understanding people

(1987) by Larry Crabb (also wrote inside out)


wrence J. Crabb, Jr. is a Christian counselor, author, Bible teacher and seminar speaker. Crabb has written best-selling books and is the founder and director of NewWay Ministries and co-founder of his legacy ministry, Larger Story. He served as a Spiritual Director for the American Association of Christian Counselors and since 1996 has been the Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence of Colorado Christian University.

..was a student of psychology until he began studying abnormal psychology and personality theory. During graduate school he experienced a period of deep scepticism before being guided back to the faith by Francis Schaeffer and CS Lewis. His renewed spiritual passion convinced him that Christianity had a role to play in clinical psychology.

cs lewis



part 1 – a sufficient bible – finding answers in scripture

1 – how do we know what to believe


to depend so strongly on intuition is unnecessary.. if the subject about which we desire knowledge is something that follows no discernible pattern and is therefore completely unpredictable, then waiting for hunches to occur to us intuitively is the best we can do.. the subject matter for counselors, however, is a person.. while there is much that is unknowable and therefore unpredictable about people, *there are processes and principles that describe how people live..

yeah.. *i think that’s based on data from whales in sea world..

i don’t think we can predict people who are legit free (like god intended.. otherwise why the garden)

which is good news.. all the observing and predicting and inspecting is getting in the way of legit living.. there is a simpler way to deal with disorder/unpredictability/aliveness


the only arbiter available to settle the matter is reason. but both of us claim that reason is on our side. eventually, to prove my point, the best i can do is claim that my mind works better than yours and then hope that someday you will get smart enough to recognize the reasonableness of my ideas

that’s where we got teaching/preaching/school/work et al.. thinking we need to be telling other people what to do


empiricsm is aphlosphy of knowing which suggest that the hard data of observalbe and measurable exprience provides the needed authority

but there is no observable/measurable data of alive/free people.. just of whales in sea world (ie: once you observe/measure.. no longer alive/free.. process puts us all in sea world/chains)


empiricism has limits, however, first, the most an empiricist can do is report data and generalize about patterns. he can only say what is, never what out to be. empiricism can never serve as the route to moral truth.. description is the legit provence of the empiricist; prescription is out of his territory

reporting data, generalizing patterns, prescription.. all for non free people.. all killers of legit free\dom

but no one has observed all data or all possible data

we haven’t even seen any legit data (of free people).. ie: black science of people/whales law

many important realities are not easily reduced to what can be seen : love, meaning, joy, grief, justice, to name a few. when an empiricist decides to study this sort of reality he must define them in terms of their observable evidence. but in so doing, he finds that the very reality he describes slips thru his fingers..

doesn’t just slip thru fingers.. kills us

let go


we need a means of knowing answers to important question other than intuition, rationalism and empiricism if we are to arrive at a position in which we can have confidence.

maybe that’s the bigger issue.. thinking we can know answers.. and have confidence in positions

tree of knowledge et al in the garden

and there is one more possibility revelation.. in the next ch we discuss revelation as the basis of knowledge and consider some of the problems that come when we seek to depend on revelation for answers to question about counseling

yeah.. i think the problem is thinking we need knowledge..

2 – the bible warrants our confidence


the diff between ‘guided by’ and ‘consistent with’ is enormous..


and because all our conclusions, ,even when they enjoy the support of both theology and psychology, must still remain tentative, our decision to act must be governed less by what we think is true (since we simply do not really know) and more by what we think will produce immediate, tangible results (at least those we can measure).. that’s empirical pragmatism

if we don’t know truth.. how do we know what we want to measure? (not to mention that the measuring would kill it anyway)

his moral purpose in giving the scriptures is to gracioulsy point out our plight, inform us of his solution to the problem and instruct us how to accept that solution

yeah.. i don’t think so.. written on each heart.. more about non hierarchical listening.. everyday anew..

i think we (whales et al) made up the whole ‘inform/instruct us of his solution’


nature was not designed to be a textbook on life. the bible was.. the problems people bring to a counselor always involve a malfunction in life..

yeah.. am thinking that the problems people bring/get are from not listening deep enough to self/others/nature.. because we’re distracted by words/language et al

the plainness of the bible is reason to turn to its pages w confidence. although there is much that is hard to understand in scripture, it still is revelation in propositional form; that is.. it consists or ordinary words spoken by real people to other real people about rationally expressible matters..

language as control/enclosure.. ordinary words to who?

nature is not propositional revelation.. it illustrates rather than speaks; it presents us w unspoken observations that require translation in to verbal symbols in order to be understood..

this doesn’t even make sense.. the bible has to be translated..

not to mention its limits by use of words/language.. accepted/assumed/understood/taught definitions.. and by us thinking communication/understanding/translation has happened.. (shaw communication law et al)

a picture may be worth a thousand words, but when precision of meaning is what you’re after, sentences do a better job

precision of meaning is what we’re after? or well being? fittingness.. equity..

..the superior clarity of proposition revelation over any other form is argument for depending more on the bible *than on ..

clarity..? to who..? not across the board.. which is how got made/intended us.. so possible worse to depend on *than on whatever..

talking here of words in a book vs what’s already written on each heart.. huge diff.. and we’re missing it.. by thinking some way/people are superior and need to enlighten the rest

whatever the bible says can be trusted, because the effects of sin have been supernaturally blocked from staining its teaching.


again.. i don’t think god would pick something that isn’t freely/directly accessible to all .. no prep/train..

but nature has not been so protected.. what we learn from nature may reflect the results of sin..

isn’t that clear in the bible? that it reflects the results of sin?


whatever the bible tells us to do we may do w confidence that we are on the right path because the bible is perfectly moral in its teaching. nature is not.. conclusions reached from biblical study, therefore, deserve more of our confidence than ideas we learn from natural study


see big/ungodlike issues with *study and *confidence.. not to mention their enclosure/conditionality

both our power of reasoning and our intuition must be permitted a role in our efforts to build a counseling model.. but in all we do, the bible must provide the framework w/in which we work and the premises from which we draw our conclusions

so spanking? from your earlier comments.. a given?

i think god provided the overall framework to be love.. and the framework for the details of day to day ness .. are what’s already on each heart.. that everyone can access right now.. (not words in a book that only some can read directly)

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people


it is one thing to assert that the bible should be our authority in all that it addresses.. quite another to hold that the bible does in fact deal w all the questions that counselors ask.. in next chapter we move from considering the authority of the bible in developing a counseling model to discussing its comprehensive sufficiency for that task.. and that discussion requires that we take a look at the difficult subject of biblical interpretation: if the bible is sufficient, how do we find answers in the text to the questions counselors ask?

have all this backwards.. it’s sufficent love.. not authoritateive antyghing

so much human (whale) error in language/rules/B et al

3 – does the bible speak meaningfully to every human problem

more important.. does it speak meaningfully to every human.. answer is no.. need translations.. et al.. need people telling other people what to do.. which is a huge red flag we’re doing it/life wrong

we need to go deeper so everyone has direct line.. ie: bn – on each heart ness


as we think thru each of these positions, keen in mind that i am assuming the bible’s inspiration, inerrancy and authority.. whatever the bible says, it says correctly. its teaching are binding. the point now is to examine the matter of sufficiency: does the bible say enough to meaningfully guide a christian counselor in all that he does



preachers remain safely distant from troubling realities of their people’s lives, shielded by their commitment to exegesis. ‘husbands, love your wives’ the pastor begins. and for the next 30 min his congregation listens to the results of careful and sincere study of the text..

the issue that troubles me is that referrals sometimes reflect a pastor’s belief that the bible is really not sufficient to provide the help needed


the thought seems to be that the sort of problems mentioned will quietly disappear if people are caught up in the great truths of scripture.. pastors therefore don’t need to be concerned w the confusing and sometimes ugly details of people’s lives


on looking away (from details) for onw protection.. no diea what to do w tough questions.. maybe own lives are plagued w difficulties that reamin unresolve.d.. rather than runnint ot he scripture w the urgent questions raised by real life, perhaps they retreat frompeople and their question behind the acceptable barrier of scholarship.. real life reamins unexameind and relife question unansweree.. while preacher sprocalim a lifeless version of teh living word

but somehow the work of exegesis and interpretation as usually practiced has removed us too far from the realities of people’s lives.. something is wrong when the message from a loving god to the people he created becomes more an academic treatise to be studies rather than wonderful truth to be grasped and breathed

already on each heart ness


i wonder if emphasis on schalrship in many of our seminaries represents in part a concern not to discern the real meaning of th etext, bu trather to avoid humblin contact w the confusion of people’s lives

tree of knowledge ness.. lit & num as colonialism/enclosure ness


we are strongly cautioned to say neither more/less than the original writers intended to say .. when someone abandons this principle in an effort to find ‘deeper’ meaning.. his understanding of god’s message is controlled, not by the inspired words of the text, but rather by his own imagination

on each heart – if we truly believed we were made in image of god.. we would/could trust that

we are therefore permitted to find in the text a relevance that goes beyond what the human authors could have possibly anticipated.. somehow the applications to contemp situations should be tied to the plain meaning of the text if they are to enjoy the weight of divine authority



many christians insist that the ext, understood according to its plain, literal meaning, is comprehensively relevant to ever legit question that life presents.. the effect of this viewpoint is to disregard important questions by calling them illegit..


(according to this position) cure is to teach people how to live, reprove them for living wrongly, correct them when they go astray, and train them in godly patterns of living.. and the bible (in 2 tim) claims to be profitable for exactly those tasks

so many red flags


when the range of permissible question si narrowed our understanding of complicated problems tends to become simplistic. a commitment to biblical sufficiency has sometimes result sin shallow explanations of complex disorders. and shallow explanations promote the unchallenged acceptance of superficial solutions



when we limit questions allowed to ask .. result will often be a nonthinking/simplistic understanding of life and its problems that fails to drive us to increased dependency in the lord

4 – the bible is a sufficient guide for relational living

love is a sufficient guide for relational living



therapy deals w deeper issues than counseling because it looks beneath current complaints to the internal dynamics that really constitute the disorder needing correction.. that is the usual distinction: therapy deals w internal dynamics, counseling does not


counseling that tries merely to alter symptoms (ie: helping someone decide which vocation to pursue) is sometimes helpful, but always superficial..

counselors may effect some helpful change in the surface problems.. but therapists trained in the science of psychodynamics are necessary if deep change is to occur

yeah.. i think if we have to have people telling other people what to do.. that’s a huge red flag.. we’re doing it/life wrong

the point to notice is this: it is generally believed that a professional therapist is necessary to deal adequately w people ear a deep psychological level.. in a culture which accepts that premise counselors are permitted a very limited role, parallel perhaps to function of the pastor in a hospital.. must wait outside door while therapists and surgeons enter to cut skillfully and deeply into the roots of the patients’ problem.. counselors support and pastors pray, but only therapist and surgeons heal

yeah.. i don’t know


i think a case can be made for asserting that their fundamental error is a refusal to study and accept a biblical view of man.. because they have not accepted the guidelines of biblical data, their theorizing led them into an incomplete, unbalanced, and in some areas utterly immoral understanding of who man is and how he functions

the irony (get the problem but doing it yourself ness).. same whales in sea world.. as data

i don’t think we’ll get what we’re like (if we even need to) from study.. guidelines.. et al

i think we’ll continue to have an incomplete, unbalanced, utterly immoral understanding of people .. if we don’t just start with.. what’s already inside each person (made in the image of god.. already on each heart et al)

otherwise.. we’re compromising each one of us.. we’re compromising and loosing out on the dance.. all of us as one


the viewpoint i hold: bible is sufficient to answer every question.. but not because it directly responds.. rather.. biblical data support doctrinal categories which have implication that comprehensively deal w every relational issue in life

the deeper issue is that we keep having (and focusing on and obsessing with) issues we were never meant to have..

if 8b people were legit free to fittingness.. we’d find most (if not all) of what we need counseling/therapy/b-guidelines for .. as irrelevant s


as a church we have lost touch w the question speople would ask if someone gave them the opp

not just the opp to ask questions (because we’re all still whales in sea world).. we need 8b of us to be legit free first.. we need detox.. we need a global reset.. so that the questions we ask (aka: daily curiosity) are legit coming from the itch-in-the-soul .. (where the writing on each heart exists/lives/breathes)

on church telling people they have problems but need to go to a professional

costello screen\service law et al


all christians have deeply troubling questions that should be asked. many never voice them, however, because to ask them breaks the rules of our community. christians are supposed to have it all together.. many others have coped w life by denying their struggles for so long that they are really unaware they exist

need a mech to undo our hierarchical listening – to get to our legit voice buried w/in

and again.. has to be all of us.. we’ve all been intoxicates w ie: supposed to’s of school/work et al

and once it is.. pretty sure the questions would be way diff..

hari rat park law et al

until that happens, we are doing little more than preaching the gospel an instructing converts in an orthodoxy which require them to pretend that they have been transformed

yeah.. that.. only deeper.. (aka: all people/whales)

if we set all people free first.. won’t need the preaching/teaching


could legit longings for god somehow be perverted into a craving for bizarre forms of sexual relief

yeah.. but take out the words: perverted, bizarre, .. it’s everybody.. seeking to fill holes where their deepest needs have been stolen from.. been covered over..

the authority for our thinking depends on the degree to which it necessarily emerges from clearly taught biblical categories

you’ve just de humanized all of us.. via your own defense.. if god made each of us in own image (ch 6).. trusted us w choice in the garden.. how do we think we’re above that.. how do we think we are then able to judge ie: who needs teaching and what they need to be taught.. why else would he say already on each heart..

and.. how could it work any other way..? meaning ..any other way is a form of people telling other people what to do.. and with that we’ve all just been de humanized to robots/puppets/whales.. (he could have started out that way with us if he wanted us to be such)

part 2 – understanding people – a tarnished image and broken relationships

5 – how can people truly change


if we are to know how to move ourselves and others toward life as it is meant to be live.. we must address 3 vital questions: who are we; why do we have so many problems; what are the solutions

rather.. we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening.. otherwise just spinning our wheels with the surface/symptom/bandaid problems/solutions we’ve been perpetuating ever since we entered sea world

a means to reset us and quit unmooring us: 2 conversations

what makes us similar.. what do we hav ein common that defines us as human beings

great question.. ie: maté basic needs..

let’s org around those 2 as our infra


by what principles do people make decisions?

wrong question.. since 1\ we’re whales – so we only go by those voluntary complianced principles of sea world (aka: our answers to that question will be irrelevant to human being ness) 2\ assuming some finite set of choices – and decision making ness is unmooring us

2nd question: what is the root of our problems

healing (roots of) et al


our failure to articular a model of change is directly related to our confused and shallow understanding of people and their problems

spot on: black science of people/whales law

we’re not going to do a very good job of helping someone overcome depression w/o understanding why the depression exists in the first place.. we must have some clear idea of what is going on inside people before we can develop confidence in the directions we suggest

thinking if we focus on outside (aka: need to have no form of people telling people what to do)

hari present in society law.. hari rat park law.. et al


if a personal creator is behind all of life, then a true understanding of people, problems and solutions must be possible

yeah.. but we have to legit believe in that creation (in image of god) first.. otherwise.. we’re creating problems that are irrelevant to human being.. (because we keep on insisting on telling people what to do.. which compromises that image he made us in) and so then we’ll spend our days spinning our wheels/energy on symptoms/bandaids.. et al..


in response to question about possible links between the depression and life events, the counselee indicates that there is no clear trigger for the depression : no loved ones have recently died; health is good; fam relationships seem intact; no major crises have occurred; job and income are providing reasonable satisfaction

this is a great ie of not knowing what the deeper problems are and focusing instead on the symptoms/poison/cancer (ie: supposed to’s of school/work) as a guide

counselors are going to be guided by 1 of 3 modes: 1\ dynamic (medical – underlying issues); 2\ moral (improvement measured by behavior – hw assignments play a significant role in moral model counseling);

of course supposed to’s of school/work.. bandaided w meds


and 3\ relational (concern w unsatisfying relationships).. not that they are complicated psychologically or irresponsible morally, but rather that they were made to love and be loved.. we were designed for relationship.. we yearn for it.. our deepens parts cry out for intimacy and meaningful involvent w others

fitting w our findings:

1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people

which we couldn’t see (that deep yearn for others) until we got to and listened to.. that itch-in-the-soul.. first thing everyday..

otherwise.. that what we thought would be relations/belongingness was actually stripping us of our fittingness.. and rather.. making us fit in (aka: become whales) in order to belong (maté trump law et al)

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

6 – people bear the image of god


counseling theory always begins w a set of very basic ideas about human nature..

human nature ness

w biblical revelation as my framework.. i make two assumptions:

1\ people are similar to god

bn – on each heart

2\ something terrible has happened which has badly distorted the similarity

black science of people/whales law

my starting point as i try to understand people is this: people are fallen image bearers.. not lost.. just badly marred..

almaas holes law


four ideas on image of god: 1\ dominion over earth 2\ moral virtue (need hs) 3\ amoral capacity (need grace) 4\ similarity (reproductions not original)


the (4) capacities/elements of personhood..

1\ deep longings – the word for ‘pant’ in psalm 42:1 literally means a desire so intense that it is audible.. something w/in mankind is capable of longing for satisfaction in the deepest parts of the personality. both god and man have the capacity to long deeply

2\ evaluative thinking – ‘wickedness was great.. heart on evil continually.. ideas by which to guide life.. conclusions that determine intentions

yeah.. i don’t know.. this sounds too close to knowledge of good and evil.. and where all the red flags seem to initiate

not currently buying this one

3\ active choosing – man capable of setting direction and pursuing it.. ‘willing’ (setting direction) and ‘working’ (pursuing that direction).. man can choose particular goals to pursue.. and choose actions to reach those goals.. person can actively choose

i think this is another man made idea.. (not in image of god).. ie: decision making is unmooring us law et al.. i don’t think he made us to be spending our days on goals and decision making.. if so.. why the garden et al .. and why not the tree of knowledge et al.. ?

intellect ness as red flag

not currently buying this one either

4\ emotional experiencing – pleased, anger, sadness, ..


i suggest that the image of god is to be defined in terms of 4 capabilities: 1\ deeply longing for something personal 2\ rationally evaluating what is happening 3\ willfully pursuing a chose direction 4\ experiencing one’s world emotionally

to use our capacities.. we need outside help (god doesn’t) we are not sufficient for ourselves.. the essence of sin.. is a refusal to admit our dependence, an arrogant and foolish claim to an independence that simply is not there

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman


to sum up.. god is an independent person w capacity to long, think, choose, and feel.. a human being is a dependent person w same 4 capacities..

each of us is a personal being who longs deeply; a rational being who things; a *volitional being who chooses; an emotional being who feels..

*via own will

i still thinking rational ness and choosing ness unmoor us from our fittingness (authentically living out god’s image in the unique shell of us)

so i wouldn’t say they are the image..

and when i’ve said.. ‘god trusted us w choice.. because he didn’t want robots’ .. thinking now it was more that he trusted our wandering.. longing to explore.. curiosity.. listening to our itch.. et al..

the choice/goal ness gets us to robot ness – just as much as no choice/will.. i’m thinking that assuming some finite set of choices for either (choice/goal) is what compromises in-the-image ness.. compromises the longingness.. the fittingness

(next 4 chapters on these 4.. for purpose of developing a comprehensive anthropology that can answer the question ‘who am i’

7 – dependent beings: people are personal


exploring deeply what goes on inside us can be an intriguing adventure.. but it can also be frightening.. it is immeasurably more comfortable to prove w/in ourselves only far enough to solve immediate problems and to restore a pleasant sense of well being.. why do we rarely attack a problem w determination to get at the root of things?

healing (roots of)

part\ial ness is killing us .. for (blank)’s sake


why do we settle for.. the good feeling that at least we’re doing something about our problem, but which at the same time shifts attention away from deep parts w in us

distractions.. interruptions .. from all the red flags/irrelevant s


most of us simply are not good at observing ourselves and reflecting honestly on what we see.. we know there is more to us than a collection of responses to external stimulation..

even deeper problem.. black science of people/whales law.. ie: we need detox first.. the image of god ness is so covered up now.. the response mode is on auto pilot..

we are more than morally neutral machines who function according to predictable laws of nature.. broken machines can be fixed.. figure out how it works and fix it.. but people aren’t like that.. to understand people and to ‘fix’ them when they are broken, we must probe into the way they think and feel. we must study confusing topics like motives and attitudes and the effects of early influences on adult functioning.. the very thing that must be done if we are to understand people is the thing that is most strongly resisted.. psychoanalyze

yeah.. again.. deeper.. spinning our wheels if we study motives/attitudes/et-al.. of whales in sea world.. that just puts bandaids on symptoms.. like you said earlier we need to not do.. we need to get to the root..

and the root of our problem is that sea world keeps stripping our basic needs.. we need to 1\ get out of sea world 2\ listen deep to what’s already in us

psychoanalyzing the past might work if we were out of sea world.. but currently it’s a distraction.. a perpetuation of our broken feedback loop


why is a deep inward look avoided.. condemned as self centeredness.. we fear the unknown, we fear losing control.. we fear spoiling a comfortable existence

in many circles, esp christian ones, the message seems to be: ignore it, keep it out of your mind, focus on christ in away that blot out any deep self awareness.. when that advice is followed, the result is an ostrich like peace that equips us to relate only to fellow pretenders..

masks and measureswilde not-us law


i am convinced that much of what we admire as spiritual maturity is a fragile adjustment to life built squarely on the foundation of denial.. many people get along quite well because they refuse to acknowledge and grapple w whatever part of reality may be upsetting.. esp those w/in themselves..

magis esse quam videri

christ’s call to deny ourselves is sometimes taken to mean we should not spend time trying to understand what is happening w/in us.. to reach maturity as this line of thinking defines it requires us to deny many things inside us

i think that’s the diff.. the motives et al.. are not what’s deep inside us.. those are symptoms of not going deep enough.. inside us

this sort of denial is wrong on at least two counts: 1\ contributes to idea that solution to problem is to skirt it 2\ bible states that god has built us w ability tto explore our deepest parts – prov 20:27: ‘spirit of man is lamp of the lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being’

again.. symptoms are not deep enough.. not innermost enough


god intends for us to explore those parts so that truth may be lodged deeply w/in us.. ps 51:6: ‘surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place

yeah.. that’s true.. he made us for non hierarchical listening

a deep look inside can weaken our sense of personal sin (the very opposite of what it should do)

wow.. totally opposite – no wonder thinking people can listen to their heart .. gets such a bad rap.. we’ve clouded it as a punishment/shame center.. and to alleviate our pain in doing that.. we’ve decided/concocted a (sea) world that’s filled with people telling other people what to do

as a caution agains such abuses (self centeredness) of looking inward we must remember that the essence of holiness is other centeredness.. godly self examination has an outward and forward look

actually.. if made in his image.. and we do listen deep enough.. we can’t not crave others.. it just happens

we sabotage ourselves.. lock ourselves up in the supposed to’s of sea world.. when we make some caution to be other-centered et al.. we compromise the still small voice already in us

i don’t think he wants us to be having to examine ourselves.. otherwise..wouldn’t he be serving up the tree of knowledge of good/evil.. i think we’re missing the bigger/deeper image

although it may take us thru periods of internal pain and self loathing

self loathing.. ?


introspection can become a means of avoiding rather than assuming responsibility.. has potential to promote a gloomy, cynical negativism by reminding us more of our wretchedness.. than savior’s beauty.. but (and this is an important but) denial has its own set of dangers.. the insistence that we keep our eyes off ourselves and on jesus too often reflects a desire to enjoy the level of comfort that only denial provides.. recognition of our desperate plight provides urgent motivation to look away from ourselves sand to turn in dependence to jesus.. ti is good to know who we are

thinking we need motives.. esp urgent motives.. red flag we’re doing it/life wrong

perhaps i can summarize my thinking in a single thought: the whole point of self exploration is to learn dependency..

hmm.. i think it’s to see our interconnectedness.. which is all about love.. (again.. when look/listen deep enough.. can’t not see that)

if we think problems are well in hand.. commitment to independence remains strong.. but when gripped by overwhelming sense of helplessness.. our misplaced self confidence is shaken..

no fear in love.. won’t get there if scare/shame/condition people into it..


we can judge whether we are seeing things clearly by the sense of dependency that emerges..

umm.. i think that’s by the sense of love that emerges.. (which judging sabotages)

in our look inside.. i rely heavily on two biblical concept to point the way 1\ the concept of innermost being, and 2\ the idea of our soul’s deepest thirst

to this point (hope it changes) i think you’re missing both of those.. not listening deep enough..

ie: on each heart ness and itch-in-the-soul ness.. don’t need rules/supposed to’s/motivations/people-telling-people-what-to-do

innermost being

john 7: 37-38 – from innermost being shall flow rivers of living water..


a central part of us that yearns to be filled

almaas holes law et al


counseling that is biblical addresses man’s arrogant denial of dependency

rather.. reminds/uncovers god’s unconditional love and interconnectedness

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 


so far.. search w/in has discovered a hollow core.. next question.. what do we long for.. what is the hollowness of the hollow core.. what fills it up.. the thirst that is in our souls

yeah.. that.. let’s focus on listening for that (itch-in-the-soul ness) sans distractions

our thirsty souls

ps 42: 1 – my soul pants for thee


natural to wonder what it is we all want to badly.. the scriptures, however, seem quiet on the subject.. thirst is never defined..

because it’s already on each heart.. we have to listen there for it.. each one of us.. otherwise.. everyone’s not getting a go.. we have to have people telling other people what to do.. et al


since built for relationship w god and others.. we long/thirst for relationship

hollow #2

thirst to be part of eternal plan.. to make lasting diff in world.. we long for impact

i think stating it that way is a distraction (if we try to stay focused on some impact we run out of energy.. if we listen to our uniquely needed itch.. we don’t) .. but.. in order to make a diff.. or impact.. or whatever you want to call it (i’d call it.. doing our part in the dance).. we long/thirst for fittingness (our unique part in the body – trusting he made us to be enough)

hollow #1

relationship and impact: legit thirst of the human soul

again.. i’d say attachment and authenticity – hallow/missing pieces.. that our souls already crave

imagine if we org’d around that.. considered everything else irrelevant s (to getting out of sea world.. et al)

christians long to obey god because obedience is the condition for intimacy of relationship;..

wow.. 180.. obedience ness kills relationship.. people/souls long for love .. not obedience.. otherwise.. why did god not make us obey in the garden et al.. why didn’t he just give a&e a timeout.. so they caught the message of obedience.. he knew obedience wouldn’t be enough.. it’s not love.. it’s not unconditional.. it’s not in his image

we long to minister to others. we feel whole/good when we do.. ministry satisfies our longing for impact

yeah.. i don’t think so.. otherwise we wouldn’t be so messed up (there are so many good intended people in ministry.. and yet) .. this is where/how/why impact/ministry/passion/good-deeds et al.. get in the way of the dance

i think ministry is (or maybe just has become..? i don’t know) a form of people telling other people what to do.. what to need, ..

i don’t think we get our energy from that.. i think we get a false energy.. because everyone praises it.. but i think our legit energy (satisfying our longing) is when we are legit ourselves.. and we fit.. our fittingness ongoingly finds its place in the dance

our longing for relationship


people desperately reach out for the kind of relationship that brings personal health

that would be the kind that let’s us be us

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

let me try to reduce this profound longing for relationship to a simple defn: each of us fervently wants someone to see us exactly as we are, warts and all and still accept us

yeah.. that..

unconditional ness

because no other human being can ever see all o f us, a nagging doubt clouds even the best relationship: what would they think of me if they knew that..

nothing hidden ness.. the little prince – see with your heart

longing for impact


we want to know that we are capable (adequate for) of doing a job that needs to be done

rather.. we long to know that our art is enough.. is the right step (s) of the dance.. that we fit in the dance.. that when we do our art.. it is a needed piece of the dance..


we experience this desire for impact in many ways.. inspecting a newly waxed car or freshly cut lawn provides a measure of legit satisfaction.. ‘i did it.. because i expended energy, things look better. i made a diff’.. but there is a limitedness of this impact.. we desire impact that is important and lasting

not just a limitedness.. but a cancer to it

let me define this thirst for impact as a desire to be adequate for a meaningful task, a desire to know that we are capable of taking hold of our world and doing something valuable and well

yeah.. that smacks of productivity.. which i think is anti (poisonous to) god’s image

let go


there is no worse pain than an empty personal circle.. satan warmly coops w our demand by offering us the means to feel better in a hurry

jihad (doc) ness et al..

maté addiction law.. not what’s the addiction.. what’s the pain


diagrams of illegit/legit fullness/emptiness


diagram of casual/critical/crucial longings

this is all too confusing and heady .. part of why he wrote what we need already.. on each heart

let go


(of 4 conclusions) 2\ man in his right mind will pursue god as source of satisfaction

we have to trust that.. create conditions where we can all get back to our right mind

ccrazywise (doc).. higashida autism law.. not yet scrambled ness.. et al


why do people walk right by well of living water and dig own well for temp refreshment?.. makes no sense until we understand how darkened our capacity to think has become.. that brings us to 2nd capacity of personhood: a rational capacity that has been darkened

or a rational (reason/logic/explanation) capacity that did the darkening.. ie: black science of people/whales law; intellect ness; tree of knowledge ness; ..

8 – foolish thinkers: people are rational


counselors must recognize that the clients they are tyring to help bear the image of god.. no other fact is more significant and necessary to a proper understanding of people

agree.. so no need for people telling other people what to do ness

in previous chapter i developed idea that image bearers are relational.. his/others’ love

i suggested also that god is purposeful.. he forms a plan and pursues it.. like him. we are purposeful beings who figure out strategies to reach the goals we set for ourselves

yeah.. huge red flag (to me) that impact is wrong focus.. ie: goals, strategies, et al.. are killing us.. keeping us from us (that image)

we are unlike god in one fundamental way.. he is an infinite, completely self sufficient, entirely independent being; but we are finite and dependent on god for everything that is needed to sustain life.. both physical and persona.. we simply do not have the resources w/in ourselves or the power to command resources elsewhere that we need to enter into loving relationships or to pursue meaningful plans


we depend on someone outside ourselves to give us love and a reason to live.. *because we were designed for what we do not have (relationship and impact), our very nature yearns for the kind of life we were destined to live.. therefore we long for love and purpose

*i hope he’s meaning.. don’t have now.. we did have them.. before the supposed to’s of school/work et al compromised/stole/covered them.. before sea world scrambled them


when a counselor speaks w his client, he must know that he is dealing w an image bearer.. a person who cannot be truly alive/happy unless he is in relationship w god and is actively and deeply committed to carrying out god’s purposes.. every ‘personal problem’ has ultimate roots in broken relationship w god and a commitment to a higher priority than knowing god..

deep enough ness

it that is true, then counseling should be designed to repair the fractured relationship w god by promoting the sort of repentance that leads to a deep enjoyment of god and an honest commitment to serve him.. but most theories of counseling try to effect change w/o ever dealing w matters of repentance and obedience..


what we need is a means to uncover the love he has already written on each heart.. that message (of unconditional love) that what the one body needs most is you being you

healthy people deeply enjoy god, expressed w occasional bursts of ecstasy followed by long period of quiet allegiance..


allegiance: loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause: those wishing to receive citizenship must swear allegiance to the republic

i don’t think that’s his message/love.. we know he doesn’t want robots..

they know that in their deepest parts they have felt his touch.. that touch increasingly liberates them to be more fully involved w others.. they are free to enter other people’s lives, openly and vulnerably, w neither protection nor defensiveness.. because they are not threatened by the pain of disappointment and conflict that inevitably occurs in rich involvement among fallen people..

unoffendable ness

healthy people are sad because they know things are not now as they should be..

black science of people/whales law et al

healthy people are not afraid of confusion.. have given up their claim to independence and control.. so can tolerate/welcome uncertainty..

embracing uncertainty

carhart-harris entropy law et al


sometimes they feel profound loneliness and unbearable hurt – and at those times it seems as if they are touching reality more honestly than when they are feeling good..

higashida autism law .. maté sensitivity law .. et al

their styles of interaction w god and others are as varies as snowflakes.. but on thing in common: growing ability to be touched by god and to touch others..

fittingness.. the it is me.. et al

i want more than freedom from painful memories/emotions.. i want more than an understanding of how forces w/in my conscious have been shaped in my early years.. i want more than changed behavior patterns and relief from troubling symptoms.. i want community.. w god/others..

healing (roots of)

yet.. seems to be in shortest supply.. many have ability to express feelings and to enjoy certain pleasures in life.. but very few enjoy deep relationship w god/others

wilde not-us law.. and.. none of us are free ness

what’s the problem.. what needs to be done to move ourselves/others.. toward the source of all that we desire.. what is getting in the way of our movement toward him

we need to undo our current hierarchical listening

willard heard law

the problem is sin.. the remedy is rependence, trust and obedience..

ugh – the problem is we’re like whales in sea world.. shell less turtles.. empty holes.. and we have no idea what we’re capable of.. we’ve stripped and stripped ourselves .. till we don’t even know what our souls crave .. willard soul hunger law et al

but having said that, we find that the effort to understand the problem and its remedy is merely begun.. to discern why thirstyimage bearers walk right past the cold springs of livin water to look for satisfaction in the dry sand of the desert, we must undertsnad the foolishness of sin.. and we must think deeply

yeah see.. i don’t think getting back/to love/god/wholeness is that difficult.. meaning.. i don’t think we have to think deeply about it.. don’t have to ‘solve’ it.. we just need to listen deeper

that listening will reset us

what we need most if for 8b people to be able to reset in sync.. otherwise we end up with some people thinking they have to tell other people what to do

which they can’t.. ie: only you can listen to what’s on your heart (from god).. so .. really.. we’re just spinning our wheels if we come up with a solution that needs prep.. training.. et al

humanity needs a leap.. to get back/to simultaneous spontaneity ..  simultaneous fittingness.. everyone in sync..

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people


perhaps the greatest obstacle to grasping what biblical counseling is all about is a weak and shallow view of sin.. ‘not just disobedience.. but complex network of attitudes (beneath the acts) deeply rooted in an alienation from god..’


until we understand sin as rooted in unconscious beliefs and motives and figure out how to expose and deal w these deep forces w/in the personality, the church will continue to promote superficial adjustment while psychotherapists, w or w/o biblical foundations, will do a better job than the church of restring trouble people to more effective functioning


real change means change in the inner man, where a deceitful heart, full of motives hidden even to ourselves, and a darkened mind, holding ideas that we may consciously disown, must be exposed and confronted by the message of god

yeah.. i think real change means we get back/to non hierarchical listening listening to what’s already on our heart .. i don’t think it’s a confrontation/exposure though.. i think we’ve proven that those don’t work.. and that they suck all our energy.. so all we’re left able to do.. is decide that they do work

so need to look carefully at how we think.. what we think.. and how our thinking can be renewed.. this is the heart of the 2nd element of personhood as the image of god: the capacity to think

yeah.. i ‘think’ it’s more about needing to listen deeper.. than to think.. listen to what’s already on our heart.. listen to the itch.. more alive ness.. less responding ness

we have the capacity to observe our world, form impressions of it, org impressions into images/beliefs about how our world operates, direct our lives according to our knowledge, and subject our understanding to evaluation and change.. in a word, we can think

yeah.. if that’s thinking.. i think that’s not in his image.. ‘direct our lives according to our knowledge’.. then why not the tree of knowledge?.. i think that thinking we need intellect ness is keeping us from us..


the longing of the human heart, i submit, cannot be change.. and even if they could, to do so would make mankind less than god designed us to be. our longings are legit.. the problem is not centrally w our longings..


beliefs and images are two operations of the rational circle

images – capacity to rep reality in our minds that allows us to do more than merely respond to present simulation.. we learn to respond not to the world, but to our pics of the world..


therefore every child must at some level view his world as disappointing and himself as disappointed.. we are all in pain w/o the fullness that comes only from god..

pain is motivating

yeah.. but wrong motivation if want to be free

if pain is because of an unkind world.. we are at its mercy.. but if fault is ours.. there is hope..


we select a painful image of selves (something bad about ourselves but something we can fix.. work on) in order to avoid the greater pain of acknowledged helplessness..

beliefs – ability to string words/sentences/thought makes it possible to determine what specific direction we chose to go.. beliefs about how our worlds work and how we can function in them..

ie: decide your image is clumsiness.. task not to figure out strategy by which a clumsy kid in a world that rejects clumsiness can find a measure of happiness. because he is sinfully committed to independence as the route to life, he must come up w a strategy over which he has full control..

strategy ness

perhaps sociability could serve as his route to acceptance and value.. a few successful experiences could confirm his mistaken belief that sociability leads to life.. ability to win approval.. his ‘spiritual gift’.. his confident belief in self amounts to rebellious unbelief in god.. the only cure is repentance

smiles ness et al

no.. the cure is to get him out of sea world.. and into rat park.. so that he is no longer driven by false rejections (ie: clumsiness is not normal)

cure is cure ios city (listening to what is already on our heart)


images and beliefs – capacities of the rational circle employed by fallen people to maintain the illusion that we do not need god..

we love to think that there is no confusion which renders us helpless; we prefer to explain our unhappiness in terms of flaws that we can conceal/correct..

satan promises life if we take matters into our own hands.. god promises life if we admit our sinfulness, accept christ as savior and face the helpless confusion of life w/o christ..


a renewed mind involves abandoning the images that protect us from that confusion and changing our minds about the route to real life

black science of people/whales law ness


the images we form are not simply the necessary imprint of the parental treatment we received; they are rather chosen to provide us w a basis for handling our world w our own resources.. the beliefs we accept are more than a reflection fo the ideas we were taught; they are carefully crafted efforts to lay out a strategy for minimizing pain and gaining whatever satisfaction can be found

yeah.. not buying that.. thinking we are all results of our broken feedback loop.. ie: maté parenting law; supposed to’s of school/work; et al

transformation depends on renewing our minds, not on changing our circumstance past or present.. healing the memory of past trauma or rearranging our current situation fails to address the real problem.. the struggles we experience have more to do w the defensive images and beliefs we hold right now than w the manner in which our parents victimized us.. and because those images/beliefs are part of our pursuit of life apart from god, the remedy centrally involves repentance of the foolish idea that life exists apart from god and redirection to handle life according to god’s instruction


sounds more like a belief in original sin

kids – are not yet scrambled (closer to image of god) .. parents are scrambled (from their parents and from supposed to’s of school/work et al).. so their/our parenting is a structural violence..

the remedy is to get us out of sea world.. to restore the shells we’ve stolen.. yeah remorseful about all of it.. but that can’t be the focus.. otherwise we’ll lose energy/interest..

the remedy is much simpler.. we just need (all of us) time/space to listen deeper.. to that deep love/insight .. that is already in us.. (each one of us)

if god wanted us to follow his instruction.. he wouldn’t have let us not (follow it).. he doesn’t want robots.. who wants robots in a relationship?


because we are fallen, our wisdom has degenerated into foolishness..

become scrambled.. so .. we need to get that back.. by listening deeper.. holmgren indigenous law et al


we hold on to images that ‘explain’ our disappointment.. and beliefs that pump us with the hope that things could be diff..

we hold onto them? or they have been engrained in us? a system that de humanizing us daily..

until we deal w the sinfulness of our commitment to independence and our foolish pursuit of false hope .. we are not touching the real problem w/in the human personality

what happened to the hollow cores?

real problem.. listening for a & a.. we can’t hear it anymore.. we need a means to get back/to non hierarchical listening..

with legit authenticity/fittingness.. we crave interconnectedness/attachment

next chapter:

is the unconscious biblical (if sins are conscious)

a deeper understanding of repentance must be developed that deals w the hidden sins of the heart..

9 – the beginning of change: repentance


commonly accepted that the idea (of unconscious) is more psychiatric than theological.. as a result..while church exhorts people to do what they consciously know to do, psychotherapists deal w the casualties of the church, people who sense the mysterious forces w/in are frustrating their efforts to obey

in my view.. the unconscious is neither a derivative of secular freudian thinking smuggled into christian theology nor a thrilling but untapped resource with which i can become godlike.. my understanding .. is rooted in the biblical teaching that, above all else, our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked heb 3:13.. so deceived unaware of internal corruption



if no work is done beneath the water line, then work above the water lin results in a disastrous externalism in which visible conformity to local standards is all that matters.. that community will be characterized by pressure, judgmentalism, legalism, and pride rather than by deep love for god/others .. pastors and other christian leaders who work only above the water line produce either robots or rebels..


many people never deeply repent because they are unwilling to face their pain and self protection

it is thru deep repentance – abandoning manipulative styles of relating in favor of risky involvement w other – that god is enjoyed and people are loved..

like that

forgiveness of hose who hurt and movement in whatever direction obedience requires are built on the foundation of repentance.. the result is a deeper awareness of christ’s love for us and the value we have in his plan for touching others

sounds counter to the sentence right before.. ie: risky involvement counter to obedience..?.. he doesn’t want robots.. he wants alive ness

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

defensive images of ourselves .. yield to more accurate imagine as loved children.. wrong beliefs about finding life thru manipulative self protection are crowded out by wisdom of knowing that obedience is the route to joy.. our rational circles become filled

yeah.. i think love is the route to joy.. no bots

152the process continues as the repentan image bearer does what only an image beare can do: volitionally move toward a chosen goal

i don’t think that’s how he made us – ie: the it is me ness

to understand what movement involves, we now turn to the 3rd element in our defn of a person who bears god’s image: the capacity to choose

i think he made us for the capacity for curiosity over decision making

assuming some finite set of choices is limiting god/love in us

10 – free to choose: people are volitional

choosing ness.. i think that compromises legit free\dom .. otherwise.. why do we have curiosities


confusion presents a serious challenge to our lust for control.. complexity that i cannot org into manageable categories robs me of the opp to take charge w confidence.. when my destiny is out of my hands even for few moments, something deep is disturbed.. confusion is an enemy to people who want to be in control..

carhart-harris entropy law et al


when we are confronted w confusion that cannot be denied, there are only two options for dealing w it: 1\ rely for help on someone who is not confused or 2\ replace confusion w understanding

3rd .. very important.. huge.. (god imaged) option.. swim in it.. keeps us alive



we find unappealing the prospect of trusting god by accepting confusion as a necessary part of life and then moving on decisively amidst the confusion

cool.. so you’re at least showing another option..

but rather.. necessary part of being alive

motivated by anger/fear wt then impose an order on our world.. major function of which is to restore the comfortable illusion of ultimate personal control.. whether our ideas fit w way things really are isn’t quite the point.. glad to be right.. more concerned to be powerful.. the desperate drive to preserve our cherished independence makes us cling to explanation that permit us to maneuver confidently thru life..

black science of people/whales law et al

as a result.. our capacity to choose. is distorted into weapon to resist the admission that we really don’t know very much and therefore need help..


people are too complex to permit confident and comprehensive explanation.. parents cannot *eval their rebellious daughter so thoroughly that a clearly right way of handling her emerges.. yet they **must respond, anxious that what is donw will prove eventually to be right

*part of the problem.. huge part.. we need to let go of any form of measuring/accounting/telling people what to do

we need to let go of judge\ment (other-ing).. and realize our interconnectedness..  i know you ness

**why?.. says who?

once we figure something out, we do not want to push on with our thinking because we correctly sense that behind our ‘clear’ understanding is amaze of complexity that further reflection will expose.. when more thinking threatens to lead toward confusion, settling into a defensively dogmatic position is comfortable.. but there is a price to pay for closing off thought..

shaw communication law et al

we are drawn to precise categories, neat formulas, and carefully outline theories..

of math and men.. lit & num as colonialism/enclosure/poison.. et al


they were responsible for what they did because the final cause of their behavior was personal choice. any theory of personality that fixes responsibility for what a person does on something other than undetermined choice is, at least in that part, unbiblical



we must briefly explore the difficult area of motivation in order to understand how people choose both the what/why of their actions

a biblical view of responsibility requires that we see people as moving in a chosen direction toward a valued end point

? i thought..? not able to manage..?

either way.. (meaning even if you didn’t say/mean that).. responsibility is killing us.. making us judges rather than human beings

everything we do has a purpose that we think our actions will achieve

that’s assuming we’re free.. not in sea world.. the land of spinach or rock ness

2 parts of volitional capacity: 1\ to choose behavior 2\ to choose goals

i think both of those (behavior/goals) are cancerous to human being.. compromising to god’s image in us.. to our fittingness

let go


the reality of choice

if someone were to ask her ‘why are you shy’ the thought that she had actually chosen to be shy as a self protective strategy against personal pain would never occur to her.. but if it is a choice.. why doesn’t she feel it


the loss of felt choice

there is little debate w the notion that responsibility and freedom are linked – you cannot have on ew/o the other.. people are responsible because they are free

i guess i’m part of the little debate.. if someone is holding you responsible.. you aren’t free

most of us experience selves not as volitionally free but as compulsively trapped


or is it more enlightened to recognize (rather than saying take a hold of things) that there are deep disturbances w/in the human psyche that can undermine the ability to choose

yeah.. a big part of that we think living is about choosing.. ie: decision making is unmooring us law

perhaps we need to deemphasize the idea of responsibility to someone whose volitional capacity has been weakened.. in favor of therapeutic investigation of deeper concerns.. which should we do: affirm the reality of choice and confront, or deny choice as the basic issue and understand?.. the loss of felt choice is an everyday experience.

supposed to’s of school/work et al; voluntary compliance et al; ..

we must state clearly that loss fo felt choice does not mean loss of actual choice

yeah.. i think it does.. i think the idea of choosing things is a loss of choice


behavior will feel like choice to the degree that the goal of the behavior is recognized.. a corollary follows naturally: behavior in pursuit of an unrecognized goal does not feel like a choice

and deeper.. complianced behavior isn’t a choice (again .. not that we’d want one.. but 1\ many literally don’t have a choice 2\ most/all choices are from some man made finite set of choices)


restoration of choice

it is the right of the image bearer to choose.. the awareness and exercise of that right put vitality into the experience of living..

‘image bearer’ don’t have rights.. thinking we have rights.. sucks the vitality/live/image right out of us


we agree that image bearers choose. and we agree that we should choose to live as god directs


then why the garden

until people become richly alive to the reality that they really choose what they do.. exhortations to follow specific actions only frustrate

they always frustrate.. we’re not made for choosing from a finite set of choices.. again.. decision making is unmooring us law et al

instructions to change do no good when the ones being instructe have no awareness that change is up to them

rather: instructions to change do no good.. period

people telling other people what to do .. huge red flag we’re doing it/life/image wrong

no train

let go


when self protection becomes evident as the motivational them of life.. people come to see that overcoming problem like.. whatever addiction

cope ing ness.. but in sea world.. hari present in society law et al

so all you’re saying in these pages relates to the unethical ness of costello screen\service law.. you’re telling people to listen deeper w/o a legit solution (ie: hari rat park law).. so.. when they listen deeper.. and still have to cope (or die) in the sick ecosystem we are all in (aka: sea world) .. they feel even worse..


confusion and uncertainty, i suggest, are the necessary backdrop for the richest enjoyment of the gift of choice

i’d call that daily curiosity.. making us antifragile (god’s image).. and i’d clear that up with richest enjoyment of gift of being alive

god made us in his image. among other things, that means we have the capacity to move about in our worlds in a fashion determined solely by our ability to choose.. a wise person chooses to walk according to god’s revealed plan ‘trust and obey’..

yeah.. i don’t think he has a plan for us.. i think we are his plan.. free people.. in love.. if he had a plan for us (in moving about this world) we’d be robots.. he doesn’t want robots..

god has not made clear how everything works and what is best to do in every situation

he doesn’t want robots.. he wants alive/loving/breathing people.. taleb antifragile law et al

the courage to continue when nothing makes sense except for the prospect of knowing god defines a high level of maturity

not that we should be measuring levels of maturity.. (let the children come to me.. ness.. their is the kingdom.. we’re missing out on that not yet scrambled ness when we focus on levels.. et al)

but maybe that’s why the tree of knowledge thing.. making sense of things isn’t what we’re supposed to be about..

maybe the prospect of knowing god is swimming in the unknowing ness.. legit free\dom

11 – feeling the impact of life: people are emotional


we must relieve ourselves of he pressure to ‘feel good’ when something legitimately painful happens.. hurt is evidence of life, at least as long as we live in a fallen world..


it may be that much of what passes for christian graciousness nothing more than self protective politeness.. defensiveness.. unwillingness to deal w immediate relational tension, and a failure to listen insightfully to what people are saying are several reliable indicator of a commitment to self protection..

part 3 – growing toward maturity – a restored image and healed relationships

12 – the evidence of maturity: love

again with the maturity.. and evidence of it.. dang.. let go.. uncompulsorized/healthy kids don’t do that.. and theirs is the kingdom


in this final section i want to build on concepts developed so far (1 – scriptures are authoritative and sufficient for understanding people 2 – we bear image of god and we are fallen) sketch a portrait of maturity.. in my thinking, maturity (properly defined) is the direction in which all good counseling aims.. godliness (maturity) is the aim


one encountered difficulty in writing on this subject because there are many different understandings of what it means to be mature

maybe that isn’t the point (of human being).. maybe that’s a distraction.. keeping us from us/god/love

maturity is often defined in terms of knowledge, habits, and skills.. people who know the scriptures .. who do what they should and don’t do what they shouldn’t.. maybe be regarded as mature

intellect ness and supposed to‘s.. killers of human being ness

but often those who have the trappings of maturity don’t seem to draw us to the lord. we may be impressed, challenged and stimulated – but not drawn.. truly mature people are seductive: they entice us to pursue a god whom they know better than we

wow.. yuck

entice: attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage: a show that should entice a new audience into the theater | [ with obj. and infinitive ] : the whole purpose of bribes is to entice governments to act against the public interest.


they’ll know us by our love.. and let the children come to me.. no ‘knowing better ness’ there


if we fail to define it (maturity) well, our natural tendency to reduce things to what we can control will lead us back toward an external tangible defn (knowledge, behavior, skills)

the task of counseling is identical to the task of the church: promoting maturity..

scriptures speak of fruit springing from inward reality.. its necessary visible evidence..

still not buying the maturity ness.. but why necessarily visible?

maturity will be most clearly in the way people relate to one another.. in ways that promote harmony between ourselves and others who relate similarly.. the abandonment of self protection..

? why the last 3 words?

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 


the visible evidence of maturity is love.. people who love are not always those who look the most loving..


nice people are not hard to find.. good/responsible/kind/moral/generous people do exist in tolerable numbers among the other sort.. but loving people are in short supply

love cannot be measured by above the water line activity.. compliments, warm smiles.. so much of what passes for christian community reps the well developed art of graciously distancing one another for purpose of personal comfort.. ‘made himself no reputations’ phil 2:7.. for many of us love is not the bottom line; self protection is.. we foolishly work to save our lives and thus corrupt our love

smiles ness.. bn – un\reputation ness..


mature people are committed both to the abandonment of self protection and to involvement in whatever fashion will encourage others to move toward god..

mature parents feel keenly the joys/sorrows of their children’s ups/downs, but they grant them a separateness that frees them from teh responsibility of keeping their parents intact..


something diff about people who love.. the relationship is never at stake.. we sense a freedom to enter fully into the enjoyment of relationship rather than to keep the relationship intact

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

love really is the answer

love one another

maturity having 4 circles full:

1\ personal: core longings of our hearts one day will be fully satisfied..

2\ rational: unworthy .. but image bearers..

3\ volitional: behaving in a fashion consistent w goal of love

does love have a goal? why behaving..?

4\ emotional: thankful for constructive emotions and use destructive ones as guide to self exam

last chapter: what kind of character enables us to love..

13 – the essence of maturity: realized dependency


the ones they love may feel cared for.. but will not be drawn to deeper personal involvement w the lord.. people who are fully there in a relationship stir others w their presence.. but no presence w/o deeply changed character

every christian agrees that obedience to the word of god is central to character development

? i don’t think i do

character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual: running away was not in keeping with her character.

i don’t even know if i believe in character ness

although we sometimes differ on what it is that god requires of us, there is clear agreement that christians must learn to live life as god commands..

says who? i don’t believe in the whole command thing.. or requirement thing.. so how is it ‘clear agreement?’


but character involved more than a commitment to obedience

i thought you were talking about love


loving action is behavior motivated by a desire to promote godliness in another

wow.. people telling people what to do.. not love


everyone agrees on the importance of developing character (then all his ie’s are of some people wanting other people to develop character)


the it is me


the assumption is that character develops w/o directly working on the hidden issues below the water line.. the effect is an academic christianity that leaves people deeply alone.. knowing god doesn’t happen; people merely know about god..


a second model.. all the first but in diff context.. the study of people’s relational patterns as *observed in actual practice becomes the focus in an effort to id and promote repentance of self protective patterns to drive us to dependency on god.. people who want to grow must commit themselves to providing hones feedback out how others come across to them.. in an atmosphere of rich support

*by who?

i think what’s unsettling me. . is that this all seems to bypass the whole.. in his image.. and already on each heart ness.. (which observation destroys)

it’s more about an uncovering .. a freeing back up.. than a working on something.. observing/examining something.. otherwise.. it’s not unconditional love.. and i don’t think.. it will ever be deep enough


at the point of greatest pain the temptation to relieve the pain by some means is overwhelming and powerful. if, at that point when the urge to rely of self protective strategies for relief is strongest, we refuse to yield but rather cling to god in dreadful dependency, our character grows..

i don’t quite get why he keeps saying ‘the terrible/dreadful reality of total dependency’

sounds lovely to me

and i think if all the supposed to’s are gone and we really do feel unconditional ness.. this focus on temptation becomes irrelevant.. just seems we spend all our energy on that fight.. rather than on love (but we keep calling it love.. ?)


notice that volitional obedience is central… deepens our responsibility to obey god and puts obedience squarely in the center of things..

i think that’s the wrong wrong focus

i don’t think we get to love.. that way

the power to obey comes w the awful realization that we are w/o resources to make life work..

but if we’ve given up control.. conditions.. that’s not an issue..

and if we focus on obedience.. we don’t ever let go of control.. conditions..

he doesn’t want robots

godly character can be defined as confidence in god that one day things will be as they should be..

i don’t see that lining up with the things you’ve laid out..

i see that as trust.. which is unconditional .. (so sans observations/nudging/obedience/responsibility.. et al)

the confidence that define maturity will grow only 1\ when the reality of unfulfilled longings is deeply felt now, and 2\ when our utter inability to find satisfaction on our own is painfully admitted

maturity – realized dependency, admitted poverty, brokenness: life simply isn’t working the way we want ti to and we can do nothing to change it..


the effect of clinging to god is the freedom to love..

few churches/seminaries are consciously working to promote maturity as i have defined it.. there is little of the rich community where honest feedback *provokes sincere self examination, where *acceptance is extended to people who struggle

*provoke sincerity?

*i don’t think people who struggle would feel acceptance as you have defined it

conclusion: jesus is indeed the way


an emphasis on responsibility and visible change is entirely biblical


judge\ment ness.. killing us/god/image

but not when it diverst attention asawy form issues in our deceitful hearts that requrie deepe repentanc an vulenable depdnecye

yeah to dependency.. interconnectedness is huge.. but focus on ‘responsibility and visible change’ is part of what gets us to deceit.. et al

let go

one function of scripture is to expose thoughts and motives previously unrecognized.. to reduce us to helpless dependency out of which true obedience can develop

if we let go of all the lit & num as colonialism/enclosure/control.. set us legit free.. we’ll find a loving dependency.. that we crave .. no obedience needed

world renowned leaders in the helping profession sometimes deal effectively w concerns that trouble the soul, but they never get to the root of things

help\ing ness is killing us.. let’s get to the legit healing (roots of).. back to your hollow core

if we legit listened to the soul (instead of all the other things/supposed to’s/people telling people what to do).. everyday.. that would be the root of things (since root is already on each heart)


and we’re missing it

secular therapy at its best lowers the line of denial, thus enabling people to face and come to grips w more of what is true about themselves an others..

well.. about whales in sea world

just that much makes secular counseling less harmful than so much of what passes for biblical counseling where denial is strengthened by increased moral effort.. moral effort in the midst of faced reality reflects faith; moral effort as a means of numbing painful parts of reality is hypocrisy

how sad when secularist deal w more of the real world than believer.. only the christian has the resources to live w/o denial, yet non christians often admit more of what is going on in their lives than christians..

yeah.. but again.. huge point.. what’s going on in sea world..

in the deepest part of every soul is a hunger that will only be fully satisfied in heaven

only satisfied when we focus on these two needs/hollows


w/o learning what it means to richly depend on christ for the life my soul craves and to repent of sinful movement away from god.. all improvement is superficial no matter how apparently meaningful or satisfying..

the whole idea of improvement is superficial no matter how apparently meaningful or satisfying..


renewed determination to do what is right is essential

essential killer – supposed to’s – he doesn’t want robots

the answer to all of life’s question lies in relationship w christ, a personally gripping relationship that is entered into in a moment but takes long and difficult years to develop

? i don’t buy that.. years to develop? it’s already in us..


helping people to know the lord in life changing ways requires a level of involvement w them that is muddled, frustrating, thrilling, draining,, enduring..

so your view is that people are unable to listen to god for themselves?


so.. good book in that i’ve not seen someone focus on two points before (his hollow core – for maté basic needs – even though i think he’s off on the 2nd one – authenticity over impact).. we have to go/get deep enough

but so frustrating in that he then lays out all the guidelines/rules/assumptions/judgements.. that i thought he was saying aren’t the way to go.. and that aren’t deep enough


for overstating (by repetition?) my frustrations.. i guess that’s what i do..

i just think there’s (now) a nother way.. and we’re missing it..




cling to god in dreadful dependence