Mental Health & Renewing your Mind (Part 2)
Surely we all feel secure in our superficial identities. We know our names, surnames, where we come from. We even kinda know what we stand for - well hopefully!
But I want to challenge you today to look beyond the superficial. To look a little deeper that what meets the eye. What skills have you cultivated over the years to cover up your low self-esteem. How do you cover up that you disapprove of yourself or that deep down in your heart you do not like yourself. It’s so easy to look at someone and think “oh they are so happy” or “she’s got it all figured out.” And some people even start to believe themselves at a certain point. There are so many people in this world who do not like themselves. In today’s day and age, we are continuously faced with questions like “who am I?” “what is my purpose?” “where is my life headed?” “who cares?”
Before you read any further - go read our previous Mental Health Blog Post: You become what you gaze upon!
You can be a child of God and struggle with these questions. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t get mentioned in churches. So, people end up suffering in silence. We as Christians look for fleshly things to fill our wounds. We continuously search for things to bring us peace, to make us happy, to fulfill us. But all of that is in vain. It’s a never-ending toxic cycle.
Unless you find your true identity in Christ, you will never get to a point where you will experience true content!
Content is defined as a mind space or state of satisfaction. A place of peaceful happiness. And true, everlasting content can never be found in things of the world. In the teaching “Who you are in Christ” by Dr MK Strydom, she starts of the document by saying "Building a healthy self-esteem comes through seeing yourself through the Father’s eyes. We cannot even see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. How much harder it is to imagine seeing yourself through the eyes of our Father."
God gave us the Bible as the “blue print” of how our lives should look like. So if we want to see ourselves through the Father’s eyes – we need to go to the Word of God, to learn about His ways. To learn about His heart and His principles. If we don’t know Who He is, we’ll never be able to see ourselves through His eyes and figure out who we are!
John 17 verse 17 says “Sanctify them through Your truth; Your Word is Truth.” To sanctify ourselves means to be set apart. To purify oneself. To become holy. To free yourself from sin. God said in His Word (Gen 1:27), that He created man in His image. Yet, we stand in front of the mirror and pick ourselves apart. My tummy isn’t flat enough, my thighs are too big. My nose is to prominent. My this, this and this. We pick ourselves apart, breaking our self-esteem down until there is nothing left. When God clearly says: I have made you in My image!!
You, with your excess stomach skin, your jiggly thighs, your prominent nose. Yes YOU – you are made in the image of God! And God does not make mistakes. He never has and He never will! As children of God, we need to continuously spend time in His Word. Like Ephesians 5 verse 26 says, “that He may sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.” The more time we spend learning about God and His character, the more we will learn about ourselves. By spending time in God’s Word, at His feet, He will reveal to us our true identity & renew our minds. He will show us our identity that can only be found in Him!
The worldly standards have been setting us up for failure for thousands of years. Unrealistic expectations and pressure we face on a daily basis are literally making us sick! It’s changing our minds and it is changing the way our brain functions! Remember the toxic branches we spoke about in the previous mental health blog post? If not - go read it again!
By spending time in the Word of God, we can start to wash away our worldly mindsets. The doctrines and standards of the world. The failure strongholds that the enemy has set in place to keep us in bondage. It’s only once we allow God to come into our lives (and I’m not talking about growing up in church and going to Sunday school) I am talking about truly allowing God into your heart – getting to the point where you stand in relationship with God – because you yourself got to know Him. Not because your grandparents took your parents to church and your parents took you. That is religion and not relationship. Religion is tradition. And the Word of God says in Mark 7:13 that nothing can nullify the Word of God like tradition.
I want to challenge you to step away from the tradition and the set ways you’ve grown up in. And really evaluate your faith. Is it based on religion or relationship?
You see, when we are stuck in religion, we battle things like low self-esteem, self-condemnation, guilt, self-disapproval, bitterness, self-hatred, feelings of not being good enough, feelings of standing alone.
But once you start having a real authentic relationship with the Father, He teaches you about His heart and His ways. And little by little, He will renew your mind and replace those earthly, carnal minded lies with the Truth of His Word and with your true identity – which can only be found in Him!
[Part 3 coming next week]