Saturday, 24 November 2012

irrational hermits?

Have you ever reacted to something completely irrationally, and had no clue why?
I don't know about you, but I've experienced this countless times. There are few things more frustrating than knowing that you're completely frustrated by something, and yet you have no clue why. Shouldn't we know ourselves better?

A few weeks ago, we had Melissa Helser come to speak to the Leadership Track. Among other things, she brought up the issue of "Inner Healing." Its quite the Christianese lingo, but the basic concept is digging to the depths of your soul and past, to try and get healing of anything that would hinder you from the fullness of experiencing God's love. Most people's experience with this, is a one-time session of tears and Kleenex trying to uncover any hidden hurt or anger. While this can be effective, its rare that you will have total "inner healing."
Well first of all, most of our memories are not that clear, and the really painful ones are locked away in some distant closet in the recesses of our heart, which makes it difficult to access in just one session.
But more importantly, these issues don't tend to manifest (make themselves known) in a big, dramatic fashion. More likely, they come out in the little things: becoming furious with a sister for stealing that one favorite shirt of yours, or, someone dumping out your cup of coffee before your finished. The little things that leave you reeling and wondering, "What could possibly be my issue?"
Well, I have wonderful news for you; it is called, "The Reflective Prayer".
This is an incredible tool, that you can use after those little outbursts, to partner with God in discovering, what exactly is going on. Its your own mini "inner healing session" that you can whip out of your back pocket as those inner recesses of hurt, anger, and wrong beliefs, bubble to the surface.

Here is how it works. Sit down with your journal  and write these things out (if you do not journal already, I highly recommend starting!). Once you get the hang of it and are more comfortable and confident in hearing God on this, you'll be able to do it in your head, on the fly.
**Note: Make sure that you have time to do the whole prayer! If you don't, than it can be easy to dig up a bunch of emotions and not deal with them, which will do more damage than good!

 Reflective Prayer
  1. Situation (be specific):
  2. ask the Holy Spirit, "What is going on?"
  3. Thoughts (actual thoughts you had):
  4. Emotions:
  5. Behavior (what did you do?):
  6. ask the Holy Spirit, "Why is this going on?"
  7. What do I believe about myself? (“I am” statements: e.g. “I am a failure” “I am powerless” “I am worthless” “I am rejected” - try to get to the root thought):
  8. What do I believe about Love/God? (What do these “I am” statements imply about my image of God? “God is” statements: e.g. “God is unsafe” “God is controlling” “God is powerless” “God is a perfectionist”):
  9. Confession (Write out a prayer of repentance of the lies you have believed in you heart about God and yourself, and invite the Father to speak His truth into these places of your heart):
  10. God’s Voice (let God speak truth into these places in your heart):
  11. New thoughts, emotions, behavior:
This has been an amazing tool for me. You'll begin to see similar beliefs emerge as you go through this more and more. As you work through each individual situation, you get deeper to the root-belief and will experience more freedom.

But a word to the wise. Don't allow this to make you introspective, or self-focused, all the time. Still be social, still seek accountability and guidance from people you trust. This isn't an excuse to become an emotional hermit whose trying to self-improve before experiencing life and relationship. 
Use this to teach you how to go to God first, and seek your identity and affirmation in Him.

It still takes believing in the truth that God has spoken over you, and walking in the new thoughts, emotions, and behavior He gives you. But its incredible to begin noticing how your thought patterns change, and your reactions become more... friendly. 

Trust God to move in your life. Trust in the power of His word. Believe that this is really who He has made you to be. 

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