Daily Devotions

Moods and Manipulation

A friend, I will call “Amy,” shared her experience with me regarding her childhood friend, “Sharon”.  Through the years, neither Amy nor Sharon had considered the other perfect, and imperfections were never a threat to their friendship.  So, after many years, Amy was shocked to find herself in a dilemma over something that had always been there.  She finally realized that Sharon’s cycles of emotional dives into anguish, depression and anger, which had always been written off to moodiness, was not just her “personality.” It became obvious that Sharon needed deliverance and healing.  Yet Amy knew that if confronted, Sharon would be quick to explain and justify her behavior because she was a perfectionist-analyzer-thinker, or she might even more likely just get angry and consider Amy as petty and accusing.  Amy had no confidence to approach her from Gal 6:1.  Neither did she think Sharon would accept the scriptural “wound of a friend” as a good thing that could lead to healing, so instead she pursued God’s direction for effectual prayer for her friend.
In the past, when Sharon was in “one of her moods,” Amy either stayed away or tip-toed around until it was over or tried to coax her out of it.  Sharon’s family used the same methods of dealing with her mood swings.  Amy had watched people in their church and social settings walk a big circle around her, never getting to know the real Sharon who was genuinely a source of wisdom and love.  It grieved her to see Sharon and her family ruled by this despot of “MOODS”.
Surprisingly, as Amy continued to pray and search for insights, she came to some revealing truths about her own soul.  Amy realized that she had never acknowledged these patterns in her friend because moods were familiar, even expected in her own world.  She had grown up in a home where irritable or despondent moods were a silent demand for someone to fix conditions or feelings, etc., and moods worked because someone in her family would “do something.”  The most frustrated or depressed family member or the one in the biggest soul-storm became the center of attention and dictated the agenda for the whole family any given day.
Beyond that, Amy made another discovery. As she considered the “destructives” in her own life that needed confession-unto-healing-release, not only did the Holy Spirit point out her emotional behavior patterns, but He further opened her understanding in how she had allowed and even fostered those same patterns in her young son.  What we cannot see in ourselves we often cannot see in our children either.  (That’s one reason destructive behavior patterns can continue for generations, and releasing generations to come is also a powerful motive to seek healing for our own souls.)  It became clear that frustrated moods and manipulation through pouting were a pattern she dare not leave unchanged in her son’s life lest it rob him of childhood joy as well as joy in the years to come.  What started as concern for a friend led her to a realization and confession that began a healing for three generations in her own family.  As Amy sought answers for Sharon, deliverance came to her own house.  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.  He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Ps 107:19-20).  A paraphrase of that scripture is:  He directed His command to heal their hurts and distresses and delivered them from their pitfalls and sources of depression.
(The third excerpt from Kathy’s article “Investing in Relationships” published in SEEC Magazine.)

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