The more pastoral counseling I do, the more I realize how often people deal with life’s traumas, hurts and disappointments by suppressing their hearts and their spirits. Instead of being healthy, integrated people, they numb out or otherwise retreat exclusively into the realm of their minds — i.e., their analytical logic and reason.
They are alive, but hardly living.
I’ve also come to realize how God created our hearts and spirits to be equally vital aspects, along with our minds, of the whole, complete individuals He wants us to be.
Becoming integrated, healthy individuals requires that we stop the oppression of our hearts and spirits that happens when we make them subservient to our logic and reason.
If this has happened in your own life, I’ve seen many, many instances of how authentic confession, repentance and forgiveness allow our heart and spirit to once again experience full, integrated expression.
- Confession, because our mind often wants to brush aside or forget what our heart still feels and needs to express, and what our spirit nonetheless still remembers.
- Repentance, because our mind so easily deceives itself by believing lies rather than finding freedom in God’s liberating truth — which changes not only what our mind thinks, but also what our heart believes and our spirit perceives. (See Repentance and God Shows Up.)
- Forgiveness, because our mind wants to minimize or ignore the offenses that our heart otherwise still carries but needs to release, and the wounding that our spirit otherwise suffers, from real wrongs committed against us and from our own sins that we’ve committed against God and others.
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