God makes reality visible. If we don’t pay attention to what He’s lit up then we’ll end up in the dark, tripping over life’s furniture.
Discernment moves past physical awareness to spiritual awareness and so distinguishes confusingly similar things. Discernment and counseling intertwine.
We choose what we pay attention to – that person or object or feeling on which we set our minds. I can look at the person I’m having lunch with or take in the hockey game on the big screen behind their head. You can listen to what your friend is saying or think about what you’re going to take out of the freezer for dinner. And each of us can attend to either our independent inclinations or the guiding of the Spirit. We know about wavering between hockey and our lunch companion; we understand the conflict between friend and freezer, but what does it mean to set our minds on the Spirit? The question is of utmost importance, because this mindset shapes the entire tone of our lives.Read more
Sometimes we take the events going on inside our own heads and assume they’re also going on in the outside world. Naturally we then respond to “what’s going on”…even though it isn’t actually happening. That’s projection. For example, let’s say I’m angry. When we talk, if I project, I assume you’re the one who’s angry and start defending myself against “your” anger (the anger that never existed in the first place).
What best helps people change? Do we start with beliefs, emotions, or behavior? Do we emphasize one of the three or do we address them all? What do the professionals recommend? And what does God say?Read more
Many years ago I met with a married woman who was deeply in love – but not with her husband. Torn between that love and her guilt, she had reached the end of her rope.
She hadn’t stopped her affair for a very good reason. She hated the sin, but (and this is what kept her involved in it) she thought that giving up her sin meant giving up her longing to be cherished. She really did hate the sin. She just couldn’t figure out how to stop it without this deep sense of losing something that shouldn’t be lost.Read more