Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Monday, December 1, 2008

Secret Life of the Soul - chapters 7-9

The prophet Jeremiah describes the human heart as something that deceives and that is really hard to understand (Jer. 17:9). But we don't just deceive others--intentionally or unintentionally--we also deceive ourselves as we do all kinds of things to get what our souls crave. Miller calls this the building of a "constructed personality." Here are some of the questions we're asking ourselves (thanks Christiana...I pulled most of these from your comments on that last post):

What is a constructed personality?
Why do we build one?
What does building a constructed personality actually lead to? What are some of the things that end up happening in our souls and in our relationships as we go down that path?

In addition to 1) quieting the shaming voices and 2) gaining esteem, the other dominant desire of the constructed personality is finding and keeping intimacy. But it's a self-defeating pathway.

How does a constructed personality actually undermine intimacy?
How have the constructed personalities of our parents or the collective constructed personality of our family affected us?
Are there some characteristics in your personality that you think (or are beginning to suspect) may be constructed in an attempt to find/keep intimacy?

It turns out that constructed personalities fair much better in the prevalent world of "emotional one-night stands" where we can more easily measure, dole out, and maintain our constructed selves than they do in communities that call for an intimacy that comes through honesty. Which means we may need to do some deconstructing.