How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
One of the most damaging lies we can believe is, “God’s love must be earned.” Many times this belief has come from a background in which either the church, the family, or both has taught in subtle or not so subtle ways that our actions affect whether or not God loves us. And we have fallen into the trap of thinking that the more we sin, the more God hates us. The “tapes” in our head continually blast, “You blew it again, so God hates you. ” Well, God does hate sin, but He loves us sinners!
When we live with such a distorted view of God, we either give up or back so far away from “religion” so that we no longer try to live the Christian life. It is only when we understand that God’s love is unchanging that we can begin to have the freedom God wants us to have. God wants to live a godly life, as free from sin as possible. And His forgiveness makes it possible for us to try. When we sin, as God knows we will,we can come to Him and ask for forgiveness. We will still suffer the consequences of our sin, but God has graciously provided a way for us to start over, again and again.
Thought: God’s love can’t be earned. He gives it freely when we accept the provision Christ made on the cross.
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
I ask a question early in therapy that helps me assess my client’s mental health. I ask her [or him] to imagine three pictures of herself hanging on the wall-one of how she sees herself, one of how she thinks others see her, and the third of how she believes God sees her. The closer the three pictures come to looking alike, the more whole or integrated the person is likely to be and the less work we will have to do in therapy.
A simple way to describe what goes on behind the counselor’s doors is to say that we are working toward the insightful integration of body, soul and spirit. This “integration work” [as masterfully described by Henry Cloud in his book,When Your World Makes No Sense] typically centers around the four B’s. Clients must learn to establish boundaries-to avoid being enmeshed with others. They must learn to bond with others and love them in a healthy way. They must learn to accept their badness along with their goodness and to rethink who the boss of their life is. [Is their life being run by illogical and sick voices from childhood?]
What do your three pictures look like? What is the state of your four Bs? Determine in your heart to work on those areas that help you develop into a healthy, integrated woman.
Thought: Good mental health is a choice, but it takes a lot of emotional and spiritual work.