As a society, we are obsessed with our appearance. From designer sunglasses to the cars we drive, we send messages about who we are to the world around us. Things are only just that: things. They don’t make us feel better emotionally. To do that, we need to stop worrying about what’s on the outside and look at what’s happening inside of us.
Focusing on things, on behavior, on the external leads us to feel shame. Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:36: “Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
The stress model tells us to focus on the internal. Focus on the two primary emotions: Love and fear. Every time you make a decision, ask yourself, “Is it fear or love that’s making my choice?”
The world we live in provides many distractions. It is full of fear and challenges. There is much idolatry. There are many material things. There are many, many focuses on the external. By focusing on love, we become open to the see what God has for us. That was easy to do for Adam and Eve in the Garden. That is, until sin entered in. It has been a struggle for man ever since.
God said that David, the Psalmist, was a man after His own heart. There are numerous references in the Bible of David calling out to God. “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2. I believe this was because David, although a sinner, was able to be honest with God. David came before God to seek forgiveness and healing.
True faith is expressed from and pure heart. This is an internal expression. Our faith is our expression, either verbally or behaviorally, of the love inside us. Otherwise we are walking in fear. I see this as another “spiritual connection” between the stress model and the Bible.
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Ken Thom, MS, LPC is a nationally recognized Christian counselor and writer. He is available for parent and individual coaching. Ken is a Post Institute Certified Family Regulatory Therapist, Certified Coach and Great Behavior Breakdown Instructor as well as a certified BCI parent trainer. Ken's book Christian Parent Wisdom is a daily scripture based medication book for parenting children with challenging behaviors. Contact Ken.