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Prone To Wander Myth

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Entries in restoration (6)


Why the "Correct their stinking thinking" model doesn't always help.

Most Christians have been given the Corrective Thinking Model of helping:  "This friend isn't able to heal because they've got 'stinking thinking' that's preventing it.  They're not able to receive the healing because they are holding stubbornly to misguided, destructive, even faithless thoughts." 

While on the one hand, this may be true in some cases, it often isn't helpful to tell the person that they're believing and thinking wrongly, and it may not reveal the true problem.   I've discovered when using the Corrective Thinking Model that it only proves mildly helpful because it often can't bring about the recovery needed: Besides the person may already be well-aware of their destructive thought patterns, yet feel helpless to overcome them.

The Corrective Thinking Model [Just Fix What's Wrong With Their Bad Thinking] is rooted in an Analysis Model that assumes:  "If we can diagnose the why, then we've healed the what."  This model assumes that analysis equals healing.  It does not:  Just like determining why you broke your leg during a skiing accident doesn't, in and of itself, heal the bones.  Answering the "why" only gives you revelation not restoration.

Agnes Sanford, in her classic on prayer, The Healing Light, describes the hazards of the "Correct their bad thinking" model:

"You mustn't think that way!"  cries the would-be helper.  "You'll never get well when you think that way!  My dear, let me tell you ..."   And [the helper] proceeds to hold forth upon her own line, to hand over her own ready-made cure-all.  ...

Sometimes it happens to fit the need of the sufferer, and sometimes it does not.  And the one who longs to help mourns that the patient has no spiritual understanding. 


Sanford offers this counsel to would-be friends and helpers: 

The sick mind does not respond to reason.

[Notice what Sanford indicates:  In our frustration as helpers, we often blame the patient for a lack of spiritual understanding, rather than questioning the approach used.]


A better model:

We often jump in with the Corrective Thinking Model because we sincerely want to help, and it's the only model we've been given.  A more helpful question than, "How do I correct this person's poor thinking and bad beliefs about themselves or God," might be,

"Jesus, you got here before I did.  What are you up to?  Before I got here, you were already initiating my friend's restoration.  Help me understand what you're doing as you love my friend.  How can I join you?"  


There's no shame in this: We're simply being invited to learn from Jesus, who is a gracious teacher. 

Recommended resources:

Note:  This is an issue I've addressed in the past in other places, especially in a two-part podcast with author Dwight Edwards ["Revolution Within"]:

  1. Podcast:  "Revolution Within," Part One
  2. Podcast:  "Revolution Within,"  Part Two



"Something more glorious"

 “For God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo.  Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity.” – C.S. Lewis

Here's the key part of that quote:  "something more glorious than unfallen humanity."  At what point in history did we have unfallen, untarnished humanity?  Of course we have to go way back to Adam and Eve.  Is it possible that we today, as restored by Jesus work, have a capacity that Adam and Eve did not -- even in their unblemished and shame-less state, prior to their Fall?

So how can you have people that are better than Adam and Eve began as?  Well, we can't say that these "more glorious" ones Lewis is talking about would never sin like Adam and Eve; because even in our redeemed state as Christ-followers, we may still sin.

We also can't say that we now have God at our side to help us, for they enjoyed the tangible presence of God as well.

So what's our advantage over our unfallen Parents? 

Alongside vs. Inside:  While God may have walked alongside Adam and Eve in the Garden, he now moves inside us  - on a permanent basis; inextricably bound to our bodies, hearts, minds and souls.  He has enmeshed and entangled himself in us, through the restoring work of Jesus for us. We are now flesh of his flesh and he flesh of our flesh, spirit of our spirit, mind of our mind.

"Christ in you, the hope of glory" is not a description of the future alone:  it is who you are right now.

What is better about this inside-you, God-bound-to-you, gift we were given?

  1. Because Jesus cannot die, you cannot die.
  2. What Jesus knows about living well, you can know as well.
  3. Jesus' capacity for living well is yours now.

Do you see any other ways in which we in Christ are "more glorious" than unfallen Adam and Eve?  (Leave your comments.)



God is committed to your splendor

What if God couldn't keep quiet about you?  Eager to show you off -- to expose not your sin; but your splendor and goodness? 

Your glory is God's mission.  Listen to what he says:

1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
       for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,
       till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
       her salvation like a blazing torch.

 2 The nations will see your righteousness,
       and all kings your glory;
       you will be called by a new name
       that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.

3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
       a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

 4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
       or name your land Desolate.
       But you will be called Hephzibah, [my delight is in her]
       and your land Beulah [married] ;
       for the LORD will take delight in you,
       and your land will be married.

 5 As a young man marries a maiden,
       so will your sons marry you;
       as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
       so will your God rejoice over you.

Isaiah 62:1-5

´╗┐Let him do this.  It's quite possibly backwards from what you've been taught your whole life.  Give him permission to show you off.


Restoration is better than 'acceptance' alone...

A Mountain Search and Rescue unit gets a call that a climber has fallen on Mt. Hood, near Portland Oregon.  The climber's pick axe failed to grab when he attempted to lodge it into a unstable pocket of ice.  There was nothing to stop his fall.  Other climbers found the body, mangled and barely alive, one-thousand feet down from where he started to slide.

When the mountain rescue unit got there, multiple bones were shattered, including the spine, and the climber was bleeding from his ears and nose.   Rescue workers knelt near the bleeding body and spoke reassuringly to it:  "We accept you." 

And then they did nothing else.  To comfort the climber, they again offered, "We accept you.  You are loved and safe now."  But nothing else was done - no attempt to discern the man's vitals or assess his awareness of surroundings.  No attempt to stabilize and transport the body. 

Only, "You are loved and accepted.  It's o.k. now."

O.k., so I made up the story to demonstrate something.  It is not enough for Christians to see themselves as merely loved and accepted by God's grace.  That's a beautiful thing; but it won't restore a person or give them back the capacity to live well -- There was great damage that needed healing.

God is smarter than that.  He restores us by equipping us with a new and noble heart so that we can relate well, live well, and enjoy this new grace we've been given.  Anything less would be as cruel as the clearly shallow and insufficient 'hope' the mountain rescue unit offered the dying climber. 

What have you been taught about 'grace' and 'acceptance.'  Was it enough?


Free e-book from Jim - "THE GOSPEL OF THE HEART"

I'm making this e-book free of charge.  Download or share it as much as you want.
This short e-book exposes the false gospel that manages the externals and sabotages our hearts.

E-Book-The Gospel of the Heart-Author Jim Robbins



New podcast - special guest Joel Brueseke, Graceroots.org

A deeper look at grace.

Joel Brueseke is the founder of graceroots.org and has recently created a graceroots community on Ning network. He's a guy that gets the message of Jesus and understands the message of the new heart.
This is my interview with him.