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Dec 01, 2009

Involuntary Spirituality

I have hundreds of sincere friends who are dealing with issues from their past that they're desperately trying to get healing from. Some of them are going the "self-help" route, some are taking classes on spiritual healing. Some are in full time counseling, while others are following the traditional formulas for getting a healing by attending every church service they can with notebook in hand and a journal under their arm. I think everyone has a different method of dealing with painful memories in the past. To some degree, each and every one of us have been abused or hurt in one way or another.

Many Christians feel like they're waiting in line for an emotional healing that they probably won’t ever find. They become like the chronic overweight person who has tried everything from low-carb diets to overnight miracle pills, and after being let down half a million times, they finally collapse into a world of utter hopelessness. The mere mention of emotional healing catapults them into an endless world of self-loathing and depression. They forgave every person they could remember being mad at. They’ve visited, spanked and put their inner child in "time out" more times than they care to remember. They’ve quoted all the formula prayers, stood on all the right scriptures, and even had the in-house deliverance expert walk them towards the light, but come Monday morning they find themselves right back where they started.

Over the last twenty years of my life I've watched a growing trend in Christianity. If you attend some churches you would think that Christ came for the sole purpose of fixing us all and helping us all get over the pain of our past. He’s presented to the world as the supernatural Dr. Phil and the ultimate life changer rather then the life GIVER. I honestly think that American Christianity has re-marketed Christ to appeal to the masses of emotionally wounded people in the world. We've used people’s issues and spiritual ailments as hooks to draw them into our churches and ministries, by making statements that simply are not true and promises that we couldn't possibly fulfill. We market Jesus as the "inner healer," whose healing formula is given only to the leaders and the super spiritual people above us. We've created a mob of emotionally broken people who hobble from one service to the next hoping to finally persuade Jesus to give them the emotional healing they so desperately need. When it doesn’t happen, people have been trained and programed to blame themselves. Over time, that self-blame eventually drives people even deeper into emotional brokenness and dysfunction then they were to begin with. 

One of my close friends has read every spiritual healing book on the market. She’s attended conferences, listened to teaching series and she’s even written letters to the world’s most famous healing evangelists in an effort to get her healing from the pain of her past. The day she and I met I could immediately tell that the only purpose of our meeting was to hopefully find that healing. That had become the purpose of her life, the only thing she ever talked about when it came to spirituality. She thought that perhaps if she met with me, I could give her the exact formula that would finally detonate the power of God and give her the healing she had sought her entire adult life.  

I told this young lady what I want to say to every person like her who is reading this article.

When you cut your finger, you wash it out and put a band-aid on it. Once that simple act is completed do you sit around and try to figure out ways to get it to heal? Of course not. Nothing you do beyond those initial first few steps will make any difference in the healing process. You won’t speed it up or slow it down. You can read books on cut-healing and go to cut-healing conferences, but in the end, all that energy is a waste of time because your cut will heal itself with or without your help.

God created this healing capacity within each and every one of us. We don’t do silly things like read books and call experts when we scrape or cut ourselves. We don’t squint our eyes and grit our teeth trying as hard as we can for a healing because we know that healing was created within us and it happens on its own.

Christianity is known for taking the things that happen naturally in the course of life and claiming authority over them. Then, when what would have happened on its own, happens; we claim responsibility and call ourselves powerful. If we would just learn to keep our noses out of the areas in life where we are not needed, we might find that Christianity is amazingly easy. I have come to believe that 90% of the stress and difficulty in the modern day Christian life, is self induced. We are praying about things that don’t need prayer. We’re claiming authority over things that don’t need our authority and leadership. We spend our time asking God for things that aren’t even on the menu and we spend all our faith on things that happen naturally.

Several years ago I found myself awake at about 2:00am, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. As I laid in bed listening to my wife snore away, I began to listen to my breathing patterns. Something didn’t sound right when I would inhale. I began to get worried that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen, so I started to nervously monitor my intake of air for the next several hours. By 5:00am I was convinced that I needed to be taken to the hospital. My lips were numb and I was having chest pains. I felt dizzy and fear was literally pulsing through my body to the point where I could hear my heart beating out loud. I went to wake Angie up and just before I did, I got this revelation. It was probably just a thought, but looking back on it today I definitely think it was revelation. 

“Don’t monitor your breathing. That’s something that happens on its own.”

I am not kidding you. In less than five minutes I was completely back to normal and snoring in unison next to my lovely wife. Breathing is an involuntary action that the body does completely on its own. The decision to monitor it and take authority over it, only led to panic and disaster.

This is precisely what Christians have been taught to do with most of the AUTOMATIC functions in life.

We think it’s precious and adorable when a four-year-old child clinches her fists and scrunches her face because she is “trying to grow.” It’s funny because adults know that you can’t “try” to grow. Growing happens naturally over time and completely on its own. Ironically, I can visit almost every Christian church in Arizona and find full grown adults doing the exact same thing concerning their spiritual growth. Like naive little children, we scrunch our faces and clinch our fists during prayer, “trying” with every spiritual muscle we have to grow. We talk obsessively about growing in the Lord. We ask each other what they’re doing to grow in the Lord. We tell people that if they aren’t growing they need to be doing this and thus. We pride ourselves in saying that spiritual growth is the number one thing our church or ministry cares about. Silly, silly, silly, and it’s not nearly as cute when we do it as it is when a four-year-old child does it. 

As Christians we have a responsibility to LIVE LIFE. Our life is set up by God Himself in a way that naturally brings forth things like inner healing, growth and maturity. These things are the responsibility of God; NOT US. I honestly believe that we’ve driven ourselves crazy because in our own arrogance and unwillingness to enter into life, we’ve hijacked God’s responsibilities and have foolishly depended upon ourselves to carry them through.  

I had a pastor tell me once that he was committed to my spiritual growth. I told him thanks but that makes about as much sense as me committing myself to his fingernail growth. I just think there are better things in life to commit ourselves to, especially when growth happens by itself. We neglect things where we actually can make a difference, and then pay special attention to the very things that don’t need our attention at all.

I think the average Christian needs to take a course in “involuntary spirituality.” We need to get reacquainted with what happens on its own and what actually requires our assistance. I think most people would be surprised and relieved if they knew the truth. We could finally leave things like salvation to God rather than take it upon ourselves to “get people saved.” If you need an inner healing, just know in your heart that it’s happening. You can’t make it happen any faster than you can heal your finger if you cut it. YOU WILL HEAL! Know that and live life. YOU WILL GROW! Nothing you do will make yourself grow any faster. Growing isn’t up to us; it’s up to God. 

I honestly have come to believe that the reason why Christianity has focused so much on this ridiculous stuff is because it’s a subconscious way of avoiding life and intimacy with God. I think our religion has made Him so unattractive and detestable, that we’ll stand outside and count blades of grass in the lawn just to get out of being alone with Him. I think it’s a combination of us not wanting to be close to him, and us feeling like He’s going to abandon us. Part of the grace and love message is about getting a proper view of who He really is. Once you get that, you look back at your life and laugh at yourself for all the silly stuff you did. I think I’ve dropped more stuff off of my to-do list since I’ve become a Free Believer than I ever thought possible. The last time I looked at that list I think there was only two things; Love God and love people.

 

Darin Hufford


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Comments

  1. Gravatar
    HarryR

    Our healing is within us. Don't we just complicate everything? Yup, it's just a way of avoiding Being the Way We're Made, and it's just plain daft, 'cos therein is Life!:)

  2. Gravatar
    Shelley

    Darin, a question or two. Cut finger, bandaid, I get it. What about the deep slash that won't stop bleeding and might get infected if it doesn't get stitches & antibiotics? I agree that a lot of the fix-attempts and straining we do are unnecessary. Would you say though, that there are times when we must take action? and if so, what do you think those times are? on the spiritual plane I'm asking.

  3. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I've had some pretty deep slashes in my lifetime and I've found that if you just live life and walk in relationship with Him; He can and will fix everything. I have another blog post called "The Meaning of Life" where I talk a little more on this. The answers to life are within life itself. I give the example of a home for abused girls and how they brought in professional counselors and top psychologists to help them, but then one day a guy shows up with a few vans and takes all these girls to the zoo. The people who run the home told me that it brought more healing to the girls than anything they had done up to that point. Healing comes through living life.

  4. Gravatar
    Bpope

    Wow, such a great truth contained here. Much of why I abandoned most western christian spiritual disciplines several years ago and turned primarily to meditation practice is hit upon here. Meditation, though probably not for everyone, has been a great tool to help me let go of the "fix it" mentality so ingrained in my Christian experience. So far I have found no end to what I can "let go" of and stop worrying about in terms of my spiritual growth. Instead of growth, I have come to slowly realize I am "already" complete in Christ, even amidst my shortcomings. That is a place of real rest and a great beginning point for just living life. Thanks Darin for continuing to put into words so many truths I have felt in my heart for so long.

  5. Gravatar
    Andrea

    Hi Darin, there is a saying I heard over 20 years ago which still rings true today, "This message is so simple you have to get somebody to help you misuderstand it." Isn't it amazing that something so simple as love God and love people becomes so JACKED up by all the formulas and rituals?! It's so gratifying to live the SIMPLE LOVE LIFE.

  6. Gravatar
    Dallas

    Hey Darin,
    Great blog. Just wanted to say that you sound like Hulk Hogan. haha.

  7. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Andrea that's a great quote. I'll have to remember that. I think that's exactly what has happened. We relied on people to "help" us.

  8. Gravatar
    Fran

    But how would all those Christian authors make a living? Heh heh!

  9. Gravatar
    Heather Sterling

    Wow Andrea, that is an excellent saying, I will have to keep that one. And it's so true. I now have this simplicity to compare to all the stress and straining of the past of my own experience to know, yes, that's true.

  10. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I'll tell you Fran there is nothing more exciting then knowing that the day may come that I will actually work myself out of a job. Then I could write books about whatever I wanted.

  11. Gravatar
    David Backus

    I find it interesting that the Bible virtually mentions nothing about emotional wounds and such. I also find it interesting that Jesus, with all sincerity promises us that we will suffer in this world. James tells us to count it all joy when we suffer through various trials. In my own life I have learned that some of my deepest emotional pains become my greatest strengths. They never go away. They are always there. But I am stronger, wiser, sharper and more effective with others because of them. And of course I can love others on that level because pain is something universal every human can relate with. It is the great equalizer. I think God allows pain for this very reason. Without it intimacy would be shallow at best. Ironically, I find very little intimacy in many Christian churches.

  12. Gravatar
    Shelley

    "if you just live life and walk in relationship with Him; He can and will fix everything." It sounds so easy. I want to speak for friends with serious mental illnesses who are trying to "just live life and walk in relationship with Him" and find that without medication and a good therapist, they can't do even that simple thing. I just don't think there's a one-size-fits-all don't-worry-be-happy mold that we all fit into. God heals the deep slashes in all kinds of ways.

  13. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I don't think for a moment that mental illness falls into this conversation anymore than a broken arm or Swine flu does. That's much different. Mental illness isn't "emotional healing." Mental illness is something quite different altogether. It's not the result of "deep slashes," as much as it is a medical disorder. It's genetically traceable and is passed down from family members like diabetes. This article is talking about emotion wounds.

  14. Gravatar
    Shelley

    Thank you for clarifying that, Darin.

  15. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Also Shelley, I've worked with hundreds of mental illness patience for thousands of hours and I can tell you first hand that beyond the medication given there is very little if any counseling. The counseling or "therapy" that is given is pretty much a doctor saying, "take your meds.....take your meds.....take your meds." I would like to add that I have a friend who is ex-military and has been diagnosed with one of the worst cases of schizophrenia known. For the last 8 years he has dedicated his life to doing exactly what I'm saying here. The Army recently as asked him to travel from all over the world, from base to base so he can encourage other schizophrenic patience. The Army refers to him as "The most functional schizophrenic they have ever seen."

  16. Gravatar
    Jacob Botha

    Thanks Darin, yes love God and love people. The really great thing is that even loving God is grown from God in us as we "live".

  17. Gravatar
    richard

    Its' all about letting go and letting God love on you!!

  18. Gravatar
    Shelley

    Wow! I'm amazed to hear about your schizophrenic friend, Darin! What God can do really is beyond what we can imagine. Have you ever interviewed him on a podcast? because I would like to hear more about him. And thanks much for responding to my questions.

  19. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    Thanks Darin! I sure wish I'd heard this at least 7 years earlier, words cannot capture how much grief it might have saved me...

  20. Gravatar
    Alison

    Darin, Thanks again for an excellent article that hit the nail right on the head. I was an inch away from reconciling with an ex-husband when I was reminded why we separated to begin with. We spent our short marriage analyzing and over-analyzing our problems and behaviors even after we agreed that all is forgiven. Do you know what it is like when all you want to do is go to sleep at 2 am and someone wants to talk about what happened in the past that is causing the current behavior? If you are talking twenty years later about things like it happened yesterday how is that healthy?

  21. Gravatar
    Annette

    I loved this. I think we want to "fix" everything right now so we keep putting on bandaids that cover up the healing and we never see the healing process unfold. It's not always a pretty site, but with time, it gets better and before you know it the scar is no longer there and we are left with a deeper intimacy with God and a more understanding and compassionate heart.

  22. Gravatar
    Sarah

    Darin, that is very interesting with this friend of yours that is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Are you saying that he got healed or that he learned to live with it? Just wonder.

  23. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    He learned to deal with it. I haven't had him on the show or talked about him by name because believe it or not, most people in his circle of friends don't even know what he deals with. He hides it that well. When I first met this guy his eyes would dart back and forth and he acted like he was gong to snap at any moment because of the voices. Today, you wouldn't even know what's going on with him. He appears perfectly normal.

  24. Gravatar
    Sarah

    I have a friend who got into a severe car accident where he actually should have died. The doctors where calling it a miracle that he survived. He lied in hospitals in Costa Rica, where they could not really help him...so when he was able to travel he went back to the US and got surgery and all. The doctors told him, that he probably would never be able to walk again. He is not a christian as much as I know. So he has a really positive attitude and just exercised a lot and tried to walk and build up his muscles again. The accident happened about 6 month ago. He walks again and is looking for a job as a tourguide in NZ. Because healthcare insurance would not pay for therapy anymore, he had to do the exercise on his own. And he just worked and lifed his life. Doctors call it a miracle.

  25. Gravatar
    Sarah

    I have a friend who got into a severe car accident where he actually should have died. The doctors where calling it a miracle that he survived. He lied in hospitals in Costa Rica, where they could not really help him...so when he was able to travel he went back to the US and got surgery and all. The doctors told him, that he probably would never be able to walk again. He is not a christian as much as I know. So he has a really positive attitude and just exercised a lot and tried to walk and build up his muscles again. The accident happened about 6 month ago. He walks again and is looking for a job as a tourguide in NZ. Because healthcare insurance would not pay for therapy anymore, he had to do the exercise on his own. And he just worked and lifed his life. Doctors call it a miracle.

  26. Gravatar
    Sarah

    Thanks Darin. So its kind of like in the movie "A Beautyful Mind". Thats amazing.

  27. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Exactly like that Sarah.

  28. Gravatar
    Jenny

    When I teach people on counselling, one of the first things I tell them is "99% of counsellees have a misconception, or no conception at all, of God's character, and that is at the base of their problems".
    The most healing power in the universe is the Father's love, and I agree, that is what brings the healing. Not pop psychology or any fix-it book on the market. So actually I'm redundant if my counsellees apply that, but sometimes they really do need someone to listen to and validate them, and pray for them. But I hate it when people go after the craze of the week/month in their quest for healing, instead to the Father.

  29. Gravatar
    Mark

    I like to say it this way: if you can't explain it to a 6 yr old, then it's probably not worth saying.

  30. Gravatar
    Kelly

    Your pain comes from your false beliefs.
    Your willingness to feel your pain,
    instead of avoid it with all of the ways
    you have learned to protect against it,
    can lead you to your healing of these beliefs.

  31. Gravatar
    Mary

    Thank you Darrin, I am living on the same page and it has been so liberating.....

  32. Gravatar
    Vera

    While I love your book and your website and most of your teaching, I have to take issue with this one. I have sought inner healing. The journey took me from 1989 until about 2007 and now I can say I am able to live the full and abundant life, love God and people, work productively and so on.
    But each step of healing happened through prayer ministry and there was a large, noticeable improvement each step of the way. I know the journey seems to be very long at times, but well worth it in the end.

  33. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Vera I'm not sure what you're taking issue with here. Are you saying that God DOESN'T bring healing in our lives as we walk with Him and live life?? I don't think you're meaning to say that. It sounds like you're saying that you felt that your healing came through a "prayer ministry" you were involved in and because of that you feel you are "taking issue" or disagreeing with the article. I hope you know that this article never once said or even suggested that prayer wouldn't bring you healing.

  34. Gravatar
    Sue

    The discussion here about mental illness/meds/lack of counselling is something I've been feeling really worried about for some time. We have so had it pounded into us that the people required to counsel someone with a mental illness are the experts who know what they are doing. And this is true but it does not negate the fact that some of the best counselling is listening and acceptance and love from other fallible failing humans.

  35. Gravatar
    AIda

    Sue, I agree. Dr. Larry Crabbe, who is a trained psychologist, believes that most healing can be accomplished as people connect in a loving community and I believe he’s correct. I’m not saying someone can’t benefit from going to a counselor but I really believe we’re too quick to refer them to a professional. We’ve been so robbed of our confidence through institutionalism that we don’t recognize the life of God in us that’s available to bring healing and restoration to others.

  36. Gravatar
    Vera

    Darin, I know growth and healing come from living life with the Lord. I particularly noticed this after I left the traditional church and spent more time with so-called 'unbelievers'. However, there was a time whenn only specialised prayer ministry could help me. I just don't want to see people discouraged from using the expertise God has obviously provided to help wounded people. I guess when I was in the structured church, many pastors said to me : "just go and be a Christian and you will find your healing". It just did not work like that. I was stuck, until God brought me to people who were particularly gifted to find the keys to healing.

  37. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Vera the problem with that way of thinking is that it presumes that there is such a thing as "specialized prayer ministry." That presumes that someone else's prayer is listened too more than yours. The idea of such a specialized ministry is not only unscriptural but in my opinion it's harmful to people in general. The idea that we need a specialized minister in anything completely negates the cross and what Christ did. I don't see any evidence in scripture that points toward us ever needing someone who has an expertise in prayer or any form of deliverance. These things are things we came up with in the modern day church. I honestly think when you go to heaven you'll be surprised to find out that your healing came through your prayers and your life with Him.

  38. Gravatar
    Miguel

    Vera i too support the opinion of Darin about emotional ilness. Im psychiatrist and in my experience the "therapy" that i do have change from give counsel to walk in real love, real concerning, real interest with people. This in parallel with the revelation of my growing understanding of God´s heart. In consecuence, may be my prayers are not longer or elaborated, maybe more real, more of myself, sincere, and in consecuence, aligned with a sincere, transparent, all-loving God.
    Thanks Darin for the quote about the person with schizophrenia. Ive been treating a guy with it for 10 years now and its hard because his loneliness but i keep trying to conect with him more closely.

  39. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I've found with people who hear voices that almost always they believe that they've committed the unpardonable sin. In fact, every single person I've ever met who hears voices, believes that. That is step one to helping them. Let them know that they haven't committed any sin that God will hold against them. I have found that bad theology is the root of most mental illness. It may not actually cause it in some cases, but it perpetuates it in all cases.

  40. Gravatar
    David Backus

    I think I actually found my sanity when I ditched the idea of a special prayer/deliverance ministry. I was a poster child for this kind of thinking. Ironically, I found my freedom when I LEFT that mindset and started looking for real answers. No one prays over me in the spirit or warfare prayer to this day. But my Christian life is strong and vibrant like never before when I WAS in the institution.

  41. Gravatar
    Aida

    No mention was ever made in scripture of anyone praying over anyone else for deliverance. Deliverance was always accomplished through commands, not prayer. Actually, I don’t see anywhere in scripture where believers received deliverance. That was always done before they became believers. Once they became believers, they connected with other believers in a loving community and shared their lives together.

  42. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Aida, yes yes yes yes yes.

  43. Gravatar
    Shannon Brown

    I'm SO glad to have finally done away with that never-ending to-do list. I have found tremendous freedom in the truth that He does the healing and growing naturally...it is not up to me. I have never been the same since I first heard you speak about this on a podcast almost a year ago - thank you Darin :)

  44. Gravatar
    myso

    Darin, Vera, if I may add my opinion. I think there's absolutely nothing wrong on (almost) any type of prayer ministry and I fully believe in supernatural spiritual and physical healing. HOWEVER, the moment someone comes and tells you, you won't get healed without going throught his set of methods, prayers, etc., he's absolutely wrong. We don't need "specialized prayer ministry", but sometimes it can be very helpful, and I also know such cases. However, our life or health never depends on such things. It's wrong only if we get addicted to it.

  45. Gravatar
    Kirsti

    As someone who's diagnozed with mental stuff I often find myself confused when reading comments about emotional healing and freedom available for me if I learn intimacy with God. I am not yet ok with my diagnoses and I guess that leaves me open to the idea of maybe there's some healing available in walking with God that'll bring these symptoms to naught. It may be making matters worse as it keeps me in a mode of seeking and trying to get into the freedom everyone is talking about. Many people are encouraging me that what I'm experiencing is just a phase in the process God is taking me through. False hope is as destructive as a false diagnosis, is it not? However, the problem is probably in the striving - I haven't yet proven consistent in the resting and trusting.

  46. Gravatar
    Kirsti

    I am fighting to get myself thoroughly checked for some other possible explanations for my ailments that are difficult to diagnose, but might be behind at least some of the symptoms I've had for years, like extreme fatigue.
    'Mental illness isn't emotional healing' - I think therein lies the problem of many of us, we can't tell the difference and neither can many doctors. A definite diagnosis that cannot be argued would release me from some of my striving. It may be out of guilt and shame that I still fight it as my my life on the outside looks far more manageable than on the inside. Now that I have ecven the energy I do, I am trying to rule out the physical explanations that need fighting getting done. Only after that can I park in in my diagnoses

  47. Gravatar
    Kirsti

    Thank you for the text and for the discussion. I find it helpful.

  48. Gravatar
    Mo

    I just found this writing! Wow. And without any "effort on my part". So that makes the 2nd message He has given me today on this same basic train of thought. The first were lines from a song by Susan Boyle - " "And though I may not know the answers I can finally say I am free.
    And if the questions led me here, then I am who I was born to be." "Oops!" isn't a word in Abba's dictionary; I keep forgetting that. So I wonder what my 3rd message will be???? Thanks for this, Darin.

  49. Gravatar
    vicki

    darin, i would say 'yes' and 'no'....i think you are absolutely right that we cannot 'grow' ourselves... but i'm not sure i'm hearing you talk about walking WITH jesus versus NOT... and of course, that can mean all sorts of things.. however, i think richard foster in Life With God,srikes a beautiful balance (as have others like brennan manning) stating that while one cannot force or hurry growth, there ARE things that can impede it - just like physical growth. Physcial growth, for example, happens spontaneously IN THE CONTEXT of the right ingrediants - ie it does not happen in a vaccuum... I cannot force the tiger lilies in my garden to open faster than they will "spontaneously" or the bulbs to push thru the earth at a faster rate - but if they do not have sun, nitrogen and water - it ain

  50. Gravatar
    vicki

    still me.... it ain't gonna happen... so just like the 'growth' we see in our natural world, i think that there is somehow a 'consent' to the 'sun, nitrogen, vitamins, protein, water' etc.... so yes, spontaneous within a context of intentionality - and i think it is important to include the concept of grace while we aren't looking but none-the-less wanting to consent to it
    folks like brennan mannin, richard foster articulate this both/and beautifully, in my opinion.

  51. Gravatar
    Mark

    Really enjoyed the blog. I believe that the only true growth is that which is simple and organic, by that I mean natural. Sure, as in physical growth you can do things to insure that it is done as healthy as possible- but as with all things it cannot be obsessed over or forced. If it is then self becomes the central focus of life leaving little room for either God or others-the two things that best promote growth and happiness and peace.

  52. Gravatar
    jenny

    The "fix-it" mentality is especially prevalent in expectations of parents with their children. I see this in the school where I work. If a child has a problem the parents are called in and everybody gets busy to fix it, but the expectations on parents are heavy. I'm not advocating an I don't care attitude, but often parents are blamed 1. for the problem or 2. for not fixing the problem. Parents are expected to shut their eyes, squint and grow their children as well as themselves.

  53. Gravatar
    Robin Sampson

    Great topic Darin, brings up many questions.

    I agree. The way to emotional healing is not by reading self help books and performing a 1, 2, 3 formula. We can't work out our way to get a healing. I have run on a performance treadmill most of my life I want understand what you are saying.

    God does the healing. But what about our responsibility to wash and protect the cut?
    In spiritual healing don't we need to find all the potential causative factors to the problem, remove them, to allow the spirit to repair. i.e.. sin?

    But even our part--getting rid of sin--is impossible without God.

    Is it a balance issue? Too many of us are striving in areas we need to just focus on relationship?

  54. Gravatar
    Robin Sampson

    Me again Darin. I posted about this and ask more questions at http://ow.ly/1bC2K Would love your feed back. Thanks.

  55. Gravatar
    thinking

    Love what you said Darin, Also Aida's comment. I've tried prayer and deliverance ministries. I see a psychiatrist once a month for depression. I pay her to listen and keep my confidences. Seems silly doesn't it? I think reading "The Misunderstood God" helped me more!

  56. Gravatar
    Lyn Myers

    Oh Darin, thanks man! You are so right.On thinking back over the years, He has done so much healing in me without me even realising or knowing it's being done! Then a couple of years later, I 'see' all of a sudden what He's done and I did nothing, mostly because I felt so helpless! I went through the 'inner healing', deliverance stuff too. My heart has been broken so many times (and I kid you not!), if He wasn't in the healing business, I would be a serious druggie or I'd have killed myself long ago. People who know me are amazed at what just my body alone has survived, never mind my emotional state! I've had times of s runching up my eyes too! It was so exhausting! I am still learning just to 'be' with God and it's so relaxing when I achieve that by His grace.

  57. Gravatar
    Melissa

    Darin, After having been diagnosed bi polar, numerous suicide attempts, which always occured after realizing the medications were not helping the problem. Refusing to settle for the zombie state that these meds kept me in.I can't explain exactly what happened to me, but I can say when I began to understand God's love toward me, I became whole almost instantly. I literally forgot that I needed the 9 medications I had been told numerous times I couldn't survive without. Many times what the medical profession calls mental illness is actually not that at all. this all happened without any deliverance ministry being involved. Just total surrender to God's love, mercy and grace.

  58. Gravatar
    MonkeyMom

    If you have a cut, wash it, but don't get all the dirt out, put a band-aid on it and then leave it, won't it get infected? In order for proper healing, the wound needs to be properly cleansed, only then can it fully heal in its own time. Oh, and if you keep picking at it, it takes longer to heal.

  59. Gravatar
    Cathy

    I can only say one word...BEAUTIFUL

  60. Gravatar
    Dave

    Wonderful article Darin

  61. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Dave.

  62. Gravatar
    Colleen

    Awesome article. Thank you Darin

  63. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    God led me back to this one today. Charismatics during cold and flu season is one such example of hyper-spiritualizing. My family has been admonished to "claim the blood" over a 24 hour virus several times this winter by well meaning folks already. The next time someone tells me that I'm going to assure them I'm taking my vitamins, getting rest, and will send them a link to this article.

  64. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    Hey Darin, I am going throught your articles one by one and lovin em dude man. This one is pretty special. Sooo many people christian and non christian alike suffer emotionally. Someone in an earlier comment mentioned meditation. I so agree. I know meditation gets a lot of thumbs down from Christian leaders, but they are wrong. I guess it can get new agey, but make it Christ meditations. Focus on His character, forgiveness and love. Read books like the Misundertood God and get quiet and reflect. I mentioned in comments in one of your PODcast I directed to another free believer that they should just BE. I mentioned that apple trees don't make faces to make an apple, so why do we try so hard? WORKS, we love em!!! Just being as I am really helped me. It ties into so much of Christs teaching. Don't fret don't worry, chill. People pay 98.00 an hour to a counselor and you provide a great service out of the goodness of your heart for free. Thank you for your labor bro. God Bless.

  65. Gravatar
    Elisabeth

    I´ve been reeding a lot on your website lately and a lot has touched me so far. But as for deep slashes healing like that, I wish it was that easy. What if you don´t have the strength to keep on living your life? Or does depression and anorexia fall under mental illness? At the moment I hear so many people telling me different things it all gets really confusing. Christians: believe, wait on the Lord, do this or that... Therapist: find your inner self, learn to set boundaries...(and yes I´m taking my meds)
    I´ve been crying to God for healing but I´m not sure I have the strenght to hold out until He does.

  66. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Elisabeth I think you definitely need to put your therapists words first. You need to be open and honest about your feelings at all times. It's tough. We all go through depression. I have dealt with it for many years. I've found that I can control it and use it to my benefit. You CAN make it through this.

  67. Gravatar
    Christine

    I have been experiencing deep emotional pain but know in my heart and from experience, that time with God and living life will bring healing. Years ago, after becoming a christian, I went through all the christian counselling and steps to freedom, turning myself inside out trying to 'get freedom' from the emotional scars life had left me with. But I ended up in a much worse state than ever. The only thing that helped me was leaving it all alone and just concentrating on living. It is exactly what Darin said about breathing. Instead of me concentratiing on my fears and worries and being paralysed by them, I have to just keep walking day by day, and give God a chance to do what He does automatically. No amount of fretting and figuring out will do what only God can. Years ago when I was struggling to 'be' what I thought a christian was, I had this revelation: "Christine, why are you trying so hard? I don't need all that stuff. I just want YOU." Thankyou Darin for being YOU.

  68. Gravatar
    Valerie

    Darin, you absolutely nailed this issue. I personally walked this path too and know how sick it is. Ultimately, the past, the pain, and the issues become the focus- not God. That brings absolute mental torment.

    Please, DO NOT ever entertain the thought that you cannot write well. Your words speak volumes. Absolutely no one could understand what you have relayed here apart from revelation.

  69. Gravatar
    Crissy

    Darin I can so relate to this. I had always been a very sad person. Even when I laughed, I would still feel an ache in my chest. I was constantly in mourning. For years I searched for healing and tried everything from psychiatrists, psychologists, prayer counsellors, deliverance ministries, Christian self-help books, to Prozac and Lorazapam. Christians said the sadness came from past hurts. Some said I was an "intercessor" and that God had given me that pain to pray for others. Others said I had a chemical imbalance and that I needed drugs. I finally left the church and got out from under pressure and manipulation. ONE DAY I discovered the GOSPEL! After years of "churchianity", I finally found out that GOD IS GOOD, that He is NOT MAD AT ME, and NOT DEMANDING PERFECTION FROM ME. And I discovered that Jesus was nothing like I had been taught! The deep sadness I had ALWAYS carried suddenly vanished. It happened naturally as I got to know who God really is and what He thinks of me! RELIEF

  70. Gravatar
    Anne

    Darin, I struggled with mental illness for years, and though healed to a great extent still have lingering issues. However, "if the brook lost all of its stones it would lose its song". What I needed most of all was good community. And never found it. So, I paid for it with a counselor, many of them christians. However, all is changing, thanks be to God, by finding someone who knows Jesus up close and personal and is trying to show me what it is truly like. Without that, I would be floundering horribly. For those who chastize us who do not seem to "get it", as much as I've strived and wanted to for the last 30 years through scripture reading and works, I say be patient with us. I could not "get it" by reading words. I needed His enlightenment, and someone to come along beside me and walk with me in person. Our journeys have the same destination, just different paths.

  71. Gravatar
    Loi

    Hello Darin! We also reside here in Phoenix area and desperately need to connect w/ believers/fellowship/pastor/counselor who can minister to my son (diagnosed with extreme paranoia)the True Gospel of God's Unconditional Love. He wants to be well! We too feel the need to leave the institutional church. We would appreciate any referral or connection you may know of here in Phoenix. Would greatly appreciate to hear from you. Thank you and Yahweh bless You & family!

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