The following is a summary of my personal battle with an Unloving Spirit. First off I want to say do not get caught up with the word spirit. Maybe it is a spirit; maybe it is a mindset, a way of thinking; maybe it is both. What matters is to battle with it and overcome it, instead of it overcoming you. Also, in all that I share I am not blaming any person for my personal issues and struggles of the past and of the present. I have no resentments or unforgiveness toward anyone. That is not who I am as a person. (However, unforgiveness towards myself was a major issue at one time.)
I grew up in an atheist home. There was not a hatred or antagonism towards the things of God, just no God in the picture. I would never say there was not love in my home, I am sure there was, but I was not aware of it. I never heard the words “I love you” from either parent other than one time from my father. (Maybe they were spoken but I have no memory of it.) There was no physical touch by either parent. There was no expressions of emotions other than anger by my father. I am sure my parents did many things to show love but it did not replace the need to hear “I love you” and touch. Thus I grew up not thinking I was loved. I felt like I was unlovable for a variety of reasons. No need to share all of that.
I was ‘born’ with asthma. As far back as I can remember I had asthma attacks, each year I was in the hospital for pneumonia, not be able to be active in sports, I felt like my mother overprotected me. I did not feel I was a normal boy, I was not man enough. I learned early on that the way for me to fight was with my words. I was vicious and cruel with my words.
In my mind the only way I would get ahead, the only way I would ever be good enough was to perform, to be perfect in anything I did, so I only did what I could get A’s in life. Thus I leaned toward perfectionism and performance orientation. Later on this mindset came close to killing me many times.
Side Note: To this day I feel like there was a form of sexual abuse in my life that most likely occurred the first few years of my life. I have no idea if it did or did not occur. Our family was one of the most secretive families in the neighborhood and the sharing of feelings in the home was unheard of. This was the case up to my parents death. If I was sexually abused, it is immaterial at this point.
I was overall a rule follower. I learned how to be a workaholic. I would call myself a moral atheist, but of course how I measured morality was by my own standard. I made sure I was the best in what I did and much pride came out of this mindset. I was better than everybody else. I had no sense of what love was all about. I did not date, I did not have friends. I was an extreme introvert. I realize now that much of what I did was a form of protecting myself from getting hurt. I believe I was a very hurt person who learned unhealthy ways to keep me from getting hurt more. I was a driven person who refused to see the pain inside of me. I look back now and I realize I did not love myself at all, but my pride covered it up.
I continued to achieve to feel good. I started dating some but it was not about loving a person whatsoever. I had no concept of what love was. If I encountered someone that was truly loving I ran from it.
At one point I found a book in my room titled Angels Unawares by Dale Evans. It was the story of her and Roy Rogers daughter that had Down’s Syndrome. That book ‘messed me up’. I had heartfelt tears for the first time. I felt love for the first time. I decided to go on a God Hunt but did not find Him. I gave up. But along the way there were Christians that planted seeds in my life. But I still was consumed with having to perform. I was never at peace with myself.
I got into a relationship with one of my co-workers. We absolutely enjoyed doing things together, our sex life was beyond imagination (I believe now she was a nymphomaniac). We both were hard workers doing all we could to get what we wanted. I felt like she was the answer for me. So we got married. (Did I love her? I had no idea what love was at that time.)
During this time I had a ‘God Encounter’ and came to Christ. I was born again and sold out for Christ. My wife wanted nothing of it. I realize now I found another area of my life I could perform and I could perform much better in it than in marriage. My wife was cheating on me on a regular basis. I believe both of us were being controlled by an unloving spirit and had no idea.
Ultimately my wife and I got divorced and I went to Bible School and performed well. I got married again to a Christian woman, everything should be great. It is at this time of my life that all hell broke loose. It would take too long to share what all took place. I could no longer perform ‘good enough’ for anyone, not even God. During all this time I was loving on the ‘unlovely’, doing ministry, winning souls, performing quite well. But I failed in my relationships. It was as if it was impossible to allow myself to be loved. The bottom line is I was consumed with anger, self-hatred, self-pity, self-annihilation, self-sabotage, self-condemnation, self….. I was totally overtaken by an Unloving Spirit. I was convinced it was impossible for me to be loved by people or God, thus impossible for me to love myself or others. Strangely, these were some very dark years, but there was also times of fruitful ministry.
I will say I am very thankful for these dark times. Not for the times, but what I gained out of them. I know what emotional torment is, I know what it feels like to be overtaken with hopelesness, I know what it is to want to die. I know what it is to be broken. But I also know what it is to see God Almighty in the midst of darkness. I ultimately was transformed in the midst of the darkness. It was during this time of darkness and pain I encountered the Love of the Father. (I should mention that when I became born again I had no problem believing in my head that God loved me since the Bible said He does. But it took an encounter with God to take that head knowledge to the heart. Head knowledge can only go so far.)
The Love of the Father
There is so much to share, but to sum it up, in the midst of the darkness I came to the point of knowing if I did not get serious help I would be dead. I went to a Christian Treatment Center. At that treatment center I had a divine encounter with the God the Father. I cannot find a way to express in words the revelation of the Love of the Father. It overwhelmed me. For the first time in my life I felt loved beyond imagination. Loved in spite of the me, who was becoming a basket case. Loved by my God rather anyone else loved me or not. So loved by Him, I felt it would be sin and disrespect to Him if I continued to hate myself. At that point I made the decision I will never perform for Him, myself, or others. (Still learning to walk fully in this.) I gave myself person to be, and love me. Out of this experience I gained heart knowledge of the Love of Christ.
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.1 Corinthians 5:14-15
My whole life changed when I encountered the Love of the Father. My life, not necessarily my world. I had even more passion in regard to ministry. More compassion than ever for the ‘unlovely’. More desire than ever to give hope to the hopeless. More willingness to die to self for others. Not out of performance, but out of love. (To this day, years later, I fall very short at times. But now it does not take me into an Unloving Spirit mindset. I renounce the Unloving Spirit. I refuse to be preyed upon or to be prey.)
I know what it is like to be controlled, manipulated by an Unloving Spirit. I also know how an understanding of the Love of the Father is a great tool to overcome an Unloving Spirit. One of the best things of my experience at the Be at Health’s For My Life Retreat and Walk Out Workshop is the Unloving Spirit teaching. It was a fresh reminder and helped explain what I have been experiencing off and on for the last few years. I realize now what I was battling. Also it was a great reminder to me in regard to my relationship with my wife Carmi, along with the WHO and SEPARATION teaching. I need to make sure I do not let myself be a tool of an Unloving Spirit, and not respond improperly when the enemy tries to use Carmi as a means for an Unloving Spirit to come at me.
Some of the keys to overcome an UNLOVING SPIRIT is to continuously ask yourself WHO are you hearing, WHO you are listening to, and if it is an Unloving Spirit, to SEPARATE yourself from it.
I am sharing my perspectives, I am not speaking for, or representing Be in Health. I may not be clearly representing the teachings of Be in Health. I suggest you go to their website and read their publications to clearly understand their teachings. Also, because I am sharing their teachings does not mean I am in agreement with all of their teachings. Last point-I am certainly not giving medical advice, only sharing ideas.
Our goal in sharing these principles is to hopefully help Create an environment/atmosphere/mindset for individuals to have a more healthy Future-Creating Futures.