Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dealing with Memories Part 1

In addition to the past keeping us humble, remembering the past helps us to repent of our sin. The Word of God makes it clear to us that repentance is necessary in the life of a believer. The Lord Jesus Christ tells the Church to remember where they once were, the heights of spirituality they had attained before they fell into sin, and then repent of that sin (Rev 2:5).

Your past can be of great benefit to you in your spiritual walk. There are times that remembering where you have come from is the best deterrent to never going there again! I don't hold to the belief that some Christians have that any "memory" is a bad thing. If you have been reading the posts this week, you have seen the importance of remembering the past in all sorts of situations and lives, going all the way back to the Old Testament. In fact, there are over 100 times God tells us to remember something from the past!

The Bible tells us that our memory and our past is a gift to us from God that is to help us live in a manner that glorifies Him today. Attempting to erase our memories is not a good thing for a number of reasons. It is nearly impossible to completely eradicate our past from our minds and short of a traumatic brain event of some sort. If we did not have the past to learn from, we would continue to blunder right back into the same foolish and sinful situations. This is why I believe that our past can be of great spiritual benefit to our present.

Sadly, many so called Christian psychologists and psychiatrists speaking and writing today have been largely influenced by Freudian theory. Even worse, this line of thinking has been bought lock, stock and barrel by the church and has infiltrated into the belief systems of pastors, teachers, and "christian counselors."

Books like Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? and Telling Yourself the Truth are popular today, even among Christians! The argument for this line of thinking goes something like this:
"There is too much superficial Christianity today"- that sounds reasonable and even true, doesn't it?

Remember, the question we must always ask is, "did this come from the Bible?" Are you able to find solid support for this from the Scriptures? Is the approach one that the Bible instructs us to take?

I think that the reason people buy into the superficiality is that most are what I would call "shallow copers" - ill-equipped to cope with who they are on any more than a superficial level.

To rectify this problem and become whole and real people who are Christians psychology says we have to go back and dig through our past and our pains, go into our subconscious and experience the deep pain of having our unmet needs met. The childhood needs that have gone unmet by our parents and our churches and all the others in our lives who have added layers of pain onto our lives. Is this any solution? If it is, then why are people in therapy for years?

What about healing our memories? Some suggest we need to relive the memories, experience the pain or fear or anger, whatever the experience was that traumatized us. As we relive the memories we are to visualize Jesus in the room with us. Is there anything of the kind in the Bible?

There are several other psychologized methods used to deal with our memories, and none of them is found in Scripture or is remotely Biblical. What they are is a form of slavery to the one who participates in them!

More tomorrow


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