Not 1% Less

So I want to share with you a journey I have had in the lasts few years.  It began in a bad place.  It really didn’t have to be that bad but there was one move I made that I will not make again.

People make mistakes.  Maybe you never have.  Maybe you have never made the wrong decision or never said something hurtful to anyone or said anything negative behind someone’s back.  Maybe.

It all began when I made a series of mistakes.  I concluded something and it was the wrong conclusion, which led to the wrong behaviors.  I can’t change that and I’m okay with that now.  But that’s not my point in this article, what I did that I will never do again, is turn my back on myself.

I have become very familiar with these thoughts inside our heads that will replay mistakes, or wrong words, or wrong conclusions.  At first I believed them because I thought they were true.  For example, I was wrong, therefore I should like myself less.  This equation is not true in heaven.

I was wrong!  And it really affected people.  And I still have permission to love myself today!  I thought I was worth being thought less of.  In a way, I was punishing myself because I thought that’s what I deserved.  I questioned myself and doubted my partnership with God.  BUT did you know there are no mistakes in heaven?!?!

Did you know that maybe I was setup to experience this whole in my character so that God could build a new thing there??  Learning requires humility to not know something to begin with.  All of these things are okay and never have to involve the self-destruction of shame, guilt, condemnation, or exclusion.

Did you know God still loves you and values you?  He never thinks less of you based on this learning journey you are on??  Did you know he speaks of your value, your worth, and your ability to always brush yourself of and dive right back into life.  SO….

In conclusion, you may be having other thoughts.  Even small incremental thoughts that get you to like yourself just a little bit less, maybe even one percent.  I don’t believe these thoughts anymore.  None of them.  For any conversation, presentation, appearance or decision.  Not one percent less.  They are not from heaven, and God will rebuild in your life, wherever you tear yourself down.  I will not partner against his work any longer.

You and I walk with a breastplate of Christ’s righteousness on that doesn’t let any accusing arrows through.  Not one.  There is no hole in his righteousness, no gap, no interruption, or weakness.  His righteousness is a perfect FREE GIFT that I have experienced more now than ever before.  Do not make room for any thoughts about yourself that get you to like yourself even one percent less.  They are not from Him.


Self-love is necessary to the Joy-in-full as given to us in Jesus.  When we realize how we are forgiven by him and we choose to then forgive ourselves of every shortcoming and mistake we perceive we walk in or we’ve made, we begin to have permission to love ourselves again which ushers in inner peace.  Many fears are actually a fear of punishment by God for our transgressions, now or later.  That there is a God who is mad and will inflict suffering upon us for our lack of obedience or performance consistency.  We then, in turn, hold ourselves to inner standards that we perceive God does.  I shouldn’t have done x, y, and z.  I should be doing this.  I should be less like…myself.  And there lies the endless cycle of I’m not good enough as I am.

Christ has come not to change you so he can start to like you, but in fact, reveal to you your value and worth that you yourself cannot destroy, damage, or take away.  God’s kingdom–he–continually speaks dignity, self-worth, value, and significance in who you are, apart from the decisions you’ve made.  You cannot undo your likeness of him.  You are God’s child and he is your father that loves you and is proud of you.  He laughs at my mistakes more than I give myself permission to and he understands our thoughts and motives at this point in our journey more than we understand ourselves.  God gives me far more grace than I give myself and he is challenging me, growing me in consistently loving myself well, despite my perceived shortcomings.

He speaks this way.  “Remember the verse about forgiving other people 70 x 7?  That refers to my way, my nature.”  That he operates like that with us. “Well I want you to forgive yourself the same way. 70 x 7.  Without limit, without measure.  Forgive yourself, rather than accuse yourself.  Let things go and operate within my love that covers and forgives.  Lean into grace.”

He continues with, “Remember that verse about nothing in heaven or earth can separate you from my love?  No angels, no demons, no trial, no suffering?”  “Well I want the love you carry for yourself to be just as indestructible as my love is for you.  That is never waiver or falter.  You have my permission to give yourself approval at all times, rather than disapproval.”

God’s spirit will always guide us into taking care of ourselves, insides and out because he is your creator and has given you this gift of life and he knows its value and how much it is a journey of experience with him that is a gift.  Anything that cuts down, or discourages your personality, your expression, your gifts, your life, your freedom are quite possibly not from your father who delights in you as you.

Mission minded people sometimes think:  I will serve God by loving other people.  But we can only really love people to the capacity we have received God’s love for ourselves.  You count just as much in God’s aim of love upon this earth amongst all of humanity.  That God’s kingdom of peace and joy and love endure and reign within our own hearts.  Permission to love ourselves fully and completely again through the eyes of Christ, this is what I call self-love, agreeing with God that he says we are lovely.

Some believers are quick to expect God’s rebuke but they never hear God’s romance.  We don’t allow ourselves to hear it, because we don’t believe it’s true or because we don’t believe we deserve it.  That’s a lie.  God is in love with you and he wants you to give you permission to love yourself again too.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love



Peace where are you??

I found myself not feeling the same effect of my relationship with God for a season of my life.  I had experienced great change, experienced some intense relational and work stress and found myself making efforts to control my surroundings in order to manage my peace and somehow restore the inner stillness in my mind I had lost.


It didn’t work.  Stress continued, unsettled sleep, and a general underlying presence of anxiety persisted.  Even though I prayed, even though I worshiped, even though I studied the Word, even though I was hearing truth.  I was attempting to self-medicate my spirit.

I was reading the writings of another saint and was reminded of how far my spirit was from the exchange she was sharing with God in her soul.  I missed that.  One morning I asked God how to return and I heard, “Preach forgiveness to yourself.”  I love preaching even though I rarely get to do it, and over here in the Middle East I rarely here others do it either.  He asked me, “When’s the last time you’ve heard forgiveness preached?”  And he wasn’t referring to that I needed to forgive someone else.  He meant between him and myself, and the always by-product of that is between me and myself.

I thought about it and it has maybe been over a year since I heard someone speak about what God did for me on the cross and what it accomplished on my behalf without any effort of my own required.

Now let me clarify something.  I’m strongly a minded-person.  And what I mean by that is normally in order for something to have an effect on my heart, I need to have a linear pattern of thought that makes sense to my mind in order for an impact to be felt emotionally within me.  This, however, has also been a weakness in my experience as I will get so caught up in trains of thought that will have nothing to do with life or freedom.   Whether they could be categorized as anger-based, or fear-based, or relationship-based, I tend to reason things out in my mind or have conversations in my mind.  Again this–I have not observed usually ends up in anything life-giving.

So the question is where has my peace gone?  And God’s answer was, why don’t you preach the gospel to yourself this morning.  And so I did.  I looked up the word forgiveness in the back of my bible, hunted out all the verses and at least one more that came to mind and wrote them down.  Now realize, heaven is not a formula.  Just because someone reads the verses below doesn’t mean, they will receive the peace I did through the process of looking them up, but I share them with you because of some of you who will believe them when you read them and it will settle things within your spirit and peace and calm will be experienced in an increased measure again.  Here we go.

  • There is forgiveness of sin for all who repent
  • Through this man Jesus there is forgiveness of your sins and everyone who believes in him is declared right with God
  • Even greater than sin and death is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this man Jesus Christ
  • Forgetting the past, I look forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of this race through Christ
  • He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his dear son who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins
  • For God was pleased to live in Christ and reconcile everything to himself.  He made peace with everything through Christ’s blood on the cross.
  • You must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it
  • Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard this good news
  • Now he has reconciled you to himself through Jesus Christ
  • He has brought you into his own presence and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault

My conclusion in all of this was that if Christ is at peace with me through Christ’s blood, I can be at peace with myself through Christ’s blood.  I received a surge of confidence again in what Christ has accomplished and done entirely apart from my performance or abilities or competence, which freed me from any condition-ality in my relationship with God.  There remains no room for my failure within his love and accomplished work on the cross.


It felt so nice to be in the presence of a savior again.  Previous negative experiences I’ve had had brought in a level of distrust between myself and God.  Why was that so hard, why did that have to be that why, why is this still that way, etc.  I grew in mistrust of him because I lot perspective of his heart through my experiences.  All I could see was the past and present of what went wrong or what I was doing wrong now and I could no longer see what he had done for me or who he really was with me now.  I lost sight of his goodness in all the muck.  Now don’t get me wrong, my mind didn’t lose the knowledge of his goodness, it was my heart that lost belief through my negative experiences.

And so through reading the writings I read, I had regained hope of being restored not factually but emotionally with God and my heart flittering again with confidence in his goodness and his love for me where I could feel it when my thoughts drifted within me.  He has returned this precious gift to me.  It was once something I could remember feeling, but now again my heart is alight with a tenderness within.  It is a gift that I have not been able to conjure up within myself for sometime.  And I am grateful.  His forgiveness is like nothing else that still the mind and soul; that he has made all things well and that treats me with kindness and tenderheartedness.

I will write another piece about returning a stillness to my mind soon.