What Does Bringing Up the Past Have to Do With Mental Health?
Some people believe bringing up the past is like digging up bones. Fascinating!
Some Christians believe to speak of unresolved issues from the past shows lack of faith, is irrelevant because we are new creations in Christ, or feel it’s flat out sin.
If you didn’t read last week’s blog, I recommend you first read about verbal affirmations and limiting beliefs.
Can the past be buried dead? Does it have any impact on your current mental health? What do you think?
As I pondered the bones analogy, I wondered, what I’d do if I found bones in my garden?
I’m sure it would be quite upsetting.
I could quickly recover the bones and pretend I never saw them. To distract my mind, I could lay self-propagating ground cover on top as camouflage.
Or, I could acknowledge legal issues were at work beyond my authority and inform the police of what I’d uncovered.
A team of forensic experts would arrive to dig up the area searching for clues.
You see, the bones cry out for justice. They have forensic rights. It doesn’t matter if they were there for decades or days. There are legal precedents and orderly processes to follow.
Here’s the bottom line. Those bones have a legal right to speak.
If I try to dissuade the experts, they’ll say, “Sorry, ma’am. Step back.”
There’s no tidy way to dig up a garden. Plants will be uprooted. The diggers will get dirty. Once the evidence is removed – my garden will be a wreck but no tragedies, death, or legal rights will hide beneath the surface.
You Can Choose Your Beliefs
The problem according to Sir Winston Churchill is, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
God placed strong emphasis on the past as He detailed sins and victories of His children.
If the past should not be spoken of, why did the Holy Spirit expose the deception of Ananias and Sapphira, the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, or the violence of Saul – who became Paul?
If bones have legal rights demanding they be treated with respect, how can we believe it’s right to cover-up adverse childhood experiences (ACE)
ACE’s alter the brain and impact mental health during childhood and on into adulthood. Yet impact of ACE’s can be reduced by learning to face past trauma.
How much greater is the impact on emotional health when Jesus – Healer of the brokenhearted – is invited into one’s past!
Refusal to consider the past because you’re a Christian merely gives the enemy legal rights to hold you into confusion, mental health challenges, and further victimization.
Isaiah, God’s anointed wrote,
“I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, which you have not known” (Isaiah 48:6b).
“Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart” (1 Cor 4:5)
“But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully…” (2 Cor 4:2).
In Heaven everything hidden will come into the light.
But why wait til Heaven? You may allow God’s Spirit to reveal the hidden things of darkness that hold wrongful authority over you and rob you of a heathly mind.
Rather than reflecting the light of Christ, we are skilled performers. We wear masks, hide our insecurities, fears, and anger to “act” like good Christians. We embrace legalism because keeping rules makes us look good. We’re intolerant of messes and don’t want the Holy Spirit to examine bones hidden inside us.
Did you know God didn’t equip your brain to forget the past? Your brain functions to keep you safe. Where it’s locked into the age you were traumatized, it’s easily triggered, which compromises your mental health.
For truth to transform you, it must be received and processed as your spirit makes the will choice to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what’s buried in the soil of your heart and mind.
As your spirit engages with the Holy Spirit to destroy the foundation of lies your brain believes and operates out of, you develop a healthy mind.
As Churchill said, failing to face the past means we won’t learn from it. Even worse, we will repeat it.
Limiting Beliefs Talk To You
Expert at hiding behind inner dialogue, they say:
If people knew me, they wouldn’t like me.
I’m afraid to …
It’s not fair …
If people know what happened to me, they will hate me.
The shame would be too great if…..
I don’t deserve to be loved, be healthy, or have nice things.
I’m a no good failure.
Refusal to bring up the past lest bones be uncovered is to refuse to come under God’s authority and protective covering. The result is ungodly order, confusion, and bondage to mental issues such as fear, anger, depression, hopelessness and victimization.
If we need to study history so we don’t repeat it, then the only way we learn how our past impacts today us is by studying it.
To fail to be a student of one’s self is to repeat the past. Where we were abused, we will wound others. Not even purposely or intentionally. But through neglect, where we fail to value our self – we cannot value or respect others.
How You Can Move Forward
- Invite Jesus into your past.
- Ask Him to bring hidden things of darkness into the light.
- Write down your thoughts.
- Allow the Spirit to reveal roots behind the thoughts.
- Invite Jesus to cleanse you with His blood so legal rights are cancelled.
- Deliverance is a truth encounter. Let Jesus become your truth.
- Give thanks for Jesus is always with you and He is greater than your past.
You are valuable. Your pain is significant.
Adverse childhood experiences taught you limiting beliefs that have legal authority to hold you captive to the past.
Choose to allow Jesus to be LORD of your past.
Then, “You will know the truth,and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
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