Understanding: When the Light Comes On
This is part 4 of a five-part series called “Essentials to Healing.”
Quick recap to these five essentials that need to be present for our own healing or to help bring healing to others…
- Pt. 1: Love does no harm, but promotes healing.
- Pt. 2: Truth promotes healing when it takes the place of the lies that wound us.
- Pt 3: Repentance isn’t a bad word, it’s God’s arms opened wide waiting to restore us.
Have you ever wondered why people experience a particular cycle of unhealthy choices? Why their relationships are perpetually dysfunctional? Why they can’t shake the substance that has a grip on them as if their lives are trapped in its clinched fist providing their temporary and destructive high? Why they may sabotage their own health goals before ever realizing them?
I once met with a guy during my fitness instructor days who was interested in purchasing some training sessions from me. We met for an initial counseling session to figure out what he was looking for in terms of his goals and his expectations of me. I also wanted to share what my philosophy and methods of training were. As he began to share with me his difficulties over the years in reaching those health goals, through a series of questions, we went on a journey back fifty-four years to when he was nine years old. He recalled the time when his father said to him, “You ain’t nothin’, and you’re never gonna be nothin’.” It was as if the light bulb came on for the first time. It all made sense now. He would sabotage his health goals because he never actually believed he deserved to be healthy. He had always lacked self-worth based on those words from his father gnawing at his subconscious for years. Now, however, he finally understood.
This was a terrible cycle to repeat over the course of his adult life. He had done well in business but his health was of concern at sixty-three as it had been for quite some time. In fact the light bulb did come on. He realized those words that his father spoke over him at nine haunted him for fifty-four years. While he was still responsible for his own actions he understood something about himself that he had no idea was still affecting him, his father’s words. He actually left the session excited because he had finally figured it out. He knew he needed professional counseling to further unpack this issue, but he felt free because he could identify what was the root of his bondage.
I share this story because I have seen others, and experienced myself, the healing in a person’s life that deepens with understanding. Understanding something about themselves that they never knew before. Understanding the “why” behind their thinking, their decisions or their behavior. The “whys” will bring us closer to the root cause of the dysfunction in our lives, bringing us closer to experiencing healing.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:20, “Brothers (and sisters) do not be children in your thinking (understanding). Be infants in your evil (sin), but in your thinking be mature.” He is saying that we ought to grow in our understanding or insight. Too many of us live our lives not fully understanding why we do what we do, why the cycle of destructive behavior continues, or the magnitude and consequences of decisions we make. He’s saying to us don’t keep repeating the sin, but grow up and become more whole by gaining more understanding.
Proverbs 2:11 says, “Discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you.” There is a protective component to understanding. Proverbs 3:13 say, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding.” I can assure you one of the blessings of understanding is healing.
Take a moment and think about the area where you lack understanding. Is it regarding some understanding of who God is? Is it about who you are? Seek wise counsel as well as prayer asking God to give you deeper insight into matters in your life.
Maybe take a moment to consider the friend or family member you are trying to help. Take the time to ask enough questions and listen allowing them to think about and discover the root of the issue, not just trying to fix the symptoms. Proverbs 20:5 tell us, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Allow God to shed brighter light onto the issues that wound us. You’ll know when the light bulb comes on above your head or theirs!