When we face trials in life we can become crippled by powerful emotions and struggle in our spiritual walk. Whilst the external situation is undoubtedly significant, our emotional response to the situation ultimately comes from within us. Therefore it is vital that all components of our experience are addressed.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us ‘keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life’.
We are complex combinations of body and soul, separate but also inextricably intertwined. Our heart (or soul) is our central driver and motivator. The real us (our heart) is covenantal before God. As image bearers, we think, desire and feel. And from these functions, we choose - God's way or our way. Our physical body acts as an agent of the soul and carries out our choices via behaviours.
As unpleasant as they can be, powerful, difficult emotions can be helpful as they express what we truly value. They act as a 'spiritual smoke alarm', often revealing dysfunctional thinking and desires.
Emotions are poor leaders but good mirrors of the heart and when we look at all the components of the heart (thinking, feeling, desiring & choosing) in the light of scripture, through the work of the Holy Spirit, 'therapeutic discipleship', can help us to experience God's transformational grace.
Additionally, having a robust understanding of suffering and what it means to be human in the fallen world we live in, is vital. Biblical counsel and a sound biblical anthropology helps us to understand our struggle and situation through the lens of scripture.
Common areas covered are:
Self-esteem / image issues
Career changes & work issues
Struggles with motherhood / parenthood
Relationship conflict / difficulties
Anger & bitterness
Guilt & shame
Our thoughts are generated by the functional beliefs of our heart, our true motives & desires
Our biology and behaviours flow out of the functional beliefs of our heart
Our heart is the wellspring of life. It generates our emotions, physical sensations, thoughts, choices and actions. Sanctification starts with heart change which comes not from a process, but a person, Jesus Christ.