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Power of Personhood

5 April 2010 No Comment

From: Robert Hartzell
Date: Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 5:00 AM
Subject: Stepping Stones / Paths to Dwell In
To: Dr. R. Joseph Peck


The church is coming to understand clearer that our spiritual maturity cannot surpass our emotional maturity. Teaching on overcoming wounding most often focuses on the problem. It is implied that if we can just overcome this particular problem, all will be well. So what does it take to reach emotional maturity? What does it even look like? Understanding personhood gives us a roadmap of the steps.

The Free Dictionary defines personhood as”the state or condition of being a person, especially having those qualities that confer distinct individuality.”

Personhood means you are comfortable in your own skin. It means living in a sense of legitimacy and dignity. When parents are nurturing, when they create a safe emotional environment, and when boundaries are respected, a person grows and develops a strong sense of personhood.

The problem is that all of us have control issues at some level. It may be overt or passive–using anger and manipulative words, or using withdrawal and relationship cut-offs. Control, by definition, is demeaning towards another and does not respect boundaries. When someone feels free to think what they think, feel what they feel, and to make their own choices and face the consequences therein, they grow and mature. When mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual boundaries are crossed, shame is communicated and personhood is diminished.

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