Be Still, My Soul
Updated: Aug 9
Be Still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
I’ve been trying to stay away from pandemic posts. A steady diet keeps my anxiety levels at an all-time high. However, this article by Jim Newheiser, Droughts Expose Our Idols, covers more than just the current “drought” and includes much practical wisdom for any season that exposes our idols.
If you haven’t used this incredible resource yet, you need to! Real Change was written by two biblical counselors ministering in the UK. David Powlison edited the book and it is based on the concepts from his class, “Dynamics of Biblical Change.” The book asks the reader to look at a particular area they would like to see change and then guides them through that change. The goal is not to be fixed by chapter 6. However, the process is incredibly helpful for looking at sin areas honestly and thoroughly; allowing God to shine a light on what He is doing in the participant’s heart.
I have used this little book with several groups and individuals. I also sought change for myself! It was an enlightening journey. I recommend counselors and caregivers utilize the wisdom on the pages of this book with the people they are helping. But don’t neglect to embark on a personal change project yourself!
Sadly, another abuse situation in the Christian community has been brought into the light. I don’t mean “sad” in the sense that it was better left hidden. Rather, heartbreaking because these types of revelations devastate the victims as well as a multitude of families and friends, communities of faith, and, ultimately, the body of Christ.
It is not my intent that we discuss this particular situation. Nor do I think we should enter into the debate about whether our churches are handling abuse correctly. There are plenty of platforms for those discussions and I don’t think this is one of them. The reason I post this particular podcast here is because, in an interview with Julie Roys, Diane Langberg had some very interesting observations that I think would be beneficial for people helpers. For instance,
In spiritual terms, [the] most important thing in my life is love and obedience to Jesus Christ. And that starts internally and manifests externally in the flesh. So, to put up external controls, is to prevent somebody from really ever looking at those things in themselves, that are not love and obedience to Him and are therefore poison to them.
Our tendency when we work with someone with a besetting sin is to help them install guardrails. Accountability, boundaries, or avoiding particular places, people, or things are practical ways to facilitate an effort to avoid sin. For sure, these guardrails are necessary. The problem is, guardrails don’t have the capacity to change hearts. Therefore, the “poison” continues to erode the person’s entire being (Matt 23:25-28). Diane’s insights are powerful reminders of the goal in counsel; our aim should be the heart.
You’ll also benefit from Dr. Langberg’s vast wisdom and expertise as it relates to understanding abuse, trauma, and the experience of those realities for the victim. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a full transcript as well.
Little is known about Kathrina von Schlegel. The only information we have is that she lived in Cothen, Germany, authored 29 hymns, and died in 1768. “Be Still, My Soul” is her only hymn to have been translated, and thankfully so! The words remind us that the Father is for us, He is trustworthy and faithful, and that the end to all of our suffering is joy.
Wish I’d Said That
“Good listening…improves your ability to understand others, it shows you realize you don’t have all the answers, and it tells the other person that you value his or her thoughts and opinions. Even if you can’t agree with everything others say or do, your willingness to listen demonstrates respect and shows that you are trying to understand their perspective.” Ken Sande, The Peacemaker