06/06/2018: Looking Beneath the Surface | Claire and Richard Ashton

In this study we will begin our journey through The 7 Principles to Emotional Health, both from a personal point of view as well as for the broader church.

Today we will be looking specifically at the chapter on “Looking beneath the surface”.

A Christ Followers we need to have well developed emotional intelligence, combined with spirituality and empathy, in order to deal with the broken and needy in our community, church and greater society.

I think this topic is a bit of a sketch of my relationship with my husband.  He tends towards the spiritual side and I tend more towards the emotional and feelings side.

We now however, have to grow together with God’s help, and explore what lies beneath the surface of each of our pasts, and learn to combine this with caring and spirituality, towards each other, and the wider community.

Richard will generally move into Fix it mode, pray with them, read scriptures and give words of encouragement. That’s great but leaves some people wanting more empathy?

This way of operating stems from our pasts which I will briefly touch on.  Somehow though, we need to learn from each other, to combine these strengths to make our walk with each other and other people more meaningful.

Most of us saw the Pie graph that Tim showed last week, saying we are made up of Emotional, Social, Physical, Spiritual and Intellectual components and we all combine these in different percentages and reveal only certain parts of ourselves to others. Humans can be compared to ICEBERG’S. We generally show about 10% of ourselves to the outside world, but there is still 90% of us beneath the surface.

We can hide the 90% of the iceberg away from the world and become quite good at showing off the 10%, which tends to be the part that we want folk to see – the best parts, but it is the 100% of us that influences everything we do and say and as I said it is vital to being a REAL and genuine Christian.

The question you probably ask me is: Why is the past so important? Well we tend to go back to our past for answers when we become stuck and unable to move forward.

We need to analyse ourselves with total honesty – it is only the “truth that will set us free” as we read in John 8: 32.  We need to work on believing that “we are holy in his sight without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22)




What God sees in me, is more important than what people say about me.

Jesus shows His emotions

John11; 33/ John 11:33-36 and Luke 19:41/ Mark 10:14/ John 2:13 -17/ Luke 22:15

“A Church devoted to emotional health is a messy place.  They face problems head on instead of hoping and pretending they will go away”

We need to grasp the power of our past and deal with it in the present, and then by Gods grace find deliverance and freedom from the negative aspects of our past.”

If not dealt with we will inevitably replicate those patterns in our family relationships in and out of church.  We become controlling, or try dealing with fear by withdrawing, we become anxious and frustrated and we start blame others for our mistakes.

We will go into more depth on this issue later on in the series.

Ask yourself again: How might God be speaking to me through these emotions and what do I need to you do to address them?

Jesus knew that each of us is a walking iceberg, and he had a knack for taking people below the surface into the depths of their lives.

Let’s read John 4:7-18.  Samaritan woman at the well

Let’s address the following questions:

  • How did Jesus move the Samaritan woman from the surface concerns to the deeper issues of her life and faith?
  • To what relationship patterns was Jesus pointing the woman’s attention? What were the symptoms in her life?
  • How would you describe her response to Jesus exposing her iceberg?

Let’s ask ourselves again, how might God be speaking to through these emotions?