Hear any soul beeping sounds?

By Dave Henning / July 6, 2017

“Do you hear any beeping sounds there [your soul]?”- John Ortberg

“Who can discern his errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.”- Psalm 19:12-13

In Chapter 14 (“When You Find Yourself Out of the Flow”) of The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg asserts that we all need outside help to see our soul.  In one sense, Pastor Ortberg points out, you know yourself better than anyone else on the planet.  However, you also know yourself worse.

A book titled Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me),written by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, charts the deceptive mental tricks we play on ourselves.  John lists three of those deceptive tricks:

  1. Self-serving bias.  Succinctly stated, we claim too much credit and too little blame.
  2. Fundamental attribution error.  Your bad behavior results from your flawed character.  However, you attribute your bad behavior to extraordinarily trying circumstances.
  3. Confirmation bias.  We listen to experts who espouse opinions that agree with our commitments.  On the other hand, we ignore or discount contrary evidence.

One evening John and his wife Nancy woke up to a loud beeping sound.  Although John solved the initial problem by removing the smoke detector battery, Nancy cautioned that there could be a fire somewhere in the house.

The next morning Nancy called John at an early morning breakfast meeting because . . . the house was on fire!!  Turns out a few ‘delinquent birds’ built a nest inside the chimney casing.  As a result, the smoldering fire behind the wall set off the smoke detector.

In conclusion, John explains what we need to do when we hear soul beeping sounds.  He writes:

“Guilt is not my enemy.  Sin, which blocks off life, is my enemy.  The Spirit will often bring a sense of conviction, and when he does, the best response is not to suppress the guilt, but to get out of bed, take a look around the house, and put out the fire before it does more damage.”

Today’s question: What soul beeping sounds require your attention?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The diligence of our own scrutiny”

About the author

Dave Henning

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