Leaving Minefields Behind?

Despite what you might want to believe, your unresolved pain and trauma negatively affects others. It's time to be brave and bring your past to God.

Abandoned minefields are hideous legacies strewn across formerly war-torn nations around the world. Although warring factions brokered peace treaties and cease-fires decades ago, these landmines maim or kill hundreds of innocent civilians every year. Weapons meant to keep a particular adversary at bay now lie in wait under rice patties and earthen paths. Each mine holds the potential to tear apart anyone who accidentally stumbles across them.

Emotional land mines are just as devastating. If you’ve ever unintentionally tripped someone’s buried emotional tripwire, you know what I mean. The resulting explosive outburst of rage leaves you not only battered and bruised, but it leaves you confused. What did you do? What did you say? Was it an innocent word you spoke? A glance you gave? Or a gesture you made?

Most of us carry wounds from our past. Unfortunately, there are many believers have learned to bury negative emotions brought on by such traumas. Unresolved anger, resentment, fear, and frustration fester dangerously just beneath the surface, ready to be triggered by any passing party. Many might say, “It’s all in the past, why bring that up now? It was all taken care of on the day I surrendered my life to Christ.”

Hiding in Christ and hiding behind Christian jargon are two different things.

But if you were to press, many would admit they often overreact to the inconveniences and disappointments of everyday life. Blame, justification of sinful actions and denial serve as camouflage, deflecting responsibility from themselves and onto others. “If they just hadn’t said that!” “If they’d just quit asking me questions, I’d get along with my coworkers better.” “If he hadn’t brushed against me, I wouldn’t have yelled at him.”  “If that guy hadn’t cut me off in traffic, I wouldn’t have blown my cool when I got home.”

By allowing Christ to lead us through the journey toward emotional wholeness, those around us will no longer have to tiptoe their way through our lives. As we address sinful patterns, we step into freedom. We can throw away the yellow caution tape that kept others at a distance. It is no longer needed; we are no longer are an emotional risk to those who cross our paths. The barbed wire barriers created by our speech, body language and actions can be torn down and be replaced with a welcoming fence with wide gates, inviting people in.

Forgiveness is the primary tool God uses to dismantle our emotional landmines. When we deal with the pain from our past and forgive those who trespassed against us, Christ moves in. Forgiveness dismantles the trigger mechanism, rendering the explosive device powerless. As each lethal device is dug up, defused and destroyed, Christ takes back the ground the enemy had captured. What was once barren is now fertile. What once brought destruction now brings new life.

Personal Application

Are there areas of your past that you do not want to look at, but you know are affecting your quality of life today? Resolve to bring those areas to God. Ask him what he would like you to do so you can walk in lasting freedom. Then, resolve to step out in obedience to what he asks of you. Walk in the assurance that he would never ask you to walk anywhere without his strengthening hand upholding you and guiding you. Forgiving others and humbly seeking forgiveness from others are good places to begin. Remember, an apology that is not followed up by positive action is not genuine.

Here are some Bible verses to chew on this week.

Bible Verses About Forgiving Others

Colossians 3:13b (ESV) – “If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Matthew 6:14 (ESV) – “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV) – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Proverbs 17:9 (ESV) – “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

Luke 6:37 (ESV) – “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Matthew 18:21-22 (ESV) – “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Proverbs 10:12 (ESV) – “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

Luke 6:27-28 (ESV) – “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

Bible Verses About Emotional Healing

Romans 8:15-16 (ESV) – “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) – “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) – “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

James 1:5 (ESV) – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

Philippians 4:19 (ESV) – “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) – “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

John 14:27 (ESV) – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Psalm 34:17-20 (ESV) – “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.

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Until Next Week,

©2020 Katherine Walden

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