Putting The Past To Sleep
- Why does your wife often act just like your mother?
- How come your boss and other leaders often treat you the same way your father did?
- Why do you often find yourself doing the very things you saw and hated in your father?
- Why are you having problems with your own children, just like you had with your parents?
You Need To Put The Past To Sleep
You do not need to be a psychologist to know that what has happened in the past may still be affecting you. The picture of a person lying on a counseling couch and pouring out his past to an expert is something we all know.
Why is it that our past always seems to come back and haunt us? Why do we often find it so difficult to let go of what happened back there?
I would say that the main reason the past still bothers us is because the past still exists in the present in our minds. The memories come back to haunt us, and when you go back into that memory, you feel and relive all the painful experiences you had back there.
Unfortunately the work of most worldly counselors is to help you find a way of getting rid of your past hurts by explaining them away, or giving in to inner frustrations. The advice given can often be totally against the Word of God. And in the end, they cannot guarantee a cure, because you are considered a victim of life, and told that you have “mental illness”, which lets you escape from all responsibility.
But God Does Not Work That Way
In fact, He has set in motion a law that contains in it, both the command and the punishment. It is called:
The Law of Judgment
This law is so powerful that we cannot escape it, and you might be experiencing its effects in your life right now. This applies especially where your relationship with other people is concerned. And since we have been looking at our relationships with our parents, this is especially true.
Your past experiences with your father or mother could be deciding what kind of person you are right now, and what experiences you are having in life.
This is how the law is stated in the Scriptures:
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you will not be judged: condemn not, and you will not be condemned: forgive, and you will be forgiven:
38 Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you gauge with it will be measured to you again.
Here is another way of describing the Law of Judgment:
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. (AMIV)
Here are some of the ways that the Law of Judgement manifests itself in our lives:
1. It Comes Through Other People
The most obvious way that the law of judgement shows itself, is when somebody close to you begins to act like the person you judged. So, for example, you may see your wife starts to do all the things that you really hated in your mother. Or your boss at work starts to act just like your father, and treat you the way your father did.
When you see this happening, you must realize that this is not just the enemy attacking you, or your bad luck. It is a direct result of your judgement of your parent.
In other words,
YOU CAUSED THEM TO ACT LIKE THIS because of your judgement.
In fact, the power of this law is so great, that a person may begin to behave in ways that are really not their nature at all. Your boss or pastor, or other male leader over you might actually be very different to your father. But He suddenly finds himself behaving in ways that are strange.
What has happened is that you have released a force through your judgement that has caused this person to treat you in the same way your father did.
It is the Lord’s way of showing you loud and clear, that you have made a judgement against your father. And according the Scripture passage above, you will receive the same kind of judgement against you as what you made against your father.
The amount of judgement that you made will come back at you in the same measure.
THIS IS REALLY FRIGHTENING WHEN YOU SEE IT!
2. It Begins to Manifest in YOUR Life
Very often when a person so hates what they see in their father, that they judge him in anger, they reap the results of this judgement in themselves.
When this happens,
You Become Just Like Your Father
Have you ever had your wife or someone else say to you,
“You know you are just like your father”
And usually when they say this they do not mean you have the good qualities of your father. Usually they mean you are showing all the worst qualities of your father.
This is even more devastating than having someone else start acting like the things you hated in your father. You find YOURSELF doing all the things that you hated in him, and you are powerless against it. You have become a mirror image of the very thing you hated.
The Way to Victory
Is it possible to break free of the effects of the Law of Judgement, or do you have to suffer this the rest of your life?
Thank the Lord there is a way, and it is really not that hard. All you need to do is let go of your judgement, and the effects will stop immediately.
- This means going back into those past memories and the anger or disappointment you had so long ago.
- It means confessing your judgement as the sin of bitterness that it was and giving up your right to remain angry and bitter.
- It means asking the Lord for cleansing and forgiveness for this wrong attitude
- It means speaking to your father in the spirit, in the presence of the Lord, and telling him that you forgive him and release him from the judgement that you made against him.
It is not usually necessary to go and speak to your father directly and tell him you forgive him. But if there is a conflict or cold war that has existed between you, then certainly this is one of the way of clearing your conscience and asking his forgiveness.
Usually though, we tend to feel that our father should be apologizing to us for what he did and making it right. But you cannot demand this from him. The only time you can make this work is where your own children are concerned. You could go to them and apologize for failing them as a father.
But that is another subject and we will discuss that later under the subject of Fatherhood.
Now although letting go of past judgements is not a big process, it is not always something that you might find easy to do. You still carry the hurts and disappointments of what happened back there. And although, in your mind, you know that you should forgive, you often find it difficult to forget and really let go of your judgement.
It is one thing to forgive your father (or your mother or anyone else for that matter), but it is a different thing to really change the way you feel about them. And without the Lord’s help this can often be difficult.
The Scriptural Pattern for Letting Go of Judgments
There are three clear stages that you must follow through to truly forgive someone, and let go of the Law of Judgement. You can see these in the following Scripture:
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and explosive anger, and seething anger, and violent argument, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
Let me explain these three stages to you:
1. Be kind to one another
What does it mean to be kind to someone? Kindness means that instead of reacting violently to a person, you respond more gently.
The only way you can do this is by changing your attitude to what the person did to upset you. In other words, you change your attitude to the offence.
Can you take a fresh look at what your father did, or failed to do, without reacting in anger?
Was it truly an unforgiveable sin?
Is it something impossible for you to bear?
Did it kill you?
Think about what Jesus suffered for us on the cross.
2. Be tenderhearted
Once you have learned to respond more gently to the failures of your father, then the next more important stage is to try and see things through HIS eyes.
Why did he treat you that way? Did he just want to hurt you? Or was it perhaps that he could not show the love he wanted to. Perhaps he had many problems of his own. Perhaps he had a bad childhood also and did not know how to show you love.
When you can understand the person who offended you, then instead of being bitter and angry, you can instead start feeling sorry for them and more compassionate. You begin to realize that your father had some problems in his life that made it hard for him to be the right kind of father. And if you can put aside your bitterness, you might even see some of the good things in him.
You might discover that he actually did care for you and wanted the best for you. But you saw it all wrong. You did not have all the facts.
Ask the Lord to show you some of these things. Ask Him to let you see things through your father’s eyes. It will change your whole attitude to your father and make it easy for you to let go of the judgement you made of him.
Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is an act of your will. But of course our feelings often make it difficult for us to really let go of our judgment.
That is why you must first carry out the first two stages before you come to this one. As you learn to change your attitude to both the failure of your father, and to your father himself, you will find that your feelings begin to change.
Then, when you finally make the choice to forgive, it becomes easier, and the feelings follow very quickly. Then you could finally let it all go, and I suggest you carry out the following actions to complete this process of letting go of your judgements.
Letting Go of The Judgement
To make it easier for you to neutralize the Law of Judgement in your life, I suggest you follow through these stages. If you do this correctly, then you should see an immediate change in both your feelings, your circumstances and the people around you.
1. Identify the judgements that you made of your father (and also your mother)
2. Consider their failure and see if you can change your attitude towards what he did to you
3. Ask the Lord to show you what motivated him and try to see things through his eyes
4. Ask the Lord to forgive you for judging your father
5. Imagine that your father is standing before you in the Spirit and speak to him. Tell him all the things that hurt you and where he failed. Then tell him that you forgive him.
6. Finally, let your father go in love. Thank him for all you received from him, but realize that his role in your life was temporary. The Lord has other things for you now, and a road of your own. So see him moving away from you, like you are saying goodbye to him on a train or bus. Wave goodbye in love and let him go.
As you do this, you will sense a freedom that you have not known in years. And when you think about your father, you will no longer feel anger, hurt or regret. Instead you will think in loving terms and you will be able to get on with your life.
Do Not Forget Your Mother
Most of us have bad memories and judgements related to our fathers. But mother was not always perfect either. And for many, their relationship with their mother was just as bad or even worse than with their father.
So if you had a judgement against your mother, you must deal with this in the same way. And any other judgement must also be dealt with. Because the Law of Judgement works in all areas of our lives.
Until you can see everyone through Jesus’ eyes, and truly let go of all negative or bitter feelings, there will always be some effect in your life of this law.
It is time to put the past where it belongs – back in the past. And all judgements that are still in your heart will be removed.
How do you know when the Law of Judgment has been dealt with?