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Vital signs- Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Vital signs

”I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.“

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2‬:‭20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Our shame and negative self-image play a significant factor in the unhealthy thoughts and actions we struggle with on a daily basis. We struggle to accept God’s love for us because we view life through the filter of our shame. We struggle to love our neighbor because we don’t love ourselves. When we may feel rejected or like a failure, we may grow depressed or use porn or alcohol in an attempt to ease our pain.

God loves us, and desires us to see ourselves as He sees us. He has something so much better for us. When I first began to internalize this truth, I made the conscious decision to cut out the trash-talking voice of shame in my head.

For years, I had let my thoughts and emotions run wild. I routinely told myself negative things like, “Yeah, I guess I am worthless,” and “I can’t do anything right.” This only reinforced these deeply rooted lies in my mind and heart. For years, when I felt really sad about myself or situations in my life, I’d just embrace it rather than confront the lies. How self-defeating was that?!

Further, I likely wouldn’t tolerate someone talking to my friends or family members the way I was talking to myself, yet it was normal to talk to myself that way. It had become so routine.

But with God’s help, I began meditating, morning and night, on specific verses about who God is and who I am as His loved, righteous, redeemed child. I began to embrace that I was no longer a sinner but a saint. Sure, I still struggled with sin, but in Christ I had a new identity as a saint.

Sometimes it can be difficult to embrace this. Many people teach that “humans are purely evil and worthless,” rather than the biblical truth that “humans are broken.” If you know Christ and have accepted His forgiveness, you have been freed up to stop obsessing about your sin and who you used to be. Put your emphasis on your new identity as a saint. At the cross, Jesus overcame all shame. Period. Now, it’s only a matter of living in accordance with this truth.

In my life, whenever the old lies came up, I started taking those thoughts captive. I’d catch and switch those thoughts to the truth of who God says I am. I’d close my eyes and visualize past experiences where I had encountered His presence, love, and goodness toward me. And that began to change everything.

God, please help me to stop believing lies and to live in the truth of Your love for me. Still the trash-talking voice and help me to heed Your Spirit instead.

”For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,“

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭3‬-‭5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Team Wade loves you and is praying for you.❤️👊

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