In Wm. Paul Young’s book, The Shack, there is an interesting phrase
Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions. Most emotions are responses to perception – what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms – what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn’t make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe.
How many of us question our paradigms? Do we realize how much our paradigms will filter the Scriptures we read and the situations we face? Paradigms give us an opinion on our past, response to our present, and an outlook on future possibilities.
Paradigm – a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about.
Paradigm Shift – a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.
Paradigm Paralysis – the inability or refusal to see beyond the current models of thinking
Imagine a paradigm being a box with a hole it in and you are stuck in that box. It doesn’t matter the size of the box or the hole. There is only a limited viewpoint in which you can see things and you base all other things upon that one hole in that box. You could also relate this to only looking at something through a microscope or binoculars. Both are a part of the view but never the whole picture. More on this in the next post.
A more biblical word for paradigm is stronghold, which resides in the soul. The Greek is ochyrōma which means, anything on which one relies and of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
Paradigm = Strongholds
Our paradigms are formed by the sum of all our experiences molded by what we believe about them or what we are told to believe about them. We can usually tell what our paradigm are based upon the emotions we are feeling at the moment (I say usually because I don’t want to make a blanket statement). When I have a reaction emotionally from an external circumstance, I can then go to my perception to gauge why I feel that way and if I can discern my perception being wrong I must make a paradigm shift in order to pull down that current way of thinking. For instance, if I get in a discussion with my wife and she says something that I take wrong and get offended and feel shameful about I can then go to my perception of what she said and see, based on my paradigm, how/why I am believing a certain way about something. This is where our spirit/spirit man/inner man comes into play. Because we are three parts: spirit, soul, and body, I can, with my spirit, take what my soul is doing and look at it objectively or discerningly. Generally speaking, this can only be done if my spirit has been built up and nourished is some way. Originally we were spirit, soul, and body but after the Fall we live body, soul, and spirit until Christ came and reversed it back to the original intent of spirit, soul, and body. There are some that believe spirit and soul are the same but, according to scripture that is wrong in my opinion.
Back to my example. I, in that situation, can go along with the emotion and operate out of the reaction of my soul or I can choose to respond from my inner man who holds the complete Paradigm of God. I can stay in shame or offense easily if I’ve, first off never questioned my emotions, or my spirit is overcome with the soul. I used to, but still do sometimes, act like a defenseless animal in a cage meanwhile my spirit has opened the cage and offered freedom. What I have learned to do when I started reacting out of my soul or current paradigm is step back into my spirit and ask God to change my current paradigm or what I like to pray is, “Father God, father me in this area of my life where I have leaned on my own understanding instead of the Spirit and Your fullness and acknowledging You.” Doing this breaks me out of my box/shell/microscope/binoculars and shows me something else that is more true.
In my next post/blog/article/whatever you want to call it, I will talk about kind of the same thing…so stay tuned!