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Three types of spiritual discrepancies that can be sources of emotional problems




   Three types of spiritual discrepancies can be a source of 
   emotional problems:

     1. Discrepancies between "what we are" and "what we feel we 
        ought to be". 

     2. Discrepancies between "what we feel we ought to be" and 
        "what we really ought to be" (i.e. between "what we think 
        is right" and "what is really right"). 

     3. Discrepancies between "what we think we are" and "what we 
        really are" (i.e. discrepancies between "what we think we 
        are , tell ourselves we are, or pretend to be and "what we 
        really are") 


   1. Discrepancies between "what we are" and "what we feel we 
     ought to be".  What causes discrepancies between "what we 
     are" and "what we feel we ought to be"?  These discrepancies 
     arise from not following the light God has given us;  from 
     not following that which, way down deep in our heart (often 
     on a remote, obscure semiconscious or subconscious level), we 
     believe in, believe to be right;  they arise from not being 
     true to ourselves, not following our conscience, not living 
     up to our real beliefs and standards.  What causes us not to 
     be true to our own selves and standards?  Weakness. 
     Cowardice.  Fear. (fear of what people will say, fear of 
     being ridiculed and laughed at, fear of making enemies, fear 
     that doing right might cost us our jobs, friends, etc.). 

     What are the psychological effects of these types of 
     spiritual discrepancies (not being true to ourselves and 
     conscience)?  Loss of self-esteem.  Lack of confidence.  
     Living in fear and cowardice.  Shame. 

  
   2. Discrepancies between "what we feel we ought to be" and 
     "what we really ought to be".  What is the cause of 
     discrepancies between "what we feel we ought to be" and "what 
     we really ought to be" (i.e. discrepancies between "what we 
     think is right" and "what is really right")?  In these kinds 
     of discrepancies our feelings and beliefs on "what is right" 
     are in error.  This can arise from bad spiritual guidance 
     from a church or religious denomination, for example.  The 
     teachings may represent a distorted, perverted version of 
     Christianity.  Without realizing it we may be holding beliefs 
     and sentiments that are really in conflict with biblical 
     principles and teachings. 

     What are the psychological effects of these types of 
     discrepancies?  Unhappiness, confusion and frustration.  Even 
     though a person may not realize he is sinning he is still 
     sinning.  And sin has its price. 


   3. Discrepancies between "what we think we are" and "what we 
     really are".  There is a proverb "He that fools others ends up 
     fooling himself" and it makes an important point.  A person 
     who is committed to putting up false fronts, who pretends to 
     be what he is not, who lives by fooling and deceiving others, 
     usually ends up totally deceiving himself.  What a person 
     thinks he is and what he really is can be two very different 
     things.  He who lies to others ends up lying to himself;  he 
     who deceives and dupes others ends up deceiving and duping 
     himself;  he who is dishonest with others usually ends up 
     being dishonest with himself.  It is a trap religious people 
     often fall into.  They affect feelings they don't really 
     have, spout and parrot doctrine and cant that gives false 
     impressions to others, and end up totally deceiving 
     themselves.  It is called hypocrisy (the sin Christ got so 
     upset about).  It comes about from emphasizing superficial 
     things such as ceremony, rituals, cut-and-dried formulas as a 
     way to salvation, dry doctrine, appearance, etc. as being 
     important rather than "what you are", "the condition and 
     attitudes of the heart" as what is important.

     What type of psychological problems do these kinds of errors 
     lead to?  Confusion, frustration and unhappiness. 

 
   Nov 1977


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