I asked permission to share this experience with a friend who really reminded me of my brother when I met him. So much so that in the beginning I wasn’t sure I liked him.We became friends with him and his wife in the last year, and he had an edge to him. My charming older brother had that towards me. And it left me with huge scars its taken years of work to undo. (It took me 20 years to figure out where my attitudes came from.) But of course there was an affinity too, because he felt like family. The more I got to know him the better I liked him because I knew his heart–soft and generous but off-putting to everyone as self-protection. I loved his wife, one of the most loving people I know, and she seemed to love me. (You can see the disbelief scar there.)
So as we hung out more, I understood him and liked him, but he could be very negative. Usually, I don’t analyze people unless you’re paying me to. But a certain amount is always on from 30 years experience as a therapist, and especially if I”m triggered by my own issues (from my brother).
He had shared a few times about the pain over his kids, his awful divorce and horrible x-wife. And by this time I knew that he had to find a way to let go of it, or it was going to ruin this marriage too. So one night they came over and he started his usual complaints and I went after him like a pit-bull. I think God set me up because I was tenacious. I knew his maneuvers by this time and I just hung on. He got angry, but controllably so. Our spouses got uncomfortable and still I hung on. Finally the breakthrough came with the healing, and he hasn’t wanted to hurt his ex-wife since. Then he opened up more. He shared his awful hopeless feeling because of a verse of scripture: Hebrews 10:26. He had asked me before what I thought it meant. And I told him. But it wasn’t satisfying to him and it kept coming up. Otherwise, I had found his knowledge of God and scripture to be better than most people’s. So I started praying for him.
One particular day when they were coming over, my husband and I prayed together, and that night God connected his negativity with what I had been learning about being disappointed in God. (It is a huge stumbling block. The hurt that comes from it can be crippling.) I was hesitant to share it, because usually people defend and back away from what you tell them about themselves. But his wife assured me he could hear it from me, and it would help; so I told him, and he shared with us it was how he had felt since he was one year old. His brother had been born when he was eleven months old. That explained it to me. He felt pushed aside and didn’t get enough attention. His father was strict and no-nonsense. His disappointment in his mother had long since turned into anger, (even though he says she is a wonderful woman.) And it gradually turned into acting out and anger against God, and then hopelessness. And he had found a place to hang it: Hebrews 10:26.
This morning my husband and I were reading, and our daily chapters were Hebrews 9-10. We listen first to the Message Version by Peterson a very free paraphrase by a Hebrew and Greek scholar, and then we read it from the Tree of Life Version. A very close translation by the Messianic Jewish community. I rely on them to know idiom and cultural context etc. Today I didn’t like the perspective of Peterson and was eager to get to the TLV. And there it was clear as day (in my mind).
Paul explains the whole sacrificial and sanctuary service, and at 10:19 comes to his conclusion. This is my paraphrase of it: Therefore we have confidence to enter into the Presence of God by the life of Jesus (“the life is in the blood” Leviticus and Ruth ). He opened the way for us through the veil by his death. (He bought back the power over death on this planet–Hebrews 2:14 Satan had claimed it according to the Law of Sin and Death and his success here–Romans 7). So let us gladly come, and draw near to God with a true heart, fully assured that we are welcome because our hearts are cleansed by him and our accusing conscience is too. (Hebrews 10:16-18 If we let Him, Ruach will write Their desires on our hearts.) Since we have given ourselves to God and believe that They are faithful, let us think about how we can stir each other up to loving God and doing good. And let us keep coming together (through technology!) to encourage one another–all the more as we see evil being given more power on earth. (And here is the biggy–verse 26.) For if we keep running away and separating from God to do our own thing, or believing They don’t accept us, we will ruin our belief in God; and the only way They have to rescue us is our acceptance of Their love and goodness. If we refuse to believe Their love and refuse to accept the gift They offer, there is nothing more They can do. We have made our choice, and eventually we will experience the same consuming fire (Heb. 12:29) that will cleanse the earth of evil when God comes. Because God is a consuming fire–pure love energy that causes combustion in everything unstable–all entropy.
That isn’t scary, is it? God does everything in us and for us. All They need is our permission. My friend’s problem is he has a negative filter that he acquired at one year old. It colors how he sees everything.
And as I said to him. “There is no way you could have figured this out by yourself. It’s been your normal, your way to look at life and yourself since you were one year old. If God doesn’t heal it, you probably won’t be able to change it now, it’s you. But if you can find the beliefs you created, and ask, He will heal them. It’s probably only one about you not being good enough.”
I think he will. And he will be amazed at the difference it will make in him and his life!
*end note–He was very receptive and grateful! Thank God!