Louise is someone who has a lot of critical people in her life. When Louise does not meet their expectations, they are quick to express their disapproval to her. The way that they do this is to insinuate that there is something wrong with her as a person for not doing some particular thing. The issues involved can be about a variety of things. They can range from how often she phones certain people to what kind of education she has and to where she is studying. What is noticeable is that their dogmatic views are about issues where we are given freedom to decide.
Louise, like all of us, engages in a lot of self-talk. “Self-talk” is what she says to herself, it is what is going on in her mind. After being criticized by others, her self-talk involves angry and resentful thoughts. Examples are “who do they think they are?” “These people are just annoying, I mean look at the way they live their lives, who are they to talk?” The result of this is that Louise has a growing resentment toward them and sees that she is beginning to hold a grudge.
Another form of self-talk that Louise engages in is to wonder what people will say and do if she takes certain courses of action. The result of this is that she withdraws into a shell and does not live the way that she knows that Lord wants her to live.
While reading John 3:16, Louise was struck that Christ came to save. He came to remove condemnation, not to add to it. That reminded her of what she had read in John 1:4. Christ is the life. Christ came to save and to bring life. Louise was not experiencing that. She was experiencing condemnation, dejection, defeat, and anger. How Louise was doing life was clearly not the way that Christ wants her to live.
Saved from Self
This reminded her of a friend’s advice to just be herself. Louise had laughed, thinking, “That is my true self. I am angry, cynical, resentful, fearful, and withdrawn. If I am just to be myself, I will become even more like that.” Louise wanted to be saved from herself and to have the life of Christ.
Instead of being “herself” Louise repented of sinfully responding to how others treated her. She confessed to the Lord her sinful anger, pride, fear of man, resentfulness, cynicism, and bitterness. In addition to this, understanding that she is to put on what is of Christ, she decided to pursue Him and His purpose for her life. Up until now, she would make choices based on how she believed that others would respond to her. Louise decided to make her decisions first on what honors the Lord and to think and relate to others accordingly.