It’s always exciting to find a new book – that special topic I’ve been looking for – at a bargain price.
Last week, I discovered the book by Joyce Meyer, “God is Not Mad at You.” In her usual fashion, Joyce speaks the truth about perfectionism, legalism, shame and learning how to live guilt-free.
These are topics we deal with regularly at GateWay of Hope. And the root to many of these struggles is the pain of rejection.
We can feel rejected because of various circumstances:
- Losing our parents at an early age
- The comments of children and/or teachers at school
- Struggling through adolescence and the volatile teen years
- Failing classes or failing at a job
- Betrayal by a spouse
- Comparisons to other women or even to our siblings
- Abuse of any kind
When we feel rejected, we may try to be perfect – to reach that high bar others have set for us. And we may think we need to be perfect for God as well, which can trap us within the lies of legalism.
Then all sorts of damaging emotions can plague us, causing even more mental and spiritual problems which may lead to more rejection. And the cycle continues.
Some of these emotions may include:
- A critical and judgmental spirit
- Constant comparisons to others
- Feeling defensive at any type of criticism
- Distrusting anyone in authority
- Compulsive behaviors
- A stronghold of fear
- Feeling hopeless
- A poor self-image
- Plus many more negative emotions
So how can we get past these issues, dig out the root and prevent the bitterness that leads to false guilt? How can we find freedom to move on?
In our Boundaries classes at GateWay, we teach women this truth, “I am not responsible for how someone else thinks.”
So if another person compares us to someone else or says something ugly to us – we don’t have to believe that or receive it into our spirits.
We can fight against it with the truth. “I’m not responsible for what you think about me.”
We can also learn to love ourselves and appreciate who we really are – separate from all the things we do.
As Joyce writes, “No matter how many other people love you, if you don’t love yourself, you will still feel lonely.”
Through Counseling, the support of relationships in groups and Coaching, we teach women how to be authentic, how to be honest and not afraid to be vulnerable, how to truly love themselves.
When we feel secure in the knowledge and truth of who we really are, when we accept ourselves as we are – then we don’t have to be perfect or meet the standards of someone else.
The most important path to guilt-free living is to realize we don’t have to earn God’s love. He accepts us and loves us. Period.
He won’t love us any more if we do great things. He won’t love us any less if we do nothing.
He has a special place in his heart for his daughters, and he will never abandon us, reject us or leave us alone to struggle through life.
When we truly know how much God loves us, then we can begin to love ourselves even more and stop living in the land of rejection.
And if you struggle with these issues, give us a call at GateWay of Hope. 913.393.GATE (4283). We’d love to help.
©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women