Healthy Soil

Everything Begins in The Heart

All of our beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors originate from our hearts.  In his book, The Search for Significance, Robert McGee describes this internal hierarchy “hardwired” within each of us.  I’ve taken the liberty to add elements to it, while being careful not to compromise the author’s original intentions. anxiety counseling

There are five elements that are instrumental in the formation of every plant, whether beautiful and productive like a rose bush or apple tree or aggravating and undesirable like a dandelion.  Metaphorically, the same components are present in our lives.  The enemy goes to great lengths to cultivate weeds of sin, shame, and self in our lives.  Our new life as a Christ-follower fosters the inborn, God-given nature (temperament) within each of us, and leads us toward the very purposes for which He placed us on this earth.

  1. HEART – The Soil. In the same way the condition of the soil ultimately affects the plant’s fruitfulness, the condition of our hearts leads us either to a life motivated by performance, approval, punishment, and shame, or an exciting journey defined by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control as God intends for us.
  2. BELIEFS – The Roots. In the same way the plant’s roots anchor the nature, growth, vitality, function, and yield of the plant, our deeply held beliefs influence the presence or absence of the healthy identity, maturity, passion, purpose, and impact that God intends for our lives.
  3. THOUGHTS – The Leaves. In the same way the leaves of every plant feed the plant’s needs for nourishment through the miraculous process of photosynthesis, our thoughts are the part of our humanness that exchanges conscious and subconscious information with our environment, establishing our place of significance, competence, and belonging amidst our surroundings.
  4. EMOTIONS – The Stems. In the same way the stems of every plant transport nutrients to create the blossom of the plant, our emotions impartially transport feelings and emotions that initiate our externalized actions and reactions.
  5. BEHAVIORS – The Blossoms. In the same way the blossom of a plant is merely a dependent result of the other components carrying out their functions, our behaviors and choices merely reveal the influence our life experiences have had on our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. anxiety counseling

Something I have learned through counseling thousands of men and women is the necessity of addressing our false, unhealthy, and toxic beliefs first and foremost.  It is ludicrous for us to think we can meaningfully change or improve our actions, decisions, feelings, or thoughts without first examining and redefining the beliefs and environmental factors that influence them.

Healthy soilThe TURN Approach

Section 5 in this book – TURN – is devoted entirely to a well-proven, Christ-centered approach to replacing our false beliefs with God’s truth, moving us from brokenness to wholeness in our lives.  I refer to this as Soul Work. anxiety counseling

Our heart establishes the foundations of our conscience – the intersecting of God’s perfect truth (spirit) with our human experience (soul).  Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

There is nothing more important than our inner life – the condition of our heart (soil).  While our spirit is renewed when the Holy Spirit enters into us at the point of salvation, our souls still carry spiritual grime from our past – abandonment, rejection, abuse, fear, and so on.  This is why we often continue to struggle with sin and shame even after accepting Christ into our lives.  It is a clear indication that our souls still have stains that need to be dealt with decisively.

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Life Training offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime.  Our non-profit counseling practice has an outstanding track record for over a decade helping men and women, individuals and couples who are ready to move beyond anxiety, depression, and conflicts in marriage or other relationships find hope and healing in their lives.  Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at drdave@lifetrainingcounseling.org