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CHAPTER 3

 

THE PREVENTION OF TENSION

 

            As we have considered the causes of mental tension we must realize that we all have within us the seeds of tension. There is not one of us who would claim to be completely free at all times from any sort of inner conflict. We also know that doctors are treating an ever-increasing number of patients whose primary trouble is mental and nervous rather than physical. In view of these things it should become a serious question with each one of us as to how we can prevent ourselves from getting into states of real mental tension. None of us can afford to treat the question lightly.

            Let us then think of some of the things which will help us in the prevention of mental tension.

            First and foremost we need to have a clear understanding and conviction that it is God’s will, as revealed in the Bible, that His children should enjoy real peace and rest of heart and mind, even in the midst of tribulation. In 2 Timothy 1v7 we read, ‘God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ In His infinite wisdom He does allow some of His children to go through times of nervous and mental suffering, even as He allows times of physical sickness, and in many of these cases the sufferer comes through the trial into a deeper peace than was known before, with more sympathy for others and with an ability to help others. At the same time we can be assured that God’s Will and God’s power are on the side of mental health and stability, and that every step we take in seeking to deal with the conflicts in our personalities is in the line of His Will for us. This conviction should be accompanied by a definite purpose that we shall allow God to deal drastically with any of the causes of conflict in our lives, so that increasing peace of mind will be our portion, and not increasing tension.

            The prevention of tension also depends on our whole attitude to the Christian life. In these days there is much superficial and light thinking and living amongst Christians, and we need to remember that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground. We live in days when it seems as if Satan’s forces are being let loose as never before, when Christians are subjected to peculiar stresses and strains, and when in particular there seems an attack on the mental stability of God’s children. We dare not play with these things, we must heed Peter’s warning: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Peter 5 v8). In particular we should recognise those things which are the enemies of the human personality, and treat them as enemies, not just as unfortunate weaknesses, which are an inevitable part of life.

            Let us think again of those three great enemies, fear, frustration and resentment, and realize that we must face them and deal with them AS SOON AS WE ARE CONSCIOUS OF THEIR PRESENCE, rather than allow them to do their work in our personalities and bring about a state of mental tension. Perhaps the best way to deal with them is to think of the three great Christian qualities named by Paul in 1Corinthians 13 v13, FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. These are certainly the greatest friends of the human personality, and we can easily see that these are the qualities which will undo the work of the enemies, as we allow the Holy Spirit to bring them into our lives. (Let us remember that when the Bible speaks of hope, there is nothing vague about it, as in our phrase ‘I hope so’, it is always a glad certainty. For an example see Hebrews 6 v18-20.)

            While Faith, Hope and Love are needed to expel fear, the Bible is, in particular, full of instances of Faith expelling Fear. If we turn to Psalm 46 we read: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.’ In Psalm 56 v3 we hear the Psalmist say, ‘What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee,’ and then in the next verse, ‘in God I have put my trust; I will not fear’. We hear the rebuke of the Lord Jesus to His disciples when they were afraid of the storm at sea: ‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’ (Matthew 8 v26), and His Word of encouragement to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe’ (Mark 5 v36).

            At the same time as believing firmly that Faith is the answer to all our fears, I do not believe that the pathway of faith is always an easy one, or that it is possible glibly to say, ‘Just trust the Lord and your fears will go’. I have found that faith often has to wrestle before it rests. Faith may have to lay hold of the Lord with great cryings and tears, that He will reveal the basic cause of fear; faith may have to cast itself in utter helplessness upon the Lord and continue in prayer and seeking His face for a prolonged period of time, before it is rewarded and fear cast out. Real faith is willing for this pathway and will find in experience the way of diligently seeking Him, until the glad day dawns when it can sing with the Psalmist, ‘I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears’ (Psalm 34 v4).

            I would like here to quote from a letter recently received: ‘I had a very wonderful experience over the weekend. You know something of my fears and inadequacy where illness is concerned! Nobody knows just how much the fear has dogged me, and I’ve never really faced it because I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to. But the climax was reached on Saturday when I was left alone with B… still in bed and her mother very ill. I knew I’d got to cope entirely alone until Sunday night, when Sister said she would phone, and come for the night if Saturday had been bad. I’d already had bad nights and days of fearful apprehension and fear, and wasn’t feeling well because I’d had a terrific fluey cold. I sat in an armchair for a few minutes in COMPLETE despair. I was saying to myself, ‘This is it, you’ve got to face it now, and you can’t’, and I was desperately thinking of ANY way to get out of it. Then in utter desperation I said to God something like this, ‘If You are all that You claim to be You can deal with this, and if You can’t, then nothing about You is true; it’s all or nothing. Prove to me that You are sufficient for this.’ Then I went to get some food for B.., and while I was busy in the kitchen I suddenly realized that my stomach was no longer in knots and the apprehension had gone. During the day and night there were times when I thought it would sweep over me again, but each time I reminded God that He had said He was sufficient, and peace came again. I was awake all night with Mrs. M.., but knew no fear or anxiety or apprehension. That peace has stayed with me, and the biggest fear in my life which started as far as I can remember on the Sunday night that my father had his haemorrhage, has gone. Of course, it’s been a completely irrational fear; I’ve always known that, but it’s been a crippling burden, and has made me a terrible coward and willing to resort to anything rather than have to cope with sickness. It’s got even to this extent, that if anyone came to see me at work and looked ill, or said they felt ill, I couldn’t concentrate on helping them but got rid of them as soon as possible. I hadn’t been able to prepare anything for Class, and Sister was here so that I could go. Until the hymn before the talk I had no idea what to say; then I spoke on, ‘I love the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplication,’ and I talked about how God can cope with the hidden fears of our hearts. I’ve decided that quite definitely it’s true that though we believe not, yet He abideth faithful! I had no faith in His power to cope with me. I only knew He was my only hope! It’s impossible to express the wonder of such an experience because I could never express the strength of the irrational fear.’

            This letter is from a middle-aged lady who could not be considered to be in a real state of mental tension from her hidden fear, but she easily could have been, and it had caused her to be quite incapable of helping anyone who was sick. There are several things illustrated by this letter; the origin of the fear (her father died, following the haemorrhage mentioned, when she was just sixteen years old), the unreasonableness of the fear, the fact that it had to be faced to be overcome, and God’s power to remove it. Another very interesting thing is that the one concerned did not realize that from her side Fear was being removed by Faith. She says, ‘I had no faith in His power to cope with me; I only knew He was my only hope!’ Of course that IS Faith, though many people do not recognise it as such. It is FAITH that casts itself upon God as the only hope. That IS the kind of Faith which casts out Fear.

            What about Frustration? Surely frustration with myself is count-eracted by Faith and Hope. Hope which gives a certain assurance that God has a specific plan and purpose for my life, and that He will fulfil that plan. Hope which tells me that God has a work for me to do which none other can do, a place to fill which none other can fill. Faith which believes that God has put into me the very qualities necessary to fulfil His purpose without seeking to do things which are beyond me and outside His purpose.

            Frustration with others is counteracted by faith, hope and love. Love which is willing to accept the other as he really is, with all his faults and failings, faith which trusts God to work out His purpose in him, and hope which sees him, not as he is now but as God will make him.

            Frustration with circumstances is expelled only by real faith in the sovereignty of God and by love which is willing to submit to His Will. Faith in the fact that ALL things are working together for good to those that love God. A faith that admits no second causes but which accepts every circumstance as being allowed by Him. A faith which recognizes that even if Satan brings something into the life, it has only come because God has allowed it for a purpose, as in the case of Job and of Paul (2 Corinthians 12 v7-10).

            There is one kind of frustration which is so common that it needs to be given a place on its own; it is the frustration which occurs in the realm of sex impulses. There are many voices today which are encouraging young people to think that all restraint in this realm is frustration, and is therefore harmful. This is a lie, and is doing untold harm. There is far more real frustration in the wrong uses of the sex impulse than in its restraint. A Christian young man may yearn for a deep friendship with a Christian girl, and may not find much encouragement. He may wonder whether he can ever win the girl he loves without compromising with the world’s lack of moral standards. The teaching of Scripture may appear unrealistic in the face of contemporary attitudes to sex, but the Lord makes His Will come to pass for those who commit every step to His Loving Care. ‘He faileth not’ (Zephaniah 3 v5), and we should always remember that ‘He leadeth us in the paths of RIGHTEOUSNESS for His Name’s sake’ (Psalm 23 v3). There must be many young people suffering from various degrees of conflict because of the real guilt attached to hidden immoral relationships. On the other hand, we all know many unmarried Christian men and women who are healthy in body and balanced in mind, living useful, unfrustrated lives, and who give every evidence of being truly satisfied in the Lord and in their work.

            Unmarried women often go through difficult times, when their hearts cry out for the satisfaction of married life and the joy of having children of their own. I have seen Christian women come triumphantly through such times, and I have seen others develop such a sense of frustration that the symptoms of mental tension appear in their lives. Though each one has to battle through this question on her own, I believe there are secrets of victory and of the prevention of tension, in our three friends, Faith, Hope and Love, and in the knowledge of the truth. Let me briefly state what I believe to be these secrets.

            The truth is that married life (satisfying as it is when in the Lord), and having children (wonderful as that is), do not satisfy the deepest needs of the human heart. We have all met married people who are obviously unsatisfied, and we have also met unmarried people who are deeply satisfied. We need to know the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ, and He alone, can satisfy the deepest needs of the human heart; no one else can; nothing else can. We also need to know with glad certainty that He can and does satisfy. ‘He satisfieth the longing soul and filleth the hungry soul with goodness’ (Psalm 107 v9). ‘Thou openest Thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing’ (Psalm 145 v16).

            Another secret is the Faith which believes that God has a specific plan for each life as regards marriage, and that His plan is best; and the hope which gives the assurance that He will bring about His plan, and will undertake for everything that is involved in that plan, whether it be a married life or an unmarried life.

            The last secret is Love; real self-sacrificing Love which gives out to others. This sort of Love is not only a blessing to others but wonderfully satisfying to the heart. The unmarried person who seeks to replace the particular love of marriage by an exclusive friendship or possessive affection, will remain frustrated and unsatisfied. The one who seeks to pour out Love for the Lord Himself, and then for others in sacrificial service, will be satisfied and fulfilled.

            If we are ever to deal with resentment, that bitter enemy, we must have Love, for in Love is mercy and a forgiving spirit. The Love about which Paul speaks always has an element of self-sacrifice, it is forgetful of injuries done to it, whereas resentment is essentially self-centred, and full of self-pity. For one who finds it hard to give up resentment, a good passage of Scripture to read and meditate upon prayerfully is Matthew 18 v23-35.

            If Fear, Frustration and Resentment are often based on lies, and aggravated by lies, Faith, Hope and Love are based on Truth, and so the Christian who would be kept from mental tension should be extremely interested in the discernment of truth. We need to know the truth about ourselves, the truth about others, the truth concerning the cause of our conflicts. The Psalmist said, ‘Thou desirest truth in the inward parts’ (Psalm 51 v6). Jesus said, ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’ (John 8 v32). We have been given the Word of Truth, the Spirit of Truth, and a Saviour Who said, ‘I am the Truth.’ As we meditate constantly in the Word, as we submit our minds and whole personalities to the Spirit, and as we share the very life of our Saviour, we shall be increasingly sensitive to the truth, and increasingly able to discern what is not according to Truth.

            Very close to truth is sincerity. Shakespeare said, ‘To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.’ The beginning of conflict in some people is a lack of sincerity which is not true to itself. If we would avoid tension let us be true to our own selves, which means acting according to that which we really believe. It is so easy to act according to what people think we ought to believe rather than what we do believe. Insincerity causes conflict because it does violation to our real selves.

            Since any hidden sin can be the cause of conflict, it is essential that we walk in the light with God, sensitive to sin, and ready quickly to confess and forsake any known sin. ‘He that hideth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy’ (Proverbs 28 v13). We should carefully avoid the pathway of covering sin.

            Another matter which is of great importance if we are to avoid mental tension, is that we should have some understanding of our make-up, and of the laws which govern the healthy functioning of our bodies and minds.

            It is not necessary to go into technicalities as regards the nature of man, but there are two things in particular which I believe we need to recognise in relation to this whole question of mental tension.

            The first is that our bodies, our minds and our spirits (the spirit being the organ of God-consciousness), are very closely inter-related. We do all know in experience that our minds are affected by the condition of our bodies. When we are tired or sick, our minds are not as alert as when we are rested and well. When we are spiritually right our bodies are often quickened and helped and our minds renewed.

            Although man has different parts he is a unity, and should be considered as a unity. This simply means that if I want to avoid mental tension, and enjoy real mental health, I shall treat seriously the matter of physical health and spiritual health, I shall be prepared to discipline my body, and I will be careful of my ordinary and of my spiritual diet, so that I am feeding both body and soul on those foods which will be most conducive to physical and spiritual health.

            The second thing which we need to recognise, is that we function on a pattern of alternating contraction and relaxation, or to put it more simply of alternating work and rest. Our muscles contract and relax; our hearts contract and relax about seventy times a minute; our stomachs work after a meal, and then need to rest a while before we eat again; our minds are capable of hard work which must then be followed by rest. God, Who made us, gave two laws to His people in the wilderness, which are based on this law of our make-up; those two laws are these: ‘Thou shalt work…thou shalt rest’ (Exodus 34 v2l). The principle behind those two laws has not altered, and yet numbers of Christians today are ignoring the second. When God gave that law, it was not concerning the rest of nightly sleep, it referred to the using of waking time for rest. I believe one of the reasons why Christians are increasingly subject to nervous and mental tension is because they will not take time for rest and relaxation. Christians who are interested in the prevention of mental tension should seek the Lord as regards His pattern for their lives in this matter of alternating work and rest. The details are an individual question for each one of us to work out with the Lord. I, personally, have found this thing to require real discipline and a real intention to find out the Lord’s Will as it relates to my own life. A very important thing is to see that we are occupying our time with the things He wants us to do, and not taking upon ourselves things which He does not require of us. In times when it seems that there is far more to be done than is compatible with periods of relaxation, we can find that if we truly commit the matter to the Lord and refuse a sense of frustration, He shows us all sorts of little things that can be dropped, or else He sends help from most unexpected quarters, and so the burden is lightened and the pattern of work and rest can be obeyed.

            Times of extra mental strain need to be followed by times of extra mental rest. Our minds have been given a marvellous power of recovery. It is possible for people to go through times of very great and prolonged mental and nervous strain, and yet to recover perfectly without any lasting tension, provided there is rest and relaxation to give the mind the chance to recover. If we want an example from Scripture of how God treated one who had been through great mental and spiritual strain we should read again the story of Elijah in 1Kings 18 and 19, and learn from it.

            It is not unspiritual to acknowledge that we are severely limited in what we can accomplish, and that we need our times of rest and relaxation. On the contrary it brings a child-like peace and simplicity to admit that we are indeed ‘frail children of dust and feeble as frail’. What a joy, too, to know that ‘He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust’ (Psalm 103 v14).

            We must now consider the prevention of tension which arises from the conflicts created by insecurity and lack of love in early childhood. Unfortunately many of these do not come to the surface until tension is fully established and it is no longer a case of prevention but of treatment. It is, however, encouraging to know that there are many Christians whose childhoods have been insecure and unhappy, who have nevertheless been so transformed by the Lord and have so allowed His Spirit to straighten out their personalities, that they have never suffered from mental tension, and increasingly experience the joy and peace which He gives. They have found a greater security than ever parents can give and a deeper and more wonderful love.

            Perhaps the most important aspect of the subject of childhood insecurity for us to think about is the responsibility of Christian parents towards their children. The responsibility to see that seeds of future mental tension are not sown. Children need to be loved and to know that they are loved. Each child needs to have its own special place in the hearts of its parents, and to know that it has that place. Any favouritism of one child in a family at the expense of another, any preferential treatment produces conflict in the child mind. I suppose this is so widely recognized that it is hardly necessary to mention it. What is not so widely recognized is that a child’s security depends not just on the love of the parents for the child, but upon the love of the parents for one another, and upon there being harmony between them. We all know that separation or divorce shatters the security of the children concerned, but there is probably not such a clear understanding of the fact that any rift between parents, any lack of love and unity undermines the security of children. Unfortunately we must confess that as Christian parents we are often guilty in this respect.

            This security produced by the mutual love of the parents and by the unity between them, is a wonderful picture of that security which we enjoy as children of God. That security is based not only on God’s love for each one of His children, but upon the completely unchanging bond of love and unity which there is within the Godhead. This thought can be a great incentive to Christian parents to seek to do all in their power to maintain peaceful, loving relationships with one another. Notice the prayer of Jesus in John 17 v26, ‘That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them.’

            Discipline is another essential in the production of security in children. Loving discipline, which is firm and just, creates security. Lack of discipline, through a wrong interpretation of love, or just through laziness, undermines the security of children. Discipline should not consist of threats which are never carried out, children should know that their parents mean what they say, and will do what they say. It is also necessary to understand something of the development of a child and the different kind of discipline necessary at different stages of its development. While a child is young it is right to demand unquestioning obedience, but as the adolescent years approach there must be a willingness to reason and give explanations. A helpful little book on this subject is Dr.Campbell Morgan’s THE BIBLE AND THE CHILD.

            Discipline should be matter-of-fact and not mixed up with emotional reactions in the parent. If a child is never punished in an outright, matter-of-fact way, but every time he does anything that displeases his parents he is punished by a heavy atmosphere of disapproval and hurt love, he will grow up, not controlled by a recognition of certain moral values, but with a dread of doing anything which will create the heavy atmosphere. This is very `likely to show itself later in the fear associated with vague guilty feelings, which will arise whenever the young man or young woman does anything which he or she instinctively knows would be disapproved of by the parents. These guilty feelings are very difficult for young people to overcome and may produce real conflict.

            When boys and girls reach adolescence, Christian parents always have the acute problem of what to allow them to do, and what is not to be allowed. This problem needs much prayer, and wisdom beyond our own, but I think it is most important that parents should admit to their young people that the problem is one about which Christians differ, and then give reasons for having come to the particular decision made, at the same time admitting that they are not infallible and therefore may make mistakes, but that they are constantly prompted by a desire for the very best for their boys and girls. To handle these matters with wisdom and love is very important and will have a part in helping young people later on to come to their own decisions unhampered by false feelings of guilt.

            If young people are not to grow up with false guilty feelings concerning sex, Christian parents should seek the Lord’s Face as to how and when to teach their children matters relating to sex, in the right way, and without embarrassment.

              A great responsibility lies upon those of us who are parents! We need to walk humbly with the Lord as we seek to prevent our children from later conflict and tension. How thankful we should be for the Lord’s overruling grace and mercy, which so frequently covers our blunderings and mistakes!

            We saw that heredity plays a contributory part in some cases of mental tension and we must consider briefly how we can prevent these hereditary factors from gaining control in our lives. If we are conscious that we have inherited a tendency to mental tension or a temperament which is prone to such troubles as depression, it does not mean that we are necessarily less spiritual than others, but without being unduly introspective we should seek to understand ourselves and to face the particular type of temperament and nervous make-up which we have. In this way we can learn to be on our guard against inherited tendencies and to avoid things which may be dangerous for us. I was told by a man who had suffered serious attacks of depression that he had learnt that he must avoid taking part in controversy for this was a danger to him.

            As we think of these things we do need to remember what a mighty Saviour we have. He is able to save us to the uttermost. As we seek unreservedly to commit ourselves to Him, we can find His power to unravel and control inherited traits as well as acquired ones.

            If we are conscious of having been made of even frailer stuff than that of which the average frail human being is made, we need not despair, our God is a wonderful Potter, and He can make and has made some of His choicest vessels out of specially frail clay.

            We have also thought about Satan’s part in the causation of mental tension and so we must realize that it is important for us to know how we can resist his working. Paul said, concerning Satan, ‘We are not ignorant of his devices’ (2Corinthians 2 v11). We too should exercise ourselves to understand his devices, so that we may discern his activities and be on our guard. Let us remember again that he trades in lies, therefore we need constantly to depend upon the Holy Spirit’s ministry that we may discern what is truth in all that is presented to our minds and reject what is not according to truth. This does not only apply to matters of doctrine, but to all our thoughts concerning ourselves, concerning other people, concerning our circumstances, and concerning the character and working of God Himself.

            Perhaps one of the activities of Satan of which we most need to have knowledge is connected with his work as accuser of the brethren. Many of God’s children are brought into conflict and mental distress through his accusations and through false feelings of guilt, and we need to know how to recognise these attacks and to face him when he hurls his accusations at us.

            Let us remember that conviction from God and accusations from Satan are very different. God convicts so as to bring us to confession and restoration; Satan accuses so as to bring us to condemnation and despair. Satan seeks to produce in Christians the feeling that they must give up service for the Lord because of what they are like.

            God’s conviction through His Holy Spirit is quiet and definite, there is no doubt as regards the sin committed. Satan nags, and the one accused finds it difficult to discover whether he has or has not done wrong. God’s dealings are with certainty and assurance, Satan’s with uncertainty and doubt.

            When a Christian recognizes that Satan is accusing, and he is not sure whether the thing about which he is being accused is, in fact, right or wrong, he must know how to silence his accuser, otherwise the pain and conflict may continue for a long period of time and actually cause mental tension.

            I would like to share what I have myself found, which has revolutionized my life as far as the severe conflict caused by this kind of accusation is concerned. It may sound very simple and child-like but it may help some other suffering child of God. I believe that Jesus, having died for me and taken up my cause before the Father, has become my Advocate and I believe He gives me permission to refer my cause to Him even as I would to a human advocate. If I had an enemy who repeatedly came to accuse me, I would put my case into the hands of the best advocate I could find, and then whenever my enemy would turn up to accuse me I would say, ‘I’ve handed over my case to another, please go and talk to my advocate, he’ll answer for me.’ This is how I now face Satan; whenever he starts to accuse, I say something like this to him, ‘Satan, I have put my case into the hands of Another, I really do not know whether I’ve done wrong or not, but He knows; go and tell Him what you think. If He knows I’ve done wrong He can tell me. I am not dealing with you except through my Advocate.’ And then I quietly get on with my work. I find that in the majority of cases I never hear anything more about the matter!

            I discovered this way of treating Satan when studying the Epistle to the Romans. As I filled my mind with the teaching on justification, and then went on to read Romans 8 over and over again, it seemed to me that a suitable title for that chapter would be, ‘Out of the Law Court and into the Father’s House,’ and I saw that I could leave the atmosphere and accusations of the Law Court to my Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would represent me there, while I could sit at peace and rest in the enjoyment of the Father’s House!

            Of course if we are suffering from Satan’s accusations, we must be careful to examine our hearts lest any unconfessed sin is being hidden, which is giving Satan a vantage ground from which to attack us.

            Another type of Satan’s activity as the accuser, which also brings people into real conflict, is that which is based on a lie. For the prevention of tension in a case of this kind it is necessary that the lie be exposed and the truth asserted. Perhaps the best way to make this clear is to give an example.

             A young lady went through a very difficult experience, which, for several years, subjected her to great mental strain; she was very conscious of the strain, but did not have either a nervous or mental breakdown. Thirty years later she was subject to real torment and terrible fear, which most commonly gripped her if she woke in the night. She herself was quite definite that the fear and torment came from Satan. The specific fear was that she would have a mental breakdown, and she was frequently trying to guard herself from situations which she felt might be too much for her. Sometimes the mental conflict was so great that she wished she could have a complete breakdown so that she could escape from the torment. At all times she was quite convinced that she was much more likely to suffer from mental breakdown than the majority of people. On hearing the whole story it was quite evident that she was actually more stable mentally than a great many people, and in the many years that had passed there had been plenty of time for the mind to recover fully from the experience. It was suggested to her that in believing that she was more likely than most people to break down mentally, she was believing a lie about herself, and that she needed to affirm the truth, if she was to be free from the fear and torment to which she was subject. At first she did not accept this, but after three months of thought and prayer on the matter, she accepted that she had in fact been believing a lie, and agreed simply to affirm the truth when next Satan attacked her in this way. As far as I know, she has been completely free of this particular fear ever since. ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’