on becoming whole.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
(from relationships by drs. les and leslie parrott)
There are no shortcuts to personal growth & wholeness. But there are a few suggestions & steps we can take in order to voluntarily walk the road with the Lord of discovering who we are in this life & who we are in Christ.
- Heal your hurts. Beginning your journey towards wholeness means self-exploration into the places where you hurt. The purpose is to acknowledge & accept your relational pain-no matter how big or small, instead of burying it.
- Write down the hurts & make this a life-long journey. You may not think of something right now, but as your practice, you may remember things in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year. That’s okay.
- Agree with the Lord & yourself to write down EVERYTHING that comes to your mind & heart that has hurt you. Whether you think it’s big or small, jot it down.
- Understand & accept this is a process. Unfortunately, we will never rid ourselves of self-exploration because we can never rid the world of sin. We will continually hurt others & be hurt. However, the more we submit ourselves to this process, the easier we can walk through healing & redemption when it does happen.
- Recognize that walking through this process will protect you from repeating the pain of your past in your present relationships.
- i. Every relationship gives you another chance to resolve issues you didn’t get squared away in the previous ones.
- Take of your mask. Each of us has a natural, built in, desire to be known, but we often stifle our vulnerability out of fear. We’re afraid of being seen as too emotional or not emotional enough, as too assertive or not assertive enough. We’re afraid of rejection. We all vacillate between the impulse to reveal ourselves & the impulse to protect ourselves. We fear rejection & that no one will love the real us so we slip behind a self-made facade & pretend. Sociologists call it impression management…the rest of us call it pain.
- The mask may help us guard against pain, but we’ll never be whole. Which means we’ll never enjoy true intimacy.
- When what you do & say do not match the person you are inside, when your deepest identity is not revealed to others, you developed & incongruent or fragmented self. Your outside doesn’t match what’s going on inside.
- i. You’re constantly focused on self & your impression. What should I be feeling? (healthy-what am I feeling?) or How am I doing? (healthy-how is the other person doing?)
- ii. A shift in this thinking from self to others is a mark of wholeness. Healthy & whole people have the security to focus on how others are doing-not because they want to look good, but because they genuinely care.
- What about when I’m tempted to save face? & I put my mask on? It’s a process, remember? Vulnerability generates vulnerability. Once you take off your mask & reveal the real you, your fears, desires, excitement, others are likely to do the same.
- Sit in the driver’s seat. It’s easy to be passive. To move through life simply reacting to outside forces is “easier”. Sometimes we plan more for parties than we do for our lives. You don’t catch wholeness from reading a book, listening to a podcast, or going to a conference.
- It is earned. It comes from hard work. “Hell is to drift, Heaven is to steer”-George Bernard Shaw in Don Juan in Hell.
- Taking responsibility for your past, present, & future means you determine the kinds of relationships you build.
- All of your relationships, if they are to be healthy, must be determined on the premise of you having an identity, forging a purpose, having courage, & making commitments to things outside of yourself.
- Once you take an active role in the quality of your own life, other people share in your growth rather than becoming responsible for it.
- Purpose statement, mission statement, & life sentence.
- i. If you are going to achieve a sense of wholeness, you are going to have to set goals, & if you are going to meet these goals, you are going to have to delay the impulse of immediate gratification.
- Rely on God. Relying on Him means NOT relying on others to meet your needs.
- Personal significance & the desperate need for significance is real. We want to be the most important to someone else. We want to be needed. However, even the most loving relationship cannot quench our deepest need.
- Only God can truly love you “no matter what”. Yes, you seek a man who will rely on the Lord to love you like Christ loves the church. But, he will fail. Your family, friends, & ultimately your husband one day…are all sinners & make mistakes. Know & believe God loves you always & unconditionally.
How are you in the department of vulnerability, self-examination, & accountability? What will you do to improve this area of your journey towards wholeness?
What are your masks? What keeps you from being yourself?
How would you rate yourself on a scale from 1-10 on your ability to delay immediate gratification? How do you succeed? How can you do better?
What do we struggle to rely on God to meet our needs?