A Practical Sequence of Steps

This framework is biblical and follows a practical sequence of steps. Below is a quick overview, then you can choose where to dive into the details. This simplest way to think about this is in 5 steps:

1. The Gospel.

One central issue stands behind all of this, which is our awareness of our sin before a holy God. The Bible describes this experience as shame.

Because of its spiritual nature, shame cannot be hidden or removed by us. It must be removed by God. That is the promise held out by the Gospel. This is a redemptive process because redemption in Christ is its ultimate goal.

2. God has built two basic drivers or forces into creation.

  1. Scarcity: feeling the lack of something.
  2. Abundance: feeling an excess of something.

These forces are what define our experience of change.

3. Based on how we are experiencing scarcity and abundance, we then seek to answer 3 main questions about ourselves.

  1. How will I be known? Or, how do others see me?
  2. Where do I belong? Or, why do other’s accept me?
  3. Who will be with me? Or, who is my community?

These basic questions are behind everything we do, and reflect our very nature as created in the image of God.

4. Our inner state will be revealed in one of four ways in which we describe our experiences.

The key is where we place ourselves in the answer, indicated by the pronouns we use.

  1. “I…” means we see ourselves as solving the problem alone.
  2. “We…” means we see ourselves as solving it with others we trust.
  3. “They…” means we see ourselves resisting other’s we can’t trust.
  4. “Us…” means we see ourselves as part of a larger group including people we don’t know.

The content of our answer is not as significant as how we place ourselves in the answer.

5. There are five basic questions that the Bible asks in a specific sequence to help us understand how we see ourselves.

  1. When?
  2. Why?
  3. Where?
  4. Who?
  5. What?

These questions are not new to us, but the particular order we ask them in is important.

If redemption is our goal, it makes sense to take these steps in reverse. The process can begin as simply as asking ourselves or someone else a questions that begins with “When…?”

Read more about how these steps work.