IDENTITY

IDENTITY

When we neglect to call out who our children are, the world will step up and do it for us. However, their truth is often different from ours. Calling out identity is not about what they do, such as, “You are the best soccer player,” or “You always get A’s,” but more so about who they are; “You are patient,” “You are kind,” “You are worthy,” “You are capable.” Calling this forth sets them up for taking on the world and the challenges set before them. The first increases pride as it focuses on their performance and ultimately hinders connection as they learn they are only as good as their successes. The latter increases their identity as it focuses on Christ in them and what He has done. We want our children to walk out the door overflowing with the confidence of how God made them, not feeling the pressure to earn something or strive to become what they think others want them to be.

SETTING CAPTIVES FREE

Picture a jail. Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 both talk about captives and prisoners, but what is the difference between the two? Both of them are in jail. One is a captive, meaning he was brought there against his will but is free to walk back out. The other one is a prisoner who has committed a crime and must have keys to walk out. The keys are in Matthew 18:23-35. When I first read these verses, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We cannot overlook this Scripture. I want to highlight verse 35. WHO? So shall WHO? It says, “So shall my Father in heaven do to you.” Guys, we have to grasp this. When hurts, lies, and offenses come our way, we have to get out of the jail they create around our lives as soon as possible, or else the unforgiveness we hold onto will hinder God’s best for us. If you are sincerely trying to get out of bondage but can’t seem to find freedom, chances are that you are a prisoner, and the name of the key to open the door is FORGIVENESS! 

Here is a rough model to follow but let the Spirit lead you: “Jesus, who do I need to forgive?” Choose to forgive and pray to release them. “Jesus, what lie have I believed because of this hurt/offense done to me?” Choose to break agreement with the lie. “Jesus, what is Your truth?” Choose to receive what He has to say. I want to add that sometimes people have sincerely forgiven yet still are not experiencing full freedom. Sometimes we have to forgive not only the offense but the FRUIT of the offense. Say someone was abused as a child, and they have walked through forgiving their abuser. But there is fruit to the abuse, such as being unable to trust people, being self-protected, feeling isolated, not feeling safe at night, etc. Sometimes we have to walk through forgiving them for how their hurt/offense affected your life. 

HeartWork – I encourage you not to be introspective about this but to ASK JESUS to show you. “Jesus, would You please show me if there is anyone I need to forgive?”

TRUTH ADJUSTMENT

Declare this over your child, even when they are struggling and making messes. “I speak over YOU today there is still room for you at the table. Your messes are part of the growth process. There is still room for you. God has not weakened His gaze or affection over you. You have permission to be on your journey and learn as you grow! We live in a performance-based culture that values your A+ and rejects you for getting a C. God values your process and journey of becoming the full expression of who you were created to be. Break agreement with any voice telling you otherwise!”

FREE INDEED

Do not call a weakness what is really a wound that needs healing. We can be free and free indeed. Our HEART SPLINTERS book is for children of all ages (the adult kind, too) to help resolve the hurts, lies, and offenses that fester in our hearts and influence our lives.

Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

LEADERS ON A JOURNEY

I messed up big time, and it wasn’t the first. And it probably won’t be the last. Sigh! The older I get, the more I see people, especially leaders, hurting people not because of their wounds but because they fail to have the revelation of who they are. It isn’t their wounds that hurt others. Their lack of walking in their identity, their power, and the fullness of who God created them to be has hurt others. I call this orphan leadership. Years ago, I was starting to lead people on my team, which was a new experience for me. As much as I wish God would perfect us before letting us put our toes in the water, He often puts us in situations, knowing full well they will stretch us, allowing us to GROW in our capacity. I roared when I should have remained silent. I disconnected when I should have fought for them. I assumed when I should have listened. I jumped when I should have waited. I blew it, and I hurt them. On one hand, I was justified as a leader for dealing with the issue that needed to be addressed, but it would take me nearly two years before I could see my contribution and where I needed to become more like Jesus in my leadership. OUCH! The process was painful. I wanted to reach out to this person but had a million reasons why it was too late and would just be weird. I kept hearing God say, “There is no expiration on forgiveness.” I sent them a message of ownership for my part and asked for their forgiveness. I could barely get through their response with the tears in my eyes. They wondered if I had missed them as much as they had missed me. The presence of God is strong when there is unity amongst His children. 

Friends, is there someone you have hurt and need to make it right with? You WILL be reconciled with your spiritual family one way or another, as there is no strife, pain, and disunity in heaven. But here’s the deal – you give God glory and honor by reconciling with someone ON EARTH that you can’t give to Him in heaven. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me if there is anyone I need to make something right with and ask forgiveness?”

HEALING WHAT WAS STOLEN

I have shared about my powerful time ministering to the moms at the rescue mission in California. A friend messaged me saying she wished I could come minister to her girls in Colorado. I just happened to have had a trip planned and an evening free so I took Lauren and Emma to minister with me. What a glorious night of freedom for these sweet mamas. I honor them for the hell they have been through and for the ways God is redeeming, restoring, healing and repaying for all that has been stolen. If you want to see God move, sit with those who truly need Him.

TRUTH STATEMENTS

When we neglect to call out who our children are, the world will step up and do it for us. However, the world’s truth is often different from ours. Calling out a child’s identity isn’t about what they do, such as, “You are the best soccer player,” or “You always get A’s,” but more so about who they are, “You are patient,” “You are kind,” “You are worthy,” “You are capable.’” Calling this forth sets them up for taking on the world and the challenges set before them. The first increases pride as it focuses on their performance. The latter increases their identity as it focuses on Christ in them. Don’t we want our children to walk out the door overflowing with the confidence of who God made them to be? It isn’t about systems or hard labor but about keeping His presence through peace. Running a household is hard work, yet many hands make the work light. The smallest of hands can feel good about themselves for successfully managing things.

LET HIM SHOW YOU

A mom messaged me, saying that her daughter was believing lies and had shut down. She wanted my help with how to handle it. This is a great example of being led by the all-knowing Holy Spirit and not just checking off a religious formula. I first asked her WHAT the lie was. She replied that the daughter believes the parents are abusive and do not love her. While that is obviously a lie, it is the daughter’s truth. I then asked the mom to ask Jesus what He thought of the daughter’s words. The mom humbly came back to me and reported that Jesus showed her that she was using a tone and responding in a way that was hurting her daughter.

HELPING EACH OTHER FIGHT – SLANDER

“When someone slanders another to us, we must remember that we are not mainly fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan knows that slander deadens and splits churches, poisons friendships, and fractures families. He knows slander quenches the Holy Spirit, kills love, short-circuits spiritual renewal, undermines trust, and sucks the courage out of the saints. So our goal, particularly in the context of the church, is to help each other shed demonic weights and avoid satanic stumbling blocks. 

So how do we do this? The best way is to become people who are not safe to slander around. We must ask each other questions like: “Have you shared your concern with this person directly? I’d be willing to go with you to talk to him. Just to be clear, is this information I should know? Do you want me to help you pursue reconciliation? Are you doing everything you possibly can to put away ‘all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander’ (Ephesians 4:31)? How can I help you guard this person’s reputation like a treasure (Proverbs 22:1)?” In other words, friends don’t let friends slander. Friends don’t let friends act like God-haters (Romans 1:30). 

“The more we love people, the more we hate slander, because a slanderer hates his victims” (Proverbs 26:28). Let us remember that we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names. Let us resolve to avoid sharing information that is unnecessarily damaging to another person’s reputation and to repent to everyone affected if we do. Let us seek to silence the sin nature slanderer within and graciously give and receive others’ help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander. Let us do damage to Satan’s forces by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let us lay aside the destructive sin-weight of slander. In an age of social media, that lacks the functional information-spreading restraints of past eras, let us be all the more slow to post (‘slow to speak’ – James 1:19) analysis, speculation, and commentary on information about another person or group, even if it has become public in our slander-saturated culture, that might eventually prove slanderous. 

“All the serious biblical warnings about slander still apply, which should make us all, especially those of us with ‘platforms,’ tremble.” – Jon Bloom.