Get Past Your Triggers

I am most like Jesus when I am silent under attack. ~ Pastor Rick Warren

Her words cut deeper than a serrated hunting knife. Her verbal barbs and subtle innuendo disguised in false humility wounds more than physical blows. She’s someone from my past that knows my stories and manages to always push my buttons. Somehow a few unkind words from her and I instantly become that 14-year-old ugly duckling with a mouthful of braces and a face full of acne.

She’s a distant relative which makes it difficult to eliminate her from my circle of influence. Each time I talk with her (which is becoming less frequently these days) it takes everything within me to hold my tongue and not retaliate with snarky responses.

It’s likely that most of us have at least one toxic person in our past (or present) who has the ability to trigger painful childhood memories that effectively suck us into an abyss of unresolved emotions and/or juvenile insecurities. Oh wait … maybe that’s just me.

I recently saw a program featuring acclaimed Christian speaker and writer, Beth Moore. When asked how do we completely rid ourselves of poisonous roots of insecurity and fears stemming from childhood dysfunction that refuse to be vanquished, Ms. Moore quoted Matthew 15:13: “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted …”

God is not the author of fear, insecurity, low self-esteem or any other childhood hurts that haunt us. He didn’t plant those destructive roots in us. That was Satan’s doing. They can only be destroyed by using the proper tools. Practical tools such as prayer, reading the Word of God and then applying it to our lives is the best means to start with.

Refuse to isolate yourself or “eat your feelings,” (which I’ve been known to do in the past). Neither of those things will help; only compound the problem. Join a small group, talk with a trusted friend or pastor. Don’t let your hurts fester inside you. Let it out and talk it out.

There are any number of Christian books that can help you to work through any unresolved childhood issues you might have. I highly recommend Joyce Meyer’s number one bestselling book, Battlefield of the Mind. This book is as helpful and relevant today as it was when it was first published 20 years ago. Visiting with a trained counselor may be necessary for some of us who are unable to process our dysfunction any other way. The road to recovery will look different for every one of us.

Once you’ve successfully dug up all of those destructive roots from your life, you need to plant something more substantial in its place. If you don’t replace a negative influence with a positive one, you’ll continue to be vulnerable to the enemy who will easily swoop in and attack your mind and emotions all over again.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)

The only thing you want to have rooted and grounded in your soul, mind, will or emotions is the love of Christ, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Don’t let painful triggers shoot you down … arm yourself with all the weapons of God’s arsenal and defend yourself like the warrior that God created you to be.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 (NLT)

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!
Kathy K.


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