Unglued: What Kind of Unglued Am I?

Each Thursday, Kayse Pratt and I are reading through Unglued. This week we are on Chapter Four: What Kind of Unglued am I?

Jamie’s Thoughts

I should tell you something… I’ve had many opportunities to come unglued since we’ve started reading this book together. What I sense is that God has given me a whole lot of grace, mercy, and compassion throughout this study to make progress, even though we haven’t gotten to the meat of the book yet. I’m extremely thankful for imperfect progress.

“These are things I’m identifying about myself so I can bring my raw emotions and unglued reactions under the healing authority of Jesus.”

Amen for the healing authority of Jesus. I know I’m not the only one.

With that in mind, there are two ways we come unglued. You either 1) explode or force your emotions outward on another or 2) stuff everything you are feeling deep down inside and keep it all for yourself with the guise of being fine. Depending on how you process conflicts, internally or externally, and then how you address an issue with others, internally or externally, you may fall into one of four categories.

The four categories of unglued reactions are:

  1. Exploders who shame themselves
  2. Exploders who blame others
  3. Stuffers who build barriers
  4. Stuffers who collect retaliation rocks

The interesting thing is that all of us may come unglued in any of these four ways depending on the person and situation at hand. It really depends on how safe we feel around someone else as to how we react to conflict with him or her.

But what I really love is that Lysa is teaching us to have soul integrity by identifying how we’ve reacted. From this girl who likes to generally duck and cover, hide in her closet and cry, or lose friends rather than confront issues, the past year I’ve experienced the blessing of pursuing soul integrity. For goodness sakes, this quiet girl got up and spoke at a women’s retreat on removing our masks of insecurities. And aren’t many masks just fancy ways of covering over and stuffing? {There was a reason God needed me to explore masks – I’m good at wearing them, and I’m trying to learn not to stuff.}

“Soul integrity is the heart of what we’re after. Soul integrity is honesty that’s godly. It brings the passion of the exploder and the peacemaking of the stuffer under the authority of Jesus where honesty and godliness embrace and balance each other.”

Do you love the way Lysa puts words together as much as I do? Maybe you have a tendency to be more “honest” (use words as daggers instead of wielding them like the sword of the Spirit) or maybe you are the “peacemaker” type (more like peacefaker, right?). Soul integrity is where these gritty variables balance. Honesty is meant to be measured with godliness, and godliness is meant to be measured with honesty. When we don’t measure them together, we dose out plastic or fake versions of the real thing. Sometimes “keeping it real” is really just an opportunity to share your opinion without any care or thought of God. Sometimes peacemaking is just a “plastic version of godliness.”

My husband will avidly shake his head when I say this, but I need to remember this:

“Saying “I’m fine” to keep the peace, when we’re really not fine, isn’t honest. It may seem godly in the moment, but it’s false godliness. Truth and godliness always walk hand in hand. The minute we divorce one from the other, we stray from soul integrity and give a foothold to the instability that inevitably leads to coming unglued.”

Lysa takes us back to the book of James for so much of how we deal with our tongue and our emotions. I’m glad to be on this journey. I need it – how about you?

Kayse’s Thoughts

Hmmm… so much good stuff in this week’s chapter. Let’s start with a quote from the very first page. When distinguishing the difference between Labeling and Identifying our issues, Lysa says,

Labeling says, “I am the sum total of my difficult issues.” … Identifying, on the other hand, says, “My issues are part of the equation, but not the sum total.”

Thank God for identifying, right?

This week, I’ve had a few difficult issues come up. Really, one main one. One that I thought I dealt with and buried a long time ago, but it sneakily returned this week. It deeply affected the way I saw myself, and although I am typically a pretty confident person (what you see is what you get), my insecurities all rose to the surface and bubbled out in way too many tears.

I’m dealing with these issues, but reading Lysa’s words again just makes me oh so grateful that I am not defined by my issues alone. That was lesson #1 for me this week.

Lesson #2: I am often a deflector. Hang on a minute while I hang my head in shame. Ick. But it’s true. You know what I do the most of? Condemning myself and then deflecting the blame onto others, all inside my own head. Yup, I’m crazy. Also, I’m a stuffer, letting myself too often wallow in the hurt. My goodness, I need this book! How about you?

I love how she talked about being all 4 types of unglued in different situations. I pretty much agreed with all of her confessions – I’m an exploder who shames herself with strangers, an exploder who blames others with close family, a stuffer who builds barriers with friends and extended family, and a stuffer who collects retaliation rocks with my unsuspecting hubby.

But the goal? Soul Integrity. I cannot explain how much I love this idea. Honesty that’s godly. No more false godliness in the name of “peacekeeping”. No more unnecessary words in the name of “honesty”. But a good balance of the two that is both honest and godly. That’s the goal.

This chapter was a lot of info, info that can be either very condemning or very convicting. Let’s go the conviction route, shall we?

Condemnation defeats us. Conviction unlocks the greatest potential for change.

Change. We must change as we keep the goal of Soul Integrity in mind. Unless, of course, you’ve already perfected the idea. In that case, I want to hear from you in the comments with your best tips and tricks. For the rest of us, let’s let conviction point us in the right direction. What are we going to try to change this week?

Action Steps

  1. Identify what person or people you usually respond with each of the four different reaction types.
  2. Review Chapter 4 and the verses in James.
  3. Read Chapter 5
  4. Ask God for His continuing grace in imperfect progress – that you may measure with truth and godliness and with His help maintain soul integrity.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Does it give you a sense of freedom to differentiate between labeling and identifying?
  2. How do the unglued categories play out in your life?
  3. How will you let conviction propel you toward change this week?
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