Key 1: Give Your Heart to Christ
Spiritual redemption is the first key toward developing a positive self-image. People who don’t know Christ may claim they think the world of themselves, but they won’t draw that conclusion if they’re honest. Most unbelievers who state they’re self-sufficient and don’t need Christ are miserable people in crises. They’re like beautiful flowering weeds with no strong root system. They only have themselves to rely on for strength, energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. Eventually, they get to the end of themselves. They don’t have the Holy Spirit in them to build them up in Christ in a way that’s comforting and based on truth, even in times of chastisement.
Having a relationship with Jesus Christ resolves many issues that undermine emotional wholeness:
· Feeling guilty. Guilt is created when you have unforgiven sin. When you ask for God’s forgiveness, you’re forgiven. Guilt is washed away (Rom. 8:1).
· Feeling unloved. When you turn to Christ, you must accept God loves you and desires to have an eternal relationship with you (Rom. 8:38-39).
· Having a spirit of revenge against others. Once you’ve accepted God’s free gift of salvation, you should recognize that God also wants to forgive others. What God has done for you, He desires to do for all people, regardless of their past (Col. 3:13).
· Striving to earn favor with God. God’s gift of salvation to you is free. You can’t earn it, buy it, or achieve it through good works. You don’t deserve it. When you’re born anew spiritually, you must accept that any favor you have with God is based on what Christ has done (Eph. 2:8-9).
If you want to be emotionally whole today, give your life to Christ. Once you’ve accepted Christ Jesus as your personal Savior, you must follow Him as your Lord. This daily following of Christ includes confessing sins, a daily cleansing of your spirit that’s just as vital to your spiritual health as a daily bath is to your physical health. You seek God’s forgiveness first for your sin nature and then for the sins you commit as you follow Christ.
Remember, no one’s capable of following Christ perfectly. Everyone is prone to both willful and innocent errors—what some call sins of commission and sins of omission. It’s for these sins that you seek ongoing forgiveness. And when you do, your loving heavenly Father promises to extend His grace and mercy to you (Eph. 1:7).