This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

5 Ways Leaders Can Grow in Self-Awareness by Eric Geiger

Without self-awareness, a leader is stuck. In fact, the biggest hindrance to a leader’s development is not intelligence or work ethic but a lack of self-awareness. While self-awareness helps us understand what areas of leadership need focus and development, knowing ourselves is something we struggle with. We all have blind spots, areas of struggle we are challenged to see in ourselves. So how can leaders grow in self-awareness?

4 Emotional and Spiritual Battles of Pastors and Church Leaders by Shawn Lovejoy

Leadership is a battle, is it not? Not so much of a physical battle, as it is an emotional…and spiritual one! Every day we wake up to dozens of voices going off in our head about what we can do or can’t do and should or should not do. If we listen to the wrong voices, we’re tempted to retreat or even surrender to lies of the enemy. We only lose the battle if we retreat or surrender to the enemy in the battles for our mind. What do these battles look like? In my own leadership and now in my coaching hundreds of leaders, I have observed four emotional and spiritual battles we face as the most common:

Shame and Trauma by Diane Langberg (video)

Dr. Langberg presented at the 2014 American Bible Society’s Community of Practice for trauma recovery specialists. Enjoy this free resource!

  • The writings of Diane Langberg were very influential in the development of my seminar on “Post-Traumatic Stress.”

Guest Post: Mental Illness, Prayer, and Extravagant Grace by Catherine P. Downing

I can’t honestly say I am thankful for the mental illness that besets our son. But in full truthfulness I can say I am glad to have been forced to do battle with my theology of suffering and to test both its mettle and mine. A link welded into the armor of my faith has almost corroded more than once: prayer. Specifically, the mystery of prayer related to mental illness. Through the years, I have prayed and I have not prayed. Sometimes I have asked others to pray and sometimes I have not. Often I have disguised my wishful thinking as prayer, and more times than I want to admit, my prayers have been just “vain repetitions.”

The Rise of Boomer Divorces by Steve Grissom

And here we thought the divorce rate was going down. After all, we’ve read that the number of divorces in recent years has been stabilizing and declining. But it’s important to take these statistics with a grain of salt. Many young people choose to cohabit rather than tie the knot. Increasingly, lower-income households opt for the cohabitation path as well. The net result: fewer marriages, fewer divorces, and seemingly fewer opportunities for ministry. Even as divorce rates have declined for some demographics, they have exploded for those over the age of fifty—baby boomers who fall into the so-called “gray divorce” demographic.

What I’m Reading

The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World by Miroslav Volf. Can one forget atrocities? Should one forgive abusers? Ought we not hope for the final reconciliation of all the wronged and all wrongdoers alike, even if it means spending eternity with perpetrators of evil?

We live in an age when it is generally accepted that past wrongs – genocides, terrorist attacks, bald personal injustices – should be constantly remembered. But Miroslav Volf here proposes the radical idea that letting go of such memories – after a certain point and under certain conditions – may actually be the appropriate course of action. While agreeing with the claim that to remember a wrongdoing is to struggle against it, Volf notes that there are too many ways to remember wrongly, perpetuating the evil committed rather than guarding against it.

In this way, “the just sword of memory often severs the very good it seeks to defend.” He argues that remembering rightly has implications not only for the individual but also for the wrongdoer and for the larger community. Volf’s personal stories of persecution offer a compelling backdrop for his search for theological resources to make memories a wellspring of healing rather than a source of deepening pain and animosity. Controversial, thoughtful, and incisively reasoned, “The End of Memory” begins a conversation hard to ignore.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

As a compulsive individual, I don’t know whether to be offended or just say, “Well played, sir. Well played.”