Mental Health & Renewing your Mind (Part 3)
You are ENOUGH!
Whilst we are digging into our identity and exactly who we are in Christ – I want to use an extract from Dr MK Strydom’s Who You Are in Christ document.
[Dr MK Strydom is a qualified doctor who wrote the book The Bible from a Medical Perspective & Medicine from a Biblical Perspective as well as many other documents such as Who You Are in Christ – of which I’m extracting below].
This analysis was done by a professional psychologist on one of the Bible characters, read it and see if you can guess who the assessment was done on:
“He suffers from chronic low level depression. He’s moody, impulsive and becomes angry when he feels victimized. He struggles with low self-worth. Because of feeling intellectually inferior, he attempts to hide behind an exaggerated ego. He really trusts no one. And yet he relies on others more than necessary and becomes naïve in his relationships with them. He exhibits self-criticism and irritability. He believes in individualism and has trouble in interpersonal relationships. His lack of trust often leaves him feeling anxious around people. He has relative weaknesses in attention. He has trouble sleeping. His weight fluctuates. He’s not mentally ill; he doesn’t have a personality disorder, and yet he often feels humiliated, embarrassed and remorseful.”
Did you guess who this could be? Well first of all, outside of the Bible he or she could be anyone you might meet in town tomorrow and even in church – or any man or woman who wasn’t raised with a Biblical self-image… including you. But the Bible character this best describes is a young man by the name of Gideon. Let’s look at his story because he is just like anyone else. If Gideon could believe what God said about him and develop a new self-image, so can you!
At the time, a tribe of people called the Midianites were oppressing Gideon’s land. His family were dealing with super high taxes and inflation. All around him was economic, cultural, religious and racial bondage. (does this sound similar to today’s day and age?) It was the worst of times for Israel – and Gideon was right in the middle of it. He was just trying to survive. He wasn’t thinking about being an over-comer or prosperous individual. When God called this young man of about 20 years old, he was hiding in a winepress, trying to thresh out some wheat. Threshing wheat in a winepress was a horrible, miserable job. The chaff, the dust – everything was unpleasant. In that day in the life of Gideon, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and his life was changed forever. He said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour!” (Judges 6 v 12).
When you take the time to study what a “man of valour” is in the original Hebrew word, you will find that God called Gideon “a champion overcoming warrior who possessed valour, dignity and honour!” When the angel said that to Gideon he said, “Look, uh, Lord – would you please look around? Look at me. Come on, I’ve been a mess my whole life. I’ve been making minimum wage. I’ve just been trying to make it through life. I come from a family of dysfunctional people. We’re all just surviving – barely making it through. So are my friends. We are all trying to make a living. Everybody I know is sick, poor and in debt.” But God told this insecure young man, “All that is going to change son. You are not what you think you are. Listen, you are what I say you are! You are a mighty man of valour – a champion overcoming warrior who possesses dignity and honour!” And this fearful young man from the tribe of Benjamin changed the course of his nation. Gideon went to war, and God fought with him: Judges 8 v 28: “Thus Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for 40 years in the days of Gideon.”
God told Gideon who he was and the rest was up to him. It was up to Gideon to decide whether he will trust God or whether he will continue to believe what he sees in the physical.
Just like god said to Gideon, He’s also saying it to you today: You are not what you think you are. You are what I say you are. You are a mighty woman of valor, a champion, an overcoming warrior – who possesses dignity and honor!
Now you might argue that you’re not worthy of God’s grace. And yes, we are all sinners. And we will never be perfect. And if it wasn’t for God’s unmerited favour and grace – none of us would have been able to be saved! But grab your Bible, and highlight this verse with the brightest pink highlighter that you can possibly find!
Jeremiah 1 verse 5 (Amplified Translation): Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and approved of you as My chosed instrument], and before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own].
My dear girl, God loves you. He always has and He always will. No matter what happened in your life or how you feel about yourself – God loves you. God accepts you. And God approves of you.
What is important to realise is that even though God approves of you, it does not necessarily mean that he approves your behaviour. God already know the sins that you will commit even before you thought about it or end up doing it. God knew you before you were even born. God knew about all the wrong mistakes and choices you would make in life – yet, He still approved of you. That’s a kind of love like no other! Nothing that you have done or will do in the future can surprise God. He already knows and yet He still chose you.
Ephesians 1 v 4 says, “He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world.” He already knew every weakness and every flaw and He still said, “I want you.” Ephesians 1 v 5 says that He predestined you to be adopted as His child.
Ephesians 1 v 6: “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved.”
[Part 3 coming next week]