The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Emotional Processing

Facing Your Fear of Reality: Recovering from Extreme Psychological Escapism

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After a long day at the office, Frank likes to unwind with a couple of hours of gaming when he gets home.  Then he checks in with his friends and often hangs out with them, feeling recharged from his solo play time.  But when Mike gets home from work, he spends the rest of his evening glued to his computer screen.  The only friends Mike chats with are the crew members of his online gaming team.  He’s never met any of them, and they’ve never met him.  They’re all interacting with each other as their fictitious game personas and Mike loves it. Read more of this post

Help for Aggressive Critics: Why You Need to Verbally Trump Others

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Are you one of those argumentative Christians who is always looking for a chance to shut someone down with your version of God’s truth?  Do you listen in on other people’s conversations, hoping that someone will show some ignorance on a subject that you feel you’re an expert on so you can barge into the conversation and pound that fool into the ground with your brilliance?  Do you find yourself getting all agitated and flush-faced when someone makes a comment about God which you believe is wrong?  Are you quick to break out a mocking tone and condescending language as you’re explaining your view to someone else?  Do you inwardly panic when someone points out a major flaw in your argument that you don’t know how to counter? Do you understand why you’re such a dominating pill in verbal conversations?  You have your reasons.  Humans always have reasons for what they do, and those reasons make sense to them.  Read more of this post

Understanding Your Perverse Fantasies: A Sign of Stress, Not Defectiveness

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There’s a widespread belief among Christians that if a man’s spiritual priorities were in the right order, he wouldn’t have certain kinds of thoughts, he wouldn’t be hooked on porn, and he wouldn’t have certain nasty desires welling up within him 24/7.  And yet the truth is that a man can have excellent priorities and be embracing all the right soul attitudes while he is being plagued with some very dark mental fantasies.  The psychological principles we’re going to discuss in this post can be very helpful to anyone who is feeling tormented with perverse fantasies of any kind.  When you’re obsessing over certain kinds of themes, you can easily end up shunned by both the mainstream Christian community as well as the world at large.  Happily neither of these human groups are accurately conveying God’s assessment of you.  And once you understand a few basic principles about where perverse fantasies come from, you can stop treating yourself like a worm and become more receptive to the compassion and help God is offering you. Read more of this post

The Mindset of Trauma Reversal: Pursuing the Unattainable

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No matter how many men Sonya dates, she doesn’t feel satisfied.  Rather than be faithful to her current boyfriend who treats her very well, Sonya flirts with every guy she meets and tries to get physical with them.  Sonya’s flirtatious behavior suggests that she really wants a man.  But she has a man, so why isn’t she happy?

Tony is an extremely driven workaholic who has a long resume of impressive accomplishments.  He graduated top of his class at one of the best colleges in the world.  He’s a brilliant neurosurgeon who has revolutionized his field with some very innovative surgical techniques.  Thanks to Tony’s genius, the number of brain tumors that can be safely removed has skyrocketed.  The man is a hero in the medical field, he is adored by his community, and he is married to an exceptionally kind and compassionate woman.  But despite all of this, Tony feels depressed and inadequate.  He’s locked in a pattern of driving himself to exhaustion trying to accomplish some lofty goal, only to feel depressed and unsatisfied when he reaches his target.  Tony’s been the guest of honor at many awards ceremonies, but every time he returns home with his wife, he’s so upset that he locks himself into the bathroom to cry.  Why isn’t Tony feeling satisfied with his accomplishments? Read more of this post

Interpreting Spiritual Dreams

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

The Bible is about God. Because of this, many Christians fall into the trap of thinking that any impression they get while reading the Bible must be coming from God. So when they read a passage that makes them feel condemned and rejected, they assume that’s God talking, because only God speaks through those sacred pages, right? Wrong. There is no object or human in this world who you can count on to give you some secure pipeline to God. Instead of dropping your guard whenever spiritual matters are being discussed, you need to be all the more cautious and aware of how easy we humans are to deceive.

This same principle applies to your dream life. The fact that you dreamt about a God related topic does not mean that the dream was some Divine message from God to you. Maybe you had a beautiful dream about Heaven. Maybe you had a frightening dream about Hell. Maybe God Himself was a character in your dream. Maybe your dream included prophetic images and messages. None of these things indicate that the dream was a message from God. So before you go leaping to the wrong conclusions, you need to be asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Read more of this post

The Importance of Feeling: Why You Need to Reengage

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

We humans are creatures of very limited choice. If we made a list of things we get to choose and things we don’t get to choose, the second list would be a whole lot longer. Where there is not choice, there is no control, and this greatly frightens us. One of the things we have no control over is the fact that we are emotional beings. We not only have emotions, we have two sets of them: earthsuit emotions and soul emotions. Earthsuit joy is when your mood perks up as you take a bite of your favorite dessert. Soul joy is that feeling that wells up inside the moment it really clicks in your brain that God really loves you—not just other people. Read more of this post

Stonewalling an Ogre God: Recognizing the Errors in Our Logic

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

We shut down on God for two basic reasons: because we think that He’s rejected us, or because we’re rejecting Him. In this post, we’re dealing with the second motivation.

Our reasons for rejecting God boil down to a critical loss of confidence that He is truly for us in life. Once we believe that God is not really on our side, we believe that He is actually against us. Oh sure, we might say with our lips, “God loves me,” but inwardly we’re thinking, “Yeah, right.” If God loving us means that He’s going to continuously torment us, what good is it? This isn’t love, it’s sadistic abuse. If all we are to God is some object to torture, then why do we want anything to do with Him? If trusting Him means setting ourselves up for more pain, why do it? Read more of this post

Cussing God Out: How Our Meltdowns Move Us Forward

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If you keep jabbing a man with a sharp stick, how would you expect him to react? You’d expect him to get madder and madder until he finally lets you have it. When he calls you a bunch of nasty names and demands to know why you’re acting like such a creep by poking him with your stupid stick, would you find his attitude unreasonable? Not hardly. As another human, you know how painful it would be to get jabbed with a stick like the one you’re holding. You know that if it was you on the receiving end of those pokes, you’d be just as upset.

Now in such a scenario, there’s only one reason you’d be poking a man with your stick: because you’re trying to get him to flip out on you. We see this kind of behavior at work with bullies all the time: they keep inflicting emotional or physical pain on someone just for the sake of getting that person to fly off the handle at them. When humans treat other humans this way, they have nasty reasons for doing so. When God treats humans this way, He has very good reasons. Read more of this post

Angry at God

Angry at God

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It is not a sin to be angry at God. In fact, He has designed you to react with anger whenever you feel He is being mean, uncaring, and unjust. God heals someone else’s cancer but He won’t heal yours. Anger is the instant result. You really count on some promise God made and then He refuses to keep it. You’re angry. You’re in great financial stress, you pray earnestly for help, and God arranges for you to get fired from your job. You’re angry. You get accused of a crime you didn’t commit, you expect God to back you up, but instead lying witnesses show up in court and you end up with a long sentence of jail time. You’re angry. You read the New Testament and find a bunch of commands that are much too hard to obey, you pray for help, and God won’t give you any. You’re angry. Anger is a natural human response to frustrating, painful, and fearful situations. Anger is often our safe way of expressing deep fears and pain that we’re afraid to face. If you tried to go through life without ever feeling anger, you would end up with some severe physical and psychological problems. God has designed you to need to vent anger just like a volcano venting off pressure through steam vents. You can either vent in controlled bursts or you can try to stuff it all and later erupt to pieces. You don’t get to choose an emotionless life. Anger is part of being human. Read more of this post

Dreams: An Overview

Dreams

Does God speak through dreams today? Do your dreams accurately reflect the state of your soul? Should every dream be analyzed? What should you do when a dream upsets you? These are the questions we will address in this post. Read more of this post