If we never receive the healing we need, the past can greatly affect our life’s present and future course. Neglecting and ignoring these past hurts and bad memories creates what I call “hot buttons”. When these buttons are pushed, devastating storms get stirred up and then released!
These hurts and bad memories are often caused by deep rejections and disappointments we have suffered. They fester deep inside us and become like volcanoes, waiting to erupt under the right conditions. These eruptions are devastating to us and to the people around us.
Yet, we are often unaware of the causes of our angry outbursts, fits of rage, hurtful words, sarcasms and sometimes even our violent reactions. It seems out of character so we excuse it away by saying things like: “I’m just having a bad day.” “I wasn’t feeling well at that moment.” “I acted out of character.”
Sometimes we justify inappropriate behavior because we feel unfairly treated. But if we continue to make excuses without dealing with the root to the problem, we just keep the buttons for others to push.
And if the buttons remain, they will destroy our reputations, careers, marriages, family relationships, our walk with God and our personal testimony of God’s greatness!
Inappropriate and violent behavior are always the result of harboring feelings of anger, hatred and rage. They’re sure signs of a storm brewing inside of you that’s ready to be released. The storm is just waiting for someone to push the right “hot button” so it can erupt.
Here is some advice on how you can quiet those storms, assuring yourself and others that you will no longer be a volcano ready to erupt:
- Recognize that those feelings of anger, rage, and hatred are a sign of a deeper personal problem. Unfortunately it’s easier to look outside yourself than to look inside. It takes courage to be transparent because it makes us feel vulnerable. But, when we can begin to look at ourselves we will be on our way to getting free and to start quieting the storm inside. There is an absolute connection between what we feel and express when our button is pushed and what has happened in our past.
Start looking inside when the anger begins — not when it has already evolved into rage and is controlling you instead of you controlling it. By looking inside you’ll understand where these storms get their strength. If you get to the root you can get to the fruit.
- Stop blame-shifting, because that places the responsibility for your feelings of anger and negative reactions on the person or things that pushed your hot button. Instead, look inside immediately and question why you feel this way. Why did their words cause you such hurt or torment?
I realize this isn’t our natural reaction to feeling hurt and pain, but the Holy Spirit is living in us and He will strengthen us and remind us to think before we talk. We can and must develop the habit of waiting a moment before responding irrationally. That leads me to my next point.
- Know that God loves you and wants you free from those storms inside. Many times He actually allows them to erupt in you. Why? Not to condemn you and make you feel bad. No! He wants to deliver the enemy of your soul so you can destroy it before it destroys you. The awareness of God’s love (not condemnation) is a critical step in quieting the storms in your life. God loves you unconditionally with no strings attached. And He is ever-present to help you follow His plans for success.
- Finally, forgive yourself and ask others to forgive you for those storms. There is no victory without the cross, meaning you must recognize and truly repent of your sin and acknowledge the price Jesus paid for your forgiveness. Forgiveness disarms our true enemy. Remember we are not fighting against flesh and blood but a spiritual enemy who wants to destroy you and those around you.
Let’s no longer be time bombs ready to explode because our hot buttons were pushed. Jesus quiets the storms of our hearts by healing us of our past hurts and bad memories. So, ask Him right now to come into those places in your heart (memories, feelings) that still hurt. Allow Him to quiet the storms in your life!
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