Author’s Comments

Loving Yourself as God Does represents one person’s journey. I am not a theologian. I am a Christian who happens to be a licensed professional counselor (LPC). As such, I have had many opportunities to interact with people, hear their hearts, their pain and realities; and then share with them the truths found in this book. These truths are important to me because I have experienced them myself.
I believe I have some insights for Christians that are often not clearly explained in our churches. These insights will not be anything new, because they are based on scripture and my growing relationship with God. They may well give you a new way of thinking about yourself and God.
This book targets the emotions, wounding and thoughts of the Christian. From the day we are born, our emotions are impacted both positively and negatively by external and internal experiences. You will probably find that your internal experience is often very similar to what I have experienced internally over my lifetime. The external circumstances of our lives may be profoundly different and your circumstances may or may not have been 100 times more filled with wounding than mine. What will be the same, however, is how our external circumstances have impacted and wounded our souls.
If the wounds we have experienced are not dealt with, they will continue to haunt our present relationships. Our unhealed wounds can infect our relationships with those closest to us. More importantly, our wounds adversely impact our relationship with God. God doesn’t see us differently, and He continues to love us at all times; but from our perspective, we may feel the pain from our wounds instead of feeling His love. We puzzle about why we are not experiencing God’s freedom, grace, and joy promised to us in the New Testament.
If you have not been in counseling or a group targeting recovery, this book may lead you into an unfamiliar world. Recovery in a Christian context means recovering from the effects of the fall of man. Many of the concepts may be new to you. This is an inner journey that will allow God to touch and heal your heart of hearts. As Christians we learn that our minds are to be renewed. Why is this so? There are harmful ways of thinking, being, feeling and acting that need healing. Bible studies and sermons aid this process, as do Christian counseling and groups. Christian counseling, unlike most Bible studies, is a bit like alternative medicine. We do not only deal with the outward, or surface, behavior in counseling. We look for the root cause and seek to work with God’s Spirit to remove or heal the root that impacts behavior.
I have several goals for you as you read this book. The first is a desire for you to like yourself as a unique creation, a special child of God. As I have worked with my clients, I consistently see a universal plight: most people seem to have a strong dislike of themselves. When we genuinely dislike ourselves, you will see how we unknowingly block ourselves from receiving what is already available for us from God. When we can’t receive what God has promised to us, we live in emotional turmoil and limit our potential for use in the kingdom of God.
The second goal is to help you live in the emotional and spiritual freedom and peace Christ died to give you. Because we were born into a sinful, fallen world, we all experienced wounds as children that may continue to impact our current relationships. When we are wounded, we believe a lie told to us by the one who wounds us, or we interpret the event in a way that we tell ourselves a lie. These are lies about who we are, and they sneak into our belief system. We must uncover these lies, or they can block our experience of the grace of God in many areas of our lives. The enemy of our souls works to use these lies to block our understanding of the love of God from our hearts. As long as we are unaware of what is available to us from God and of what is blocking our progress in the Christian faith, the effects of the wounds, sins, and dislike of self will hinder our living life to its fullest in relational and spiritual matters. When we experience God’s grace to heal our hearts, He replaces poisonous, toxic lies with His truths to heal the effects of the wounds.
Thirdly, I desire to get the word out to Christians and non-Christians that God is not who the world thinks He is. He is too often represented only as the God of wrath and punishment. God must judge sin, because He is holy. Because God is full of grace, He sent Jesus who has already taken God’s wrath and punishment for the believer’s sin. When we accept God’s grace through faith in what Jesus did for us, there is no condemnation left for the believer! As Christians we are now free to experience God’s love. Too often, we believe God is still judging every imperfection, so we become hyper-vigilant about measuring up…and so begins the war with myself. I pray from these pages a new reality of God will emerge and you will end the war with yourself in your heart of hearts.
The fourth goal for you is to live a more realistic, balanced and authentic Christian life. Christians are generally fearful of being authentic. As a model of authenticity I choose to use my own life experiences for most of the examples. Carl Rogers, a psychiatrist who developed client-centered therapy stressed, “What is most personal and unique in each of us is probably the very element which would, if it were shared or expressed, speak most deeply to others.” Although Rogers did not claim to be a Christian, I believe he hit on a truth that when we share from our heart of hearts, it speaks deeply to the one listening. Being authentic is true ministry, giving hope and grace to others. I hope as I share my frustrations, struggles, insights, and victories, I will speak deeply to you.
Some might say I have not addressed the justice and wrath of God, only the love of God. I purposely do so. I minister to people who already know they are sinners. They are broken and have come for help. They are stuck at some point in their lives and want to move forward with God. All serious Christians seem to understand they do not measure up to God’s standards. In my fifteen years of practice I’ve only experienced two arrogant clients who needed to hear of God’s justice. One claimed to be a Christian and the other did not. Each came once. I leave the arrogant ones for someone else’s ministry: I have been called to the wounded. Respectfully , Micky Land