How to Help a Christian With Self-Reflection
Socrates, one of the earliest known philosophers, encouraged his students to “know thyself.” Today, many people still struggle with issues of self-knowledge and personal insight. Christians of every denomination may also wish to examine their lives in the context of a moral code or the standards of their church, in order to align themselves more exactly with a certain way of life.
By conducting a discussion about the intersection of morality and life with a Christian, you can help her reflect on her life in a positive manner.
4 Steps to Help a Christian With Self-Reflection
1. Begin by talking about your friend’s identity as a Christian.
Talk about how deep her faith is, why she was drawn to her faith and why she continues to hold her beliefs. Get under the surface by asking for conversion stories or moments of strengthened faith.
Take notes on matters that seem especially important or critical to her development as a Christian; according to Paths of Love, it is important to come to terms with one’s religious identity before advancing down the path of holiness. Also, discuss why your friend wants to self-reflect, and if she has any goals concerning her relationship with Christianity.
2. Have your friend write down the ways in which she believes herself to be moral.
The list can be in any order and can be arranged into bullet points for brevity’s sake. Discuss each point briefly. Try to link the characteristics of your friend’s morality with the overarching moral teachings of the church or denomination, if any. Study the specific teachings of the denomination if either of you are unsure about a religious point.
3. Discuss each of the Ten Commandments in turn.
Although denominations may have different teachings, Christian churches generally agree that the Ten Commandments should be pillars in the moral lives of Christians.
Have your friend rate each of the Commandments in turn on a 1-10 scale, 1 standing for “not followed” up to 10, “followed absolutely.” Brainstorm strategies to follow the Commandments more exactly, like going out of your way for your parents or always telling the truth even when it would be easier to lie.
4. Work with your friend to develop a list of goals for her future as a Christian.
This can be anything from giving more to the poor, to praying more frequently, to moving overseas for missionary work; according to FBBC, it is especially important to read the Bible and avoid temptations whenever possible.
Set time limits on the goals so your friend will be inspired to start right away. Discuss how the goals fit in with her identity as a Christian, her moral code, and her overall lifestyle. Encourage her to remember the discussion, her goals, and what she discovered through personal reflection, in the bustle and confusion of her daily life.
Use a Bible with an index of subjects in order to get scriptural insight on any moral questions or general religious queries.
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