“Stupid and useless.”

He would get into conflict easily. He feels like he has to beat others when they are wrong. He has to prove them wrong.

He asked God why he acts this way towards people and remembered how his dad criticized him. He did not feel loved or cared for. His dad very rarely played with him. Every day after school they would work. He would work with his dad, but he could never work fast enough. He would often get yelled at for being slow. His dad would call for a tool, but he didn’t know what tool that was and got yelled at again for bringing the wrong tool. His dad labeled him with this declaration: “You are stupid and useless.”

Later in life he was a worship pastor but his relatives continued to call him stupid and told him to get a real job.

His perception of God was influenced by his father’s behavior. He never felt like he was living up to God’s standard. “Sometimes I’m afraid of God because I have sinned and it has become a habit. I have fear in my heart. I am afraid of God’s discipline.” Was his fear really directed at God or was he simply projecting his fear of his dad on a different authority figure?

When it came to accusing his dad before God, he had a hard time holding his dad accountable. “It is okay for parents to criticize their children! I felt like I just needed to do a better job.” Even still, he had a hard time seeing the sin that had been done against him. He was excusing his dad because it is a parent’s “right” to treat their kids in this way. In the Bible, however, it gives parents instruction on how they should parent, saying, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.” In order to forgive his dad he needed to see that his dad had actually sinned against him. If there is no sin then there is nothing to forgive.

Eventually, he accused his dad of making him loose heart, even to the point where he was afraid to look at his own dad. He asked God to do justice on his behalf. Trusting God for this, he was able to forgive him and give up his right to accuse him of this anymore.

He confessed his own sin, including that he projected his dad’s behavior on God and misjudged God. He confessed that he had believed this lie and had lived it out for himself, and even projected his dad’s unhealthy pattern on other people. This was why he was in conflict all the time. He had learned an unhealthy behavior from his dad.

He asked God to forgive him for his sin. He rejected the unhealthy pattern and asked God to break its power in his life. He asked for freedom to have a new pattern, living to encourage others. He also rejected the “stupid and useless” labels that had been put on him and asked God to break the power of those as well.

God spoke to him in response to these labels and told him, “In My eyes, you are precious, the only one.”

God was beginning to restructure his perceptions. The sins from his family were contributing to these unhealthy perceptions. His lies could not effectively be dealt with until the sins that were supporting them were removed through extending and receiving forgiveness.

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About Nathan Banker

Nathan, Michelle and their two sons are occupational ministers in the Twin Cities. They do spiritual mentoring, a form of prayer ministry call Prayer Resolution and help run a small church-like community called Immerse. They dream of changing the world, one person at a time.

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