WHAT IS INNER HEALING?
Traditionally, counselors have tried to transform lives by changing thoughts and behaviors. What limits the effectiveness of this approach is ignorance of the powerful laws by which the universe operates. Galatians 6:7-8 says: “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Dealing only with troublesome thoughts and behaviors is like weeding a garden by clipping off weeds at ground level. The bad fruit above ground eventually grows back. But Scripture teaches us to pull up roots: “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15, emphasis added).
A very common example: a boy sows weeds in his heart by judging his father for his abusive anger. He is unaware that he is judging, because he denies his own anger in a vain effort to keep from becoming abusive, like his Dad. But his anger is still there deep inside, and by natural law it must eventually reap a harvest.
As an adult, he will reap in any of the following ways. When suppressed anger finally erupts, he may become abusive, like his father. Or he may turn his anger inward, abuse himself, and become depressed and self-defeating. Or he may send subtle messages to others that they should be angry at him, and tempt them to make him a scapegoat and a victim.
This reaping is not God punishing him; it is the effect of natural law, as impersonal as the law of gravity. Jesus actually wants to reap on this man's behalf! If he comes out of denial, repents for judging, and forgives his father, the law of sowing and reaping will be satisfied by the cross. And the compulsion to abuse others, abuse self, or expect others to abuse him will be much more easily overcome.
Dealing with angry thoughts and behaviors is important. But the cross is what makes any such intervention fully effective.