As a Pastor, I get the unique opportunity and privilege to study some of the greatest minds and lives that have ever graced our planet. One such mind was the great saint Ignatius.
Ignatius launched a missionary movement through Europe centuries ago and instilled into his disciples the key practices of self-management, self-care and the sacred art of living a life in a contemplative manner totally connected to God, self and others.
As I look at Ignatius’s life and ministry I’m struck by how often he calls whole, and healthy humans to take serious consideration into living a life of contemplative fashion.
As a person who has struggled with different perverted desires and affections I have found that I most formidable against the traps of addiction and self-abasing behavior when I living a life of contemplation and evaluation. The great Howard Hendricks once said; “Experience doesn’t make you wise, only EVALUATED EXPERIENCE.”
What if I told you that there are 4 or 5 key questions that you could ask everyday that might totally transform the way you relate to self, God and others? Maybe (like I have so often) you’re exhausted because you have traveled too much ground (relationally, emotionally and spiritually) without taking the time to evaluate the journey.
Might I suggest 3 questions that you should ask on a consistent basis (2-3 times/week) that will help you live a life more in tuned with yourself and simultaneously more prepared to engage your recovery with zeal, strength and commitment.
Question #1→ What has been the dominating storyline in your head this week? In that storyline what character are you?
In this question you are taking inventory into the story that you’re living. You’ll discover that there is always a dominating voice in your head and into that story you’ll have a character in the narrative.
The story line might be; “Your life sucks and you’re a failure”. What’s more deadly than addressing such a depressing storyline is to live in it with absolutely no clue. Evaluation of the story is PIVOTAL to recovery.
Question #2→ What has been the dominating emotion in your life this week? What has caused such emotion.
Once I realized that so much of my sexual immorality was tied to my loneliness and inability to connect with others I was able to move away from behavior modification (immorality) and into real healing (inability to know and be known).
The key emotion of “loneliness” should’ve (and now does) tip my hand that danger is ahead. Find those key emotions and try to discover what is happening underneath.
Question #3→ Where did I feel most alive this last week? Why?
Once you discover that grace and mercy hit your life a thousand time everyday you can actually become cognizant and engaged to the goodness of God hit your real world everyday.
Instead of living in the victim story you decide to engage a better story; The Story of God. One in which you are loved, secure and engaged and God is glorified, sovereign and good.
The reality is that if you engage these soul-searching questions you will find perspective, joy, power and momentum. Should you choose to avoid the deep questions of life the price of neglect in your personal development is too high of a price for any person to pay. May you find the power to ask these deep and powerful questions this week.
About the Author:
Ryan Moffat is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
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Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 27, 2017
Published on AddictionHope.com