THE SOUL ROOTS OF SICKNESS – Part One

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Are you sick in your body? The real problem may be in your soul.

Much, if not most, physical illness has its roots in a wounded soul. The condition of the soul affects the condition of the body.

The following Bible verse backs up this truth: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 2, NKJV, underlining mine).”  We are in health to the degree that our soul is in health.

Well, what if our soul is not in health? What if our soul has been deeply wounded through trauma, rejection, Satanic ritual abuse (SRA), child abuse (sexual or otherwise), or other demonic activity in our lives? What can we do if this is the case?

In this multi-part series of blog posts, we will explore the deleterious effects of a wounded soul and what to do about them. We will learn that Jesus meant what He said when He told us in Psalm 23 that He “restores our soul.”

First of all, let’s define a soul wound. A soul wound is a wound in the soul that has not been confronted and resolved.

Many times we are not even aware of soul wounds because they often occur in utero, in infancy, or in early childhood. Satan uses these times of intensified vulnerability to wreak his havoc on a child’s soul.

Sadly, most parents—even Christian parents—are unaware of their child’s spiritual vulnerability to Satanic attack. Consequently, they do not know to protect their children from these attacks.  As a result, Satan establishes strongholds in the child’s life that can last a lifetime if not recognized and dealt with.

“A soul wound is a wound in the soul that has not been confronted and resolved.” 

Signs of Soul Wounds

What are some signs that our soul has been wounded? 

__Lack of joy. Scripture tells us that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8: 10). Joy and happiness are not the same thing. We can be unhappy about a situation but still be joyful in the midst of it. If our joy has been depleted, we may be suffering from a soul wound. 

__Offense. Am I easily offended? Do I feel that people are out to get me? 

__Self-Condemnation. Am I frequently down on myself? Angry at myself for making a wrong decision or for messing up? Unable to forgive myself for something I said, did, or didn’t do?

__Defensiveness. Do I feel the need to defend myself? To prove that I am right? That I am worth something?

__Shame. Am I carrying around a hidden secret that I can’t share with anyone because I am afraid I would be rejected if I did?  

__Deep sadness / Depression. Do I frequently feel hopeless? Does the future look bleak? Have I lost the will to live?  

These are just a few signs of possible soul wounds. In future posts, we will look more closely at how soul wounds develop, how they cause sickness, how they affect our lives and our relationships, and what to do to be healed of them.

My Prayer for Us Today: “Lord, please reveal to us the wounds of our soul so that we may come to You for healing and restoration. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you suffered soul wounds? If so, how have you dealt with themPlease leave your valued comment in the box below. 

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Are Demons Destroying Your Destiny?”

“How to Live in a World Gone Crazy”

“How to Get Along with Everyone”

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Why Getting Offended Is Dangerous

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the Matters of the Heart blog and why will it bless you to read it? 

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about.  The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!
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You will most likely agree that this past election cycle was unique in American history.  Both sides of the aisle hurled insult after insult, vicious ad hominem attacks that disparaged the very personhood of the participants. Instead of politely disagreeing with differing ideas, politicians and public alike displayed some of the worst behavior of which the human species is capable. 

At the root of it all was a spirit of offense.

The word offense derives from the Greek word scandalon which means a trap that holds bait to catch animals. Satan uses offense as bait to trap us into bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness in order to ruin our relationships, our churches, and our lives.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines offense as follows: Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself.

Notice the focus on the self. Every time we take offense, we are focusing on ourselves, not on others. What concerns me most is that this spirit of offense is making major inroads into the Body of Christ. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this should not be!

Concept of danger. Metal bear trap. Business-trick. 3D illustration

As one who has fallen into the trap of offense and repented, I can assure you of this: It is Satan’s goal to divide and conquer, and he seems to be doing a good job of it. He is working fiercely and furiously in every area of the lives of believers to separate and tear apart marriages, families, churches, friendships, and organizations. And his chief weapon is the spirit of offense.

How can we know if we are guilty of receiving a spirit of offense into our lives? Ask yourself these questions:

1-Do I want to fight back and get even when someone hurts me in any way? Do I put my boxing gloves on to protect myself? Do I want to punish those who insult me?

2-Do I criticize, complain, and condemn? Do I always look for what’s wrong with a person or place? Do I judge people and put them down? 

2-Am I full of self-pity? Do I feel sorry for myself for having been insulted? Do I want others to share in my misery?

3-Do I play the blame game? Do I point the finger instead of taking responsibility for my actions?

4-Do I readily assume the worst instead of the best? Am I quick to judge others and what others say without hearing the other side of the story?

5-Am I quick to get angry? Do I get impatient with others for their weaknesses? Their opinions? Their idiosyncrasies?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it’s time to repent and consider these ways to keep the spirit of offense from trapping you:

1-Purpose in your heart that you will not allow anyone to offend you. While you may not see an offense coming, you can decide ahead of time that when it does come, you won’t take the bait.

2-Forgive the person who hurt you. Remember that only hurting people hurt people. 

3-Refuse to dwell on the hurt. Let it go and give it to God. He will take care of the situation far better than you can.

4-Return good for evil. Do something kind for the person who hurt you. 

5-Pray for the person who hurt you. Praying will not only bless the person who hurt you, but it will also help keep your heart right and clean and free of all harm from the enemy.

The spirit of offense is a very dangerous spirit. It opens the door to strife which, the Bible says, brings with it every evil thing (James 3: 16).  So, stay alert! The spirit of offense attacks without warning. Be on guard and, when it appears, resist it in the authority and power of the Name of Jesus.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: How do you deal with the spirit of offense when it assails you? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLE: “Why Getting Offended Is Dangerous” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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When Life Throws Your a Curve

How to Think Like a Winner

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What to Do When You’re Insulted

The Fine Art of Not Taking Offense

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Hurling insults has become common practice in our society. Common, perhaps, but rude, nonetheless.

To insult means to speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse. The disrespect doesn’t have to be verbal. It could come in the form of a stare, as we witnessed in the recent Chicago situation where a young man attempted to stare down a police officer. There is a right way and a wrong way to express our grievances. A polite way and a rude way. 

blond woman pointing with angry face isolated on white

Another word for insult is offense. All of us at some point will be insulted. So, what should we do when we are insulted?

Here is what Scripture commands us to do:

1-Turn the other cheek. It is pointless to resist one who insults you. Doing so will only serve to instigate him more. Instead, obey Christ’s command in Matthew 5:39: “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” In other words, don’t retaliate.

2-Return good for evil, blessing for curse. Jesus said, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28). When we bless those who mistreat us, we are pouring water on the devil’s fire.

3-Do not take the insult personally. Insult can stem from jealousy, anger, discontent, real or perceived injustice, and feelings of inferiority, among other things. Whatever the cause, remember that we are not wrestling against people, but against demonic forces that instigate people to do wrong. For this reason, we can hate the sin but love the sinner.

The next time you are insulted, do not take offense. Instead, remember Peter’s admonition in I Peter 3:9: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Deflect insults with love. Your reward will be God’s blessing on your life.

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Has Someone Done You Wrong?

 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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No, this isn’t the title of a country song, although it might make a good one. This is a question to which every one of us can probably give an affirmative answer.

All of us, at some point in our lives, have been wronged. Perhaps, as a child, you were abused either physically or mentally by the very person who should have protected you and taken care of you. Perhaps you were wronged by an unfaithful spouse, a broken promise, or a lie someone told about you.

Whatever the situation, do you now feel bitter about it? Have you vowed never to forgive the person who hurt you? If so, God wants to speak to your heart today. So listen carefully to what He wants to say to you because it is literally a matter of life or death.

What you experienced through being wronged is called an offense. According to Webster’s Dictionary, an offense is “something that outrages the moral or physical senses; the state of being insulted….” When you are offended, you are outraged or insulted by what someone has said or done to you. Your natural response is to want to retaliate, to get back at the person who offended you. But doing so is not the right way to handle the situation. Retaliation only compounds the problem.

Now, I am not saying that there are not certain instances where confrontation is necessary. But the motive of the confrontation must always be love, not vengeance.

None of us will go through life without being offended. In fact, Jesus Himself said in Luke 17:1, “It is impossible that no offenses should come.” So, while we cannot avoid offenses, we can learn how to respond to them in such a way that they will not affect our hearts adversely.

To learn how to handle offense, we must look to Jesus Christ as our perfect example. In I Peter 2:21-23, we read this information about Jesus: “…when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously.”

Notice that when Jesus was offended, He did not attempt to get even with those who wronged Him. He did not threaten them in any way. What did He do instead? The above verse says that He “committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously.”

Who is He Who judges righteously? It is God the Father. In other words, Jesus did not try to handle the problem Himself. Instead, He put the problem into His Father’s hands and trusted God His Father to handle it for Him.

Why did Jesus refuse to take matters into His own hands? We find the answer in Hebrews 10:30. There God the Father says, “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay.” This means that only God reserves the right to punish those who have offended us. Unless our offenders repent, they will not be able to escape God’s punishment.

Because God alone reserves the right to punish those who offend us, we do not have that right. To take matters into our own hands is a very dangerous thing. It means that we are allowing bitterness and unforgiveness to take root in our lives, and bitterness and unforgiveness, if not repented of, will eventually lead to spiritual, mental, and physical death.

The right way to deal with offense is to obey God’s command to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). This means to love and forgive the person who has wronged you, to pray that he will repent, and to put the matter into God’s hands and leave it there. When you do, you will be amazed at how God will work things out for your good.

Questions: 1) Has someone done you wrong? 2) Did you handle the situation according to God’s Word? 3) Do you need to repent and give the situation over to Jesus?

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio.  Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

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