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Encountering of Authentic Self

Request-based 1-on-q Discipleship Training

Even committing to this ministry with a firm decision to pursue the Lord's word to stay in peace with all people, as I have met with various individuals, I have come across some whose particular character or attitude has not only stimulated my nerves as a minister but also made my heart continually uneasy. Such cases, however, seem to arise not only in church life or in various ministries, but also in general social life. In these situations, while others seem to be fine, I am particularly sensitive to the person's character or attitude, which makes me easily hurt, even makes me suffer in agony, since I cannot be able to change or their character or attitude will not be changed.

However, the way to resolve these relationship problems seems to lie not with the other person but with myself. I do not mean whether the other person's attitude or character is right or wrong, rather if you expect them to leave or change as I like, it does not happen and even if I try to avoid such a person and go elsewhere, I am likely to encounter another similar person. Therefore, I suggest using these situations as an opportunity for personal growth, believing that God, who works everything together for good, will use even such moments for our benefit.

Every person has their own personality, style, and value system, which come together to form their own judgments and responses in any given situation. However, in addition to these rational routines, emotions play a significant role in decision-making and behavior patterns. And in fact, beyond this conscious process, there are other deeper things which impact to our reactions and responses hidden in the unconsciousness. This psychological term for these hidden aspects of oneself that influence our thought processes and behavior patterns is called the 'Shadow.' It is deeply rooted in our unconsciousness, beyond our conscious recognition, and projected onto others' attitudes and personalities in our relationships.

Understanding and meeting this 'Shadow' within oneself is particularly important for professionals in human relations or leaders in society. By facing one's own authentic self, understanding one's strengths, weaknesses, and how one responds to internal forces, one realizes that they are an imperfect being and by accepting and embracing their authentic self, they can then accept others as they are, without trying to fix or change them, and walk together with them as imperfect beings, entrusting themselves and others to God's timing and work, even to the point of surrendering their own position or calling.

To facilitate this process of self-reflection, the following topics will be covered in this course:

The first class will involve creating a Family Tree.

There is a Korean proverb that says, "a habit learned at three lasts until eighty." This is because the love and relationships within a family, and the positive experiences that come from them, have a profound impact on shaping a person's personality and character. Therefore, during this class, we will create a Family Tree to understand the influence of our family on our personality formation and how it has affected us. It is a time to be saved and accepted as we are, to realize God's grace that saves us and conforms us to His will according to our schedule, and to understand, accept, forgive and embrace ourselves.

The second class is a time to recognize the Shadow within me.

This is a story mentioned in Jung Woo-yeol's book "Don't rely too much on others even if it's tough." In human relationships, there are times when I suddenly become sensitive to someone, such as a person who boasts about themselves, criticizes others to elevate themselves, insists only on their own opinion, is selfish, talks lightly, lacks consideration, or likes to be the center of attention. In most cases, I blame that person. However, even if that is true, nothing will change because I cannot change that person. Furthermore, if I objectively analyze the characteristics of the person I dislike, I can see that these characteristics are not desirable but they are not necessarily a significant problem. This is because everyone has different priorities and values. Therefore, at such times, we need to calmly focus on how we felt about the person's words, actions, expressions, and atmosphere, and examine why we reacted so strongly to them. In fact, this moment is an opportunity to meet our unconscious, because the characteristics of people we dislike are often a part of ourselves that we are not aware of, and this part of ourselves that operates within the unconscious is called the "Shadow" in psychology terminology. The reason why we have this suppressed Shadow deep within us is that when we make mistakes in our growth process or when we are ostracized by friends, we tend to internalize those experiences and emotions, forming our own unique Shadow in combination with our individual personality."

However, one cannot easily recognize their own shadow, and it is mostly in uncomfortable relationships where something within me is projected onto another person, allowing me to recognize my shadow in that relationship. In other words, it is when I realize that the traits of the person I dislike are actually my own shadow. Therefore, by being aware of my own shadow and frequently receiving a sense of understanding and acceptance of my actions and psyche, I can feel a sense of integration within myself. As these experiences accumulate, gradual changes occur and I become more calm and firm, able to handle people who touch my shadow with ease. This class is for understanding and reflecting on such things.

The third class is a time to look at the story of Moses and observe his transformation.

We are familiar with the story of Moses, the great leader of the Israelite people. At the age of 80, Moses received God's calling and led his 2.5 million people, who were enslaved in Egypt, to the Exodus. He made a covenant with God and received the regulations of the Tabernacle, and for 40 years, he was guided by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night, leading the people to the Promised Land of Canaan. Finally, he handed over his authority to Joshua and became the great leader of Israel, embraced by God.

However, if we look at his childhood and middle age, his life was not always rosy. He was born into a precarious and dangerous situation, first abandoned by his mother, and although he was raised by her again, he grew up as an adopted child and as a prince of Egypt, not belonging to either the Hebrew or the Egyptian culture and surviving as a foreigner. In that process, a deep-seated anger and a desire to quickly and easily judge and change others was formed in his inner self. As a result of this character, he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, his own people, and intervened when he saw two Hebrews fighting, which eventually led to his fleeing to the land of Midian after killing an Egyptian. Through these events, we can see that anger is deeply rooted in Moses' inner self, and he is a leader with a desire to change others if they do not behave as he wants.

However, after spending 40 years as a shepherd in the wilderness of Midian, he changed. As mentioned in Numbers 12:3, he became a gentle person. When the Israelites who had spied out the land of Canaan rebelled against God and suffered 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Moses walked with the people on the path of the wilderness for those 40 years. Moses, who was once full of energy, became a completely different person.

That's right. As Parker Palmer said, "Leaders must take responsibility for everything that happens within themselves, or else their leadership can result in harm rather than benefit." Therefore, above all else, leaders must first become aware of and address the dark shadows within their own inner selves, which is where true spiritual leadership begins, as Ruth Haley Barton stated.

As humans, we all have our own dark sides. However, those who aspire to become leaders must especially recognize and heal the shadows within their inner selves. Ruth described this path as one where, like Moses spending 40 years in the silence of the Midian desert, one encounters their true self in moments of silence and solitude, experiences the grace of God who accepts and calls them despite their flaws, and that is the starting point for becoming a leader. This class is a time for those who aspire to serve as leaders to encounter their true selves.

The fourth class is about “Towards Canaan".

Peter Drucker, who is known as the father of modern management in the 20th century, said in his book "The Essential of Professionals" that "The essence of leadership in terms of work is setting goals, prioritizing them, maintaining those standards, and applying them even if it means compromising to some extent, as long as it is in line with the goals. In terms of responsibility, a leader must be aware that they ultimately bear the responsibility. Lastly, to secure trust." In "Management Challenges for the 21st Century," Drucker stated that "In the knowledge society, there is no longer any difference between subordinates and superiors within a company, and commands and controls no longer work." In such circumstances, Robert Greenleaf emphasized the importance of servant leadership, which he defined as "a leadership that focuses on serving others, prioritizes members, customers, and communities, and makes sacrifices to satisfy their desires."

However, in Christian leadership, what do you think is the ultimate goal of leadership? Setting and achieving goals is important, but all leaders and Christians need to clearly understand what our ultimate purpose is.

All human beings were created and then fell into the temptation of Satan, eating the forbidden fruit and being driven out of paradise, which has left a deep impression on our hearts. Where is the ultimate destination that we humans must return to? Is it the beautiful Garden of Eden where there is no worry about food and living? While it is important to find peace in our daily lives and achieve happiness, health, and success, I believe that what fills the human heart's desire for eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11) is not something temporary in this world but eternal, namely God himself. Therefore, the Garden of Eden was a place where God's presence and fellowship were found (Genesis 3:8), and where God's other name Immanuel, meaning "God is with us," was revealed. In fact, Revelation 21:3 describes the new heaven and new earth that will be restored in the end, where God will dwell with his people.

Yes, the promised land that humans seek is ultimately God, which is why Ruth said in her book "Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership" that "for Moses, the promised land was the very presence of God." In this session, we will learn about the process of realizing that the promised land for each of us is God himself and taking steps towards God, the One who provides the ultimate fulfillment.

As we study these four classes together, I hope that we will all realize that the path to our own sanctification is not to react negatively to our own or our partner's shortcomings, but rather to embrace them as a process of growth and learning.


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