These weekly posts show the Triad teachings. Starting at week 1 and progressing through the weeks will help you see the logic of the series.
SINFUL RESPONSES. Foundation #3
The third foundation for inner healing is the sinful choices we make in response to being hurt. This category has been under-emphasized by the world and overemphasized by the church. In truth though it is at least 25% of the problem and must be addressed to find success. Psychology, being secular, and hence spiritually ignorant is always attempting to deny sin. The victim mentality has been given center stage in therapy because, in part, no one wants to face their own guilt. The world would gladly admit that people are wounded. Likewise, to say that I was made to feel guilt and shame for something that never was my fault is a “friendly” thought to the modern western mind. On the other hand, most of us do not want to believe that we actually are guilty; that we really have done shameful things. Furthermore, we were responsible for our choices. They were not inevitable or unavoidable. Jesus could have been wounded and lied to. He too may have needed comfort and love. But he would not have made evil, destructive, spiritually dead responses to his hurt. To make matters even worse, it is necessary to grasp the fact that I have a sin nature. Even after being forgiven through faith I still have to deal with my “old man”. Even after salvation, even given the finished work of Jesus on the cross; I have to crucify my flesh. All of this: accepting guilt, admitting fault, asking for forgiveness, changing my ways, seeing the enemy within, yielding to purification and sanctification; this is all very difficult and painful.
Now, given that the world has minimized our responsibility in contributing to strongholds, how do we as Christians deal with the situation? First, we must recognize and admit our role in our problem. When I was exposed to sexual impurity at a young age I still had some sense that to engage in a sexual act was wrong. Certainly as I aged I had ample knowledge of what constituted a wrong act. Nevertheless I yielded to those acts. One might question whether a young child, uninstructed in the faith, poorly trained, inconsistently disciplined, besieged by invisible enemies and constantly surrounded by wrong example could really make a choice. This really goes to the heart of the gospel. Jesus died for our sins. Well, when did these sins begin? When I left home and started my own life? When I reached the age of accountability? It is important to see that it takes a long time to form a human. As a species we have an enormously long childhood. Just think of 12 years prior to puberty. This formation includes the formation of strongholds. And part of the formation of a stronghold is the wrong, sinful, ungodly responses that humans tend to make when hurt. It is natural, and that’s exactly the problem. When, as an adult, an individual hears the truth about salvation, and is drawn by the Spirit to Jesus then that person has a life changing experience. This experience includes repentance from sin. We all tend to think that what we must do is cease from sin in the present after renouncing our past sins. Usually, this centers on the remembered sins of our adult life prior to finding Christ. The point is that our adult patterns of sin were formed in childhood. That’s why different people have different weaknesses and proclivities. That’s why one is a lecher, another is a malicious gossip, a third is an addict, an alcoholic, ambitious and greedy, thief, liar, lazy, etc. The different manifestations of sin, the different patterns of sin behavior (that is, the different strongholds that people have) are formed by forces active in childhood.
Think back to the 11 year old girl who blamed herself for her parents’ divorce. 2 of the 4 foundations forming her spiritual stronghold are already in place. If she (which is very common in a case like this) then becomes sexually promiscuous she will be adding a third foundation which may require extra healing and deliverance in order to be free of adult problems.
The point that the world cannot see is that we have a personal role in our formations by the choices we made. The point that the church has difficulty seeing is that sinful adult choices begin in childhood. Although wounding is not our fault, choosing sin is our fault. Until a person can see that the stronghold plaguing them is partly of their own making then they cannot address one of the foundations of that stronghold.
Next week we will look at the 4th foundation of a spiritual stronghold: unbelief.