All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.  Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

“I’ll never be like dad!”  (Or “I’ll never be like my mom!”)

Haven’t we all said something like that at some point in our lives? I may not have ever consciously said that I never wanted to be like my own mom but when I was in my fifties I found out that I had made mental notes—and judgments—about her that had driven me to decide that I would live my life differently.

Those decisions turned out to be what we in the inner healing community call “inner vows.”

Inner vows are the promises we make to ourselves, or the decisions that we take as a way to defend or protect ourselves from the bad experiences we fear will overcome us. You may have heard of these being called defense mechanisms. Whatever you call them, the problem is that they don’t work! Very often your “good” decision, such as, “I will never get angry,” backfires in one of two ways. Either you find yourself angry all the time, or you cannot seem to get angry even when you need to be!

Inner vows are based on bitterness and judgment and therefore cannot bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:17-18) Also, inner vows are decisions we make to protect ourselves. When we do that, we are not allowing the Lord to be our strong protector, defender, and refuge. (Psalm 46:1) He will never override our free will. He will step back and let us see how our self-protection strategies work (or rather don’t work).


This September find out how to be set free from these inner vows that are like bars on a prison cell. In our Prayers that Heal the Heart class you can learn seven prayers — including a prayer to renounce inner vows — that will bring true and lasting healing to your heart.

At our Woman Inside the Wall seminar discover whether or not there is an inner vow that is standing in the way of God’s plan for you to marry, if you are unexpectedly single.

I found lasting healing in my life when I began to recognize and renounce the inner vows I had made throughout life. You can too. Jesus is waiting for you too to get off the path of self-protection and let Him be your strong tower.

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