Digging Deeper Into Our Resistance



So much of our journeying with Jesus depends on our ability to deal with our resistance, our self-importance–in the main, our culturally-conditioned selves. We Americans are prone to set our agendas and stick to them, no matter what, we are mostly concerned about our own selves and what we need, and we do not like to delve deeply into any trauma or grief or difficulties we have had. So, when we take on this life in Christ, there are some pretty big obstacles to overcome and each of those obstacles may have many layers to address at different times in our lives. Yet, if we are listening to Jesus through the Holy Spirit within us, these issues will all come up at some point and no matter what has highlighted them for us, we must lift them up to the Lord in order to face the truth about ourselves and to ask for healing from that particular issue.


As we go through issue after issue on our journey, it is not that the old thinking never comes up again, but it does mean that we will not be so quick to react to it. At best, we will have become observers of these old patterns and just let them go. There are two ways I have found to address these old patterns of thought, one brand new to me, the other I’ve used for years.


  1. Metaphors: I am very aware of what is going on in my body as well as my mind. I have come to think of the issues in the body as metaphors for issues that need to be addressed in my mind and soul; these are issues that I need to let go of in favor of following Jesus. When something is happening in my body, say, for instance a back ache, I think about the purpose of the back and how that is being hampered. With a back ache I think my body is trying to tell me that I need to tell the truth, to face whatever is happening in order to be able to stand up straight again—in the truth.

With knee pain, I am aware that my ability to kneel before God, to worship Him, is somehow hampered and I need to address the underlying issue. With bleeding issues, I realize that a vital fluid is being lost because of some sin which I haven’t confessed, which is what is being asked of me.

As we ponder each metaphor, we can gain some clarity on the issue it is highlighting. We might each think of these metaphors differently, but we can always ask the Lord’s help is figuring them out through our prayer.

  1. Wave and Pat My Shoulder

Just last month I started spontaneously {without any thought about it] to wave at thoughts that are outer oriented, like how I look or what I think someone else is thinking/expecting of me. I make a small wave of my hand. Often it brings a smile to me and that preoccupation, which has been with me since my childhood, is highlighted for me.

The other reaction, a pat on my shoulder and the assurance that “it’s going to be okay,” comes from any fearful thought that I have. Whether it’s about being held up in traffic, the fear of being late, or fear of not being able to do what I need to do, the pat on the shoulder brings me a small smile as well.

I think that reacting in these physical ways just highlights these old fears more than just thinking them does. It also gives me a sense of how prevalent they are in my thinking.


I do believe that these thoughts will be with us until the day we die, but the more we can step back from them and just observe them and our reactions to them, the freer from them we will be. These two gestures help us do that.


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