“When you spend time with God, don’t leave your unwanted thoughts and feelings at the door. Instead, befriend them — and invite Jesus to be near them too.”- Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”- Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller conclude Chapter 6 of Boundaries for Your Soul as they exhort you to learn to welcome every part of your soul. Yet, that effort involves great challenge. However, the authors state, paying attention to the state of your soul “opens you up to receive the gifts God wants to give you to the parts most in need of grace.”
In addition, God’s eager to speak words of affirmation and meet you in your pain. Through the Holy Spirit’s power, this step of invitation involves guiding each part of your soul (sanctimonious, straying, suffering) to:
- open the door
- open their arms
- receive treasures from God
Most noteworthy, Alison and Kim caution us to beware of imposter religious parts:
“Be aware that sometimes when you try to connect with Jesus, you actually may be connecting with a religious, Jesus-like part. You know this is the case when the ‘Jesus’ you feel like you’re encountering is shaming you or has no power. . . . If a well-meaning part like this shows up as you start to pray or participate in a worship service, ask it to step back, so that you can connect with the living God. The true Jesus always speaks authoritative words of hope and truth that will change your life.”
In conclusion, the authors stress that our religious activities, or spiritual disciplines, can’t change us on their own. Rather, they create an environment that’s conducive to growth.
Today’s question: What most helps you befriend your unwanted thoughts and feelings? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Unburden: soul freedom from heavy burdens”