How To Love & Respect Yourself, with Dr. Derwin Gray

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

Most of us are aware that the best use of our gifts in life is to help others. But what if we have trouble defining what are unique gifts are? Usually the problem is one of self-respect. In the third episode of a series with NFL player-turned author and pastor Dr. Derwin Gray, he and the Amens discuss how to find your intrinsic value and use it to the advantage of not only yourself, but of those around you.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit
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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome back. We are here with our friend, Dr. Derwin Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Charlotte. Is it in North Carolina or South Carolina?
Pr Derwin Gray: So technically our facility is in what's called Indian Land, South Carolina, but it's basically Charlotte because Charlotte is just continuing to grow and spread and so we are very much a regional church and now becoming a national and international church.
Dr Daniel Amen: Wow, congratulations, and your story is just so important. And during this time of the pandemic, what are you hearing from your parishioners that really is touching your soul?
Pr Derwin Gray: Yeah. Probably one of the most touching stories I've heard thus far is we have a woman that's a part of our community. She is a 79 and she wrote me a note and said, "Pastor, I send in about 25 bucks every two weeks as a part of my offering." And she goes, "I just got a check for $200 and I'm going to give half of it to Transformation Church because I want to see more people come to know Christ." And I thought to myself in the midst of our economy, in the midst of what's happening and at her age to continuously, generously give to the mission at Transformation Church, that lets me know that her trust is not in the economy, but it's in Christ, that she's generous because of the generosity of Jesus.
Pr Derwin Gray: So I've received, our church has received large checks by number but maybe never one as large by intent of the heart. And so we are seeing people serve, we're seeing people do the best that they can. It's really, really been encouraging to watch our people grow in solidarity. This has actually brought us closer.
Dr Daniel Amen: So important. Let's get back to the Good Life, and what are some of the major takeaways you want people to do with this book? How do you want it to impact them and what are some practical things that they'll get in the book?
Pr Derwin Gray: Yeah. I think the biggest thing they're going to get in the book is they're going to be surprised at how the quality of their life and relationships is transformed. I think they're going to discover aspects and elements of their lives that they didn't even know that were possible. I think they will discover a hunger and thirst to love people like they'd never had before because they're going to encounter the depths of God's love.
Pr Derwin Gray: One of the chapters is called Happy are the Peacemakers, and boy, can we use peacemakers in this time in the United States of America. Our happiness flows out of the quality of our relationships, and so if you hate another person, if you have grudges against another person, that's an anchor in your soul. And so when we learn to forgive, when we learn to receive God's love, the person who gets healed the most is not the person you forgive, it's you the forgiver.
Pr Derwin Gray: And so there's a lot of coach in me, and coach's love to see their players maximize their potential, and so what I think people are going to get out of this book is they're going to truly become themselves. And the practicality and the practical steps of the disciplines that I have, people walk through the prayer guide, I have them walk through. There's even a Bible study that people can do. I really see this and sense that could there ever be a better time to launch a book than in a global pandemic? [inaudible 00:05:09] about the Good life and finding happiness? I believe in marketing, but my marketing strategy is not that good to shut the world down.
Dr Daniel Amen: Needed now more than ever.
Tana Amen: It's so true. We so need these positive messages to focus on and something purposeful. And we're hearing from a lot of people that follow our work and follow our podcast that this is actually the best time in their lives. So a lot of, I mean obviously calls on the suicide hotlines are up 800%, but there are a lot of people who feel like it's one of the best times in their life because the pause button got hit. Life isn't so fast. They have time with their families.
Tana Amen: I mean, we're hearing those stories as well, but you also need something to focus your attention on to challenge those negative thoughts, something bigger than yourself. I mean, one of the questions we've taught our kids in this house, because we've got two teenagers and a 10-year-old here right now, and that can be challenging during this.
Pr Derwin Gray: Oh, boy. I'm going to pray for y'all.
Tana Amen: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Pr Derwin Gray: I pray for you. Call me for counseling anytime.
Tana Amen: And they're all girls. So the sky is falling, the sky is falling, the sky is falling. And one thing that we have been working on with them, especially the 10-year-old I really helped her with. They just, they freak out. They're emotional over something that happens and I stop and I'm like, "We have a question in this house. Does it have eternal value?"
Tana Amen: If it doesn't have eternal value, if I'm not going to remember it five days from now, five years from now, I don't care. It doesn't matter. It's, we might react in the moment and then let it go because it does not have eternal value. There's way bigger fish to fry right now. We need to be focusing on what has eternal value. Turning that pain into purpose, using our God given gifts to help others.
Dr Daniel Amen: Now in the book, you have an ABC model. Can you talk about that?
Pr Derwin Gray: Well, as far as an ABC model, what I've tried to do is talk about our head, our hearts, and our hands. Typically, as people, we tend to flow into, well, we're we're all head or, oh, we're just all emotions, or we're just serving. And so I think that to be a unified person, we want our minds filled with truth and love and beauty that helps our heart.
Pr Derwin Gray: And let me pause here. When I say helps our heart, helps us to move beyond our past pains and traumas and to begin to love ourselves correctly. One of the things that I'm seeing is a lot of people will go, "Okay, well I get love God and I get love my neighbor, but what does it mean to love myself?" And I find that there's a lot of people who don't like themselves, let alone love themselves because they base their self-worth on accomplishments. And as you guys know and as I know, there is never enough accomplishment to satisfy the human heart. And so what I like to say, "If Jesus is not enough to satisfy your heart, nothing will ever be enough."
Pr Derwin Gray: So a part of loving yourself correctly through the Good Life is coming in contact with a father, God the father saying, "You are my beloved, you are precious to me. You are valuable to me, not because of what you do, but because of who you are." But more importantly, God, the father loves us the same way he loves Jesus because a supernatural miracle takes place. And when we say yes to Jesus as our forgiver, our lives become interwoven into his and all of a sudden what's true of him is true of me.
Pr Derwin Gray: And I have found a lot of people, and I know you guys have as well, who struggle with loving themselves. And because of Dr. Amen's work, I'm able now to help people to say, "Listen, if you are struggling with depression, if you're struggling with anxiety, you're going to be lent towards these negative feelings about yourself. And so not only do you need the word of God in prayer, but you also need to see a specialist."
Pr Derwin Gray: We have a mental health, our brain health, I don't say mental health anymore because I learned from someone we should say brain health. So I say brain health now. Matter of fact, somebody should write a book on that.
Dr Daniel Amen: That would be a great idea. I think that would be. We'll just call it the end of mental illness.
Pr Derwin Gray: I like, I like it. And so we have a brain health ministry here at Transformation Church and a lot of it is teaching people how to love yourself correctly. That doesn't lead to arrogance. It leads to profound humility and it leads to treasuring yourself because of God treasures you. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat other people.
Dr Daniel Amen: Right. And the underlying thought, the foundational thought to low self-esteem is I am not enough. I'm not pretty enough, rich enough, smart enough, tall enough, skinny enough, whatever it is, it's I'm not enough, which is only perpetuated in the era of social media.
Tana Amen: Yeah. It made me wonder about one thing you said as well. In the beatitudes, how deeper blessed are those [inaudible 00:10:42], and it made me wonder about something because you've been through a lot. I've been through a lot. A lot of our people listening have been through a lot. It's why they find us. So they've been through a lot, they've been through trauma, they've been through grief, and they're certainly going through it now. And I started wondering during this time I've been, I've had more time to read my Bible, to pray, to reflect than I normally have, and I've actually wondered something. Is the reason that this time is peaceful for some people and the reason that some of us actually, like you, you've turned your pain into purpose, I feel like I've been able to turn my pain into purpose. But I wonder as looking back at those times that were so difficult, that were so hard that we thought for me, I'd rather not be alive.
Tana Amen: Is it because at least in my mind, I realized I had the unfortunate but fortunate opportunity to realize that my entire life was built on a house of cards. So everything that I thought was important was ripped away from me in literally one sentence, "You have cancer." And that one sentence destroyed everything that I thought was important. So everything had been built on accomplishment. It had been built on physical appearance. It had been built on these things that can be taken just like that, just like a pandemic can do.
Tana Amen: So that is traumatic, but when you learn that lesson, don't build your house on that again, don't rebuild on that house of cards. You're stronger the next time around.
Dr Daniel Amen: Yeah. We have to go to the next podcast, but [inaudible 00:12:13] I want to talk more about the Good Life, you can get ... You can pre-order the book at Get chapter five for free. You will just love Pastor Gray's teaching. They come from the heart, but they're so practical, and you can also learn more about his church. Is it
Tana Amen: Dot TC, Yep.
Dr Daniel Amen: Great. Stay with us.
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