Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
“For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells. . . If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
—Romans 7:18 & 2 Corinthians 5:17
“God isn’t the God they told you about. He isn’t out to destroy you, demean you, embarrass you, or kick you out. Jesus went to a lot of trouble to give us stories that are surprising and profound. Those are stories of love, joy, and welcome.”—
To become a warrior that’s fully engaged in the fight, we need both truth and love—and truth is sometimes hard to hear. We don’t grow or thrive without this powerful combination. Our tendency in today’s society is to build our self-esteem by pouring out praises; accentuating the positive, overlooking faults and imperfections. Although this is often done in a sincere effort, it produces an out of balance situation.
The truth is that we are flawed and even when we try to do good we often fail. We can’t overcome this by speaking positively or pumping up our self-esteem or pretending our flaws don’t exist. This fact is not intended to result in you beating yourself up for being flawed, rather so you will grasp the truth that we are sinners and God loved us so much that He sent His only son Jesus to pay for our sins (John 3:16). God understands who we are. “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:13 & 14).
Just as our flaws are very real, so is the amazing love of God the Father who sent his Son to redeem us. God made you just as you are and he loves you. He demonstrated “His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We have value because of what Christ did for us.
Through embracing the whole truth – that we are flawed but through Christ we are incredibly valuable, we are free to come boldly to the throne of grace totally transparent and completely honest to obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
The truth is, God “…made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are right before God because of Jesus and His love for us.
“Birds need two wings to fly. With only one wing, they’re grounded. The gospel flies with the wings of grace [love] and truth. Not one, but both.”—Randy Alcorn
 Steve Brown, Three Free Sins, God’s Not Mad At You (New York: Howard, 2012),146.
 Randy Alcorn, The Grace and Truth Paradox (Sisters, OR: Mutnomah, 2002), 16.
Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who is married to Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.