As a boy, I had several cuts, scratches and bruises just like most boys do. I remember one particular incident when I had a good sized scrape on my knee from a bike accident. After few weeks I had a full scab and was on my way to complete healing. Unfortunately for me, we had a friend of the family visit us. Somehow this “friend” convinced my parents to pour peroxide on my scab. In a panic I tried to talk my way out of the forced treatment but it was to no avail. As my parents held me down, I cried through the torture. I’m not sure what it was to accomplish. The only thing that happened was I felt pain, I was angry and the peroxide removed the scab. The scab had to grow again before I healed.

I’ve had to deal with some deep pains lately. What I’ve come to understand in my life concerning emotional healing is this. I couldn’t deeply believe God the Father completely and absolutely loved me. My experiences, since I was child, left me believing I was unlovable. Even though I received Christ as my Savior at sixteen years old, I was so emotionally injured I couldn’t grow in His love and grace. Even though the chains of my addictions and issues were broken through Christ I continued to destroy my life. I would accept criticism from others and would listen to the condemnation that was screaming at me in my head.

Here is the picture in many Christians lives. Before accepting the invitation to follow Christ, we were fettered. After Christ, the fetters were broken and we were set free from sin and death. Unfortunately the fetters left deep cuts on our wrist. Through our walk with Christ our cuts begin to heal and scab. The scab in the natural is protection until the wound heals. The scab in the spiritual represents Gods grace as we grow in Christ. In the natural we are constantly tempted to scratch and pick at the scab because it has a nagging itch. We tend to do the same in the spiritual. Because we do not fully believe God’s love for us is full and complete, we keep pulling His grace off of our lives. We keep going back to the past pain and sin disbelieving in full redemption through Christ. In this place of unbelief we cannot believe the Father absolutely loves us. This starts the cycle of self criticism and condemnation and keeps us from deep inner healing. This unbelief of total redemption corrupts, misrepresents and twists our perception of God and how He sees us. It doesn’t allow us to live beyond our past. Instead of healing, our damaged past becomes a logical and acceptable part of our daily lives. There are a couple of problems with this scenario. God is not logical and Jesus came to heal the broken hearted.

If this describes you, here are some steps you can take to help stop the cycle of self criticism and condemnation.

1. 1. Stop picking at the scabs.

Learn to filter what the media (including Christian media), family and you say about yourself. Filter the truth from the lies. Resist accepting and repeating the lies. This can be difficult at first but keep doing it and it starts to become easier to deflect the deceit of the past.

2. Give yourself time to heal.

We always seem to be in a hurry. Remember renewing the mind takes time. In addition, it’s not all about healing. It’s also about building a relationship with Christ. When you have a relationship with Him, your negative opinions of yourself and others opinions matter less and less. Relationship building takes time. But the closer you get to Christ, the more emotional healing takes place organically.

3. Use ointment.

Spend quit time reflecting on all the good the Word say’s about you. Also remember, since your salvation, you have done good deeds. Reflect on those actions or deeds for a moment and ask the Spirit to help you to enjoy this life by finding other ways of doing good deeds. There is something about serving others that helps bring healing. These actions are like a healing ointment for the soul.

Are you ready to break the cycle? Are you ready to heal? Start using these steps today to move forward in the life Jesus came to give you. Start believing in total redemption because God doesn’t do anything half-hearted.

What are other ways in which we can break unbelief in total redemption?