The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10

If a dog or a cat has a wounded foot, it will begin to limp in such a way that the foot no longer bears weight. The animal compensates by changing its behavior so as not to feel or exacerbate the pain.

Those of us who experienced emotional pain as children, without the resources we needed to deal with it, may have grown up on a mission to nullify—or “dullify“—our feelings. We numbed ourselves with denial, rationalization, minimization, and bad habits. We used people and things to survive the pain. When we did that, the thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy was winning.

But Jesus announced that he came to offer something different—”a rich and satisfying life.” As we courageously begin to take our lives back and wake up to our feelings, we begin to taste that authentic life he came to bring.

Ask Yourself
Think back on your early experiences. Can you name a time when emotional pain caused you to “limp” or close down your emotions?

How do you tend to numb your feelings today? What is your “dullifier” of choice?

Ask God
God, thank you that you are my Protector and Provider. Though it was once unsafe to feel, I believe I am safe with you. Because I long for the life Jesus came to bring, one that is rich and satisfying, I am willing to trust you on this journey.

Taken from Take Your Life Back Day by Day copyright © 2016 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.