Did You Learn to Love? by Kari Browning
By Kari Browning
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"So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well." (Philippians 1:9, The Message)
Did you learn to love?
This was the question that Bob Jones was asked when he died and went to heaven on August 8, 1975.
If we want to learn to love, we must become emotionally mature. We must put away, or render inoperative, childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Many of us find ourselves "stuck" in behaviors that are rooted in fear, not love. Like the apostle Paul, we find ourselves behaving in ways that we do not want to. (Romans 7:22-25)
Many believers, including leaders, are bound by rejection, jealousy, anger, insecurity, bitterness, pride, fear, and other toxic emotions. Many have become addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, food, etc.
Oftentimes, these toxic emotions and addictions are rooted in emotional hurts or unmet love needs.
How Do We Become "Unstuck?"
How do we release toxic emotions and come into a place of mature love? How do we get our love needs met in legitimate ways?
I believe we find the answers to these questions in both counseling and community. We need to get our love needs met in healthy community, and we also may need the help of someone skilled in healing the brokenhearted to help us identify and release toxic emotions and negative core beliefs and expectations.
When we experience an emotional hurt, we oftentimes form negative core beliefs and expectations. These beliefs and expectations usually are not conscious, but they are very powerful. They can even cause us to be drawn to people and situations that will reinforce these beliefs and expectations.
For instance, a woman who is raised by an abusive father may develop an expectation that "all men will abuse me" and may form a belief that she has no value. She finds herself drawn to one abusive relationship after another, and that expectation becomes her reality. If she feels that she has no value, she will continue to allow people to abuse her.
When someone experiences emotional hurts and does not release the pain associated with them, they may find themselves in situations that "trigger" the painful repressed memories. When this happens, an emotional overreaction usually occurs.
When we find ourselves overreacting in situations, we need to discover the root issue causing this. We will need to release the pain that has been repressed in a healthy and productive way. If we don't, we often lash out at others, isolate, medicate ourselves, or go to food, drugs, sex, etc. for comfort.
When we've been hurt, we often put up a wall of self-protection around our heart. This wall keeps us from giving or receiving love fully.
The early Church leaders understood the connection between the body and the soul. (3 John 1:2) They understood that toxic emotions are at the root of many physical illnesses. (Proverbs 17:22)
Healing in Spirit, Soul and Body
They used the "laying on of hands" and natural remedies to bring healing to both soul and body. When someone was sick, they called for the leaders of the Church to anoint them with oils. Anoint means "to rub" or "massage." (James 5:14-15)
I believe the early Church leaders were trained in what oils to use for particular emotions and sicknesses. There are over 1,000 references in the Bible to oils or the plants that they are derived from.
Those coming for prayer also confessed their sins and released guilt and shame. (James 5:16) Guilt can sometimes cause physical pain as people unconsciously seek to punish themselves for the wrongs they have done. I have seen physical pain instantly leave a body when guilt was released and forgiveness was received.
Jesus came to heal us spirit, soul, and body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The ancient paths are being restored (Jeremiah 6:16) and we are learning how to love.
New Renaissance Healing & Creativity Center