Joyce Meyer - Press Past Guilt and Shame
So, let me tell you a little bit about my story. Some people battle with guilt more than others do. And because I was abused in my childhood by my dad, I grew up thinking something was wrong with me. 'cause I just thought, you know, there has to be something wrong with me for my father to want to do that to me because I didn't think it was happening to anybody else. I found out since, that it happens to a lot of people, and you'd probably be amazed at how many people right here in this room have been sexually abused in their childhood. And it's a horrific thing to have happen.
It's like, there's all kinds of problems that can cause shame in and people's lives but sexual abuse is probably the most shaming. It like, it does damage to your soul that only God can heal, but he can heal it. I said, "He can heal it," amen? And shame is a little different than guilt. Shame is actually deeper than guilt. And when you have toxic shame, you're not just ashamed of something you've done or something that's been done to you, but you become ashamed of yourself.
And when you're ashamed of yourself, it just poisons everything else in your life. God wants you to love yourself. Not in some kind of a selfish, self-centered way, but he wants you to love yourself, and to like yourself, and to enjoy yourself. And it took me a long time to realize this but most of the problems that I had, most of the personality issues and the relationship problems I had, I didn't realize this but most of them stemmed from the fact that I did not like myself. And when you don't like yourself, you're gonna find it very difficult to get along with anybody else because you can't give away what you don't have.
So, for example, if you don't receive mercy from God, you're gonna have a very hard time being merciful toward other people. Just remember that. You can't give away what you don't have. And so, I would hear messages about loving people, and I wanted so much to be a loving person, and to be a gentle, and a kind person. And I wasn't, and I prayed about it, and I'd hear the messages, and I would go home and I would try. But you know, if you don't have the right stuff on the inside, no amount of trying is gonna make any difference. Matter of fact, it will just frustrate you more because the more you try to do what's right, it seems like the more you do what's wrong.
And so, God eventually, showed me, and I wish it didn't take us so long to learn things, but we're a little bit dense sometimes, and it takes a little while. But God finally, showed me, he said, "You can't love anybody else because you don't love yourself". Well, at first that doesn't even sound right to us. It's like, I don't know why, but religion, not relationship with Christ but religion, which is totally different than having a relationship with Christ. Matter of fact, sometimes you gotta lose your religion to find Jesus. Amen? But for some reason, religion, that old religious spirit, makes us feel like it's religious to feel bad about yourself and beat up on yourself.
You know, I remember making confessions in church like, "I, a poor, miserable sinner," which we do sin but your identity is not a poor, miserable sinner. Your identity, your new identity, "In Christ", and I amplify, "In Christ", is I am the righteousness of God in Christ. You understand that? The Bible says that you're holy, that you're sanctified, that you're redeemed. Now, these are all things that we have in our spirit. They may not all be showing up in our behavior yet. But there's a possibility because when you're born again, you receive the nature of God. Do you understand that? God's nature is dwelling on the inside of you. That means you have the capability to act like God.
I'll go slow for those of you that are still got one foot in religion. How many of you know what I mean? Religion makes you feel like that the more you beat up on yourself the more holy you are. And that's just totally and completely wrong. Now, we don't want to have some kind of an attitude that, "Oh, we're the greatest thing since sliced bread," and you know, have some kind of a haughty attitude. But you need to know who you are in Christ. There's a big difference in who you are in Christ and who you are in yourself. And so, for all intent and purposes, like Paul said, "It's no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me. And the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who died and gave himself up for me".
So, that old part of us is supposed to be dead and we're resurrected to a new life with a brand-new nature. And part of that, is that when we sin and make mistakes we can repent, be sorry for our sins, turn away from them, want to go in a new direction. And when you sincerely repent, and that doesn't mean you need to grovel for 40 days in the dirt, it just means that you say God, when you're convicted, "You're right, God. I did that. It's wrong. I want you to help me. I don't want to do this anymore, forgive me," and you are forgiven, completely forgiven, totally forgiven. And the Bible says that, "God remembers our sin no more".
So, I want to suggest to you that you stop going over, and over, and over what God has forgotten. He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west and remembers them no more. Now, I had a really hard time with all of this. I mean, it took me years. I believed it in my head, but it took me years to get to the point where I stopped feeling guilty all the time. And I can actually, tell you and I say this with all humility, I almost never feel guilty, now. And it's not because I don't ever do anything wrong, but it's because I know my heart toward God, I don't want to do wrong things, and when I do, I immediately ask God to forgive me, but I refuse to give the devil another day of my life.
And I pray this afternoon, by the grace and the mercy of God, that some of you are gonna get a real breakthrough in this area. Because all guilt is our way of trying to pay for our sin that Jesus already paid for. So, how can you pay for something that's already been paid for? And so, if you really want to look at it right, it's almost like, insulting to Jesus because it's like saying to him, "Well, you didn't do a good enough job. So here, I need to add my payment".
And so, our way of paying is to feel guilty and be miserable. And what I did was I would not enjoy my life. If I had any fun, or I rested, I felt guilty because I always felt better if I was working. I was worth more if I was working, and producing, and doing something. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Do any of you feel guilty when you rest? Most people. Well, it's no wonder we're worn out all the time and weary and tired of life. You know, there's gotta be some balance.
And so, there were many different things that God taught me, and showed me, and examples that I could share but one that I remember very well that was really helpful to me was, I was going to the store one day. And I think it was a big target store and I had done something wrong, I don't know what it was. You know, I mean, we're always doing something, so... Got cranky, smarted off to Dave, you know, something. I don't know what it was.
And so, I was having my regular guilt trip, and you know, when you really wanna feel really bad, rotten about yourself, it just kinda seems to just, everything just kinda goes down. And so, I went to the store and I even parked way out in the back part of the parking lot. Now, this is the silly stuff we do. You know, unless God shows it to us, we don't even realize what we're doing. And so, I parked way out in the back part of the parking lot. You know, I'm a backlot worm. I got out of my car and I was walking kind of real slow toward the store. Just thinking about how bad I was.
And God said to me, "When do you plan to get over this"? And I thought, "Oh, probably in two or three days". And I mean, it was like I got a revelation standing there that I actually kind of assigned certain amounts of punishment to certain types of sin. If it was a little sin sometimes I'd only have to feel bad for a day. So, this must have been a medium thing because it was gonna take me two to three days. And if it was a really big sin, I mean, I might be on a whole month guilt trip. But then, after I felt guilty long enough I would finally go ahead and really receive what God had been trying to give me all along. You know, you have to forgive yourself.
Now, obviously I don't mean you can forgive yourself, but when you receive God's forgiveness... See a lot of you are still holding things against yourself that God already forgave you for long, long, long, long time ago.
We need to understand that God wants us to enjoy the life that he's given us. And we need to rest. And not only rest your body, but you have to have internal rest. You have to not worry about something all the time, and not always be trying to figure out the answer to some problem, or just trying to reason everything you don't understand. You can not understand things and survive because God understands he knows. Amen?
So, boy, this guilt thing was really, really, really hard for me. And I learned the power of confessing the word. God wants to meet your needs. He wants you to have an abundance and more so you can be a blessing to other people. I do not understand why that old, dead, dry religion wants everybody that's a Christian to be poor, and broke, and miserable, and go around with their head hanging down feeling miserable. I mean, that is wicked. That is not God's will. "I will supply all of your need according to my riches in glory by Christ Jesus". "Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed together, running over". "Bring your tithes and offerings into the storehouse and I will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings so great that you cannot contain them".
Now, not everybody has the same amount, and I'm not saying everybody's gonna be rich, but I do believe that God wants to meet your needs. Amen. And just that religious mindset, just makes me so mad because it steals what Jesus died for his people to have. You can enjoy your life and you do not have to spend your life feeling guilty and condemned over every little mistake you make. The reason why Jesus came is because we are so pathetic if we're left alone that we won't do nothing but make mistakes. And you can be saved up to your eyeballs and you're still gonna make mistakes. Because as long as you have a human flesh, you're not gonna do everything right all the time.
And I learned the power confessing God's word and I think I mentioned in one of the other teachings I've probably said a million times in my life, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ". And that makes religious people mad. "Well, who do you think you are"? You didn't hear the, "In Christ," part. I am the righteousness of God in Christ, not in myself. You need to know the difference in your who and your do. I don't do everything right, but I know who I am in Christ. And, I'll tell you what, I am so sorry when I sin. Oh, I'm so sorry. Because I love the Lord, and I don't want to disappoint him, but he already knows everything I'm gonna do before I do it.
You're no surprise to God. He didn't say, "Oh, no. I didn't know you're gonna be like that". We think, "Oh, I bet God is so disappointed". He already knew what you're gonna do before you did it. God looks on the heart of man. And you obviously, care deeply about your relationship with God or you wouldn't be spending all day on Saturday, you're one, or your two days a week off, here, listening to me preach the Word of God to you. And so, God sees your heart.
The Bible says that when the word is sown in your heart that satan comes immediately and tries to steal it. And one of the ways he does that, is you come and you hear all this good word, and then, before you get home, you get mad at somebody trying to get out of the parking lot. Come on. Or you get in a fight with somebody out at the resource table over who's gonna get the last series on love. Yeah, I had two women fighting at the resource table one time over who was gonna get the last series on love. I'm like, well, it's obvious you both need it.
You know, the flesh is just stupid. That's all you can say about it. That's all you can make out of it. It's just stupid. But thankfully, we got the wisdom of God on the inside of us. And I'll tell you what I am grateful for, I am so grateful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Oh my gosh. I remember when I could mistreat people and didn't even know I was doing it. Well, not now, I mean, the minute I'm even the least bit, gotta little bad attitude or a cranky tone toward somebody, it's like... I know it. "Oh God, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry". And if I need to, I'll tell the person I'm sorry.
Don't ever be afraid to say, "Hey, I'm sorry. I was wrong". And don't make excuses for it. Just say, "I'm sorry, I was wrong". It sets you free, and it says a lot to them. And so, I started confessing, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ, set apart and made holy by the blood of the lamb. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. But every tongue that rises up against me in judgement I will show to be in the wrong".
And I'm gonna give you a little list of things. This is a homework assignment. You may have to make up your own 'cause you won't remember this once you get out of the door, I don't imagine, but... How 'bout if everyday, you say out loud... You don't need to say it to somebody because they wouldn't understand it. It would make you look like you were full of pride. But it's the words, words have power. Do you understand that? Words have power. And the more you speak them, the more you begin to believe them yourself. So, when I say, "Speak the word" I'm not talking about saying, "I'm gonna be a millionaire and be the president of the company". I'm talking about saying about yourself what God says about you.
So, how 'bout this? "I am loved by God. I am anointed. I am talented. I am special, one-of-a-kind. I'm not an accident. God created me with his own hand. I'm growing spiritually everyday. Everyday, I'm changing from glory to glory. I like myself. I love myself. I enjoy myself. I'm walking in God's will. I am totally forgiven for all my sins. God has a good plan for me. I am gonna do something great with my life". How do you think that would... I mean, seriously, how do you think that would start to change you? But there's probably very few people in here that do that.
How many of you say negative things about yourself out of your own mouth? "I'm so stupid". "I never do anything right". "I'm so fat". "My feet are too big". "My nose is too crooked". "I hate myself". "I wish I looked like you". "I wish I was this... I wish... I wish..." Well, you're not gonna ever be somebody else, you're stuck with you. So, you need to learn how to love it. Can you imagine how your life would change if you actually would embrace yourself and really just like who you are?
Stop trying to be your pastor's wife, or your neighbor next door. And you know, I've told all my stories, well, I say I'm not gonna tell 'em then end up telling 'em. But I tried to be like Dave because he's really easy-going and laid-back and I'm like... Dave's answer to everything is cast your care, and you know, mine used to be try to figure it out and make it happen. Thank God, I'm not like that anymore, but I'm not quite as good at casting my care as he is. And I probably never will be. And you know what? It's okay. You know why it's okay? Because I am what I am, and I'm changing as fast as I can, and God knows me and he knows my heart. And you know what? God even likes me the way I am.
And you know, to be honest, that's what real love is, when you accept a person where they're at because you believe that they're doing the best they can for where they're at right now. That's the thing that I adore about Dave is he likes my feisty personality. Sometimes I'll say, "I know I need to change that," he's like, "Oh no, please don't. Please don't". He's like, I'm his entertainment. When Dave and I met, I was washing my mother's car and he was trying to flirt with me, and he said, "Hey, when you're finished washing that car do you want to wash mine"? I said, "If you want your car washed, wash it yourself". And he said the thing that went off in him is, "That's the girl for me".
So, he wanted to get married. He'd been praying for a wife. And he made one big mistake, he asked God to make it somebody that needed help. And God answered his prayer. Boy, did God answer his prayer. But he said, he knew right away I was gonna be a challenge and he liked that. And I tried, I just didn't want to be the way I was. I didn't like my voice. I didn't like this. I didn't like something else. I never could have a lot of hair 'cause my hair is real fine. It's not thin, but it's just like, baby hair.
And so, I wanted long hair, and I wanted to be blonde, and my hair was brown. And I wanted to weigh, you know, we're always wanting something that we don't have and are never going to have. And then, sometimes, you can't even like the people who have what you would like to have. Come on, how many of you just hate skinny people? Don't you just love it when some skinny person says, "Oh, it's 5 o'clock and I forgot to eat"? I mean, I might forget my kids somewhere, but I don't forget to eat.
And then, you know, there were all those super moms. I mean, they could do everything, everything. They painted. They sewed. They had gardens. They canned vegetables. I mean, it was just like... And all I wanted to do was rebuke devils and preach to somebody. Come on. And I'll tell you what. Is anybody in here tired of being at war with yourself? I don't even know how to tell you, if you're even remotely in this area that I'm talking about, I don't even know how to tell you how much it will change you and change your life if you will come to terms of peace with yourself. "Well, joyce, how can I like myself, the way I act"? Because you're growing. You're growing and you're changing.
Matthew 5:48, in the Amplified Bible says, "You, therefore, must be perfect," and that's a scary scripture. But then, the Amplified Bible explains what that means, "Growing into complete maturity of Godliness in mind and character". Growing, not having arrived but growing. If you want to be all that God wants you to be and every day you're doing your best to be more and more like God. And you'll fail today, but tomorrow you're gonna get up and do it again. You want God's will, you agree with God when he brings conviction into your life about something. But you can't grow if you're feeling guilty all the time. Does anybody understand that?
You cannot grow if you're feeling guilty all the time? Paul said that he pressed toward perfection, but he still made mistakes. The apostle Paul made mistakes. You know the scriptures. Philippians 3:10-14, "That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, that I may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death". Yes, it says if you're gonna be like Christ, you're gonna have to go through some suffering. We talked about that last night. "That if by any means possible I might attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already made perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I've made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what is ahead".
Your sins have been paid for. You don't have to pay. All you have to do is believe. Repent, and believe what the Word of God says, receive it and keep pressing on to the next level of growth. You're gonna be growing all your life. How many of you sometimes wonder if you're even saved? You think, "My gosh, how could I be saved and act like this"? I mean, I have crazy dreams. I mean, every once in a while, I'll have a dream and wake up and think: "Am I really a Christian"? Paul took a step of faith and he forgot his mistakes. Let me read you something that I think you will enjoy. This is called, "The guilt trip story".
I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of the year and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. The trip was gonna be unpleasant and I knew that in advance, that no real good would come of it. You see, I'm talking about my annual guilt trip. I got tickets to fly there on, I wish I had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check, so, I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. Nobody greeted me as I entered the terminal to the regret city international airport. I say, international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town. As I checked into the last resort hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year's most important event, the annual pity party. Well, I wasn't about to miss that great social occasion. Because many of the town's leading citizens would be there. First, there would be the done family. You know, the should have done, would have done, could have done. And then, came the I had family. You probably know of the wish I had's clan. Of course, the opportunities would be present: missed, and lost. But the biggest family would be the yesterday's. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Then shattered dreams would surely make an appearance. And it's their fault would regale us with stories and excuses of how things had failed in their life. And each story would be loudly applauded by don't blame me, and I couldn't help it.
By the way, if you want this story, if you go online, and put in, "The guilt trip story", it'll pop up with my name.
Then, shattered dreams would surely make an appearance and it's their fault would regale us with stories. Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing it. And as usual, I became very depressed, but as I thought about all the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent pity parties could be cancelled by me. I started to realize I didn't have to be there. I don't have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, "I can't change yesterday, but I do have the power to make today a wonderful day".
Whoo! I can't change yesterday, but I do have the power to make today a wonderful day.
"I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged as well as encouraging". Knowing this, I left the city of regret immediately and I left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for the mistakes I made in the past? Yes. But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you're planning a trip to the city of regret, please cancel all your reservations now. And instead take a trip to a place called starting again. I liked it so much that I'm now taking up permanent residence there. My neighbors are the I forgive myself's and the new starts. By the way, you don't have to carry around heavy baggage there because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this new town. You can find it. It's in your own heart. And when you get there, please look me up I live on I can do it street.
Now, don't be afraid to take that step of faith and say, "Could this really be for me? Could I really not be miserable every time I make a mistake for two or three days? Could I really just ask for and receive forgiveness and then just go on? Surely, I gotta be miserable for a while"? Not really, not if you really believe that the blood... See, under the Old Covenant, sin could only be covered. And you know, when something is covered, something ugly is covered up, you still know it's there. So, it still kinda torments you and you're afraid somebody might uncover it and see it. But under the New Covenant, sin is no longer covered up, it is removed. It is washed completely away. Left with no residue. The blood of bulls and goats could cover, but the blood of Jesus cleanses and completely removes even the very stain of sin.
One of the old hymn says something about removes the guilty stain. I hope you're getting this. You see, I want you to go out of here with a new attitude, "I know I've got faults. I know I make mistakes. I know I'm gonna continue to make mistakes. But I love God, and he loves me, and I'm gonna have a good relationship with myself. I'm gonna enjoy spending time with myself". And you know what? The more you like you, the more other people will like you. Amen? 'cause you're gonna be really pleasant to get along with. The spiritually mature do not waste their time and God's feeling guilty over every mistake that they make.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Joyce: When you're loaded down with guilt and shame it poisons everything in your life, including your relationships. God wants all of us to push past guilt and shame and learn to love ourselves in a balanced way. Then we can have the freedom to love others and have healthy relationships. Today, Ginger's with us and has some of your questions that you've sent in on areas where you're struggling with guilt and shame. So, I hope we can maybe clarify some things for some of you. Ginger, what you got?
Ginger: A lot of really good questions today, and people who are in just different circumstances in their life where it's so easy to be overcome by these feelings. So, the first one is from Michelle in Lakeport, California. "I feel guilty about not being a better mother. I work a lot of hours as a single mom, and I feel like the time I spend with my children is not quality time. What can I do to lessen my guilt and shame"?
Joyce: Well, it's not God's will. I always say, "We're not built for guilt". And God knows I suffered with it for so many years because of the abuse in my childhood. But I would imagine that just about any single mother probably deals with this because we have this idea in mind of what we're supposed to be. And the thing is, is that God gives us grace for our place. You know, like, I can get up and spend two or three hours every morning with the Lord if I want to. So, I have to be careful when I'm telling other people, "You know, you need to spend time with God," to remember that, you know, a young mom with four kids she's trying to get off to school before she goes to work, to work all day. She maybe, can't do that. So, she has to find a different way to do it. And I can assure this woman that she's not a bad mother. Mainly because she cares whether she is or she isn't. And as far as the time that she has with her kids, not being quality time, she's really the only one that can change that. And that's just a commitment to find out, what does each of her kids need from her? Interestingly enough, they don't all need the same thing. You really have to know your children to know what they need. You know, one needs time, like quality time with them is the most important thing. For somebody else, you know, they might want you to take 'em out and do something with 'em, or... So, you have to, some kids really, it's really important to them that they feel like you're listening to them, especially when they get up into the teenage years. And so, I don't think that her problem is as bad as she thinks it is, probably everybody deals with this. But as far as the guilt is concerned, let me just take a moment to say that this is a huge problem for people. It's just, it's huge. Between unforgiveness that people hold in their heart, and the guilt, and the shame, it's just wrecking so many spiritual lives. And one of the things that I've come to, and it's easy to say it, easier than it is to do it, but until you can learn to live by the Word of God rather than how you feel, you're never gonna have victory. Because you can do something wrong, repent, be as sorry as you can be, ask God for forgiveness, and even believe that he does forgive you and still, "Feel," guilty. And so, what I learned a long time ago was to even just say, "I don't care how I feel, the truth is I am forgiven". And so...
Ginger: That's a key phrase, isn't it? The truth is... The truth is...
Joyce: Yeah, see, the thing we have to realize this that truth is greater than facts. And so, something maybe a fact in my life right now, but the truth of God's word actually has the power to change that fact, but not until I believe the truth more than I believe the fact. And so, the quality time thing, I would recommend that she... I don't know how old her kids are, but sometimes, they're old enough to say, "What do you feel like you need from me the most"? You know, and God will show her what to do because she's seeking answers.
Ginger: Yeah, that's great. This is a question from Ruth. She says, "I feel shame as I compare myself to others, and see the people I know having so much success that I'm not having. How can I stop comparing myself and feeling this way"?
Joyce: Well, God is never gonna help her be anybody other than her. God will not anoint you to be anybody else. And this is a problem that we all have to get through, and learn that you really can't be anybody other than yourself, it's just impossible, you know, as far as like our basic personality. Now, that doesn't mean we don't need to change, and we don't need to grow, but this comparing yourself with other people is, it's just really a trap from Satan.
Ginger: It is. It's so dangerous and it's so easy to do.
Joyce: Yeah, you and I were talking before the show about what one of my next books is gonna be and I was saying, "You know, I just really wanna write something that's gonna help people be who they are and like who they are". You know, there's a saying that says, "You might as well be yourself because everybody else is already taken". And if you just think about it, like, if you don't like yourself, we all know how miserable it is to be invited to some family function that you have to go to and there's gonna be so-and-so there, who you really just don't like, and they're really hard for you to be around. Well, that's gonna be an hour or two, but you're with yourself all the time. And so, if you don't like yourself, you're just defeated before you ever get started.
Ginger: And that's exactly where so many people are.
Joyce: I reminded myself the other day. I was thinking about something that somebody was doing that I know they shouldn't do and been praying. And you know, and I just had to remind myself, God is not gonna hold me accountable for anybody other than me. So, anybody that's struggling with comparing themselves with other people, I mean, that's just one of the oldest tricks in the world from the devil because if he can keep you dissatisfied with yourself, then really, you can never be satisfied with anything else.
Ginger: Right, alright, this question comes from Derby, New York and Molly asks, "I'm a recovering addict, and this has caused the demise of my marriage. I also lost custody of my son. All of this has me feeling a lot of guilt. What can I do"?
Joyce: Well, I totally understand that and I'm sure, me telling you, "Well, you just, don't feel that way," is not gonna do any good at all. I think the thing that would probably help her more than anything else is to really deepen her relationship with God, you know. You can't do anything about yesterday. Even this morning, I reminded myself of that. It's like, and I didn't have anything in particular to feel bad about, but it's like, I mean, it seems like every morning the enemy can come up with something for you to think about that you wish you wouldn't have, or you would have, and you can't go back there.
Joyce: So, learn from your mistakes, whatever mistakes she made. And it sounds like they really cost her, but even that God can take anything and work it out for good. The best thing to do with your mistakes is to learn from 'em, and to remember... I heard this statement recently, and I really love it, that weakness is different than wickedness. And so, how could David commit murder and adultery and God still say, "He was a man after my own heart"? Well, because see, David wasn't wicked. He loved, loved, loved God, but he did have a weakness and he let that overcome him. So, she went through a period of time in her life where she was addicted to something, alcohol, or drugs, or something and it ended up ruining her marriage and causing her to lose custody of her child. But she could still have a good relationship with that child, God can do absolutely anything. But I think she just needs a lot of hugs from the Lord, and quiet time with him, and reading everything that she can get her hands on about how much God loves her, and you know, she calls here, we've got tons of information on that. Because that is the foundation of your whole walk with God, is you have to know that he loves you. And so, if he can love you and forgive you, then you need to receive that and go on.
Ginger: Yeah, alright, I think we have time for one more.
Ginger: Mary Jane asks, "My main problem is having a short temper and getting angry very easily. I constantly feel guilty about this. How can I conquer it"?
Joyce: Well, the way to conquer problems is to know who you are in Christ. So, she sees herself as an angry person.
Ginger: Yeah, you're right.
Joyce: And so, therefore, she keeps getting angry. I would suggest that even while she's angry she confesses the Word of God over her life and says, "I have the nature of God. The Fruit of the Spirit is in me. I am not a person that's easily angered". And you know, it reminds me of, I smoked cigarettes for a lot of years. Thank God, it's been 40 years ago, now, but when I first started in ministry, I still was a smoker. And I wanted to quit so bad. And I just, you know, we get into, "I tried, and I tried, and I tried, so hard". You know, our walk with Jesus is not about behavior change as much as it is about knowing your new identity in Christ. And then, yes, our behavior does need to change but it can't change until she sees herself the way she, "Truly," is in the spirit. And so, that's not saying that you deny losing your temper, but that's not who she is in her born-again spirit. She is not an angry, impatient person.
Ginger: So, that's truth versus fact again.
Joyce: That's truth versus fact. And so, while I was still smoking, I would drive down the highway and say, "I don't smoke. I can't stand to smoke. These things stink. You know, I just, I don't smoke". And you know, within a couple of weeks, I had quit. But if she sees herself as angry, then she's never gonna get over it. So, I would give her that as a homework assignment to, everyday, say about 10 or 20 times, "I am not an angry person. I have the nature of Jesus, and I'm patient".
Ginger: Yeah, and watch that guilt dissipate.
Joyce: And watch that, "Be it unto you even as you believe". You know, if you believe that you're a failure, you're gonna fail. So, you gotta start with knowing who you are in Christ.
Ginger: Well, thank you Joyce, very helpful.
Joyce: Very welcome.