NOTE: Article was first published in the Pentecostal Herald July 2017 issue entitled: Dealing With Mental Health.
Isaiah 61 proclaims that the Messiah is coming with the good news of salvation. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, also came to bind up the broken in heart and proclaim liberty to captives in prison – this counselor says, “God’s truth heals broken hearts and sets free hurting people who are held captive by their toxic thinking.” We learn in the New Testament that God was manifest in the flesh (the Messiah) as the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to earth to become the supreme sacrifice on the cross in payment for our sins. We are able to experience salvation by obeying the scripture to repent of our sins, be baptized in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).
Salvation removes our sins. God forgives and He forgets our sins according to scripture. What we need to understand that salvation does not remove our experiences in life or emotions. We will experience the joy of the Lord in the newness of our salvation. But, if we come from a deeply wounded background, we may experience an emotional ‘let down’ within a few hours or days after our initial salvation. The negative self-talk that is a result of emotional wounds can overwhelm us.
God is the healer of our emotional wounds. The process of healing comes with the understanding that Satan is our adversary. He knows our past, but not our future. It is only God who knows our whole life from beginning to end. Satan takes what he knows about us and plants toxic thoughts in our mind about our life. Toxic thoughts can create anxiety that leads to depression. Satan’s goal is to kill, steal and destroy us even after salvation. Satan wants us to focus on the painful events of our life to make us feel helpless, hopeless, worthless and unlovable.
God, the Wonderful Counselor, tells us that death and life our in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Thoughts create feelings and feelings create actions. When toxic thoughts penetrate our mind, we must ask the question, “What is God’s truth about my life?” We invite God into our thought pattern through the power of His Word. Satan wants a wounded person to define self by the painful events of life pre-salvation. God’s truth after salvation has the power to define who we are now in God.
We are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). The word new is defined as unused, without blemish, novel. No matter what happened to us before salvation (sexual abuse, emotional/physical abuse, promiscuity, divorces, abandonment, etc.), after salvation God has made us a brand new creation in Him. In Christ Jesus there is no condemnation as we walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh (Romans 8: 1-11).
In Mark 12: 28-31, Jesus read what is called the great commandment. We learn we are to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Secondly, we are to love our neighbor as we love self. Our heart, soul, and mind are the inner self where we think about life, make decisions and choices (the brain is the computer processor). The Greek definitions of heart, soul, and mind overlap each other. To live godly, we must process our thoughts through God’s truth that we learn from the Word of God. When our thoughts become godly, our feelings and actions will become godly. Our strength is our body that belongs to God. We are to glorify God in our body and spirit (1 Corinthians 6: 18-20).
The second part of the great commandment is to love others as we love self. Many people who receive salvation do not love who they are because of their past. They may even struggle accepting in their heart God’s unconditional love and forgiveness because the toxic thinking regarding their past still bombards them daily. In my counseling ministry, I help people to process their toxic thinking though God’s truth. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23-26). Our past is under the blood through the power of salvation. God remembers our sins no longer. We must choose to love self as God loves us with His unconditional love. It is the process of replacing the toxic thoughts and feelings with God’s truth.
I have counseled people who attempted suicide after salvation because of their toxic definition of self from their horrible experiences of life. All were transformed and spiritually/emotionally healed by God’s truth. One psychiatrist told me, “We medicate these people and give them coping skills.” I shared with her that God has the power to transform lives by renewing the mind with His truth (Romans 12: 1 & 2). Her response was, “I’ve never heard of that type of therapy.” God’s Word is therapy to our heart, soul and mind!
I have witnessed many miracles in my 25 years of counseling hurting people who received spiritual, emotional and relational healing by applying God’s truth to their circumstances. It is a process in allowing God’s Word to do spiritual exploratory surgery cleaning out toxic thoughts that produce negative feelings and actions. When we replace toxic thoughts with God’s positive truth, it transforms our heart, soul and mind including physical healing to the brain.
Brain scientists have proven that negative thoughts and words create ‘blackness’ in the brain. They have also proven that positive thoughts and words create new connectors and the brain ‘lights’ up. God, our great Creator, is our healer! As a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). How we think affects our physical brain and body as well as our heart, soul and mind or ‘the spirit’ man.
We can be saved, but have a wounded spirit from the pain of our past. When we allow God’s truth to penetrate our heart, soul and mind, we can be transformed making us free – it is a process (John 8:32). To learn more about God’s healing, go to www.carolclemans.org – 400+ articles of God’s truth for help, hope and healing.
Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor and Bible teacher. She teaches and counsels nationwide by phone/Skype (636) 448-0121. She is wife to Rev. Harold Clemans, mother of 2 and MieMie of 3. Pastor Daniel Batchelor of Dupo, IL is on her Bd. Of Dirs. of Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc.(501c3) – www.carolclemans.org. Watch teaching videos on Carol Clemans YouTube channel. Love teaching God’s truths for churches and conferences.