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What are the passions?
"The passions are the feelings, the emotions or the movement of the sensible appetite--natural components of human psychology--which incline a person to act or not act in view of what is perceived as good or evil. The principle passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger."
(Compendium CCC, 370. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2006) The Compendioum's source on this topic is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.
2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to "demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Last Tuesday, I posted an article wrtitten by Tracy McMillan: The Kung Fu Secret to Getting Over a Bad Breakup. If you've not read it, you'll find it in the blog category Divorce 101.
Based on the article, I've come up with a few questions intended for personal reflection. I hope you''ll take some time and prayerfully consider each one. (Also, I'm including personal examples so you can see what this looks like throughout healing.)
1. Tracy says her brain is an obsessive-thought factory--churning out negative thoughts. What are some of the negative thoughts you battle?
When my marriage unraveled, my thought-factory said things like, "He used you. He lied to you. He betrayed you. He slandered you. He didn't protect you." Here's the unexpected twist in my journey to healing:
These thoughts, though painful, could not be fully taken captive unto Christ until I became willing to open my eyes to the whole truth. And the truth is, he did betray me. He did lie. He did slander. Healing required me to accept this painful truth and then ask God what He has to say to me about me and my circumstances. And yes--I read scripture. Yes, I affirmed who God says I am in His word. But these two steps, alone, were not enough. Today, every time the enemy reminds me of what happened to me, I confess to God, the author and finisher of what happens to me next. And then I write down what my heart hears Him say.
Bible study + Scripture pertaining to my idenity in Christ + What God has to say to me about me = Victory
2. Tracy's brain also produces so-called nice thoughts and fantasies she wishes were true. Can you relate? Consider the so-called nice thoughts you must defeat in order to keep moving forward?
My son recently had a birthday, but initially, instead of focusing on the joy of his life today, I "reminisced" the day he was born. Mind you, not the actual day he was born, but rather, the following day, when my older sons beheld their little brother for the first time. Now, that is a great picture. The problem is, it's not the whole picture (truth). And if I am not willing to face reality, then it becomes a fantasy I merely wish were true. A fantasy that exhaults itself above the painful truth: My husband was badly drug-addicted at the time. The nurse made several attempts to wake him. I'd nearly bled to death giving birth and needed his help with our newborn. To no avail.
When I bring the whole picture to God, He sorts it out for me. He balances my memories. This way I can treasure the good times, grieve the bad times, and thereby be empowered to resist the temptation to return to a dysfunctional relationship that is maintained with denial.
In regards to domestic violence, the scenario of "nice-thought-facotry" is huge: Remember the flowers. Minimize the abuse.
How about betrayal? It's easier to remember the "honeymoon phase," when he's determined to make it up to you. But how was your heart really handled? How were you treated when he discovered you weren't going to heal overnight? That the journey back from betrayal is hard. What's the whole truth?
The take away for me in 2 Corinthians 10:5, is that try as I might, I cannot submit half the truth to Christ and expect to be made whole.
Isaiah 59:19 says "when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him."
Standard, by the way, means truth, in Hebrew. So when you're flooded with thoughts, negative or positive, take each one to God, and ask Him to show you the whole truth. Let the One who's all-knowing, have the final word on your thoughts. And then you, my friend, will be a ninja at taking your thoughts captive unto Christ.
You are not alone,
Published on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 @ 1:07 PM CDT