This month we have a guest writer!
Tim Dumas is the Founder and President of Road to Glory Christian Life Coaching & Biblical Counseling.
Tim and his wife Janette have been married for over 25 years. They have three children and three grandchildren. Tim is a graduate of RHEMA Bible Training Center, Vine Life Ministries School of Biblical Counseling, Southern Nazarene University and is a a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
We hope you enjoy!
I said to Denise, “Tell me who Denise is.” This is what I often do when I begin working with a new client. I want to know how they think of themselves. Too often we have let the world or other people shape and influence these thoughts.
When I asked Denise to tell me who she is, there was a short pause, then like a dam that just gave way, she released what had been inside of her for years and loudly said, “Tim, I’m a failure!”
Denise had been through a very rough marriage. She had been verbally abused and all the failures of her married life had been blamed on her by her husband. She had heard negative words spoken to her so many times that she lost all self-worth and did in fact blame herself for everything that went wrong in her relationship with her husband. It was all her fault. She was a failure. This is what she believed.
Can you imagine the pain of going through life and every day looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking of yourself as a failure? Sadly, to some degree, many people live this way.
There were several areas that Denise and I worked on together to help her move forward in the life God has for her and I’ll share two of them with you. I believe these two areas are the most common and therefore hopefully, you as the reader will benefit from what I share.
First, we addressed how Denise viewed herself. This was our conversation.
Me: “Denise, you are a Christian right? You have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior correct?”
Me: “That means you have been forgiven of every sin and everything you have ever done wrong. Isn’t that right?”
Denise: “Well, yes.”
Me: “Not only has God forgiven you but the Scriptures tell us God removes our sin to never be remembered again. Isn’t that correct?”
Denise: “Yes, that’s right.”
Me: “So in God’s eyes, what has Denise ever done wrong? What has she ever failed at?”
Denise: “Well, I guess nothing.”
Me: “That’s right! So in God’s eyes, is Denise a failure?”
Denise: “No… I’m not!”
Me: “Then if in God’s eyes, you have never failed at anything, what is Denise?”
Denise: “I guess I’m an overcomer!”
Though it only took one minute for Denise to realize she was something completely different than what she thought she was, she was an overcome and not a failure, it still took time and effort to retrain her mind and emotions so that she would not go back to her old way of thinking about herself.
Denise put Scriptures of how God viewed her on sticky notes and posted them in her bathroom, her kitchen and all around the house. She constantly considered the Word of God and over the course of a few weeks, began to truly believe what God says of her and not what others had told her in the past.
The Bible talks about this in Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
The Second area was forgiveness. I asked Denise if she had forgiven her ex-husband and she said she had. But, she still hoped he would apologize or try to make it up to her for how he had treated her for so many years.
I said, “Denise, if you still want him to make it up to you, or even just apologize, then you have not yet really forgiven him.”
When the Scriptures talk about forgiveness, it carries the meaning of being released from a debt. We see this in what we refer to as The Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12 NIV)
I shared with Denise that as long as she wanted her ex-husband to make it up to her, then the person who had this great negative impact on her life was still having that impact. The only way for her to move forward was to release him from his debt. She had to wipe his slate clean, completely forgive him and not think he owed her anything.
Denise understood this and made the decision to forgive him the way God’s forgives us, which is fully and completely. No debt owed. No apology needed. She set him free and in doing so set herself free.
This life, this freedom in Christ, was there all along for Denise but she had to first see it in the Word and then put it into practice in order to experience it for herself.
I’m happy to say that Denise is doing great. She is moving forward in life, enjoying her relationship with God and loving how He delights in her as His child.
It’s my hope that you, the reader of this post, understand the great love your Father in Heaven has for you and the value He has placed on you. I also hope that you realize, just as Denise did, that you have to know what the Word of God says about you and put it into practice in order to experience the fullness of life God has for you.
We serve a great God and His love is relentless.
Blessings in Christ,
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