Chapter 4 Question 2

“Moral scrutiny is not to discover how good or bad I am and regain some moral high ground, but it is to begin some honest ‘shadow boxing’ which is at the heart of all spiritual awakening.” –Breathing Underwater, pg. 30

Have there been times when reflection and self-examination have been important to your spiritual growth? What did you discover in that process? How did it change your view of yourself? Of God? Of the world around you?

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3 thoughts on “Chapter 4 Question 2

  1. Sometimes you need to sit back, shut up, and realize it’s not all about you. It’s not an easy thing to do. My life is all about control …. as a teacher…. as a mom in some ways…. in how our household is run…. sometimes I need to just sit back, sit down, shut up, and let God. Seriously.

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  2. One of the things that was emphasized to me in the process of doing my 4th Step, and which I now emphasize to others, is that it’s not about compiling a “rap sheet” of all of the stuff I’ve done. Rather, it’s about getting down to “causes and conditions,” that is, what are the underlying things that drive behaviors and serve to keep me spiritually sick? In my case, it almost always boils down to fear (and almost all of my fear is self-centered fear) and pride, which are really two sides of the same coin. When I can see it for what it is, I can deal with the fear head-on rather than just focusing on the behaviors that are rooted in the fear. When I deal with the fear, the behaviors disappear; when I focus on the behaviors, I’m just playing whack-a-mole because the fear will come out in other ways.

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  3. This has been one of the most important insights in pastoral leadership for me as well. Often when people would exhibit unhealthy behaviors in the church, I would focus on addressing the behavior and never respond pastorally to the underlying fear. (I can still make that mistake sometimes when I’m not mindful.) I still think unhealthy behaviors need to be addressed, but I find it much more effective to address them in concert with offering compassionate care to address the underlying fear or hurt which is driving them.

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