Tag Archives: resentment

Digging For Dirt Is Not Good For Your Mental Health. 4 Keys To Help You

If you’re digging for dirt then you’re going to miss the Gold
 
I was watching one of the many T.V. cop shows the other night and they were ‘digging for dirt’. The detectives were scouring over the history of a suspect looking for any dirt they might have. Old evidence, convictions, witness statements all being examined for clues that they could arrest, convict and punish.
 
What about yourself and the relationships you are in? What the relationship you have with yourself?
 

Do you dig for dirt?

 
Do trawl over your life and others examining for any trace of dirt. Knowing that you can then arrest, convict and punish.
 
Having good Mental health is not keeping a list of wrongs about yourself and others.
 
There was a “troubled couple who visited a Christian counselor for help. The wife’s physician had advised her to see a counselor because she was developing an ulcer that apparently had no physical cause.
 
During the session, the wife slammed down on the counselors desk a manuscript ‘one-inch thick, on 8½ by 11 paper, typewritten on both sides…a thirteen-year record of wrongs that her husband had done to her.
 
The counselor could immediately see that the wife’s resentment of her husband’s many faults and her meticulous documentation of each one had made her bitter.
 
Keeping a record of her husband’s sins had only made matters worse, to the point of causing this woman to become physically ill.” [Quoted in Alexander Strauch’s Leading with Love, pg. 72]
 
That is an extreme case of not just a ‘digging for dirt’, but of storing it up for continued consumption.
 
We may not keep a written list, but do we keep a mental list? ‘She did this, he did that, I did this or that’ just sitting there, in the thought blender, chugging round and round.
 
Paul in writing about love tells us this.
 
Love … keeps no record of wrongs 1 Corinthians 13:5
 
But I want to keep a record of wrongs. I want to prove my case is watertight. If I don’t have the evidence then they might just get off without any consequence.
You see my life is all about me and the hurt done to me. They owe me and I have the evidence. I need to be control of my world, I alone can keep myself safe.
 
The great distinctive of the love of God is that there are no strings [or records] attached to it. God simply loves humans. God created us for a love relationship with the Divine Self, and nothing that we can do—or not do—changes the love God bears us. God loves sinners, redeems failures, delights in second chances and fresh starts, and never tires of pursuing lost sheep, waiting for prodigal children, or rescuing those damaged by life and left on the sides of its paths. Dr David Benner
 

4 Keys to Ripping up a ‘Record Book’ Mentality.

  1. Ask yourself why ‘record keeping’ is important for you.

What is driving you to keep account? What fruit does it give you? Unless you know what this behaviour offers you in return then you are bound to repeat it. Trace, face and displace those motivations with Gods truth about you. 
  1. Look for gold and diamonds.

If you’re constantly looking for dirt then guess what you’re going to find – DIRT!
 
Start right now by looking for gold or diamonds. Look for the positive!
 
Paul tells us
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Philippians 4:8
 
I wonder what the wife who had the stomach ulcer would have been like if instead of keeping a list of wrongs she wrote a list of rights.
 
Optimism is a learned skill. I need to encourage myself and tell myself the truth
 
What I focus on gets me. Focus on the negatives/ challenges will always take me down. Focus on the positive/ good things will always give me hope
 
  1. Be thankful.

Be thankful for all the gold and diamonds in your life. Turn your gold and diamonds into praise and thanks to God. Make it a habit.
 
  1. Pray and ask God for an increased supernatural ability to forgive.

We are made in the image of God who has the ability to choose to forgive. That being the case then we can be of the same mindset. Pray, ask God to transform your mind, to change the mental neuron mapping of your brain that habitually goes down that ‘record keeping’ pathway. Together with God you can change the way you think, neuron by neuron.

 

A few final thoughts

Grace is totally alien to human psychology. We want to get our house in order and then let God love and accept us. Dr David Benner
 
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive. C.S. Lewis
Good Mental health is not keeping a list of wrongs. Do you?
 
Questions to consider and leave a comment
  • Why do people keep a ‘record of wrongs’?
  • Do you think God, in partnership with you, can change your thinking?
  • Why is it that what you focus on will always take you to that place? What do you focus on?
Barry Pearman

Photo Credit: Second-tree via Compfight cc

To get daily insights and quotes Follow me on  Twitter     Facebook      Google+        

Get my blog posts sent to you. Sign up to receive my blog posts for free via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book on Depression FREE.