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Christ's Self Compass


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CHRIST'S SELF COMPASS AND HIS BIBLICAL NAMES

 

Biblical names of Jesus Christ reveal crucial aspects of his personality. Four names in particular illustrate the complimentary dynamics of Christ’s Self Compass. The Good Shepherd and the Lion of Judah reveal the Love/Assertion polarity of Jesus’ selfhood. The Lamb of God and the Prince of Peace show the Weakness/Strength polarity. The qualities embedded in these names offer healthy compass points for all human beings.


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THE LOVE COMPASS POINT

 

Examining the Gospel narrative reveals how Jesus lived a life of actualizing love. In caring service Christ taught the disciples, and healed and fed the multitudes. Jesus formed close friendships that revealed loyalty and emotional engagement. Christ cared for himself by taking time to pull back from his ministry and restore his energies.

When people express healthy love, they do so out of the rich interplay between love and assertion compass points: they both express and receive affection, establish and enjoy relationships, and experience moments of joy. Love provides the bridge of intimacy that connects people, while appreciating individual differences.


THE ASSERTION COMPASS POINT

 

A fierce opponent of injustice and manipulation, Jesus rebuked the self-righteous Pharisees and drove the moneychangers out of his Father’s temple. Though genuinely attacked and tempted by Satan, Jesus stood up for his self-chosen identity, standing against the devil’s lure of an inflated sense of self. And with an example of assertion at its strongest, Jesus declares: “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!” (Luke 12:51).

Actualizing assertion contains the element of caring gleaned from the rhythmic use of the Love/Assertion polarity. Diplomatic assertion allows people to express ideas and feelings with consideration for others. It is from assertion that one finds the courage to stand out in one’s existence as unique, resisting over-identification with others.


THE WEAKNESS COMPASS POINT

 

Even as the Son of God, Christ nevertheless “emptied out” his divine prerogatives to live an authentic human life that relied on the Holy Spirit for the guidance and power to fulfill his mission. In expressions of healthy weakness, Christ experienced moments of vulnerability, even dread, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet, because his Weakness compass point is balanced with strength, he prayed to his Father, “Not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36). Even so, during his crucifixion, he called out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Then, once more, he surrendered. And became a living sacrifice: the Lamb of God.

Paul confirms the dynamic necessity of the Weakness/Strength polarity when he asserts: “Strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Col. 12:9). The Weakness compass point brings patience with the shortcomings of self and others, and empathy for human suffering, creating the surrender necessary for people to admit mistakes and ask for help.


THE STRENGTH COMPASS POINT

 

Jesus died in weakness and was raised from the dead in strength and glory as the Prince of Peace. Christ called his disciples his friends, rather than lording power over them. Jesus showed confidence in his mission, yet did not require special treatment; rather, he esteemed others and contributed to their wellbeing.

Self-confidence and competence are signs of actualizing strength when balanced by sensitivity to others. Healthy strength empowers people’s self-development, lending courage to actualize talents and make interpersonal contributions. Thus Jesus gifts humanity with a redemptive psychology of personal and relational transformation.


CHRIST'S SELF COMPASS & COMPASS PSYCHOTHEOLOGY

 

In Dan and Kate Montgomery’s Compass Psychotheology, the Self Compass evokes in individuals the dynamics of personality and interpersonal health that Jesus Christ embodies. This empirically validated model of personalty connects personality theory with Trinitarian orthodoxy, healing a centuries-old rift between theology and the human sciences.


CONNECTING CHRIST'S SELF COMPASS TO INDIVIDUALS

 

Here are some Montgomery books that connect Christ’s Self Compass with an individual's personality and relationships. To order, click on the titles:

CHRISTIAN PERSONALITY THEORY: A SELF COMPASS FOR HUMANITY

“Dan and Kate Montgomery have made a powerful case that classic Trinitarian teaching as well as other biblical insights afford incomparable resources in grappling with who we are and how we can be made whole. Christian Personality Theory is not only for practitioners of counseling but for any who want to see how Christian doctrine sheds light on things human as well as divine.”

Gabriel Fackre, Abbot Professor of Christian Theology Emeritus, Andover Newton Theological School

THE SELF COMPASS: CHARTING YOUR PERSONALITY IN CHRIST

“Dan Montgomery’s Christian personality theory is innovative and biblically sound.”

Gordon D. Fee, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies, Regent College

COMPASS PSYCHOTHEOLOGY: WHERE PSYCHOLOGY & THEOLOGY REALLY MEET

“Fascinating. Concise. This is a thoughtful study based on a strong commitment to the authority of Scripture with a recognition that a personal, redemptive, actualizing relationship with the Triune God is essential for wholeness.”

Ray Pendleton, Ph.D, Gordon-Conwell Seminary


COMPASS SERIES BOOKS VIDEO

 

Dan Montgomery describes the complete Compass Series, including a Christian fiction novel: VIDEO.

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