TALKING my issues out with trusted and wise mentors is one of the best ways I can maintain my spiritual equilibrium. It’s not the only way, but it’s about the best way. It is best, because:
ü I actually hear myself say words I need to hear myself say. Sometimes I’ve been thinking the wrong thing, and verbal expression exposes those wrong things I’ve been thinking because what I say is wrong. Equally, it is affirming when we say the right thing and mean it.
ü I hear myself talk through issues as a way of finding out if I’ve reflected enough or not. Often I have not reflected enough, and, the fact that an astute mentor or pastoral supervisor knows how to probe, makes me engage with what I need to reflect more over. Occasionally I have reflected enough and that, again, is affirming.
ü I find myself tempted to utter a lie and my conscience picks me up — God always uses such an event to speak deeply into me; to cause me to confess and correct. We can sometimes be embarrassed to find what we have been coveting; but it is only embarrassing for a moment, and then God gives us power to rectify it.
ü Thinking that is unconscious is potentially dangerous. Again, an astute question asked at the right time is not about catching us out as much as it is something designed to draw out unrefined thinking — again, a need of more reflection and prayer.
ü It forces me to stop thinking how humble I am and how proud others are. It forces me to see that I haven’t got it as right in my own head and heart as I can be deluded to think. It forces me to stop judging others.
Thinking is everything. From feeling, we must think if we are to make meaning that holds up, incinerated, under the blowtorch of truth.
Verbal expression creates the thinking opportunities for reflection we still need to engage with.
Expressing what’s on our hearts is vital in dealing with the personal demons we all have. Whether it is pride or envy or bitterness or something else is immaterial. The fact is we need to express what we have been processing. Then we engage in reflection — over what we have said, and over the usually nonverbal feedback we got from a mentor.
God communicates to us through our reflection, against the datum of truth. Expressions of heart so often miss the mark, but we may never know unless we give voice to these expressions of the heart.
Hearing ourselves say words we need to hear ourselves say is a way God speaks truth into us — as a check to see and know if we are on the right track or not.
Talking our issues out with trusted friends can help us deal with our demons.
We need to talk about our walk,
By walking our way through talk,
When we walk through our talk,
Talk gives perspective about the walk.
Walking through life without talking is like swimming without turning to breathe.
Say something and we speak it into existence. It lives as truth if it abides as truth. And what does not live does not matter.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.