Belief Series: (Part 13) – Solutions – Solving the Problems Caused by Heart Belief
The Problem with Solutions
Now that we have a better understanding of Heart Belief, we need to return to the category of belief we called Intellectual Belief and look at the subset called Solution Beliefs. Remember, that under the category of Intellectual Belief we have General Knowledge, Assumptions and Conclusions and Solution Beliefs.
A solution belief is a lie-based belief that supports a particular behavior in hope that it will help “solve” the perceived problems that result from lie-based Heart Beliefs.
Our lie-based heart beliefs cause us a myriad of problems. A solution belief is the support structure for the behavior we use to try to mitigate those problems. A heart belief is causing something, whereas a solution belief is solving something. For example, if I believe that I am powerless and helpless (state-of-being belief), this may cause me to feel negative emotions like fear or panic. Since I do not like feeling this way, I might come up with a solution which helps me to calm down and not act on my fear. The solution may be distracting myself by eating when I am not hungry. Putting food in my mouth and stimulating my taste buds helps me suppress my emotional pain. The solution belief behind this behavior is, “Eating makes me feel better.” The problem with our solutions is, they never work.
Here we see the difference between heart belief and solution belief; Heart belief is causing the problem, such as: bad feelings, intrusive memories and flashbacks, and even physical maladies, whereas, the solution belief supports the behavior that we use to “fix” the perceived problem.
Many Ways a Solution Belief is Expressed
Anger as a Solution
In a ministry session, a solution belief can be manifested through many different behaviors. For example, a very common solution behavior is feeling angry. There are quite a few different beliefs that can support angry feelings:
- “My anger protects me from being hurt again,”
- “Anger keeps me safe,”
- “Anger puts me in control,”
- “My anger holds that person accountable for what he did,”
- “My anger makes sure that something like that does not happen again,” etc.
Blocking Out a Memory Can Be a Solution
Another common solution behavior is blocking one’s memory. People often report that no memory comes to mind when asked the second EMOTION Box question: “What comes to your mind as you are focusing on what you are feeling?” When a person is feeling emotion and yet says that no memory has come to his or her mind, then it is probable that a solution belief is at play. If this person believes that remembering might make him go crazy, overwhelm him, make what happened to him real, destroy his current relationships, etc., then such beliefs would be a problem needing a solution. Therefore, blocking out the memory could be a potential “fix” for the problem.
Suppressing Emotion Can Be a Solution
If a person believes that suppressing his feelings can be a solution to the perceived problem of being overwhelmed by them, suppression is his remedy or solution behavior. In this example, becoming overwhelmed by emotion may be the perceived problem that the person is trying to avoid by suppressing his emotions. Suppression can be a solution for many perceived problems such as;
- “Experiencing these feelings will overwhelm me, so then, suppressing them will keep me from being overwhelmed.”
- “My painful emotions will destroy me, so then, suppressing what I feel protects me.”
- “If I feel what is inside of me I will hurt someone, so then, suppressing them keeps me from doing something stupid.”
- “If I allow myself to feel what I feel it will verify what I am remembering as the truth, so then, by not feeling somehow keeps the memory from being true.”
People will often say something like, “My emotions just went away.” or “I just cannot concentrate and I stopped feeling anything.” The truth is, our emotions do not just go away; we send them away by suppressing them. When we say we cannot concentrate it is actually because we are choosing to think about something else that helps us disconnect from what we are feeling. We can suppress what we feel by distracting our thinking, by focusing on something else, by not thinking about the feeling, or by focusing on a noise outside, etc.
It’s really not all that difficult to turn our feelings off if we choose to. We can distract ourselves in unlimited ways. However, it requires diligent effort to keep our negative pain suppressed over the long term. If I believe that feeling what I feel is the problem, then I will always look for a way to resolve it. If I think that suppressing what I feel will protect me from being overwhelmed, or keep something bad from happening, or numb my pain, then that’s what I’ll do. Problem solved.
Demons can provide us a solution.
As strange as it may seem, demons are happy to provide us a way of escape from our lie-based pain. They do not want us to take ownership for what we are feeling less we use it to expose our lie-based belief. They know full well that it is the lies we believe that afford them the opportunity to do all they do. If we were not feeling the bad feelings that the lies were producing, the temptation to “medicate” the pain would not be effective. The only power that deception has over any person is the degree that it is believed. Satan’s only “power” over us is our own belief. This “power” is not power in any real sense, just through deception. Once we know the truth all “power” is defused. The lies we believe make up the “snare” that holds us captive to “do his will.” (2 Tim 2:26)
So if a person manifests a demonic spirit during a ministry session it is NOT because it has to occur or that the demon needs to be confronted. The long term answer is not fighting the devil, but rather identifying the deception. Everything that happens in a session is passing through the permissive will of the person and serving the person a purpose. The person is always in executive control; always. There are no victims in the room and no one needing to be rescued. This is the basis for the “Belief and Choice Principle” that is foundational for TPM.
A solution belief may engage when working through a memory.
Sometimes a person can be walking through a memory and remember some aspect of the life event and suddenly stop feeling negative emotion and start feeling something positive. For example, a person may report something like:
Person: My uncle was chasing me through the house and I knew if he caught me he was going to hurt me bad.
Facilitator: How does that make you feel?
Person: Really afraid.
Facilitator: Why do you feel afraid?
Person: Because I cannot make him stop from hurting me. But, I remember that I hid in my closet and remained really quiet where he could not find me.
Facilitator: How does that make you feel?
Person: When I think about hiding it makes me feel safe. The fear went away. I feel better.
What has happened here is the person has engaged his memory content and “solved” the fearful feelings by remembering what he did at the time of the crisis. This can manifest in innumerable ways; becoming invisible, being angry, dying, etc. If you are facilitating a session and the person moves from feeling a negative emotion to feeling a positive one or one more powerful, you are probably in the SOLUTION Box. You would simply ask the questions provided in the SOLUTION Box. 1) “If you were to consider allowing yourself to feel what you were feeling before remembering going into the closet, becoming invisible, or dying, etc. do you sense any resistance or hesitation at the thought of doing so?” 2) “What do you believe might happen if you let this behavior go that causes you to resist or hesitate?” 3) “What is the reason for not letting it go?”
During a ministry session it is not uncommon to encounter many solution behaviors. When this occurs, the person has moved to the SOLUTION Box. The three questions in this box can help identify the belief supporting the behavior.
God Created Emotion; Therefore it is Good
No one is able to continue carrying an emotional burden for long without doing something about it, even if it means just ending it permanently by ending their lives. If a person is feeling emotional pain, he will look for a solution to resolve it. God did not wire us to continually live in emotional pain, however, He did wire us to feel bad when we believe lies. This is why pain is good, even though it may feel bad.
Emotional pain serves us in several important ways: it shows us that we have a problem, it reveals the source of the problem, and it provides motivation so that we can rightly respond to the problem. However, rather than looking to God for the truth we need, we too often come up with our own solutions.
Bad Feelings are a Good Indication That Lies are Present
Since we feel whatever we believe, believing lies makes us feel bad. This is when God intentionally allows us to suffer. He could rescue us from our pain, but this would leave us holding onto our lie-based belief. If we didn’t suffer from the lies we believe, we would have little motivation to attend to those lies and seek Him for the truth. Letting us suffer does not make Him a cruel God; rather, it proves that He is a good parent. He loves us so much that He allows us to suffer when we are operating from lie-based thinking. By comparison, some of us who are parents, failed to allow our children to suffer when they encountered difficulty, and protected them from any discomfort, which may have prevented them from learning important lessons in life.
We try hard to mend our pain, but our own solutions never work.
As a matter of fact, not only do our self-created solutions fail to bring relief, they also bring about new problems of their own. They may distract us from the pain for a time, but it always returns. Only the truth that God has persuaded us to believe with our hearts can resolve lie-based emotional pain. Some of us have tried to suppress the pain by providing ourselves with intellectual knowledge of Biblical truth, but this, too, has left us wanting.
Distracting ourselves from what we feel, or trying to convince ourselves of the truth, or trying harder to believe is not the solution to resolving our emotional pain. The solution is to take ownership of the emotions that are being caused by our lie-based belief, and acknowledge that our belief is the real problem and receive the truth from God’s Spirit. When we draw near to God, move to a humble position of submission, and look to Him for truth, He will gladly meet us there with His solution. James the Apostle gives this encouragement, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you …” (James 4:8).
Although there is great value in filling our minds with the truths of the Bible, memorizing it only makes us smarter unless the Spirit brings the Scriptures to life within our hearts. Freedom is, and always has been, a work of the Spirit. God shows us this freedom in the Scriptures, but knowing about freedom does not bring us freedom, just as knowing about God isn’t the same as knowing God. Unless He personally gives us His truth in exchange for the lies we believe, we remain in bondage. Being able to quote a Bible verse provides no guarantee of relief or genuine transformation. Knowing the truth and trying to perform it is not freedom. Freedom is effortless, without struggle—a state of rest. When the Spirit reveals His perspective to us, and persuades our hearts of His truth, freedom and transformation will always follow; our minds are renewed, and we are transformed.
Our Solutions Always Come Up Short
We cannot fix any of the problems created by our lie-based heart beliefs. For example, nothing we do will fully resolve the pain we feel because of our lie-based heart belief. For example, the man who has bad feelings about his marriage may try to make them go away by having an affair. He may feel better for a time, but when his wife finds out, his pain returns with a vengeance–or might I say, “with her vengeance.”
Then there is the woman who continually distracts herself from her bad feelings with food, by eating when she is not hungry. No matter how much she eats, the pain remains, plus her weight gets out of control. When she looks in the mirror, she feels worse, causing her to eat even more.
When we feel bad for any reason, we typically assume that the source of our pain is outside of ourselves, so we try to deal with it accordingly. How many times have we said the words to someone, “You make me feel [the emotion]?” People blame their spouse for what they feel, believe that their job causes them stress, or think that their painful childhood experiences are the reason they feel bad today. Of course, the devil also gets credit for our depressed, overwhelmed, dejected, shameful, and guilty feelings when in fact he “… cannot [even] touch us.” (1 Jo. 5:18) Too often people blame their own lie-based pain upon the devil’s oppression. The devil does not have the power or ability to make any person feel anything. He can trigger what a person believes, but the painful emotion is coming from the person’s own belief and not the devil himself.
The truth is that Satan cannot make us feel anything, any more than our spouse, our job or our current situation can. Even if he could hurt us, Jesus has taken the responsibility to stand between us and the evil one. Satan cannot “touch” those who are “kept” by the Lord. The Bible is clear that “…He [Jesus] who was born of God keeps him [those who believe], and the evil one does not touch him” (1 Jn. 5:18).
If we believe that we feel bad because of some outside force or someone around us, we will typically do one or more of the following:
1) Try and make the person stop what they are doing
2) End the relationship
3) Change our environment—find a new job, buy a newer car, send the kids to military school, find a different church, or fight off the devil
The problem is that no matter how hard we try to change others, move around, or fight the devil, the pain remains. This is because what we feel is not coming from the outside; it dwells inside us.
What is the Moral of the Story?
Our solutions do not work. They may create a diversion from our emotional pain, block out something that we do not want to remember, appear to keep us in control, seem to hold people accountable, or place the focus and blame on others around us, but the lies remain, along with their associated consequences. What is the real solution? Being persuaded by God of His truth within our hearts.
This does not minimize our need for growing in knowledge of the Scriptures. Familiarizing ourselves with scripture is the part we play in God’s process of mind renewal and faith refinement. Growing in the knowledge of the Scriptures is our intellectual responsibility and the front door to our hearts. We need to know the truth with our minds so that the Spirit can illuminate them within our hearts. The Apostle Paul alluded to this when he declared salvation being the outcome of heart belief (Rom 10:10), but then went on to say that without a preacher to proclaim the truth of the Gospel, a person cannot believe (Rom. 10:14).
Intellectual belief is a precursor to heart belief, but intellectual belief alone provides no guarantee of transformation. We can memorize the entire Bible and not be changed, just as an unbeliever can memorize Scripture and remain an unbeliever. Even the devil has some Scripture memorized because he quotes it from time to time in the Bible (Luke 4). The truth that transforms us is truth believed in the heart. Only God can persuade us of the truth and provide any lasting solution.