What is inner healing, and is it biblical?

"Inner healing" is intended to help people find freedom from the emotional aftermath of harmful or traumatic experiences. Depending on what specifically is involved in "inner healing," it may or may not be biblical.

Many people carry wounds from their past into their present without realizing it. It is good to seek God for healing of our entire beings, including our "inner selves." However, it is important to understand that "inner healing" is not always as innocent as it may at first seem. Before seeking any sort of help with "inner healing," make sure that the process, focus, and goals are rooted in God's Word. Some practitioners of so-called Christian inner healing use techniques that are rooted in mysticism and New Age methods.

Using techniques that are rooted in mysticism carries some inherent potential dangers including the creation of God into our own image over who He is revealed to be in the Bible and the potential of opening our minds to demonic influence. We need to be certain that our focus is on God as He truly is. We can use the Bible as a measure of God's true character.

Other inner healing techniques involve excessive focus on past painful experiences. It is important to recognize and address our issues, but dwelling on them to excess can cause further mental and emotional harm rather than lead to healing. God does not emphasize our past—He emphasizes our present and the coming future He has for us (Romans 6:4). He helps us to heal from our pasts so that we can move forward in freedom in Him.

Some inner healing techniques promote visualization. God can provide visual representations of things or experiences that help to clarify a situation. In the Bible, He gave people visions (Acts 10:9–16) and dreams (Matthew 1:20–25) that brought spiritual revelation, instruction, and glimpses of what was to come. But dreams and visions from God are not common experiences and not every dream or vision is actually from God. Especially when prompted to imagine or visualize something on our own, we must be careful to not equate our imaginations with truth. Any image we think of or think we have received from God must be vetted by His Word.

We can be confident that God desires us to be spiritually, physically, and mentally free. Speaking of the Messiah—Jesus—Isaiah 61:1–2, says: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." Speaking of the new heavens and new earth, Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." God is interested in our entire beings, including our inner selves. And He alone is able to heal us completely of every wound we might bear.

In Jesus Christ, God has saved us and made us His children (John 1:12). Jesus Christ intercedes on behalf of believers as our perfect High Priest (Hebrews 4:14–16), and the Holy Spirit is always with us as our Comforter (John 14:16–17). When we understand the incredible truths within the Bible and the promises God has given us, we can bring them to mind in the midst of difficult times. The best way to achieve a greater level of emotional freedom is to focus on God Himself and the healing He can bring and has provided through Jesus.

Inner healing requires being honest with yourself about your feelings and personal experiences and then taking those things to God, seeking His answers and healing. Sometimes we can arrive at this place of inner healing and freedom on our own through studying God's Word and listening to His voice. Other times it is beneficial and necessary to seek additional professional help, such as through a Christian counselor.

Seek God and ask Him for wisdom and discernment to know the best course of action you should take in your inner healing journey (James 1:5; 1 Kings 3:9; Hebrews 4:12). Remember that if you are in Christ you have already been made free: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). He will give you the wisdom and strategy you need to walk it out.

Related Truth:

What is the inner man?

Is there value in pastoral counseling?

How can I find peace of mind?

Christian meditation—What is it?

How can I increase in spiritual maturity?

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