What’s the secret to emotional health?
What is the secret to emotional health? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Some might suggest it’s healthier self-esteem, a better body or more money. However, none of these bring a permanent solution.
I’ve counseled a lot of people over the years. It’s been a tremendous journey of healing and hope. It’s also been a process of discovery. All of my education and degrees did not fully prepare me for the horrors people had suffered. I counseled people who suffered from child sexual abuse, human trafficking, physical abuse, abandonment, divorce, alcoholism, drug addictions, spousal abuse, suicide, cancer and even murder.
I’ll never forget the day a man entered my office for counseling. I’d only seen him for a few sessions before he showed up in my office with a small brown paper bag. It was not unusual for clients to bring me a gift, cookies or a book. But this day was different. I innocently asked him what he had in the brown paper bag. He calmly pulled out a large revolver and said, “It’s a 357 Magnum. I’ve loaded it with hollow point bullets.” Then he pointed it at my face. Nobody had prepared me for this. I had never hurt this man; in fact, I was trying to help him. But I discovered a principle that would shape my teachings and counseling for the rest of my life: this man had a heart full of pain, and it had turned to anger.
King David understood this principle. He asked God, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10, NIV)
Jesus later revealed this truth: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.” (Matthew 15:18, NKJV)
Have you ever been surprised by someone’s heart issues?
- Have you ever been motivated by your own heart issues?
- May I encourage you to work on the condition of your heart?
- Could you spend time daily forgiving and being forgiven?
- Could you make sure you “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”? (see Ephesians 4:26, NIV)
- May I encourage you to seek healing for your past?
Because you are a miracle.
P.S. The story with the gun ended well, but it’s too long to share with you right now. In a few weeks, I’ll share the rest of this story.