It is easy not to share the real person – to resort to more superficial banter and avoid how we really feel. We all have a fairly predictable emotional landscape, a behaviour pattern which formed through our childhood. This shows us which feelings rattle us, which we try to avoid, and those we try to generate more of. In this way we often rely on past feelings to try to manage our present emotional framework. Pervasive emotional preferences like fear, anger and despair may grow and over time will be reflected in our faces and bodies.
Most of our behaviours are controlled by feelings around those behaviours. We can become stuck if we repeatedly think, “This is me. It’s what I feel comfortable with.” refusing the invitation to be changed by our emotions. We need to look afresh at ourselves for if we stay ‘predictable’ we are actually not growing, but stagnating and dying inside.
God will never come through the door we expect Him to. He will stretch us emotionally and transform us so we grow. If we continually resist His invitation to change we will become narrower and close down to life as we age. When Jesus said we should leave everything and follow Him, He wasn’t only meaning physical things. We also need to be open to leaving our set ways of seeing and hearing. We will need companions to challenge our ‘right’ and justifiable feelings and to invite us to start taking steps on a different, more life-giving journey.
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