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 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 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 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 can 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.