deception of oneself or others. If a person does not want to overcome the denial they will develop the attitude it is my life or it is none of your business. From a biblical stand point denial is dangerous and can harm ourselves and others. Being in a state of denial about something prevents us from moving forward with our lives, prevents us from developing as a person and prevents us from learning from mistakes. After I discuss denial the symptoms and effects on our lives and others lives I will discuss how the bible would advise to overcome denial. Psychologist claim that people who do these things cannot change. This is not true there are many examples in the bible of people who have changed their life dramatically. If a friend studies their bible and you see them applying it in their lives then they can change. If we have this problem then we can seek God’s word and apply it in our lives and it can help us change. It is difficult to face our short comings or error. It requires some major changes. If a friend is facing short comings or errors we need to be patient with them being mindful if they are making spiritual progress concerning the matter. The bible tells us we need the humility to admit we are imperfect in order to overcome our errors and short comings.

(1 John 1:8-2:3 8 If we make the statement, “We have no sin,” we are misleading ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we make the statement, “We have not sinned,” we are making him a liar, and his word is not in us. 2 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not commit a sin. And yet, if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one. 2 And he is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s. 3 And by this we realize that we have come to know him, namely, if we continue observing his commandments. ) ,

(Galatians 5:22-26 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires. 25 If we are living by spirit, let us also go on walking orderly by spirit. 26 Let us not become egotistical, stirring up competition with one another, envying one another.)

Denial is something we are all guilty of at one time or another. Whether it is denying we are wrong, denying someone is not what we thought, denying things are worse then they are, many of us “sugar coat things” . Our minds were not built to handle the things we are having to deal with including our own imperfections. The many things we are dealing with now days since we are in the final minutes of this system can be overwhelming. Denial can hurt ourselves or others, especially when we are in denial about our own short comings. So how can we recognize when we are in denial? What can we do about it? Denial is a way of coping with emotional conflict, painful thoughts, information that may change our perception of reality, things that may change our perception of ourselves, if too many bad things happen we can go into denial of how bad a situation really is in an attempt to prevent anxiety. Some believe short term denial is healthy. Denial only delays the inevitable and can harm ourselves or others because if we base decisions on what we believe while in denial we can make decisions that negatively effect ourselves or others. Sometimes pride can cause us to be in denial. Satan has ruined many lives by using a person pride and getting them to trust themselves and not look at the reality of things.

(Proverbs 22:3 3 The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself, But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences.) ,

(Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 16 Do not be overly righteous, nor show yourself excessively wise. Why should you bring ruin to yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked, nor be foolish. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is best to grasp one warning without letting go of the other; for the one who fears God will heed them both.) ,

(Proverbs 16:18, 19 18 Pride is before a crash, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 19 Better to be humble among the meek Than to share the spoil of the haughty.)

An example of where denial harmed myself is when I first started showing symptoms of Lyme. I would have sudden episodes of weakness and confusion. Often times I would experience symptoms that seemed like food poisoning. I would go to the doctors and they would tell me nothing was wrong and try to give me psych medications. I would not take them but they had me doubting my sanity. About 15 years went by. The whole time I believed the medical professionals had my best interest at heart and would not lie to me or deceive me. Then they gave me the Dtap vaccine. The vaccine and Lyme pushed my body to it’s limits, it resulted in me being bedridden for two years. Many of us are raised to believe things that are not true and we are even taught anyone who does not believe them are trouble makers or crazy. So we may experience denial often when things challenge our perception of reality. My denial almost cost me my life more then once. Denial can also be used when we have made a mistake and do not want to admit our error or if we have sinned. We may tend to downplay the events and even false reason with ourselves to justify our actions. Whether it be denial in secular life or denial in spiritual matters it can leave a foot hold for Satan. If we are dealing with someone who is in denial and refuses to confront it we may want to be cautious they may have a hardened heart. If we are showing symptoms of denial and we are not trying to correct it then it could bring a lot of misery and hurt on ourselves or others. When Jesus warned Peter that he was not ready for the things he said he was, Peter did not believe him. Jesus said Peter would deny knowing him. Peter did not believe Jesus and as a result he did not prepare. This resulted in Peter denying Jesus. Denial can effect our faith in God and mislead us. By admitting we have a short coming or weakness we can confront it and overcome it. We know Peter eventually overcome his short comings because he went on to do many acts of faith and to serve God with his whole heart and whole soul .

(Luke 22:32-34 . . .” 33 Then he said to him: “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 But he said: “I tell you, Peter, a rooster will not crow today until you have denied knowing me three times.”) ,

(1 Peter 3:16-18 16 Maintain a good conscience, so that in whatever way you are spoken against, those who speak against you may be put to shame because of your good conduct as followers of Christ. 17 For it is better to suffer because you are doing good, if it is God’s will to allow it, than because you are doing evil. 18 For Christ died once for all time for sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, in order to lead you to God. . . .

When in denial often times you may get confused or angry. You may even attack the person who has caused you to become overwhelmed or confused. It is best if you do not react immediately but to take the time to analyze things and think about what has occurred. Sometimes you will need to talk about the events that caused your denial with someone else, also seeking the help of the bible will help prevent us turning to a state of denial because God’s word helps to protect our minds. We are all imperfect, if we were not God would not of had to write his word in order to guide and teach us how to avoid errors and how to deal with them once we commit them. If you feel stuck in thought often times this can indicate denial or cognitive dissonance. This is where often times the bible can help clear things up. Another symptom of denial is a person will become very defensive and even attack the person causing the mental anxiety, fear , or other negative emotion. God’s word can help to protect our minds and hearts and prevent us from being in denial and prevent us from being harmed by someone else who may be in denial. What man thinks is right and what man things is wrong is far from what God thinks. Many behaviors excepted now days the bible warns we should not do. By letting God’s word guide us we could prevent being deceived into false reasoning with ourselves. In doing so it protects our powers of reasoning.

(Philippians 4:4-8 4 Always rejoice in the Lord. Again I will say, Rejoice! 5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well-spoken-of, whatever things are virtuous, and whatever things are praiseworthy, continue considering these things.) ,

(Romans 12:1Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. 2 And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.)

As I mentioned earlier there are many things that can cause us to be in denial, something being revealed that could change our perception of ourselves or the reality of things, something we have been taught that is not true which could change how we perceive our past, we could be in denial because we realize the things we need to do may be life changing and are not ready for the changes. We could be in denial because often times people do not want to recognize they have short comings or have made a mistake. Some are in denial because they do not want to think about the reality of things. When in denial it prevents us from moving forward and from learning. It can also cause us to be angry , disgusted or even hate the thing or person who has caused the denial. So denial is a very potent weapons Satan could use against us to keep us from moving forward and keep us from learning. No matter what the cause we need to learn to accept change and mentally and spiritually prepare for it. When accepting change and adjusting to it we should not lean on our own understanding. If disciplined by an elder, a friend or even God if we accept the discipline and work to correct things it can helps us to draw closer to God. Denial will cause the heart to be somewhat hardened and we will have a difficult time drawing close to anyone let alone God. Denial can even have a negative impact on our health because by not facing our denial it causes a lot of negative emotions, and can cause us to be in stressful situations because we will not be aware of the impact of our actions on ourselves or others.

(Jeremiah 18:11, 12 11 “Now say, please, to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Here I am preparing a calamity and devising a scheme against you. Turn back, please, from your bad ways, and reform your ways and your practices.”’” 12 But they said: “It is hopeless! For we will walk after our own thoughts, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his wicked heart.” ) ,

(Proverbs 3:5-8 5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding.  6 In all your ways take notice of him, And he will make your paths straight.  7 Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.  8 It will be a healing to your body And refreshment for your bones. ),

(Hebrews 12:7-11 7 You need to endure as part of your discipline. God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 But if you have not all shared in receiving this discipline, you are really illegitimate children, and not sons. 9 Furthermore, our human fathers used to discipline us, and we gave them respect. Should we not more readily submit ourselves to the Father of our spiritual life and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time according to what seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit so that we may partake of his holiness. 11 True, no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but it is painful; yet afterward, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.)

So when we are in denial we need to think about it before we respond. Ask ourselves why we are not being receptive to the reality of things. Often times it helps to express your fears and emotions with someone. Try to identify irrational feelings or beliefs about things. Often times finding support groups if it is severe enough or the counsel of someone spiritually qualified can help. Most of all we need to ask God for help. Sometimes it may be difficult to ask for help from others. If this is the cause we need to ask ourselves why, sometimes our pride can get in the way.

(Matthew 7:7-11 7 “Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you; 8 for everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened. 9 Indeed, which one of you, if his son asks for bread, will hand him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not hand him a serpent, will he? 11 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those asking him! ),

(Proverbs 1:5-7  5 A wise person listens and takes in more instruction; A man of understanding acquires skillful direction  6 To understand a proverb and a puzzling saying, The words of the wise and their riddles.  7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline. ) ,

(James 5:13-15 13 Is there anyone suffering hardship among you? Let him carry on prayer. Is there anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.)

If we are friends with someone who is in denial about something we need to step back. Give them time to think things over. If you try to force them to face the facts it will only confuse, frustrate or anger them more. Let the person know you are open to talking about it when they are ready. If they talk about it do not offer advice unless they ask and it should be biblical based keeping in mind the bible was written to guide us and comfort us, it was not written to use as a weapon to frighten people. The only time the bible would frighten someone is if they do not want to change. If someone made an and are trying to overcome it then they are out of denial and should not have scriptures thrown at them that would cause them to mourn or be even more sad. One of the biggest obstacles to getting out of denial is admitting we have a problem. This takes us accepting we are not perfect or have a short coming. This can be very difficult, but if we do not correct them it can start effecting our relationship with others and God. When someone is willing to admit their error or admit they are in denial we should not throw it in their face but help them to overcome it and to be a friend they can lean on and talk about it with. If we realize we have a short coming we need to talk about it and to be aware of it and do our best to not let it overtake us or put us in a position to fall short of God. When someone is overcoming a short coming we need to be patient it sometimes takes time. If we are trying to overcome a short coming we may fall at times but those who truly love God get back up and work harder to not have a fall the next time. We will experience hardship from our short comings and others. By overcoming them it can reduce the hardships impact on our lives. If a person continues in these types of behavior even after you may point it out to them and gets angry or attacks you then they do not want to change be careful associating with them.

(James 5:16) 16 Therefore, openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. A righteous man’s supplication has a powerful effect.

(1 John 1:8-10) 8 If we make the statement, “We have no sin,” we are misleading ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we make the statement, “We have not sinned,” we are making him a liar, and his word is not in us.

(Proverbs 24:16) 16 For the righteous one may fall seven times, and he will get up again, But the wicked will be made to stumble by calamity.

As discussed earlier there are many things that can cause denial, someone pointing out a flaw we may have which changes our perception of ourselves, life changing events such as a death or betrayal by a friend, anxiety or fear can cause denial, new information to conflict with deeply ingrained beliefs or perception of things, we may deny certain feelings to preserve our self esteem or self image, we may be in denial about past trauma and try to down play it. The most important thing about denial is recognizing you are in denial and work towards overcoming it no matter what the cause. Pride, over confidence in ourselves, not letting God guide us, and many other things can prevent us from realizing we are in denial. So we need to try our best to be humble, open minded and not easily offended , we cannot grow as a person or spiritually if we do not face the obstacles before us. Most of all seek the help of God when we are dealing with things that may be hard to accept. Most of all by overcoming obstacles it prevents our hearts from becoming hardened and we can enjoy better relationships with others including God and Jesus. By overcoming obstacles it can perfect our love and the bible tells us love covers a multitude of sins.

(1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) 12 So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

(James 3:13-4:4) 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with a mildness that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your hearts, do not be bragging and lying against the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly, animalistic, demonic. 16 For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness, there will also be disorder and every vile thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical.

(1 Peter 4:7-9) 7 But the end of all things has drawn close. Therefore, be sound in mind, and be vigilant with a view to prayers. 8 Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

(Colossians 3:12-14) 12 Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, humility, mildness, and patience. 13 Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same. 14 But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.