How vulnerable are you to deception? How do you know that your spiritual experience, or another person’s, truly was from God? Deception can be painful and costly. Jesus expects us to grow in discernment as part of discipleship. There are at least ten principles of spiritual discernment which when applied with God’s grace and empowering can shield you from deception.
Everyone needs compassion, especially when faced with pain, suffering, grief and so much more. We can experience compassion from those around us – family, friends, our faith community. The deepest, most profound compassion is experienced from Jesus (typically through other people) who fully identifies with our unique situation. Can you imagine Jesus feeling all your pain, weeping with you? This is closer to the heart of the kingdom of God than you might realize.
People of faith are not immune from depression. Many Christians struggling with depression find it difficult to reconcile this with their faith in Jesus. Some responses from faith communities add to the pain of depression instead of offering empathy and support. Although written long ago, the book of Job provides a deeper understanding for the issues of heart and soul for people of faith coping with depression.
Guilt – we all experience it. Yet the tendency is to avoid feelings of guilt, to sort of “bury them”. Those feelings are unpleasant and it does take courage to face our past, our pain, our mistakes, our need for reconciliation, and more. But what if guilt is designed to lead you to grace, to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus? What if guilt is God’s spiritual alarm system at work in your soul? What if those feelings of guilt are one of those indicators of the soul urging you to experience God’s healing?
Many people have experienced shame in their life, or maybe even now live with shame. Shame is very “internal” and over time has a corrosive effect on our soul. I invite you to listen to an audio message to better understand the “dynamics” of shame to help realize healing and freedom from shame.