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Recognize the descriptions of core longings, of dysfunctional behaviors and of dysfunction as sin.
1. Core longings are meant to draw us into God’s embrace, where we find rest and contentment.
2. Dysfunctional behaviors are ungodly attempts to fill unmet core longings and are sinful responses to the emotional pain that results from our core.
3. Dysfunctional behaviors are, at the core, idolatrous choices away from God. Theologically, they are sinful acts that spring from desire that is twisted away from God
Recognize the four motivating factors for dealing with sinful choices in the context of Jesus and the Cross.
1. Our Grace in Christ
2. Jesus has made the Law of Sowing and Reaping
3. It is important to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal our sinful choices and bring cleansing and freedom.
4. A relationship with Christ
Recognize the steps to change dysfunction/sin (the Six R’s of Repentance
- 1. Recognize/Confess
- 2. Repent
- 3. Renounce
- 4. Receive
- 5. Realign
- 6. Rejoice
Recognize Father John Powell’s five levels of communication and Eugene Peterson’s three levels of language.
- Father John Powell's 5 levels
- 1. Cliche level
- 2. Just the Facts
- 3. Values and Judgement
- 4. Feelings
- 5. Identity
- Eugene Peterson's 3 levels of Language
- 1. Language I - Feelings and Intimacy
- 2. Language II - Information
- 3. Language III - Moitvation
Explain (in 2-3 paragraphs) why Language I (feelings and intimacy) is the best language for Formational Prayer and how Jesus and the Psalms of Lament teach us to express our feelings.
- *It’s what you say inside your head that you do not want to reveal to others.
- *Real, honest, raw, unsophisticated and uncensored. Tells it like it is.
- *The language of emotion, love and childhood. It is more right-brain (random, intuitive, holistic/synthesizing, subjective, and looks at the whole).
The Psalms of Lament
- *God prefers us to tell him what is really inside us, to be uncensored and honest – not what we think he wants us to say. He wants to hear our disappointment and anger with him that we are afraid to utter.
- *God’s Word teaches us to express our feelings.
- *The psalmists honestly lift their feelings up to God. *They get their feelings up and out and say what needs to be said. They openly wrestle before God.
- *They freely express their feelings before the Lord while struggling to hold on to faith and hope in the midst of a difficult time.
- *Sadly, we have done a “psalm-ectomy” in the church and taken our grieving out of church life.
Recognize the five aspects of the path to emotional well being which caregivers must understand.
- 1. Permission Giving
- It is 100% OK to tell God exactly like it is. If you really want freedom, you need to do this.
- Expressing negative feelings is an important and permissible Christian response to deep pain. Expressing emotions is not only permissible, it is a biblically correct response to life
- Lay aside any family rule that says a child cannot talk back to a parent or express negative emotions. This rule wrongly forces our emotions deep inside us.
- 2. Responsibility
- Take responsibility for your own feelings and their accompanying actions.
- A good rule for caregivers to tell the counseled “You cannot break anything or hit me.”
- 3. Expression before the Lord
- Before the Lord
- It is best to first open up your torrent of feelings before the Lord. He alone is able to bring the deep healing necessary to freedom and well being. Without first meeting the Lord, unleashing feelings directly toward someone who has hurt you can result in more hurt.
- “Safe Context”
- It is extremely important to have a safe place where the broken person can express negative feelings and be safe from condemnation and judgment.
- 4. Find the message beneath the feeling
- Find out what is the meaning within the loss. We really need to grieve the meaning of what we lost. For example, losing a spouse can mean losing your best friend, your sense of security and your partner in life.
- 5. Take time to school yourself on the proper way to express emotions
- Understanding the importance of feelings is critical.
- Being able to identify the particular feeling is important. There is a wide range of feelings from weak to strong in the four main categories: mad, sad, glad and afraid. For example, anger can range from weak (“displeased”) to mild (“frustrated”) to strong (“furious”).
Recognize the four characteristics of uncensored lament as a path to healing.
- 1. Lament to God
- 2. Language I – feelings and intimacy (Eugene Peterson)
- 3. Uncensored
- 4. Feeling-Centered
- 5. Conclusion - You know the person is done when her or his lament turns to a blessing. Then talk together and pray.