Friday, January 24, 2014

Introspection: A writing exercise

Psalms 139: 23,24: Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me, Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about;  See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong – then guide me on the road to eternal life. (The Message)

Our eyes are inundated with pictures, entertainment, social media, text messages and all that life brings on a daily basis that it easily becomes habitual to fix our eyes on the things around us. When was the last time you stopped to self-examine?

Keeping a consistent journal helps me do just that. Writing helps me process my thoughts, actions and motives, which I believe is a powerful way to catalyze change. I also pray. I believe prayer is the time when we can come before God and sit in silence with ourselves in a vulnerable way to expose all our flaws.  It is the perfect time to search yourself and in turn ask God to search you.

Ask yourself the hard questions:

  • What are my flaws?
  • What are the things God calls me to do that I find difficult?
  • What are my struggles?
  • What do I wrestle with God about?
  • What has hurt me?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • What scares me?
  • How do I treat others when they have wronged me?
  • On a scale from one to 10 (one being not really and 10 being very much), how loving am I?
  • Do I created relationships with others based on what they can do for me, or am I genuinely building relationships with others around me?
  • Am I fulfilling the purpose God has called me to in the body of Christ?
[Write these questions down and challenge yourself to answer them]

Get answers
Perhaps you struggle with loving on those who have hurt you. Perhaps it is forgiveness, telling the truth, gossip or jealousy. Maybe you are just unsubmissive. You know what those things are for YOU, so write them down and get them on paper where they can look back at you. Until you get real and raw about what it is/they are (I'm sure we all have way more than one struggle), you will never truly get to the root of the WHY.
[Give yourself time to think about your daily habits. Were there any recent situations that took place where you can examine your behavior? Are there patterns in your life that are evident? If you get into the same arguments with different people, perhaps that's a sign that the issue isn't other people; the issue may just be your toxic behavior. Remember, also, that the Holy Spirit, the counselor, will help bring things to your mind and may begin revealing truths about yourself that you may have never realized before. Don't be hard on yourself, you are taking a huge step toward change.]

Find the root
Why can’t you love the person who hurt you? Why can't you forgive someone who trespassed against you? Why is telling the truth hard? Why do you gossip so much or get frequent jealous fits?
[Finding the root of our struggles is a deeper concept that we may need assistance with. Putting it into prayer ---just like David did in Psalms 139 --- is the next ideal step before attempting to figure out roots and triggers on your own. Also, I highly encourage anyone and everyone to also seek the help of a licensed counselor when digging through past hurts and traumas.]

{sample answers}
Perhaps your love issues stem from your upbringing: a broken home, a parent's abandonment or an unloving parent. Your unforgiveness may be rooted in mistrust due to people taking advantage of you. You lie because you crave to control outcomes. You gossip about others because it deflects the attention from you and your own flaws, and your jealousy stems from low self esteem.

{let's dig for roots}
If you have not taken time recently to look inside yourself and ask yourself the hard questions, I challenge you to do so in your quiet time with the Lord this week. If you don't know where to start, feel free to start with the questions above and answer them as honestly as possible. You may be surprised by what the Holy Spirit may lead you to.

Getting to root and core issues is a life-changing path that people may never choose to walk because they are either, what I like to call, surface Christians or fearful Christians.

We will discuss these two personality types in our next post. For now, take time to reflect inward.

What are some questions you challenge yourself with that help you to get to the root of your struggles and hurts? Would love to hear them.


No comments:

Post a Comment