I spoke to a fine gathering of folks last Friday night in Fredericksburg, TX. Tim and Carol Bolton invited all their friends to come to their store to share an evening of Worship and the Word. Just off main street (www.carolhicksbolton.com), we opened up a space in the middle of their store, “Room No. 5,” and set up fifty chairs. I spoke on the themes of Pure Heart Weekend, of course. Afterwards, Jeff came up and asked if the message could be found in print anywhere. so I found this article that I had written a couple of years ago. So, Jeff, if you look up my blog . . . here you go.
What is PURE HEART WEEKEND About?
I remember back in 2005, I had an epiphany on which I built the ministry grid for Pure Heart Weekend. I was talking to a woman who had been struggling with her marriage for many years. Here’s what she did to heal it.
First, she participated in a rather unique ministry that had helped her with Healing Hurtful Memories from her childhood, what we also call healing the Wounds of the Heart. This ministry helped her find a deeper love and acceptance of herself from God. But her marriage did not get better.
Second, she went to her pastor for counseling. He helped her with Truth. He talked to her about the Biblical roles of a godly wife, so she could replace Lies with Truth. But her marriage did not get better.
Her marriage was still troubled until she went to a Third ministry, which contained the element of feedback. She was given feedback on her own destructive behavior in the marriage and in relationships in general. Even though her mind and her heart were better with truth and healing, she NEVER CHANGED HER BEHAVIOR! When she saw her flesh for all it’s worth, she was broken. Finally, her marriage changed.
All THREE elements are important: WOUNDS, LIES & BEHAVIOR. That was my epiphany!
So, I developed Pure Heart Weekend, wanting the Holy Spirit to reveal to believers that they have a need to address all three elements, too. Here’s why.
One, you picked up a Wound in the heart from earlier painful events.
Second, you agreed to a Lie, a shame-based message from Satan. Due to this wound, you are now in some way unloved, unwanted, never good enough, or unworthy of the love and acceptance of God and others.
Third, you then adopted Behavior to protect yourself, provide for yourself, pleasure yourself, or promote yourself. These ways of behaving were fine-tuned over the years as coping strategies, to make sure that love, fame, power and money were never scarce!
WOUNDS . . . LIES . . . BEHAVIOR
The history of the church is a history of teaching, correcting and training us in right, Christian behavior. We have always known what behaviors to do. It’s just that, well, we have always struggled to correct some of these behaviors. We have never understood what was driving that behavior.
The beginning of our destructive ways starts with our Wounds. God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone;” however, Aloneness is more prevalent in our lives than Love and Intimacy. We get wounded, betrayed, abandoned or neglected in life, and our minds try to get a handle around the meaning of this pain. That meaning often ends up in a progression of identities that allow Satan to feed us a lie of Shame.
For instance, I might be abandoned by my dad if he and mom get a divorce. Over time Abandoned grows to feel more like Unloved. Unloved, after a few broken promises from dad, grows to feel more like Unwanted. Then Unwanted, after some other losses and rejections in life, grows to feel like Unworthy. All of these “identities” are Lies from the enemy.
Most of what we call disciple-making in the church is merely the sharing of Scripture verses and biblical principles —all good and godly information, for sure! Collectively, what we are failing to attend to is the source of our problems, the shame-based identity that grows from not addressing the Wounds in life. We are neglecting a deeper dimension of transformational change, a change at the level of identity.
Our present models of Christian discipleship appear to no longer be as adequate or effective as they once were because, simply, they are incomplete. What is missing is our lack of attention to all three elements of our shame-based identity. We give attention to all three –Wounds, Lies & Behavior— at Pure Heart Weekend.
“Any change that is going to be lasting and significant
must be made at the level of Identity.”