Have you ever wondered why you do things “against your better judgment”? Why you “know it’s not a good idea but you are going to do it anyway”? Do you ever wonder why you keep “picking the wrong guy (or girl)”? Why you keep making bad decisions?
All of us have these problems from time to time. Some of us have them more than others. And some of us, well, it’s just our way of life.
Have you ever met someone who could quote scripture from both the Old and New Testament, talk about it as though the principles set forth were second nature to her and… was living with her boyfriend? Or cheating on tests at school? Or stealing items from the local Wal-Mart?
Does it seem like sometimes people have two conflicting belief systems?
Does any of this apply to someone you know? And love? Or to yourself?
In the course of counseling with others, and in my own personal growth, I have discovered an interesting principle. I believe that what I am about to share with you now is a critical aspect of healing emotionally and growing spiritually.
It goes like this…
God created us as whole beings with many facets. We are physical, emotional, thinking, relational, spiritual creatures. God created all of these facets of us to work together and be closely integrated, interwoven, connected and intertwined.
Unfortunately, in this crazy, sinful, imperfect world, our parts are usually not too well integrated. The way I see this most clearly in counseling with others is the large gap between people’s thinking and people’s feelings.
Many people have been hurt emotionally, have not had their feelings validated, have shut down their feelings, have been abused, mistreated, rejected or ignored. When this happens to us in childhood, we are not equipped to deal with what is happening nor do we know how to protect ourselves. (For a more detailed explanation of this see How Emotional Problems Develop, WDA.)
As we grow into adulthood, our feelings and our thinking become miles apart. Because we don’t understand our feelings or even know exactly what we are feeling, we are unable to think about our feelings and make sense of them. When “thinking” and “feeling” are far apart, or not integrated, feelings will almost always win out over thinking. The result is we act on our feelings, making important decisions based on feelings, acting impulsively and irrationally, and so forth.
We are frustrated and confused because we don’t know why we are doing what we are doing.
As we begin to learn more about our feelings, experience feelings that have been long shut down, and start thinking about our feelings, we can merge these two aspects of ourselves (thinking and feeling) and begin to have one healthy belief system resulting in better decisions and better relationships. We will also be more aware of who God created us to be and will grow in our relationship with God.
This learning process can be started by participating in a WDA Restoring Your Heart group. One of the workbooks we have developed at WDA, Identifying and Grieving Our Losses, is used in these groups and is an excellent tool to aid in the process of learning about ourselves and discovering the person God designed.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this type of help, contact the WDA Restorative Team to learn more about starting a WDA Restoring Your Heart Ministry in your church.
When will you take the steps to begin healing your heart and become more connected to God and others?