One thing I am completely fascinated with, is us— humans. I have always been fascinated with how the body, the soul, and the spirit are different, how they work together or against each other, and how they are interconnected. I am always in awe of God as our creator. The Genius of all geniuses.
The more I learn, the more I understand why life is so complicated. Just yesterday I read a post on instagram that said something to the effect of “we know more about our phones and our laptops than we do our bodies, and our bodies are more important.” I read another post that said “charge your body as much as you charge your phone.” I think these posts have some truth to them. We care more about temporary things in life and then wonder why we can’t operate in a healthy manner when it comes to the meaningful things in life.
I have been working on today’s post for a while because in my years of mentoring young women this is a topic that comes up frequently. It is such a natural thing for us to experience situations or people that we get stuck on, for good or bad reasons. Helping you understand “Why It’s Hard To Move On” may just be one key (of many) that can assist you as you step into a new future. See if you relate to any of these situations or if they remind you of a time you were stuck:
-Having broken up with a boyfriend/girlfriend; but you still text regularly; I mean you know their flaws (more like red flags) but you just can’t move on from them—
-Unable to move past the “good old days” with a previous job, roommate, church group, etc…
-Negative self-talk because you aren’t perfect.
-Assuming people are treating you poorly, even if they really aren’t.
-You can’t break from porn & other sinful sexual experiences—
-You seem to always need another smoke or another drink when things get really bad—
-Not having many friends and not knowing how to make friends—
Some situations in our lives seem to be cycles that are so difficult to break out of. Unfortunately the term “move on” can feel so cold like we should be able to just walk away. It can be so confusing when we read that part of the Bible in 2 Timothy 2:22 where it says, “flee all temptation…” It’s hard to walk away and understand the Bible is setting a standard that is actually expecting us to run away.
How are we supposed to flee temptation when that temptation is a person? With real feelings? Real problems, real hopes and dreams? And a real cell phone that still has our contact info saved?
Moving on is no easy feat, in fact the act of moving on is a fight for our lives. May I suggest a better life is in your grasp? There are a few realities that I want to make sure you understand (briefly) before I suggest why it’s so hard to move on…
Reality # 1: We are out of order and dysfunctional.
When God created us, He created us in three parts: spirit, soul and body. The spirit should be the leader but it’s not because we are sinners. Instead our flesh is in control, so the chemical and hormonal appetites, and all of our desires for comfort are the most important to us. (Rom. 13:14, Rom. 14:13-17, Heb. 4:12)
For example: I am choosing to eat healthy and in moderate proportions. But this week was stressful, I’m bored and wide awake thinking about it. Eating sounds good, but is eating what I really need for peace? Why listen to my body, when it’s my soul that is in need?
When I follow the leading of my body instead of my spirit I am living a dysfunctional life. This is not the life God intended for us to live.
Reality # 2: We experience salvation continually.
When we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we are asking Him to redeem our spirit. Then for the rest of our lives we are asking the Holy Spirit to renew our minds. Finally, when we get to heaven our bodies will be made new. (Rom. 12:2, Gal. 2:20, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 2 Cor. 5)
Our spirits should be in the lead but it is our souls that want to be in charge. That means, until we die we will be in a constant tension of living with a righteous spirit and a sinful soul. (1 Cor. 6:12, Phil. 3:19, Ps. 119:70, Rom. 14:13-17, 1 Cor. 10:13, Phil. 4:13, Prov. 16:32; 18:21; 25:28)
Reality # 3: Muscle vs. Mentality
Our mind includes our thoughts, the inside dialogue, day dreaming, nightmares, etc. (2 Tim. 1:7)
Our brain is the muscle tissue, the chemicals and hormones, and the neurological signals that are sent to the rest of our body to perform the act we are thinking we want to make; like taking a sip of coffee.
Now, keeping those realities in mind AND using the example of sex as a single adult, here is Why it’s hard to move on…
When you perform an act (like having sex with someone), your brain will send hormones and chemicals throughout your body to signal what is happening. Your mind is computing these hormonal and chemical movements as thoughts like “this feels good”, “I’m important” or “I am beautiful.”
Your body will begin to want a hormonal and chemical movement and will “inspire” or lead you to hang out with that person if you know you’ll get to have sex later, or smoke, or whatever it is you are craving.
When you perform these acts neurons in your brain, like cars, are driving from point A to point B and this completes the process of a “movement.”
The more times you perform the acts, then the more times the little cars are driving from point A to point B, creating highways in your mind. The hormonal and chemical movement happens quicker and resolves quicker in the brain too.
Now, let’s say you want to break up with this person, as a Christian you have decided to steward your purity and not have sex until you get married. You have chosen to cherish the intimacy you are hoping to have one day with one other person.
But a week later you see your ex— your body (which is used to being in charge) is going to send signals; your brain will send hormones and chemicals throughout your body to get ready for sex. You will feel (in your body and soul) a craving, an appetite that has been created that must be fed.
If you decide to keep your commitment to the Lord, to stay single and not sleep around, you are sending the neurons in your brain off roading! All of a sudden the car at point A is now going to point C and they are on a dirt road.
So not only has your social life changed, your body has a physical response to the commitment you have made to yourself and to the Lord. Your body does not like this. It wants to settle, to dwell on this person or situation. (Matt. 26:41)
Now let me be clear living through this process is difficult. The chemical response in your body will not be what you are used too. Thus, you feel pain, stress, anxiety, and disillusionment, among other things.
Until you have created a new highway for the neurons it will be difficult to do anything else other than what you have done before. And that doesn’t include any of the spiritual warfare that the enemy of our soul would send our way! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
So in a nutshell, it’s hard to move on, even as a Christian, because your body and soul haven’t yet learned to submit to your spirit that is submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Disciplining our bodies and our souls as a sign of surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the goal when we want to move on or break a bad habit.
It’s not easy. In fact, moving on isn’t even the goal and when we think that is the goal it makes things worse. Moving on isn’t the goal. The goal is living a disciplined life. The goal is living like a man of God and like a woman of God. (Rom. 12:1 & 2)
Next week, I’ll share with you some things that can help with moving on and specifically with discipline until then, share this post with someone you love who might be struggling to move on but might also be struggling to explain why.
P.S. Get ahead on taking a step towards living like the man or woman of God that you are! Grab some paper or a napkin and write out these Bible verses and think about them: 1 Timothy 1:7 – Romans 12:1 & 2 – James 4:6