1. Open each session with prayer; asking God to open your understanding as to the areas in your life which need to be healed and give you an understanding of each session. The goal of each session is to help you to heal everywhere you need to be healed so you can become whole.
2. Discussion (30 min):
“Importance of Forgiveness” ‐ Part II
- Definition of “Self” – Part 3A‐1: Now that we have learned how to forgive others, let’s look at how to forgive ourselves; we will start with the definition of the word, “self.” The dictionary defines "self' as "by its self'" “an individual” or "separate." A self is a separate, unique identity. Each of us is separately and uniquely different, and we stand alone as individuals. Psalms 139 says that God made each of us "fearfully and wonderfully."
According to the dictionary, the word "self," includes many modifiers:
- Self‐abandonment: disregarding all self‐interest.
- Self‐a basement: humiliation of oneself
- Self‐absorbed: focusing on oneself to the exclusion or consideration of others.
- Self‐abuse: comes in many forms, i.e. obesity or anorexia; sleep deprivation or too much sleep; lack of exercise or pushing oneself to the brink; denial of normal sexuality with your spouse or preoccupation with sex; calling yourself “stupid,” “fat,” “ugly,” “dumb or other names that will demean and degrade yourself [you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalms 139:14].
- Self‐accusation: constantly finding fault with oneself.
When Satan entered the world through Adam, another nature became added to our original nature: the sin nature. Self now had a hyphen after it, and became the target of unloving spirits.
- Self‐Hatred (Unloving Spirits) – Part 3A‐2: What is an unloving spirit? It's a spirit that attaches to us and attacks us, seeking to make us feel self‐ rejected, unclean and unworthy. The Unloving Spirit ‐ Kingdom of Self ‐ is the principality of self‐bitterness, and it is protected by strong armor; but the devil and his demons are not stronger than God – NOTHING AND NOBODY OR NO THING CAN DEFEAT GOD!! The unloving spirit tells us that we don't measure up, that we are no good. Unloving spirits make us wretch at the sound of our own voice or the contents of our words: "everything I say is so stupid." When we look at ourselves in the mirror, unloving spirits tell us, "You sure are ugly." As we watch others, we become sure that they hate our guts, because unloving spirits tell us that we can see it in their eyes.
- Principality of Self‐Bitterness – Part 3B: It uses weapons of self‐pity, self‐ abuse, self‐rejection, self‐hatred, competition, self‐pride, self‐ enthronement, false piety, self‐mutilation, excessive eating and bingeing. It fires self‐comparison, self‐idolatry, perfectionism, and self‐torment at us. It pushes us to be defensive, and filled with self‐doubt, unbelief, self‐ bitterness, self‐resentment, self‐unforgiveness, self‐retaliation, self‐anger, self‐violence, and suicide. These are but a few of the arms with which unloving spirits attack us.
o Armor of Self‐Bitterness – Part 3B‐1: The principality of bitterness, as I have stated, is protected by unforgiveness, resentment, retaliation, anger, hatred, violence, and murder. The principality of self‐bitterness or unloving spirits is protected and reinforced by all of Satan's demons but it’s major weapons are self‐pity, self‐abuse (see definition under “Definition of ‘Self’), self‐rejection, self‐ hatred, competition, self‐pride, self‐enthronement, and false piety.
- Self‐Pity ‐ Self‐pity is the most dangerous of all of the unloving spirits because it binds us to past demons; it constantly reminds us of how we were hurt in the past. This binding keeps us from God's future provision; it binds us to what somebody has done to us or what we've done to ourselves. Self‐pity says nobody really understands us, and even if they did, they don't really care. Self‐pity creates a vicious circle. The person needs to be loved and use their manipulating techniques to get someone's attention. Then we offend them enough that they leave us alone. This increases the person’s self‐pity and the cycle repeats itself. Self‐pity is very dangerous, because it binds our freedom with a life sentence.
- Self‐Abuse ‐ comes in many forms, i.e. obesity or anorexia; sleep deprivation or too much sleep; lack of exercise or pushing oneself to the brink; denial of normal sexuality with your spouse or preoccupation with sex; calling yourself “stupid,” “fat,” “ugly,” “dumb or other names that will demean and degrade yourself [you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalms 139:14].
- Self‐Rejection ‐ is where a person rejects them self. They do not like who they are. This can often lead to self‐hate, self‐resentment, etc. It is often tied in with self‐unforgiveness, if the person has made mistakes in their life which they deeply regret. Just as it hurts when others reject us, it can do just as much damage when we reject ourselves.
- Self‐Hatred – self‐hatred is caused by an unloving spirit which is a spirit that attaches to us and attacks us, seeking to make us feel self‐rejected, unclean and unworthy. It tells us that we don't measure up, that we are no good. An "unloving spirit" is an evil spirit that masquerades in us as us. It is the familiar spirit of the parent most like you. An "unloving spirit" is a spirit of anti‐ Christ because it contradicts what God's Word says about you. God says, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made;" "We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works"; "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us"; "We always triumph in Jesus name"; "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us"; "We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus..." An unloving spirit is a lying and deceiving spirit; it is a spirit of hate, murder and unforgiveness of self. It is a spirit of perfectionism (pride and legalism), which causes you to be angry at yourself and depressed when you do not perform as perfectly or look as perfectly as you think you should. This spirit comes in generationally through the parent most like the child; the major root to this evil self‐hating spirit is through the lack of discipline. When a child is not properly disciplined, he does not feel loved; he hates himself; he hates his parents; he feels guilty; he is taught to live after the flesh; he is taught that there are no consequences for his bad behavior; he is taught, he is god, therefore, he has no need for God or fear of God which turns him away from evil. He feels illegitimate because Hebrews 12:8 says, "But if you are without discipline...then you are illegitimate children and not sons." Instead of turning to God in his pain, he turns to other things (food, alcohol, drugs, sex, performance, work, false personalities, etc.) to cope, comfort himself and to compensate for his feelings of self‐hatred, inadequacy and worthlessness.
- Competition ‐ is rooted in self‐pride and it tells us that we are not a whole person unless we win. Competition keeps us from accepting who we are and leave us unfulfilled and results in bitterness either toward another or our self.
- Self‐Pride ‐ "excessive confidence or glorification in one's self, possessions or nation; the person is arrogant, haughty and conceited, all of which are opposite of Godly humility. On a spiritual level, self‐pride leads to disregard, disrespect and disobedience to God i.e. self‐centered pride is primarily what transformed the once‐righteous Lucifer into the wicked Satan after he became too impressed with himself: "I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14 RSV). On a worldly level, selfish pride very often results in self‐destructive behavior because, while a form of self‐delusion, it isn't necessarily as much an overestimation of one's self as it is a dangerous underestimation of others, hence "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18 RSV).
- Self‐Enthronement ‐ Putting ourselves on the throne of our life so that we become the singular focus of everything that interests us; me, me, me – thinking it is all me‐ self, self, self – I believe you get the picture. In order for Christ to be Lord over our lives, we must give Him permission to reign and rule in us; give Him every hidden area of our life and ask Him to become Lord over it. This life is not about us but about us becoming who God created us to be and do what He created us to do; knowing these things begin with us accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.
- False Piety ‐ piety means devotion to God, His Word and Biblical religious practices. It carries the element of loyalty and devotion to parents and family. False piety is contrary to Godly piety. It sounds like, "Even though mom abuse me, victimize me, and reject me, since the Bible says to honor your father and mother, I'll just have to submit, like it or not." This false piety preaches the stiff upper lip when confronting ungodly behavior in others. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to submit to this kind of evil. False piety is closely related to codependency. Codependency is really calling evil good. In codependency we are allowing evil and sinful behavior to continue because we do not love or respect ourselves. We allow ourselves to be physically, emotionally and sexually abused because we think that is our lot in life. We believe that we deserve to be treated in those ways. False piety and codependency produce martyrdom and martyrdom can be true or false. When we hear ourselves say, "My sufferings allow me to identify with the world's pain," or "Ungodly people beat and killed the Savior; I should count it a blessing to be beaten by my evil husband," this is evil thinking. True martyrs suffer for the sake of the Cross, not to raise their own self‐image or to give them an excuse why they should do nothing to correct a bad situation. **Forgive yourself and anyone else who has hurt you so you can uproot the spirits that make up the self‐bitterness principality!**
Results of Self‐Bitterness
Satan uses self-bitterness against us. Here, instead of being bitter toward others, we are
bitter toward ourselves. Self‐bitterness produces an inability to forgive ourselves.
1. Unforgiveness of ourselves leads to self‐resentment. It says, "I can never do anything right. The harder I try the worse things get. I never have been any good, never will be any good. I'm just a nobody. I don't like the way I look. Daddy was right. I'll never amount to anything." Self‐talk like this is destructive!
2. Self‐resentment leads to self‐retaliation. This will cause us to react strongly and negatively to someone who accuses us. Our negativity results in their rejection of us, which is what we expected in the first place.
3. In self‐anger, we will find perfectionism, self‐accusation, and self‐ condemnation. When these three come together, they will trigger anger like a flash fire. If we are not careful, this anger will spill over onto somebody else. The evil fruit of this demonic attack is to include others as victims, not just us.
4. Self‐hatred ‐ we don't get to self‐hatred without self‐bitterness accusing us. Self‐ hatred is the result of a process of working through self‐unforgiveness, self‐ resentment, self‐retaliation and self‐anger, each stage being more dangerous than its predecessor. Self‐hatred results from something that simmers and festers below the surface, often for days, weeks, months or years.
5. The next stage is self‐violence. Self‐anger spills over into committing some type of hurtful act against oneself; such as cutting or mutilating oneself out of extreme shame or guilt. The ultimate expression of self‐violence is, of course, suicide. DO NOT ENTERTAIN THESE THOUGHTS! To defeat self‐murder, we have to break the bond of the unloving spirit and eliminate self‐bitterness by choosing to forgive yourself and use the Word to pull down strongholds in your mind. “I come against this spirit with the blood of Jesus and command it to go where Jesus sends it. Father in the name of Jesus, deliver Your people from these spirits and cover their minds with the blood of Jesus, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
6. Self‐murder is an anti‐Christ mentality that comes from the armor of an unloving spirit. When you experience such thoughts, turn them around, saying, "I do belong here." "God made me. I'm precious to Him." I do belong here! We must repent for believing the lies of the devil, in the name of Jesus command his lying spirit to go, command the spirit of death to go, and then ask the Holy Spirit to heal and make us whole.
Explain God’s Truth – Part 3C
God assigns each one of us a function in the His family. Our desire should be to function as God created us, not as the devil has recreated us. To be whole and mature, we need to stand beside each other. Occasionally we might need to carry another person's burden, but our main purpose is to fulfill the function God assigned to us at our creation.
When Jesus offered us His salvation, He paid the ultimate price. He did this because He loves us. NOW is the time to accept God's truth.
Choose TODAY to believe the Lord's promises. Do you really want to be well? Are tired of the mess the tormentors bring into your life? You must love yourself as God loves you. You must quit listening to the lies of the devil! Satan’s lies emanate from an anti‐Christ spirit; they contradict what the Bible says. Repeat with me: "I am part of the body of Christ. I am important, I am special, I am valuable." Repeat it a few times. It is what God says about each of us. Each of us is incredibly important to God.
When we believe all of the unloving spirits that scream in our heads, we are saying that God is a liar! I certainly don't want to stand before God and say, "Well, Lord, I know I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. I know I'm the apple of your eye (Psalms 17:8). I know you love me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) but I never did believe it.
What is the answer to unforgiveness? Forgiveness! We must learn to forgive others and ourselves. Thus begins the unraveling of the stronghold of bitterness.