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Negotiating a Ceasefire

Back side of woman standing with hands behind head.

The world is filled with brokenness. Broken people. Broken families. Broken promises. It’s a wonder to me how God could deal with it all when much of the time I don’t even want to deal with me.

I’ve struggled a long time with self-hatred. I even hate writing that because it sounds so melodramatic, but it’s true nonetheless. I sometimes feel like I get a handle on it, but it creeps back in.

Reading Christa Black Gifford’s words this week were insightful and more than a little liberating.

Self-hatred, at its core, is simply a product of the parts of our heart at war with one another. –Heart Made Whole

She explores the basic parts of our heart in detail, which I won’t get into here (you should read this book), but I can identify with those words. I hate myself because I should be able to function at higher capacity and do more. I hate myself because I fail in areas I’ve had “plenty of time” to get over. I hate myself because many times the people closest to me get the short end of the relational stick.

There’s a pulling back and forth then an exchange of blows then full on war. I had a personal and very real experience while reading this chapter as I felt God healing, bringing that ceasefire. I’m sad to say that later the same day I fell below my expectations and wondered what the heck was going on.

And I was reminded again that God isn’t into quick fixes. He can transform us in an instant if He wants, but many times healing is a long process. You didn’t break your heart in one day and one experience so it makes since that He may want to take time to bring about His perfect wholeness.

As long as parts of your heart are at war with one another, the peace you long for will remain beyond your reach. As long as you despise your negative emotions, they can never change. As long as you condemn your old wounds, they will never heal. And as long as you stay in denial, you can never uncover truth and be made whole. The only way for your heart to live in unity with God is if you’re also living in unity with yourself. –Christa Black Gifford, Heart Made Whole

To love my neighbor as myself, I have to first find a way to love myself. To live in the unity with Him He longs for me to experience, I have to allow Him complete access to make the broken pieces whole.

No more quick fixes. I’m just being plunged over and over into the ocean of His goodness and love, and that’s more than enough.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this? Have you struggled with any self-hatred (even if you might call it something else)?

hmwWelcome to week 5 of our book club discussion of Heart Made Whole by Christa Black GiffordWe are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add your link to the widget at my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s place. 

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, feel free to dive into the conversation!


  1. God may hate our sin, but he sees the person he created, and his love for that person is boundless. So boundless that he gave his son for the sin he hated.

    Good post, Jason.

    • Thank you, Glynn. It’s funny because we begin to think we understand “boundless” but then it turns out to be so much greater than we realized. Infinite is truly incomprehensible.

  2. Oh, yes, Jason, I have struggled with that demon many times in my life. As I read this chapter, I thought about how God healed my heart after an extremely traumatic incident (I won’t elaborate here). It was NOT a quick fix. It took time, lots of time, and it required my full and complete submission to Him. But every moment of this long trial was worth it.
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Heart HealthyMy Profile

    • I know it’s worth it, and I definitely know my own impatience! I think once I have a little understanding, I should be done. Turns out there’s layer after layer in many cases and He’s lovingly healing it all. I’m so thankful, even when I don’t see or understand it all. Thanks Martha.

  3. Excellent point about loving our neighbors. We can’t love them as ourselves if we don’t have a love for ourselves.

    I too get tired of failing at the same weaknesses, but instead of looking at the losses I now try to count the days of winning, or doing what brings our Father honor. Seems to be a huge perspective change for me.

    I’m with you, Jason. I have to remind myself that if our Father loves us and we’re to be in His will then we can’t hate what he loves.

    • I’ve been reminded many times of the same thing. The failures loom so large, but in reality it’s just a brief blip on the radar compared to everything else. I need these reminders often! Thanks so much, Floyd.

  4. I love what you said about God not being a fan of quick fixes! I am so impatient with myself!

    • Exactly! And then because I’m impatient I can start to believe that He’s getting impatient or worried, which is ridiculous. Terrible Cycle. Thanks Kimi!

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