Are there promises that you need to renounce? Are there negative words that you’ve spoken and made agreements with? We call these in church speech or churchese as I call it, Inner Vows.
For example saying, “I’m fine”, when you aren’t, isn’t always positive confession. Sometimes it’s just pride. A refusal to admit to others that you’ve got some fractured parts of your life that need help doesn’t help you. In fact, it often creates barriers.
How about the “I will never……”, vows? I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my nevers turned into reality. I used to say I’d never speak in public and here I am. In fact, gasp, gulp, I have been known to sing in public. So God took me from never speaking in public to speaking and singing. Then when I said okay, I’ll speak at the church I’m a member of, but not anywhere else……. Well you all know what happened.
Okay those are some vows, but about the more serious ones? I will never love anyone too much because I saw how much my mom loved my dad and in the end he left. So instead of guarding your heart and sharing it, you pull it so far back the guy never stands a chance.
Maybe your mother wound is so deep or your ex-wife hurt you so much that you tell yourself if there is even a hint of any of the behavior you recognize you’re out of there. And so you eventually see it, or manifest it by unchanged patterns in your life, and run for the hills when the reality is you’re making the new person pay for the sins of the past.
The cost of these inner vows are fear, anxiety, isolation, rejection, bitterness, resentment, mistrust of others, distance that can’t be brought back together. Count the cost. Sometimes the price is way too expensive for your lifestyle.
How do you know if the inner vow you’ve made is right or wrong? Ask yourself, does it add to my life? By adding I mean does it add love, does it add friends, does it add benefit, or does it just cost me?