Strategic disappointment

By Dave Henning / March 16, 2015

“My heart is not proud, O LORD.  My eyes are not haughty . . . I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”- Psalm 131:1-2

As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 14 of Soul Keeping, he discusses the concept of strategic disappointment.  He notes that the psalmist uses a striking metaphor suggesting that our soul is becoming like a weaned child.  Through strategic disappointment, we are learning that our soul can be satisfied with God, even if our appetites and desires aren’t being gratified every moment.  Strategic disappointment is an opportunity to practice soul-satisfaction.

Dallas Willard once described some soul homework to allow our souls simply to be satisfied with being loved by God:

“If you really want to experience the flow of love as never before, the next time you are in a competitive situation . . . pray that the others around you will be more outstanding, more praised, and more used of God than yourself.  Really pull for them and rejoice in their success.  If Christians were universally to do this for each other, the earth soon would be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.”

The soul requires a center to give it identity, purpose, hope, and a foundation.  The soul was created to worship.

Today’s question: During your desert, land between time, how difficult has it been for you to rejoice in blessings received by others?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Gratitude- the soul’s fundamental mind-set”

About the author

Dave Henning

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