I learned for the first time that he had been divorced and had a strenuous relationship with his son.
I was a little taken aback because I didn't know these things about him. (I know I'm a little behind on the news. It happened 20 years ago) : )
But I have to say it made this book even more meaningful, even more powerful.
And I saw the grace of God even clearer.
Charles Stanley is just a human being like the rest of us and his openness to share his pain and share the gift of God's grace really spoke to my heart.
He says here:
"God created you and me with the capacity to experience the full gamut of emotions so we could enjoy life, share our inner being with others, and reflect His image. They were given to us as a gift so we could interact meaningfully with our heavenly Father and the people we know. However, in this fallen world, our feelings have become a mixed blessing. The same capacity that allows us to experience intense, overflowing joy is also the gateway to sorrow so deep and overwhelming that, like Job, we may wish we had never been born. (Job 3:3)"
He deals with these negative feelings in a Biblical manner. Emotions like rejection, bitterness, guilt and despair. He shares personal experiences from his childhood with an abusive stepfather, to his experiences as a pastor. I really felt a humility in his words that made it easy to open up to what he was teaching.
And most importantly, he pointed to Christ.
He shares that trusting Jesus comes first:
"If you cannot trust Jesus enough to save you, then nothing I write here will do you any good. You cannot even begin to have fellowship with God until your sins are forgiven once and for all through faith in Christ.
This is because when Jesus saves you, He sends His Holy Spirit to live within you and teach you. The Holy Spirit is the One who searches your heart and mind - repairing your brokenness, counteracting wrong beliefs, and enabling you to overcome your circumstances. Without a relationship with Him, there can be no true emotional healing. Without the Holy Spirit empowering you, you cannot have victory over your feelings."
The theme of this book was really about how we often see ourselves (lies) and how God sees us (truth).
He says here in the chapter about rejection:
"The only way to have victory over rejection is to release the damaging ideas we have about ourselves and take hold of God's truth."
"There is no need to go through life handicapped by past experiences. What others say about you doesn't matter. How they treated you is inconsequential. The only accurate, eternal, unassailable measure of your worth comes from almighty God, who will one day judge the living and the dead without exception (1Peter 4:4-5)."
Your worth is in Christ.
Who He is and what He has done for you gives you worth beyond measure, beyond measure!
I think this was my favorite chapter because I related to it the most. The fear of rejection has been very real in my life. The starting point of healing for me was a few years ago when the Lord spoke five words to me during a time of sadness in my life. He whispered... Your worth is in Me.
Since then it has been slow but steady and this book has been so encouraging. This chapter goes on to talk about our worth in belonging to Him as adopted children, worth in our relationship with Christ and worth in competence through the Holy Spirit.
He shares 50 facts on who we are in Christ.
I've shared ten of them here:
1. You are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
2. You are a child of the almighty, sovereign God (Rom. 8:16)
3. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2Cor. 5:21)
4. You are unconditionally loved (1John 3:1)
5. You are permanently forgiven (Eph. 1:7)
6. You are free (Gal. 5:1)
7. You are an ambassador for Christ (2Cor. 5:19)
8. You have eternal life (John 3:16)
9. You are called, justified, glorified (Rom. 8:30)
10. You are perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established (1 Peter 5:10)
These aren't just words, these are life.
Life in Christ.
We, as Christians, are truly and fully free, truly and fully loved and truly and fully forgiven. We are not waiting for eternal life, we are living it in Christ now!
This next quote was very profound for me:
"...it is also crucial to turn your attention outward from your desires to the needs of others. You are to love those whom God gives you to care for - whether they return your affection or not."
This really makes such a difference. To take attention off of ourselves and serve others is not only beneficial for us and them, but it is the imitation of Christ.
I wanted to share so much more from this book but this post is just getting to long! I do highly recommend it for anyone struggling with feelings of rejection, guilt, bitterness or despair.
There is hope, and it is in Christ. He can heal every broken heart.
Buy it HERE on Amazon