Mandisa's "Unfinished" work
I beat myself up...a lot. I would never talk to anyone the way I speak to myself sometimes. Ask me what my best qualities are and it would take me a long time to compile a list. But ask me what I don't like about myself and buckle up, because I can rattle off that list in 3.5 seconds flat! I know I'm not alone in that harmful habit. I believe it is time for the children of God to stop wallowing in shame and regret, and start living lives of freedom, power, and authority. We do that by taking those destructive thoughts captive, and making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
In Luke 4, Jesus was hounded by the devil in the wilderness. Rather than getting in a philosophical debate with Satan, each time Jesus was tempted, He simply spoke the Word of God and kept it moving.
“But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’” Luke 4:4 NLT
“Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” Luke 4:8 NLT
“Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’” Luke 4:12 NLT
If it worked for Jesus, it works for me! Now when I hear those negative thoughts in my head, I am learning to respond with the truth of God's Word.
When I sin and want to pull away from God in shame, after I repent, I'll proclaim that, "I confess my sin and know that God is faithful to forgive and cleanse me. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those that belong to Christ Jesus, like me. I am more than a conqueror, and nothing can separate me from the love of God!" (1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1, 37-39)
When I look in the mirror and don't like what I see, I'll declare that, "Because I look to God, I am radiant, and not covered in shame. I have a true beauty that goes beyond outward appearance, and shines from the inside out. My heart displays an unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." (Psalm 34:5, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:3-4)
When I feel anxious and hopeless that I'll ever overcome the struggles that I always seem to face, I'll speak life by saying, "I celebrate the truth that God began a good work in me, and will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. I am not a mess. I am not a failure. I am not a mistake. I'm just unfinished." (Philippians 1:6)