What does God think about you? THAT’s the truth…

man and lake.jpeg

Hello friends!!  Let’s talk about…

What do you believe about yourself?  Who do you think you are?  What do you think people think about who you are?  Are you satisfied or disappointed with yourself?  How do you know if you’re believing the truth about yourself?  So.  Many.  Questions.

What you Believe about YOURSELF forms your identity.  This is one of the two most important things to evaluate how you are thinking.  The second is what you believe about and relate to God himself.  But today is about what you believe about YOU.  Everything you do, the ways you speak, behave, relate to others, opportunities you take, choices you make, are all IMMEDIATELY related to what you believe about yourself.

As an exercise, take some time and write down perhaps the things you’re believing about yourself that are not helping you accomplish greatness and the destiny God placed in you… anything that is a lie.  Satan is an accuser, he brings shame, he brings a sense of insufficiency, a sense of inadequacy and failure and incompetance.  Any place you feel this way, its very likely you’re believing a lie that was formed in hell.  It may have come through the mouth of someone you love, which is what makes it believable, but that doesn’t change, that if its not what God says about it, ITS NOT TRUTH.  People speak out of anger, out of hurt, out of disappointment, out of selfishness, and things spoken in these attitudes are not rooted in truth but in their own distorted version of you.  The best thing you can do is see what God says about you in the Bible.  Another thing I love to do is see what he says about me by simply asking.  He loves to tell us.  You can know its his voice when you see it is compatible with what Scripture says.  He will never contradict scripture.  But he loves to speak to his children, because he is a good, attentive Father.  Search yourself, and discover how amazing he has made you.  Dare to throw off the lies and live this year in the TRUTHS of who you are, and what the Loving God thinks about you.  🙂

Let me give you a spoiler: YOU .  ARE.  AMAZING!!  Ok.  Read on.  🙂

house cleaning God taking our hand

(The following was borrowed from here.  )

Believe You Are Who God Says You Are

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“And we … are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

“God is asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.”

This week’s devotionals are by Buddy Owens, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of ‘The Way of a Worshiper’.

I want to help you learn to confess your faith, and then let that confession lead to life change so that it demolishes your old way of thinking and gives you a new way of thinking about life, God, yourself, hardship, your family and your world.

And here’s how to do it: Stop confessing lies. Confess your faith! Say the same thing God says about you. Let it change the way you think . . . and it will change the way you live.

Here are some things the Bible says about you that need to become things you say about yourself. Start every day by confessing these truths —

My Faith Confessions

  • I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • The Son has set me free. I am free indeed! (John 8:36)
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  • There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
  • Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • In all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
  • God is faithful. He will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • My light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  • He is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • God is for me! Who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)

When you say what God says (confession), you begin to think what God thinks (repentance). So let this be your confession of faith. And let it be the foundation on which you build your new life.

This is not the power of positive thinking. It’s not your good thoughts that will turn your life around. God’s power will turn your life around. He’s just asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.

Does that mean bad things will stop happening? No. But it does mean you will experience many more victories than losses because the Word of God is at work in you.

 

Here is another list of things God says about you.

I am God’s child.
Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend.
John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art.
Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness.
Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive.
Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world.
Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker.
Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved.

 

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Understanding: a lesson learned in parenting

Understanding…

I frequently think about life a few years from now, to anticipate hang ups or snares, and make a plan for them.  Like Proverbs says, “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it”, I figure that if there are challenges most parents complain about, surely there’s a way to take a different route and see a different

Jenilee and Judah walking together in the park

Pregnant with Levi, walking with Judah through the park enjoying some time together.

outcome.  So, I frequently wonder about the teen years of my children and what they will look like.  Many times when I was with our youth kids they would tell me something and I’d ask if they had told their parents and they would say, “What?! No way! I can’t tell my parents THAT!”  Finally one day I asked my car-full of youth girls as we travelled home from a youth event, “Girls, what is it that your parents do that makes you feel like you can’t talk to them?”  They thought for a minute, and without exception, though their examples varied, the bottom line problem they agreed upon was this: “they don’t understand where we are coming from.”  I thought about this and followed with another question, “Don’t you think they probably do? They were teenagers before too, and you will be parents one day.  What makes you think they don’t understand?”  Here the answers varied a bit more but were not a surprise: “Well they just get angry and never want to know how I feel.”  “They don’t really listen to me!”  “They only care about what they think is important!”  What I heard in all their answers was this: My parents don’t hear me, see me, or value my feelings as important.  Granted, parents have been there, done that during their teen years and they have a very different perspective looking back in retrospect.  Its so clear to them what to do when you can look back on a thing, but what they forget is that when you’re in the middle of it right now, it IS a big deal, and it IS important, and it DOES hurt.  And that’s what those girls were saying.  “Meet me where I’m at and show me you care, even if it’s not yourconcern.”  What a valuable thing to learn: Understanding.  What a difference this one thing makes in relationships.

As I thought back over my relationship with the Lord and about all the different times I was an emotional wreck, or a confused wreck, or just plain a wreck of a wreck, and I would go to him for counsel, interestingly enough, he would always meet me where I was at: he would meet my emotional needs FIRST, and then tend to the matter.  If I was hurt, he would comfort me and console me with understanding.  He didn’t endorse lie-based emotions by telling me how I felt was “normal”, but he DID make me feel that truth or not, the way I felt still mattered to Him.  As his love and understanding comforted my heart and brought the healing needed, then he would gently bring me the truth of the situation.  That is when he would tenderly bring loving correction, or would show me where I was wrong and how it had hurt me, or even would show me where I needed to go and make things right.  Whatever it was, he brought me truth; but not before he brought me LoVe.   Love heals and nourishes the way for truth to land on good soil.

Now, how does this apply to my little three-year old? Given this principle of understanding I began to ask the Lord to help me lay a foundation of understanding with my boys now, that way trust would be developed and our relationship would be built on a trusting foundation of placing value on the other’s perspective and feelings.  This so that by the time the teen years reach us, we will already be heading in the right direction.  See, I knew that if I waited until the teenager years to try to develop an understanding stance toward them, they would see it as an insincere effort because our entire relationship history would have already been built on a different dynamic.

One night as I tucked Judah into bed, we talked about the evening we had just had.  There had been some spankings and some tears and so I was taking the opportunity to teach him a little more about the situation.   At one point he said, “Yeah, and when me and Levi wouldn’t eat our hot-dogs, you were being mean, Mommy.”  I remembered the scenario: hotdogs, ketchup, dinner time, and the never ending challenge of getting them to eat what I put in front of them.  This time, however, I was tired.  Daddy was out of the country and I was more than ready for bed, so my patience was thin and I was harsh. I spanked them more out of frustration than correction.  As Judah reminded me of this, I was about to correct him with, “No honey, mommy wasn’t being mean, you were being disobedient so mommy needed to correct you-” when the Holy Spirit came gently to me and quickened to me, “He is telling you how he feels in three-year-old language.  Honor that, and honor him.”  Wow.  Yes he was.  He wasn’t accusing me of being mean.  He was telling me that I was treating him with a meanness that hurt his feelings.  My tone quickly changed as I corrected myself and softened and said, “Judah, you’re right.  Mommy did get mean, and I am so sorry.  I should not have spanked you in the way that I did.  Mommy was upset and I took it out on you boys and got angry.  I am so so sorry.  That was wrong and I hurt your feelings.  Will you forgive me?”  He looked at me with so much grace and gently said, “Its ok Mommy, we can try again tomorrow” as he reached out to hug me.  Wow.  What forgiveness.  And what grace.  And what a mended relationship.  If I had just forsook his feelings and pursued arrogantly my agenda of teaching him and putting him in his place, his little heart would have gone unseen, his little voice unheard, and our relationship wounded.  However, after I took the time to hear him and tend to his feelings and repent for my sin (because it WAS wrong that I spanked him in anger like I did), I gently explained why it was so frustrating that they did not eat their dinner.  He nodded in understanding to what I shared, and easily agreed to eat his dinner the next time.   And he did!!  (And he made sure I knew he did too!) 🙂

The bottom line is this: in any relationship, if we fail to honor each other by treating one another with understanding, then our relationships will slowly deteriorate, one wound at a time.  We were designed to need understanding in relationships.  In and of itself, understanding carries a healing essence to it.  Why else is counselling and having a “listening ear” so beneficial to people?

Proverbs 11:12 says “A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.”   Most times, the doorway to listening with understanding ears is simply to hold our tongue, and reallyhear what the other person is saying.  To hear past the words, to what their heart is trying to communicate.

Proverbs 18:2 “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”   and Proverbs 20:5 “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.”  If our form of discipline looks more like “airing my own opinions” than drawing out the deep waters of the heart, according to scripture we are not likely in a position of understanding.  Listening is a lost art that is crucial to healthy relationships.  Listen to hear and see the person you are talking to, not just to see when you can insert your next good point.  If you have children, try approaching them from a stand point of understanding.  This doesn’t mean that you have to tell them they are right, it just means you offer validation to how they feel, and show them that it matters to you.  Understanding brings so much healing and establishes trust in a relationship.  Treat them with the same kind of understanding that you hope someone offers you in your next moment of crisis… and watch as the healing waters of love and honor nourish and restore the relationship.  For some, this may take longer than others.  And for you, this may begin with more than just a habit change, but an actual heart change.  Wherever it begins for you, take the challenge.  It is worth it if it means peace in your home and more obedient children (which also means they will be safer and healthier if they are obeying you!).  Start today, start now.  Start with yourself, take responsibility, confess and repent to your children if necessary for not treating them more carefully.  And allow the Lord to teach you and give you wisdom on how to treat them with the same honor he treats us with.

Proverbs 24:3 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;”

Me and Judah

Me and Judah while on a walk