Healing Anger, Bitterness and Resentment
Lately, I’ve been assisting Jesus in healing anger, bitterness, and resentment in people who struggle to be free of them. I say “assisting Jesus” because unlike physical healing which can be done by exercising the authority He gave us, the approach I use for emotional healing doesn’t require the use of power or authority. It requires Jesus to be present and to do the healing himself.
The approach I use is easy and effective and it puts me in a passive role. Unlike with physical healing or deliverance where I may need to go after a stubborn disease or demon, emotional healing is a hands-off affair. I ask a few questions and sit back as Jesus does his work of healing anger and other emotions and integrates alters and fragments.
I’ve seen some patterns in the kind of trauma people suffer. Most of the women I pray with have suffered various forms of sexual abuse. Most of the trauma seems to happen before the age of 6 years old, but sometimes it occurs later. As we mature, we develop stronger coping mechanisms, which is why there seems to be less trauma when we become adults. (That’s not to say that sexual abuse is less common in adults, but rather, the way in which our mind processes it changes as we grow older.)
Another cause of trauma is verbal abuse from family members. Nearly everyone I’ve prayed with has expressed painful memories stemming from the hurtful things a parent or sibling has said to them. This type of trauma creates feelings like anger, bitterness, and resentment which, if not healed, can follow us for the rest of our life.
There’s an old saying, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” When you start working with people who have been emotionally traumatized, you understand just how absurd this idea is. Hurtful words may not leave marks on the skin, but they can turn the soul into a junk pile of festering wounds that will soon be exploited by demons. If you have children, and if you really want to protect them from the schemes of the enemy, you would be wise never to speak harshly toward them. It’s easier to keep a child emotionally healthy than it is to fix a broken adult.
Today I helped a woman who was referred to me by a mutual friend who has a lot of painful memories. I asked her to pick one and tell me the emotions she felt and Jesus healed her. Then she picked another and He healed that one. (For those who are wondering: No, I’ve never seen Him manifest physically during a healing session.) We went through the healing process in quick order and Jesus did His usual brilliant work, healing anger, bitterness, and other negative emotions and then something unexpected happened.
I said, “Pick another memory.”
She replied, “Being ostracized by the body of Christ. So many people have come against me.”
“Okay. When you think about how people have done that to you over the years, what emotions do you feel?”
“Hurt resentment, anger, bitterness.”
As I had done before, I told her to give the emotions to Jesus and ask for His healing. When I asked her to recall the events again, the same emotions were present, which is very strange. Normally, emotions don’t return after they’ve been healed. Then she said, “But this time the feelings are connected to a particular person.” I had her give the emotions connected to that person to Jesus. She asked Him to heal the wounds in her soul and she said, “I receive your healing.” I asked her to recall the event one more time and tell me what she felt.
I rejoiced with her that the damage had been reversed. Healing anger, bitterness, resentment, and hatred is not a complicated process.
After the session was over, I felt a sense of grief over the fact that she’d suffered this trauma at the hands of other believers. I know they didn’t understand the impact their words had at the time, but the things they said caused serious damage to her soul.
Can our words really be that damaging?
It’s often through trauma caused by careless words that alters and fragments are formed in our soul. They act as a protective mechanism, but it’s these alters and fragments that fall prey to demons. The more alters and fragments that are present in our soul, the more opportunity there is for the enemy to harass us. Demons are the voices we hear that tell us to harm or kill ourselves. In an indirect way, the words that we speak to others have the potential to kill them.
It’s been said that the church is the only army that kills its own wounded. I can’t say if that’s true, but I do know we can learn to heal our own wounded. Even better is to prevent emotional wounds from happening in the first place. We can do that by carefully guarding our words.
If you’d like to learn more about emotional healing, you might check out my e-book Emotional Healing in 3 Easy Steps.
Does the person need to continue to trust Jesus to keep the bad feelings away? Do they try to return tomorrow?
Thank you, PM. This was a fantastic hands on walk-thru and I gleaned a lot from it. Already the Lord is using this to add more to the way I speak life into those hurting. This was awesome.
One of the main reasons we wound each other is a result of the body not understanding her identity. Insecurity is a root cause at the pain that is hurled at each other… without the understanding our worth is forever secure in Jesus’ righteousness everyone is a potential threat to our own value and worth.
it is no wonder for me that the overwhelming majority of Christians I pray for emotional healing are most wounded by other Christians.. much more so than the “lost.”
The season of this being exposed and purified in the body is dawning.
Again.. thank you so much.
It is very apparent to those in the field that homosexuality and gender dysphoria are two huge areas of emotional wounding in need of healing.
we all know the church we are going to or have belonged to in the past are full of believers who have open wounds or are being the ones who do the wounding…just reading the books of 1 2 Timothy, 1,2 Peter, James and so forth are about believers among us as well as the letters in Revelation, These are not directed to unbelievers, but the brethren among us.
I do bless you with future healings of the soul…so many of us are walking wounded, just trying to live the life we are destined to live. A mature person in Him would be a goal worth pressing into…
I suffered from verbal abuse as a child. When my daughter was two I was horrified to hear those same words coming out of my own mouth. Repenting was not enough. We kno that God created the world through his Word. I decided to give my daughter positive words to inoculate her against negativity. I began tucking her in bed every night wit “power secrets”, such as God loves me no matter what, mom and dad love me no matter what, if I believe in myself I can do anything.
She is a quiet but determined person now. She got straight As i all the way ft gouge school and is now in a PhD program.
The sad thing is that I still have a hard time accepting those power secrets in my own life. I’m still praying and healing.
You are so right that abusive words leave handholds in our soul for demons go grab hold of. I’ve been the target of bullies all my life (now 60). They somehow sense my vulnerability.
Maintaining emotional healing is a process. Jesus comes and takes the bitterness or whatever feeling you give to Him but when the opportunity to comes, through a new circumstance, there will be a choice to react in the old way of thinking that will open the door for bitterness etc…to find a new place in you or you can choose to respond in a new way that allows no room for it. Praying with someone or even praying alone with the Lord to truly relinquish the negative emotions requires that you follow through on renewing your mind with truth on a regular basis. Just as the enemy left Jesus until a more opportune moment, he’ll do the same with us. Life is full of circumstances that provide opportunity for us to react in old mindsets or respond with a renewed mind. Personally, when I pray with people to relinquish negative thought patterns and bitter roots, I have them find the higher truth in scripture that cancels the lie, that for them has actually become their truth, and renew their mind with that higher truth until it replaces the lie, however long that may be for them. For instance, if someone struggles with shame or condemnation, I have them acknowledge how they feel (ashamed and condemned) and then declare the TRUTH. “What’s true is I feel ashamed/condemned right now but the TRUTH is: there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1); I am accepted and He desires for me to come into His presence (Hebrews 4:16). Truth is progressive for us until our minds are renewed enough to see it as it really is. That doesn’t change the Truth rather it requires change in how we see it. Maintaining emotional healing requires personal accountability otherwise we’ll spend a lifetime blaming others for our bondage.