I’m Learning . . .

The Other 6
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"I am a beautiful, much-loved child of God.” How difficult it really is to say those words.

After a season of wilderness in my faith walk as a result of struggling with a difficult season in ministry at my church, I signed up to participate in a Beta course. Beta—The Next Step in Your Journey With Christ is a life-changing discipleship video series by Neil T. Anderson. It follows the popular Alpha course that explores what Christianity is all about.

 I was praying that this course would reignite my heart for ministry and take me deeper in my relationship with Christ. What I wasn’t expecting was the revelation of just how I really saw myself.

 Before taking this course I would have considered myself as having healthy self-esteem. But within the first two weeks of the course, I was challenged to take a very deep look at myself. What I actually found was not in any way healthy. I was quite shaken by the truth of what I really thought. How did this happen? I knew I had to face it or I would never be truly free in Christ.

 Being a people-pleaser all my life—addicted, actually, to the approval of others—had left me wide open for Satan to do what he does best: destroy, deceive, discourage, defeat, and more.

 I had just gone through what I felt was a season of failure. I had been asked to serve in a ministry position that I was not able to balance or handle in a healthy way. As a result, I wasn’t experiencing God’s blessing for those I was ministering to, nor for myself. I was convinced I had lost God’s anointing. I believed every lie Satan whispered to my heart, so that when someone I trusted criticized me, I gave Satan exactly what he wanted. I quit everything.

 Looking back now I can see that being a people-pleaser or approval addict really is about pride. However, the journey to this realization was definitely not without torment. Am I cured? No. Am I healing and being restored? Yes, praise God!

 Resigning from everything had left me with no identity—at least in my own self-worth. As the Beta course unfolded, God gently opened my eyes to the destruction that Satan had done and was continuing to do in my heart.

 I had just spent six months calling myself a failure. No longer being involved meant no one was commenting on the things I was doing; therefore, I had lost the approval of everyone. Oh, the mind games that we play.

 One of the things asked of us during Beta was to say the words “I am a beautiful, much-loved child of God.” At first it broke my heart to realize I couldn’t do so—because I wasn’t sure if I really believed those words. But as the weeks unfolded, God revealed over and over again just how much he loves me and that my true identity is in Christ and not in my works or in the approval of anyone else. I began to speak those words—first out of discipline, claiming God’s promises for my life, and finally with deep conviction. That truth is for each and every one of us.

 You too are a beautiful, much-loved child of God. I encourage you to claim this promise daily. If you find the words difficult to say and believe, I pray that you will ask God to reveal your true identity in Christ. May you be set free to be all that you are in Christ.

About the Author

Karen L. Bruinsma is a wife and mother of five and is a member of Hope CRC, Port Perry, Ontario. She is currently enrolled in the Eastern Canada Leadership Development Network (www.ecldn.ca).

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