© Photo by Elma Larsen
It has become quite common for people in the third world countries to seek and work abroad to gain a better life for themselves and for their families back home. They would often send money to their families to meet their needs. In some cases, however, this has led to overwhelming pressures on the ones working abroad to satisfy the increasing monetary expectations and demands of their families.
A woman came to share how she had been burdened by the monetary demands made upon her by her family back in the Philippines. Indeed, her mother, in particular, was always wanting money for what seemed to be an unending string of needs. Even when all her needs were met, instead of being grateful, new needs would be made up -- and she would then proceed to complain that any money sent to her was not enough.
The monetary demands did not rest just with the woman's mother, but they had also spread to her siblings. The woman's sister, being addicted to borrowing money from various places, found herself always needing money to pay off her debts. By way of manipulation, she would often use her own children to ask for money. And the woman, hearing the pleas of her nieces and nephews, just didn't have the heart to say "no", and so would always feel obliged to give as much as she could.
In the end, this pressure of monetary demands caused the woman to be resentful towards her mother, her sister, as well as her nieces and nephews. Her heart became burdened whenever she had to send money home. The family had become "pests" and a bother to her. As the demands grew, the woman found herself asking for more hours at work, but often she would only be given 10 to 20 hours a week, which was just not enough. Most of the money she earned would be sent off, leaving only very little for herself and her own daughter, who was equally demanding about money.
The resentment grew deep, as was revealed one day when she found herself resenting a $20 cake for her niece's birthday. To add to all this, whenever she didn't feel like giving, a feeling of guilt would come over her. So in one way, she felt sorry for them, yet in another way she was immensely annoyed by them.
Such were the complexity of her feelings for them, and her sinful responses towards them, that she felt trapped not just monetarily speaking, but emotionally too. This had become an issue of the heart.
Bitter root Judgments
As we talked about this issue, the woman saw that she had developed some bitter root judgments against her mother and sister. She judged her mother to be:
Exaggerating and even lying about her need of money
A complainer -- always saying that the money given was never enough
Ungrateful for any money sent
As for the sister, the woman judged her to be:
Manipulative in using children to ask for money
Addicted to borrowing and always being in debt
Not a good sister
These bitter root judgments were sown as seeds from which the woman would reap.
Such reaping usually comes in one of the following ways:
She would become like the people she judged and do the things they did -- OR --
She would draw onto herself people that would do (or be) those things she had judged -- OR --
Both of the above
Thinking this through, she realised that she has indeed been reaping, as follows:
She had been asking men and boyfriends for money throughout her life. Consequently, she became greedy, manipulative, materialistic, placing high importance on money.
She had also been living in a neighbourhood where the women were having many children without carefully considering the costs of bringing them up -- and she had also judged them for it.
It appeared that she had become just like her mother and sister -- such is the law of sowing and reaping!
Lies and Bitter Root Expectancies
In helping her family in the way described, the woman had come to believe the lie that she is responsible for her family and that she had to fulfil all their needs. She also proceeded to place these as expectancies upon herself, which defiled her. This meant that she would always be compelled to follow those expectancies, and would never be able to break out of them.
Moving on, I then asked how she had protected her heart from being hurt by the financial situation with her family. The woman replied:
I will never trust my mother with money.
I will save money for myself, so that I will never be in the same needy situation as my family.
I will always be strong and look strong.
I will never be like those women who have many children that they can't afford to provide for.
And further, I asked the woman how she protected her family, to which she replied:
I will ensure that my family will never die poor.
I will do everything to support my family.
I will be the one to whom everyone comes to and looks to.
These are called inner vows. Inner vows are strong and destructive. They come from our God-given free will, and for that reason Jesus cannot violate them. Our body will seek to comply with any inner vows that we have made. Whether the inner vows are positive or negative, they seek to destroy us. We become the people they dictate us to be, not the people God wants us to be.
Dealing with the Strongholds
We dealt with the issue by breaking the strongholds that she had created around her heart:
Firstly, through repentance of the bitter root judgments she made against her mother, sister, and the women in the neighbourhood.
Secondly, repentance from placing bitter root expectancies upon herself, repentance from her own sins of asking, and manipulating men for money.
Finally renouncing and rejecting the inner vows she had made, and coming out of agreement with the lies that she had come to believe about herself.
We took all these to the Cross of Jesus Christ, asking Him to break their power over her life -- body, soul and spirit -- past, present and future. We then asked the Lord to take the reaping from her, and to strengthen her spirit to give new responses.
I also asked the woman to forgive her mother, sister, nephews, nieces, and even her daughter for what they had done to her, and for her to bless each one -- which she did with so much grace.
A Healed Life
A couple of months passed, and I then went to see the woman again. I asked how things were with her family, to which she reported, with a huge smile, that her family had been quiet. They'd stopped bothering her for money. And her mother actually said "thank you" to her the other day; no longer complaining.
The woman continued that she is now the one who asks the family if they needed any money (rather than them asking her). She even asked her own daughter who had also gone quiet regarding money, only to discover that her daughter has started to save money, so that she didn't have to ask her mother for any!
The woman also found that when she would send money back to the Philippines, she would send it out with a glad heart, a heart of love and care, with no trace of reluctance or resentment like before. Indeed, this is evidence that her spirit is now operating on new responses! Praise God!
To add to all this, her hours at work have been increased, she is now doing 45+ hours a week, which meant that she now has ample money left over for herself. The blessings are coming through...!
Finally, in celebrating her birthday a few weeks ago, the woman received many surprising birthday greetings from her family:
Her nieces and nephews wrote, "You are the best auntie".
Her second sister wrote "You are the best that could ever happen to the family".
And many others wrote, "You are a person who has a good soul. We are lucky to have you".
They had never appreciated her like this before. What wonderful acknowledgements, and compliments could she ever dream of receiving! All because she has repented of her resentment and has forgiven much. The dark things have shifted away in the spiritual realm, and love and unity manifest in the physical realm.
All glory be to our Triune God -- as only He can heal and make these things happen!
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.