Continuing the list of Emotionally Unhealthy practices among Christians…..
4. Denying the Past’s Impact on the Present
Obviously this is of great interest to me as a counseling student, but Scazzero’s personal story is practical and telling. After 9 years of marriage, he and his wife went to counseling. Only then did they recognize how much of their patterns in life were similar to their parents.
“We were evangelical Christians. We were committed and stable. Our priorities and life choices were very different from that of our parents. Yet, underneath the surface, our marriage bore a striking resemblance to that of our parents’. Gender roles, the handling of anger and conflict and shame, how we defined success; our view of family, children, recreation, pleasure, sexuality, grieving; and our relationships with friends had all been shaped by our families of origin and our cultures.”
There is the spiritual Truth of becoming a “new creation” in Christ. But we assume too much about that. We often assume our past is irrelevant to our present. We talk about our life “before the Cross” and want to move forward. But how can we truly move forward and be transformed by the Spirit when the past has its tentacles deep in our hearts. And how can we change things we don’t even recognize are unhealthy. They can be so ingrained and natural that we have justified them for decades.
Maybe you don’t need a therapist. The Holy Spirit is trying to help you realize things that need to be changed. God is in your life to use whatever He can to teach you and change you.
But we can’t simply stick our heads in the ground and pretend everything is okay.
5. Dividing our Lives into “Sacred” and “Secular” Compartments.
This is a problem that we have all heard sermons about. We are sometimes good Christians on Sunday and then jerks at work and school.
The author shares the stats on divorce, abuse, racism and how many evangelicals live lives that are comparable to the average non-believer.
It’s easy to “do well” at church activities, even sincerely, but God wants more. He wants every day. He wants hearts to be changed. He wants us to love our enemies and the like.
Being actively involved in a church is a step above being a pew sitter. But it is not the same as being a disciple of Jesus who is constantly being transformed into His Image.