Friday, July 27, 2012

What are you doing?

Where are you going? What are you doing? Why are you going? Why aren't you going?

"I can't go if I don't know where I'm going."

But what if you do already, but it's been buried under piles and piles of stuff? What if you don't know, does that mean you stay where you are?

"I don't know how to get there."

Do you always have to know how to get somewhere in order to take your first steps? Do you have to know how to take steps?

Yes and no?


It will be well with my soul.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pop Psychology

One interesting tidbit of pop psychology that I've learned recently is this:
If you're feeling bad about yourself or like you are a failure, make a list of all the things that you fail at. Then you'll feel better.
And here's the reasoning behind it: if you try to make a list of things you fail at, you'll inevitably fail at doing that. And then lo and behold, You've failed at trying to make yourself fail. Instant win!!!! Right???

I admit I've gone before to the trove of pop psychology, I've tried using and have even recommended some of the tips and tricks found there... but I am now becoming more and more aware of how much I've come to depend on them, and perhaps unconsciously, but nonetheless, to begin viewing them with a spirit of awe and reverence that really does not belong... They're interesting, and often times yes, helpful. But I'm seeing now that at their root, perhaps they are not so good after all...

Just a few things about this one:
  1. Some people are really good at making lists, especially lists like that (aka me - I admit I tried this once and my list rambled on and on and on and on...), and doing that just leads to the clear opposite effect. One might think, "oh man, I fail at so many things, nooooo", or if in a really self-deprecating mood, even "I fail at making a fail list, I'm such a failure!!!"  
  2. The way that several proponents of this method have described it, this also encourages you to write lists of things you don't like about yourself, and then ignore it completely. Because hey! You're not so bad after all. Then again I guess there's then more pop psychology to suggest other ways to help yourself help yourself.
  3. I've found that ultimately, the heart of this message (and many other pop psych messages) is this: Focus on yourself, because within yourself is the power to make yourself happy and complete. 
It sounds lovely right? That inside the depths of our souls lie an inherent power for us to fill in our own gaps, to find our true satisfaction and happiness, to unlock all that we can do and discover who we were meant to be.


You have the power. You have the truth. It's all there inside yourself.

It's the battle cry of post-modernism, the flying banner of humanism and the victory flag of feminism. It's empowering, encouraging, gives you a pat on the back and a nice shot of adrenaline on those inevitable days.
And isn't that exactly what Satan would love for us to think?
That we are capable on our own? That we have the ability to do all of these great things? That we can find our fulfillment in activity, in relationships with others, in digging within ourselves and finding out our own true purposes? On our own? Apart from God?


That may not be at the heart of all pop psychology... yet so much of our world has sought to seek their own.
Romans 1:12 --
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 
1 Corinthians 3:19-20 --
For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

As wonderful and helpful that tips and tricks from pop psychology may be, perhaps we shouldn't (I shouldn't) look to them, at all, after all. My question to self is, would I look similarly to other sources that I know do not honor God, and in fact seek at their heart to usurp His authority and wisdom? I should like to think not.

May we look only to the only Wise God, and give Him all the honor that is due... 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Unlearning

This past year was really focused on learning - not just because I was at the ed school but personally in many areas of my life.

In learning, especially learning that leads directly to behavior change, there is often a lot of unlearning that first needs to be done. At the ed school they like to call it "conceptual change", or as I think of it, tearing down your old thoughts and rebuilding them again - different paths and different philosophies on that, but the root of it is twofold:

  • One, that one must see the error of one's ways by seeing just how much it does not make sense.
  • And Two, that this must arise from an "A-ha" moment, not simply from someone else's lecturing but from really thinking about one's own thoughts.

Anything else is likely to only be temporal and surface level, if not outright forced and often begrudgingly so.

I'm sure that spouses and parents can see this clearly, no ed school degree necessary haha

Every thought, every interaction, every response we have to a given situation, every thing that we let influence our lives - that all builds into the structure of our mental repertoire. Slowly, the brick and mortar of self-centeredness, self-sufficiency, and arrogance is scaffolded and fleshed out.

There's a lot yet to tear down. Wow, praise God, that His demolition of these Towers of Babel is loving, and His disciplines trustworthy and kind...

2 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”