Are we being honest with ourselves?

Reverend Chris Traffanstedt, M.Div. - Chaplain, Tyson Foods Inc.

Reverend Chris Traffanstedt, M.Div.

Chaplain, Tyson Foods Inc.

I hope this article will challenge you to view things from a different perspective as you deal with everyday life, especially when looking for spiritual growth for your devotional life and for the lives of those you care for deeply.

As I went through my Life Coach training a few years ago, one of the key ideas when assisting a client or counselee is learning to “interrogate reality.” This has to do with asking the challenging and sometimes difficult questions of the client that requires them to face the true reality that surrounds them within their current context.

This means that the majority of the time when a client or counselee comes to visit me, the problem identified by that counselee is not really the problem. It may have to do with how we think or react to stress but many times the original source of distress that someone comes to me with is rarely the overt issue on the table.

The way to “interrogate reality” is to actively listen to the person, patiently and intently, and with a few pointed questions you will eventually hear what you are looking for as the real problem surfaces. Often as you ask questions, either a pattern will emerge as to how the underlying issue got to where it is or you may have a few “red flags” that go up as you listen to the person explain the situation. Often times these “red flags” are intuition indicators that make you (the person asking the questions) even more curious as to why they answered the way they answered.

When this happens it might be an important avenue to follow because without most people knowing it they often “vent” or express their inward frustrations that come out by body language, words spoken and the attitude in which it was spoken. These are all clues to possibly an underlying issue that they may not even be consciously aware of but their subconscious is screaming out, “Hey down here!”

As we grow older and deal with continuous stressors in our lives, we humans begin to become master manipulators of our own personal truth. We choose to begin to see things in a way that eases our stress levels even if that means “sticking our heads in the sand” so we do not see the entire picture. In doing so we create a fantasy reality that allows us to avoid the change we know is necessary to move forward, a reality that allows us to ignore the obvious. Sad truth is, this strategy rarely ever works and often has disastrous results.

Jesus put it this way in Matthew 7:3, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

This causes me wonder, how many of us have “plank-eye,” meanwhile walking around and acting as if everything is just fine and we have it all together?

Albert Einstein is famously attributed as the author of the much overused quote: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Maybe it is time that we take a look at our own lives and begin to “interrogate reality,” and consider the words of Jesus.

Are there issues in our lives that we have tried to gloss over or even cover up that God is desiring to expose? Are there issues that we have had a difficult time dealing with and so we have tried to ignore them only to find ourselves being frustrated when we see similar situations happening in the lives of others and deep down inside we realize that if frustrates us because we are not dealing with the same thing? Jesus calls people like that hypocrites! Yikes!

I challenge you to begin to interrogate your reality and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see it for yourself. How much truth you are really seeing and what may you be hiding from yourself? If we can be honest with ourselves and by default in agreement with God’s assessment then and only then can we truly be a friend to others when they are in need. How do you learn to listen to others?

Practice and patience, learning to listen to the Holy Spirit as He directs you in your personal growth is the key. When we grasp God’s truth then our perceived truth gets realigned with His and we mature into strong disciples instead of weak hypocrites. So, how’s your log looking?

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