Some time ago, I came across a fine and insightful little book that Scot McKnight recommended entitled Christ-Following: Ten Signposts to Spirituality and written by South African pastor Trevor Hudson. A few weeks ago, I began reading the book during the early morning hours. What an enjoyable book!
In a chapter entitled "Acknowledging Our Shadow Selves," Hudson writes about the tendency in many Christian circles to acknowledge only the acceptable selves:
Within conventional Christian circles there is a widespread tendency to acknowledge only the acceptable selves. Those considered unacceptable are usually either neglected or rejected. This way of denial, as we shall see later, has destructive consequences. Most tragic of all is that large tracts of our inner life are prevented from experiencing God’s transforming friendship. Conversion can only continue as we acknowledge these shadow selves and expose them to the light of God’s love. (p. 79)
- What happens when you are told of another person’s success in your own area of work? Does the news instantly evoke a response of joy on this person’s behalf or does it produce within you a note of jealousy?
- What happens when you hear a colleague being praised for his efforts? Are you able to freely share in this affirmation or do you hear yourself saying something obviously designed to underplay what has been achieved?
- What happens at a four-way stop when it’s your turn to go, and the driver on your left races across your path with a smirk on his face? Are you able to let it be, or is your immediate reaction a curse that you would never use in public? (p. 86)
These questions are by no means an exhaustive list. They are just a beginning.
What other questions would you add to these?