A couple weeks ago, I went to a “Safety Seminar” for work. This 2-day course basically focused on behavioral modification to create a safer work environment. The entire class, in all of the subject matter, I could hear the knowledge of God being preached. Although this was not their intention, they were teaching foundational Kingdom doctrine. But I guess this is always true, I mean when a botanist teaches on a tree, is he not teaching the knowledge of God in more ways than one? He is speaking of creation which points to a creator, of Christ- the tree of life, of genesis 1… etc. Anyway, I wanted to share with you one message that I got from this seminar. I hope to have time to write more of the revelations I got later.
Before a person is 18 years old, they have recorded 80,000 hours of ‘tapes’. These are their experiences within his/her family, friends, job, etc. Each major/minor event in his or her life is “recorded”. These tapes shape their future thoughts–>feelings–>actions–>outcomes. Outcomes then become others “recorded events”. Each new event is interpreted through the lens of past experiences. The teacher said that in order to relate in a healthy way, we must take a moment and ask “What is this REALLY?” before we think, fell, act, produce an outcome.
God has given me wisdom on this exact issue. This wisdom is a little different, but it’s really the same issue. Rather than beginning with the current event and asking What is THIS really? we need to go back to the past event and ask God What was THAT really? We do interpret everything that is currently happening to us through the lens of our past experiences, but worse yet this is a false interpretation of the events. It’s not truth. With God’s grace, we can go back and look at these past events through the Lens of Truth.
During my internship, God took me back to those past experiences, and allowed me to see those events through His eyes. For example, I used to go out when I was about 19 to bars and clubs-my top cut low & skirt cut high. I would go out with other friends; and while their night would yeild a plethera of phone numbers, dates, and short-term relationships. I would leave with little attention and definitely no future dates. My interpretation of this event was that I must not be as pretty or as valuable as my other friends. God took me back and let me look at this through His eyes. He showed me how He had shielded me… protected me from guys that would have only hurt me, guys that would have led me away from Him.
False Lens Caused Me to Feel: Rejected, worthless, unattractive, hopeless…
True Lens Caused Me to Feel: Protected, valuable, beautiful, hopeful, accepted
Here’s another example, I had a career that I really enjoyed. I did my best and really excelled enjoying quick and steady promotion for a few years. It ended though, with the company sabotaging and betraying me in order to terminate my employment without severance. I could have tried to defend myself, but it would have been pointless. When I asked God about it, He showed me that He was in control of my future. That He was opening a door to Kansas City by allowing the door to close in Kentucky. Also, He was removing the favor from this company (for as long as I worked there, He would have given the company His favor.)
False Lens Caused Me to Feel: Defenseless, betrayed, derailed, defeated, rejected
True Lens Caused Me to Feel: Protected, appointed, on course, hopeful, accepted
There are many other examples that are a little too personal, but by seeing my past through the lens of truth, I am able to walk in freedom You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. He also allows us to go back and view those people that have hurt us through His eyes. He reveals their brokenness to us so that we can truly forgive and have mercy. This also brings clarity to our interpretation. So, when people hurt us in the same way, we can look at them through eyes of mercy and understand that their pain/wounds/brokenness are what is causing them to hurt us and that it does not have to do with (or effect) our own value.
We have the freedom to change the outcomes, but it is our responsibility to seek truth. Thinking about past experiences can be very painful. But we must seek God, and ask Him to reveal to us those times through His eyes.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Recall the painful experience in your imagination. Put yourself back there. Imagine all of the feelings you were feeling before, during, and after. Ask God: “Where were you when this happened to me? Show me WHERE you were.” Then wait and continue to think about the time in your imagination. Most people shut off if it starts to hurt or they start to cry. Don’t. Then ask Him: “What was your purpose in this?”, ” How are you working this for my good?” “Give me your eyes to look at every aspect of this situation, and let me see truth.” God may lead you to pray a prayer of forgiveness for yourself or for that other person/people.
Once you have put this into practice many times, you will begin to see the truth in others experiences, and bring freedom to their lives also.