The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Recognizing Your Conversations with God: Lesson 4 – Script Analysis

REVIEW

In our last lesson, we discussed two new discernment principles which are critical to learning how to recognize God talking to you.  The first principle was that God always initiates in His relationship with you.  The second principle was that when God speaks, He encourages you towards Him—meaning that God is always going to encourage you to make choices that will benefit your soul in the long term.

At the end of our last lesson, we introduced our first script exercise, and gave you some ideas for how you could come up with some mental material that you can write down for analysis.  For those of you who have some scripts ready, it’s now time to do some analyzing. 

SCRIPT ANALYSIS – LEVEL 1

As we progress through this series, we’re going to teach you how to analyze mental scripts more completely.  There are a lot of complex factors that need to be taken into consideration when you’re trying to discern the source of your thoughts.  We’re having you wade into this complex situation in stages so that we don’t overwhelm you, because once you’re overwhelmed, you stop absorbing information and you just feel frustrated—where’s the fun in that?

So then, in this first round of analysis, we’re only going to use concepts we’ve discussed in our first three lessons.   Later on we’ll add teach you more concepts.  If it’s possible for you to work with your scripts on a computer, you might find it easier than handwriting.  But remember, this is personal stuff, so guard your privacy.

Now if you didn’t use the questions we put out to help you form some scripts, that’s fine.  Any material you have on any subject can be analyzed—we just put out ideas to help you when your mind is a blank.

Remember that the longer your scripts are, the more you’ll get out of these analysis exercises.  Also, you can hang on to old scripts and use them again each time we do an analysis exercise, as each round of analysis will help you analyze more thoroughly.  But we strongly encourage you to keep making more scripts, because practice makes perfect with discernment.

To make this process simple, we’re going to use color coding.  If you’re handwriting your scripts, you can use highlighters, markers, or colored pencils.  We’ll stick with common highlighter colors to make this easy.  If you’re on a computer, you can simply turn the text various colors, and that will probably be the easiest option.

Now what you hear happening in your mind is a conversation between multiple parties.  Your soul is only one member of the group.  God is another member.  There are actually other members, but we’ll get into that later.  Right now what we want to do is take that string of thoughts you’ve written down in paragraph form and re-format it to be a script.  It is a script, but when you’re new at discernment, you don’t hear it as a script—you hear it as one long string of you talking to yourself.

Imagine a scene from a movie in which several actors are arguing with each other.  What’s really going on there?  Well, all of the actors are reciting the same script, they’re just taking turns speaking.  What would happen if we took their original script, got rid of all of the spacing and various names, and just squished all the lines together into one paragraph?  And then suppose we had just one actor read through that paragraph in the same tone of voice?  Suddenly it wouldn’t sound like an argument anymore, would it?  It would sound like one guy doing a monologue.  This is what happens in your head.  What’s happening is that you’re hearing one voice—what you’d call your “thought voice”—reading off the lines from several different parties.  Because the voice sounds the same the whole time, and because you associate that voice as coming from yourself, you then assume you are the source of everything you hear yourself saying.  And yet in reality, you are not the one saying a lot of what you hear in your head.  Much of what you say is just you summarizing things God says, or it’s God Himself directly speaking to you, or it’s other beings speaking to you, or it’s your earthsuit talking (more on that later).  So how do we sort this mess out?  Well, we need to take that paragraph and turn it back into the script that it really is.  We need to go through and start looking for indications of who is really speaking which lines.

Now back in Lesson 1, we explained how your soul and God converse using a non-verbal language which your brain can’t possibly keep up with.  So when your brain summarizes these exchanges, it leaves a lot out.  In other words, our script has some holes in it—not everything is being recorded.  There are gaps.  For example, your brain might repeat the answer to a question, but not the actual question.  It’s important to identify when gaps are happening in our script, and happily there are ways to do that.   So now let’s get started.

If you’re on a computer, the first thing you want to do is press the Enter key after the end of each thought you recorded so that you’ll give each sentence it’s own line.  Even partial thoughts should get their own lines.  If you’re working off of paper, then pay attention to where each thought stops, because we’re going to be analyzing the thoughts individually.  Remember that what you’re looking at is a multi-party script which has been smooshed together into a single paragraph, and your goal is to reconstruct the original script as much as you can.

To help you see how this analysis works, we’ll use an example script from Dave.  Dave is now in his late 30s, but back when he was a teen, he snuck out of the house to go party with his friends.  His younger brother saw him leave and insisted on coming along or he’d rat on Dave.  Dave didn’t want his brother to come, but he gave in.  They went to the party, got drunk, and on the way home, Dave lost control of the car and smashed into a tree.  His brother was killed while Dave didn’t even get a scratch.  Dave has never been able to forgive himself for what happened—it’s haunted him for years, and as an adult, he sabotages every chance he has at happiness because he feels so guilty about being joyful after what he did.  When Dave writes down a script to analyze, here’s what he comes up with:

I don’t think God could ever forgive me for what I did.  I was the older brother, Tommy looked up to me. I was such a lousy role model.  I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t hold our pasts against us.  But what if He does?  If I can’t forgive myself, how can He?  Maybe He could since He’s not human like I am.  What does it mean that God “delights” in mercy?  How can anyone delight in mercy?  And why would He want to be merciful?  Why would God love me?  God wouldn’t love me.  I’m such a loser.  Why did He even create me?  I’ve done nothing but squander my life.  I feel terrible whenever I’m happy.  “Move on from the past”—yeah, right, how does that even happen?  How can you get over something when other people are reminding you of it every day?  Maybe by now I’m looking for it—expecting my parents to hate me. Maybe I’m reading disgust into their tones that isn’t even there. But what difference does that make?  Maybe I’m doing the same thing with God—imagining He hates me more than He does.  What if He doesn’t hate me at all?  What if He has some totally different take on Tommy’s death that has never even occurred to me?  But yeah, right, like that’s going to happen. God doesn’t forgive things like this.  I didn’t understand that YouTube video I watched the other day where that guy who gunned down his wife and kids said he’d found peace with God.  He talked about God being so kind and loving. That’s not how I picture God.  Did that guy really know God or was he delusional?  I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’m so tired of hating myself. What if God really is willing to forgive me?  Or is that just wishful thinking?  If He was, how would I know?  If I tried to talk to God, would He really listen to me?  Does God really talk to a crumb like me?  Am I just being delusional? 

Okay, so now that you’ve got your script, and we’ve got Dave’s script, let’s start our analysis.  The first step is to start looking for any lines that could be God talking.

Identifying God’s Lines:

Learning to spot when a thought is originating from God comes down to understanding what kinds of things God would say to you.  In our last lesson, we learned that God’s top agenda for you is to draw you closer to Him—to encourage you to make wise spiritual choices.  Treating each sentence of your script as an isolated thought, highlight in blue any statement or phrase which does one or more of the following:

[1] Raises the possibility that you and God could have a positive future.

[2] Reminds you of something that God said to you in the past that made you feel encouraged in your relationship with Him.

[3] Refers to something you’ve seen, heard, or read which made you feel hopeful in your own relationship with God, or which promoted the idea that humans can have positive relationships with God.

[4] Counters a current belief you have which makes you feel hopeless about pursuing God or having a positive future.

[5] Refers to a trait about God which makes Him seem approachable, involved in your life, and/or possible to succeed with.

We’re now going to apply this criteria to Dave’s script.  First we’ll put each of his thoughts on a separate line so we can analyze them apart from the rest of the script. Then, for each line that we highlight blue, we’ll include numbers after it that show you which criteria that line fits.

I don’t think God could ever forgive me for what I did.
I was the older brother, Tommy looked up to me.
I was such a lousy role model.
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t hold our pasts against us. [1,3,4 & 5] 
But what if He does?
If I can’t forgive myself, how can He?
Maybe He could since He’s not human like I am. [1 & 4]  
What does it mean that God “delights” in mercy? [5]
How can anyone delight in mercy?
And why would He want to be merciful?
Why would God love me? [5]
God wouldn’t love me.
I’m such a loser.
Why did He even create me? [5]
I’ve done nothing but squander my life.
I feel terrible whenever I’m happy.
“Move on from the past”—yeah, right, how does that even happen?
How can you get over something when other people are reminding you of it every day?
Maybe by now I’m looking for it—expecting my parents to hate me.
Maybe I’m reading disgust into their tones that isn’t even there. [4]
But what difference does that make?
Maybe I’m doing the same thing with God—imagining He hates me more than He does. [1 & 4]
What if He doesn’t hate me at all? [1 & 4]
What if He has some totally different take on Tommy’s death that has never even occurred to me and He’s really not seeing it as entirely my fault? [1 & 4] 
But like that’s going to happen.
God doesn’t forgive things like this.
I didn’t understand that YouTube video I watched the other day where that guy who gunned down his wife and kids said he’d found peace with God. [3]
He talked about God being so kind and loving. [3 & 5]
That’s not how I picture God.
Did that guy really know God or was he delusional?
I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’m so tired of hating myself.
What if God really is willing to forgive me? [1 & 5]
Or is that just wishful thinking?
If He was, how would I know?
If I tried to talk to God, would He really listen to me? [5]
Does God really talk to a crumb like me?
Am I just being delusional? 

There are 37 separate thoughts in Dave’s script.  In this first pass, we’ve just highlighted 13 of them blue.  Before we started this analysis, it sounded like a depressed Dave was just mulling over how miserable he was.  But a closer look reveals that this speech is permeated with hints of hope which clearly aren’t coming from Dave.  In the midst of Dave’s despairing thoughts, we find all of these suggestions that God might be a lot nicer than Dave thinks He is.

Remember that the goal of this exercise is to reconstruct the original multi-party conversation that is being smooshed together and summarized by your thought voice.

Take some time to apply these first 5 criteria to your own script.  After any statement that you highlight in blue, write the criteria numbers like we did so that you can see the connection.  The five criteria we’ve listed so far all have to do with God encouraging you in your relationship with Him.  As we explained in Lesson 3, God always initiates in His relationship with you.  In other words, God is always the first One to bring up any concept that encourages you in your relationship with Him.  You are not going through your life encouraging yourself.  Often people feel like this is exactly what they’re doing—that they’re having to be their own spiritual pep squad, or that they’re being their own moral guide.  And yet in real life, humans are very responsive creatures.  Instead of initiating and leading, we’re constantly choosing who we’re going to follow.

Suppose you’re walking down a path and you come to a fork in the road.  Should you go right or left?  There’s a man standing on the right fork, and he’s calling out a bunch of reasons why you should come towards him.  But there’s also a man standing on the left, and he’s trying to persuade you to come towards him instead.  Both men sound smart, and their arguments appeal to you for different reasons.  At some point, you’ll have to choose to listen to one over the other.  Suppose you to listen to the guy on the right and you start down the right fork.  Ten steps later, you come to another fork, and the same thing happens all over again: two “experts” appear, and each one is pushing you to come in his direction.

This metaphor of forks in the road captures how your soul navigates through life.  No human soul is a trailblazer—we don’t carve out our own paths in life. Instead, we’re all being constantly presented with a set of options that we then respond to.  Should you become a doctor or a lawyer?  If you become a doctor, should you go into surgery or pediatrics?  If you go into surgery, should you become a general surgeon or a specialist who only operates on a small region of the body?  Are you going to operate on just adults, just children, or both?  See how it works?  Every choice you make just results in more choices being presented to you, and every time you try to make a choice, there are pros and cons to be waded through.

IDENTIFYING COUNTERING VOICES

Keeping our fork metaphor in mind, it’s time to add another layer of analysis to your scripts.  You see, when God talks to you, someone talks back—either your soul, or someone else.  When God says something to your soul, your soul always answers—it either agrees, disagrees, or tries to pretend it didn’t hear anything.  But other voices are chiming in as well—responding to what God has said to your soul.  Those other voices are naysayers—they are almost always going to counter what God says to your soul and promote the exact opposite of whatever God is saying.  This constant back and forth happens in everyone’s mind—even in the minds of folks who are fully embracing what God is saying to them and sincerely wanting to please Him.  You see, there are other uninvited guests butting in on your conversations with God, and none of those intruders give a flip about pleasing God.  In fact, many of them hate God for their own reasons, and because of this, they want you to hate Him to.  So it’s chaos in your head, with your soul only contributing a fraction of what’s being said.   If we’re going to get an accurate picture of what’s really going on, we need to get specific about identifying comments that are directly countering what God is saying.  It’s time for some new criteria, and this time we’re going to use letters instead of numbers to avoid confusion.  Go through your script line by line, only this time, look for statements that fit the following criteria:

[a] Directly counters a blue statement, or suggests the statement is unimportant.

[b] Rejects or mocks the idea that God could like you or desire to form a positive relationship with you.

[c] Emphasizes the terribleness of things you did in the past, or of qualities you currently have which you feel you cannot change.

[d] Suggests that positive qualities about God are either unreal, absurd, or inapplicable to you.

[e] Describes you or some other person in derogatory terms.

[f] Emphasizes how difficult, impossible, or out of reach positive changes are for you.

If you’re on a computer, bold any statements which fit these criteria, and note the letters in brackets after each one.  If you’re working on paper, underline the statements that fit.

Here’s what we get when we apply this second batch of criteria to Dave’s script:

I don’t think God could ever forgive me for what I did. [a, d]
I was the older brother, Tommy looked up to me.
I was such a lousy role model. [c]
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t hold our pasts against us. [1,3,4 & 5] 
But what if He does? [a]
If I can’t forgive myself, how can He? [d]
Maybe He could since He’s not human like I am. [1 & 4]  
What does it mean that God “delights” in mercy? [5]
How can anyone delight in mercy? [d]
And why would He want to be merciful? [d]
Why would God love me? [5]
God wouldn’t love me. [b, d] 
I’m such a loser. [e]
Why did He even create me? [5]
I’ve done nothing but squander my life. [e]
I feel terrible whenever I’m happy.
“Move on from the past”—yeah, right, how does that even happen? [f]
How can you get over something when other people are reminding you of it every day? [f]
Maybe by now I’m looking for it—expecting my parents to hate me.
Maybe I’m reading disgust into their tones that isn’t even there. [4]
But what difference does that make? [a]
Maybe I’m doing the same thing with God—imagining He hates me more than He does. [1 & 4]
What if He doesn’t hate me at all? [1 & 4]
What if He has some totally different take on Tommy’s death that has never even occurred to me and He’s really not seeing it as entirely my fault? [1 & 4] 
But like that’s going to happen. [a]
God doesn’t forgive things like this. [a, b, d]
I didn’t understand that YouTube video I watched the other day where that guy who gunned down his wife and kids said he’d found peace with God. [3]
He talked about God being so kind and loving. [3 & 5]
That’s not how I picture God.
Did that guy really know God or was he delusional?  [d]
I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’m so tired of hating myself.
What if God really is willing to forgive me? [1 & 5]
Or is that just wishful thinking? [a]
If He was, how would I know?
If I tried to talk to God, would He really listen to me? [5]
Does God really talk to a crumb like me? [e]
Am I just being delusional?
[e]

We’ve got a lot of negativity in this script, and we’re also seeing strings of blue and bold statements.  Some grouping will help us start recognizing patterns, so now go through your script and add some extra spacing between blue statements, bold statements, and statements that you haven’t done anything to. Since this is a script, let’s start adding some speaker tags as well.  In front of the blue statements, add the tag GOD  In front of the bold statements, write COUNTERING.  In front of the rest of the statements, add OTHER.  Let’s now see what we get when we apply this formatting to Dave’s script.  We’re going to highlight our speaker names in a color to make it easier for you to see them.

COUNTERING: I don’t think God could ever forgive me for what I did. [a, d]
I was the older brother, Tommy looked up to me. [c]

I was such a lousy role model. [c]

GOD: I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t hold our pasts against us. [1,3,4 & 5] 

COUNTERING:  But what if He does? [a]
If I can’t forgive myself, how can He? [d]

GOD: Maybe He could since He’s not human like I am. [1 & 4]  
What does it mean that God “delights” in mercy? [5]

COUNTERING:  How can anyone delight in mercy? [d]
And why would He want to be merciful? [d]

GOD: Why would God love me? [5]

COUNTERING:  God wouldn’t love me. [b, d] 
I’m such a loser. [e]

GOD: Why did He even create me? [5]

COUNTERING:  I’ve done nothing but squander my life. [e]

OTHER: I feel terrible whenever I’m happy.

COUNTERING:  “Move on from the past”—yeah, right, how does that even happen? [f]
How can you get over something when other people are reminding you of it every day? [f]

OTHER: Maybe by now I’m looking for it—expecting my parents to hate me.

GOD: Maybe I’m reading disgust into their tones that isn’t even there. [4]

COUNTERING:  But what difference does that make? [a]

GOD: Maybe I’m doing the same thing with God—imagining He hates me more than He does. [1 & 4]
What if He doesn’t hate me at all? [1 & 4]
What if He has some totally different take on Tommy’s death that has never even occurred to me and He’s really not seeing it as entirely my fault? [1 & 4] 

COUNTERING:  But like that’s going to happen. [a]
God doesn’t forgive things like this. [a, b, d]

GOD: I didn’t understand that YouTube video I watched the other day where that guy who gunned down his wife and kids said he’d found peace with God. [3]
He talked about God being so kind and loving. [3 & 5]

OTHER: That’s not how I picture God.

COUNTERING:  Did that guy really know God or was he delusional?  [d]

OTHER: I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’m so tired of hating myself.

GOD: What if God really is willing to forgive me? [1 & 5]

COUNTERING:  Or is that just wishful thinking? [a]

OTHER: If He was, how would I know?

GOD: If I tried to talk to God, would He really listen to me? [5]

COUNTERING:  Does God really talk to a crumb like me? [e]
Am I just being delusional?
[e]

Now back in Lesson 1, we talked about how your brain’s verbal language can’t keep up with the super fast non-verbal language that you and God converse in, so your brain summarizes these exchanges.  Those summaries often result in a merger of what God said and how your soul responded.  Dave’s script has some very good examples of this.  Let’s look at the blue statements in Dave’s script which are written as questions.  For example:

What does it mean that God “delights” in mercy?

As we read through the start of Dave’s script, suddenly this reference to God delighting in mercy pops up out of nowhere.  So how did that happen?  Dave’s feeling depressed and down about his life, yet suddenly he starts pondering God’s merciful side?  All on his own?  Without any help? Nope, this is never how it works.  Humans respond, they don’t initiate.  It was God who brought up the idea that He delights in mercy.  When God did this, Dave’s soul responded with bafflement.  It’s hard for Dave to understand this aspect of God, and that’s really what Dave’s soul communicated.  But when Dave’s brain summarized this rapid fire exchange about mercy, it doesn’t capture every line of the script—instead, it lumps it all together and focuses on Dave’s conclusion: that he doesn’t understand God’s mercy.  If we were to split this thought out more accurately, it would go something like this:

GOD: I delight in being merciful.

DAVE’S SOUL: I really don’t understand what that means.

Look through your own script: do you see any blue questions that aren’t directly related to the sentences that come right before?  If so, you probably need to split them into two lines: the first being a statement by God, and the second being your soul’s response.  Let’s use another example from Dave.  Here’s one of his blue questions:

Why did He even create me?

This statement qualifies as blue because it’s reminding Dave of the fact that God did create him—and that demonstrates God’s personal involvement in his life.  But like the mercy question, this question about creation also seems to randomly pop up.  Notice that by itself, this comment is simply expressing curiosity about why God made Dave—it isn’t saying that God made a mistake, nor is it rejecting the idea that God made Dave.  Analyzing each phrase by itself will help you more accurately see what’s going on.  In this statement, we only find two elements: a reference to the fact that God created Dave, and a questioning of why.  It would be God who brought up the fact, and it was Dave’s soul who responded to that fact with curiosity.  We can now break this one line out into something  more clear.

GOD: I created you.

DAVE’S SOUL: For what purpose?

When you split out blue questions like this, remember that God initiates, so His comment will usually be listed first.  Let’s do another one for Dave:

What if God really is willing to forgive me?

The concept of God forgiving Dave is positive, which is how we know that God brought it up.  Dave’s soul then questioned the possibility, so we can split this out like this:

GOD: I am willing to forgive you.

DAVE’S SOUL: Could that really be possible?

Do you see how these back and forth exchanges are getting lost when Dave’s mind summarizes Dave’s soul talk with God?  And yet the fact remains that your soul’s conversations with God are very two sided.  By splitting things out like this, we’re helping Dave get a better sense of how he and God are communicating.

The advantage of splitting out like this is that you can correct the pronouns being used.  Often folks who don’t believe God talks to them translate everything into “I” language in their heads, and this adds to the illusion that they’re just talking to themselves.  But in reality, when God talks to you, He talks to you directly, He doesn’t talk about you in the third person.

It’s time to refine your script even more.  If you’re working electronically, make a copy of the whole script and paste it below the original or in a new file.  We’re going to do some heavy editing, and you don’t want to lose the original material.  If you’re working on paper, get out a new sheet of paper.

As you create a second copy of your script:

  • Split out any blue statements that you can see obvious splits for, as we’ve done with Dave.
  • For the rest of the blue statements, change the pronouns to match the pronouns God would use if He were talking to you in a verbal form. For example, if you have a blue line that says “Maybe God loves me”, you need to change it to sound like God is talking to you: “Maybe I love you.”
  • Drop the numbers at the ends of the blue lines and put the lines together to look more like a script.
  • Leave the black lines as you had them before.
  • Split out any blue comments that you can into God making a statement and your soul responding.
  • Highlight your SOUL’s lines in red.
  • Assign your OTHER lines as SOUL lines and highlight them red as well (Some of them really aren’t soul lines, but we’ll get into that in a later lesson.)
  • If you recorded any smiley or frowny faces between lines of your script to capture sudden changes of mood that you experienced, assign those faces to your SOUL.

In our new draft of Dave’s script, we’ve changed the pronouns of God’s statements to make it sound like He’s talking directly to Dave.  We’ve used asterisks (**) to mark the beginning and end of thoughts that Dave’s brain had squished into one statement.  We’ve highlighted Dave’s Soul’s lines in red.

COUNTERING: I don’t think God could ever forgive me for what I did. [a, d]
I was the older brother, Tommy looked up to me. [c]

I was such a lousy role model. [c]

GOD: You’ve heard it said that I don’t hold people’s pasts against them.

COUNTERING:  But what if He does? [a]
If I can’t forgive myself, how can He? [d]

GOD: Maybe I could since I am not a human like you are. **I delight in being merciful.

DAVE’S SOUL: I really don’t understand what that means.**

COUNTERING:  How can anyone delight in mercy? [d]
And why would He want to be merciful? [d]

GOD: **I love you.

DAVE’S SOUL: Why would You?**

COUNTERING:  God wouldn’t love me. [b, d] 
I’m such a loser. [e]

GOD: **I created you.

DAVE’S SOUL: For what purpose?**

COUNTERING:  I’ve done nothing but squander my life. [e]

DAVE’S SOUL: I feel terrible whenever I’m happy. 

COUNTERING:  “Move on from the past”—yeah, right, how does that even happen? [f]
How can you get over something when other people are reminding you of it every day? [f]

DAVE’S SOUL: Maybe by now I’m just looking for it—expecting my parents to hate me.

GOD: Maybe you’re reading disgust into their tones that isn’t even there.

COUNTERING:  But what difference does that make? [a]

GOD: Maybe you’re doing the same thing with Me—imagining that I hate you more than I do. What if I don’t hate you at all? What if I have a totally different take on Tommy’s death that has never even occurred to you and I really don’t see it as entirely your fault?

COUNTERING:  But like that’s going to happen. [a]
God doesn’t forgive things like this. [a, b, d]

GOD:  **Remember that YouTube video you watched the other day where that guy who gunned down his wife and kids said he’d found peace with Me?  He talked about Me being so kind and loving.

DAVE’S SOUL: Yes, but I didn’t understand it. That’s not how I picture You.** 

COUNTERING:  Did that guy really know God or was he delusional?  [d]

DAVE’S SOUL: I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’m so tired of hating myself.

GOD:  **I am willing to forgive you.

DAVE’S SOUL: Could that really be possible?**

COUNTERING:  Or is that just wishful thinking? [a]

DAVE’S SOUL: If it was, how would I know? 

GOD: If you talked to Me, I would listen.

DAVE’S SOUL: Would You? 

COUNTERING:  Does God really talk to a crumb like me? [e]
Am I just being delusional?
[e]

Our script is really shaping up, isn’t it?  Now we need to deal with those black comments.  In our next lesson, we’ll get into identifying who these naysayers are.  For now, the important point you need to see is that these countering voices are third party intruders.  To make that more clear, you need to do more pronoun adjustments.  Go through your script again—this time focusing only on the black lines.  Adjust the language to sound like someone is speaking directly to you.  When we do this with Dave’s script: here’s what we come up with:

COUNTERING: Don’t think that God could ever forgive you for what you did. You were the older brother and Tommy looked up to you. You were such a lousy role model.

GOD: You’ve heard it said that I don’t hold people’s pasts against them.

COUNTERING:  But what if He does? If you can’t forgive yourself, how could He?

GOD: Maybe I could since I am not a human like you are. I delight in being merciful.

DAVE’S SOUL: I really don’t understand what that means.

COUNTERING:  How could anyone delight in mercy? And why would God want to be merciful?

GOD: I love you.

DAVE’S SOUL: Why would You?

COUNTERING:  God wouldn’t love you. You’re such a loser.

GOD: I created you.

DAVE’S SOUL: For what purpose?

COUNTERING:  You’ve done nothing but squander your life.

DAVE’S SOUL: I feel terrible whenever I’m happy. 

COUNTERING:  “Move on from the past”—yeah, right, how does that even happen?
How can you get over something when other people are reminding you of it every day?

DAVE’S SOUL: Maybe by now I’m looking for it—expecting my parents to hate me.

GOD: Maybe you’re reading disgust into their tones that isn’t even there.

COUNTERING:  But what difference does that make?

GOD: Maybe you’re doing the same thing with Me—imagining that I hate you more than I do. What if I don’t hate you at all? What if I have a totally different take on Tommy’s death that has never even occurred to you and I really don’t see it as entirely your fault?

COUNTERING:  But like that’s going to happen. God doesn’t forgive things like this.

GOD: Remember that YouTube video you watched the other day where that guy who gunned down his wife and kids said he’d found peace with Me?  He talked about Me being so kind and loving.

DAVE’S SOUL: Yes, but I didn’t understand it. That’s not how I picture You.

COUNTERING:  Did that guy really know God or was he delusional? 

DAVE’S SOUL: I’m so tired of feeling bad all the time. I’m so tired of hating myself.

GOD:  I am willing to forgive you.

DAVE’S SOUL: Could that really be possible?

COUNTERING:  No, it’s just wishful thinking.

DAVE’S SOUL: If it was, how would I know? 

GOD: If you talked to Me, I would listen.

DAVE’S SOUL: Would You? 

COUNTERING:  Does God really talk to a crumb like you? Or are you just being delusional?

We started off with a single paragraph that sounded like Dave was just talking to himself.  But now we have a clear three party debate in which God keeps encouraging Dave toward Him while Dave’s soul flounders with doubt and some third party keeps piping up with discouragement.

Now if your own script didn’t break out this clearly, don’t be discouraged.  We’re just getting started, and there will be a lot more to practice with.  When you’re new at this kind of discernment, you’ll find that some scripts will be easier to work with than others.  Generally ones in which you’re thinking specifically about your own relationship with God will be easier to analyze than ones in which you’re musing about non-spiritual issues.  But no matter what subject you’re mind is mulling over, one thing is sure: you are never alone inside your own head.  There’s always a tug-of-war going on as two opposing groups of supernatural beings encourage your soul to pursue different goals.

LOOKING AHEAD

In our next lesson, we’ll dig more into this issue of countering voices and discover just who is responsible for constantly trying to rain on your hopes of ever getting anywhere with God.  We’ll learn some new principles of discernment, and we’ll help you come up with some new scripts to analyze.  If you’ve been working through the steps of this lesson with us, then be encouraged!  You’re well on your way to recognizing just how chatty your soul is being with God on a daily basis.

Click here to go to Lesson 5.

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