As we have studied sin consciousness vs. righteousness consciousness we have learned that this spiritual condition can affect our emotional and psychological lives. I am convinced that the more we remove the spiritual cause from the equation the easier it will be to deal with the emotional and psychological issues. This is very important in our society. For those of us who pastor churches it is evident that the emotional life is a weak link for most people.
We are under greater stress today than ever before, but the bulk of this stress in inward not outward. In the past people dealt with exhausting physical labor. Whether it was farming or housework people spent most of their day in wearying activity. Today we have all kinds of labor saving devices. Paying for all these devices as well as the time they afford us to meditate on bad things can cause our minds to be under great stress. We have more time for fear, anxiety and temptation. Put this together and the array of emotional issues people face is staggering. The most important element in overcoming these issues is the application of spiritual truth. Let’s look at some specifics.
We have talked about the measure up syndrome to some degree. This is the tendency to live life trying to measure up to some standard communicated to us often by parents but sometimes by others. It is an abstract standard and for those under this pressure they can never really feel they have “measured up. Nothing is good enough and no amount of approval satisfies their need. The spiritual solution is to apply the truth of Righteousness. Righteousness says that I am already “right” or approved by God, so nothing else matters.
Another very common issue is rejection. There are so many components to this that it is impossible to list them all, but the solution is the same. We need to build in the truth stated in Eph. 1:6 that God has made us accepted. If we are accepted we are not rejected.
Another major issue is a lack of forgiveness. When we choose to hold the past against someone else we only poison our own future. If we understand that we are forgiven, it is possible for us to forgive others.
Marriage discord is a major problem in our world. Two people fall in love, but they find that the differences between them make falling out of love all too easy. The issues may be big or small, but the everyday nature of marriage can be difficult to make work. In the end every issue can be solved if we choose to apply the lessons of 1 Cor. 13 to our spouse. If we choose to love them in that way everything else will work itself out. This is made possible when we realize that we are loved this way by God.
There are countless examples that could be cited, but I hope you get the idea. Each of these really are components of righteousness. How do we release these things into our lives? Counseling that leads us to understand how these truths relate to our personal life is helpful. Sometimes the strongholds built around these problems can need deliverance which is the breaking of demonic power. The most important element, however, is our own commitment to the Word of God. If we want to be free we must decide to read, study and meditate in the word of ourselves.
Rom. 10:17 tells us faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We need to be willing to fight for our freedom by applying the Word until the faith for change is produced. We need the body of Christ around us to help us in this process, but in the end it is the Word that will change us. Our effort is to apply the Word. The Word will make the change.