“These (straying) well-meaning parts of your soul need to be redirected, not berated. If you find that you’re shutting out God or being tempted to sin, listen to that part, and get to know it. Most importantly, invite Jesus to be near it too.”- Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller
“Then neither do I condemn you (the Samaritan woman at the well),” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”- John 8:11 (NIV)
Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller continue Chapter 6 of Boundaries for Your Soul as they discuss the straying parts of your soul.
2. The Straying. Although Jesus spent time with religious leaders who knew every letter of the law, He also spent time with religious leaders called “sinners.” In other words, they sinned in more overt ways. However, Jesus typically spoke kindly, not harshly to them. Rather, Jesus often befriended them and forgave them. Then, He called them to change!
Most noteworthy, Alison and Kim observe, these straying “sinners’ sound like our firefighter parts. Consider two examples of their beliefs:
- Skeptics: You don’t make sense to me, God. I’m going to look for another path that does.
- Escape Artists: I don’t feel like sticking around. I’m outta here!
Furthermore, the authors explain what happens when firefighters are either too close or too far:
“Rebellious firefighters struggle to extinguish your pain. If they’re too close . . . they can lead you away from God . . . insidiously by luring you to ‘check out’ when what you really need is to face your pain. . . . On the other hand, if firefighters are too far you may miss out on the life-giving pleasures and exciting adventures that God created for you to enjoy. You may also miss opportunities to operate effectively outside of your comfort zone.”
With healthy boundaries, these parts extend mercy and forgiveness to others, based on the mercy they’ve received from God.
Today’s question: What straying parts of your soul truly need God’s mercy and grace? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A more integrated and peaceful internal life”