Auto Suggestion: Good or Bad I’ve recently been thinking about the manipulation of people through healing services using auto suggestion. It is also referred to as power of suggestion. We all believe God heals which isn’t the contention. It is that many unwittingly are calling the miraculous simply the self healing effect of auto suggestion, the placebo effect.
The confusion that is caused is destructive. Now I guess I’ve used auto suggestion when I’ve encouraged someone or helped clarify their vision. I’m a positive person and I believe that in Jesus we all have great hope. Therefore I do not have a problem seeing an individual’s potential. So I might suggest to them that they could take on a task or ambition and prepare themselves for that; Getting a job, being a lawyer or being a missionary for example.
In place of this we have a “prophet” in Church do this, which I consider “Christian fortune telling.”
I have helped convince individuals to no longer be controlled by labels given to them like bipolar or anger problems. I just told them that what they were told was bs and that they can control themselves. Then I help them develop a positive strategy for change to do basic things “normal Christians” do in various situations. I do not think these were miraculous healings although we may have prayed together. They just let loose of the label and learned to act and respond differently. The benefit and freedom has been tremendous.
I’m opposed to the ignorance of this natural phenomenon and using the technique from the altar as a way to convince people of a miraculous touch from God. I think using auto suggestion is important. But I believe we need to see it for what it is. In ignorance we have often confused this technique with the power of God.
So a healer is coming to town. He will be at Church X on such-in-such day. For weeks the event is anticipated. There is much discussion and excitement.
The day arrives and worship begins. After some dynamic worship the pastor grandly introduces the guest and his conquests. With these accolades the Healer is presented and now the he begins building hope and anticipation of a great move of the Spirit.
The Healer states that God is telling him someone in the crowd has a back problem. Pewster X has a back problem and with great excitement he comes forward, believing God has singled him out. The tension is exciting and as he approaches the anticipation grows to climax. The heavy prayer and confidence of the speaker moves the room. Each person is intent. Pewster X with all eyes on him feels his endorphins (often confused with a touch from the Holy Spirit) and his anticipation increases.
Due to the anticipation, the endorphin effect, the crowd and the prayer of the Healer, he feels better thus healed. Wow! Now others come forward. People are told God will give them tongues and sure enough they begin manifesting. People are falling on the ground….absolute “holy” mayhem!
And now the stories and usually fish-stories from very excited people spread from Church to the community.
—Please do not comment on the blog about your “healing” that was from God or other similar stories. God heals that isn’t in question. I am an emotional person who seeks God and was introduced to the faith by those most prone to this type of setting. I have spent over 14 yrs in and amongst this with a great openness to the move of the Spirit. But we should educate ourselves on auto suggestion.—
We should abstain from using or encouraging its use in a setting and way that may mislead people.
Pray vigorously for healing. If it is through a doctor, therapy, auto suggestion or the miraculous power of Christ, let’s give Him the praise.
However, let’s not confuse the issue. It is destructive to faith and can send people off being foolish in Jesus’ name.