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The first step (first chapter of chapter three) is to return to our true self, our core being.

That means finding ways to look inside, and one of those ways is contemplative prayer (I must again admit my struggles to engage in true contemplative prayer—probably because remain too divided).

Invited to relax our control strategies, we anxiously perfect ourselves for others and sometimes even for a God who we believe is eternally disappointed in our lack of progress” (p. Recognizing that we all fall short of perfection, he invites us to embrace our imperfection (this is a good Calvinist diagnosis! He notes that “perfection isn’t the goal of a proud puffed-up soul, but of a deeply insecure one” (p. We busy ourselves, seeking perfection, because we feel like we don’t measure up.

Seeking perfection can be toxic to our lives and our relationships.

He speaks here of three aspects of the self: Protectors, Exiles, and Firefighters.

I won’t go into details here, but this is fascinating stuff.

Thus, we discover the antidote to exhaustion, and that’s to be found in wholeheartedness, which is participating “in the life of God, or the only whole human being who has ever walked on earth—Jesus” (p. When we reach part three we have examined the challenges to wholeheartedness and have discovered models of wholeness. While we tend to look for quick fixes, none are to be found.

Experiencing wholeness takes time and attention to certain practices.

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In Wholeheartedness De Groat addresses the challenges of our busy, distracted, and divided lives.

Holiness is the destination, but it doesn’t occur through efforts at seeking perfection.

Holiness should not lead to exhaustion, but we get exhausted when we give free reign to our “inner critic.” Holiness involves removing obstacles to union with God. Finally, in the process of awakening to wholeness, we must learn to understand “our whole story." That is, it is essential that we understand ourselves in light of God's presence and purpose.

Do you feel like you’re so busy with life that it seems like you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions? As for the rest of us, exhaustion is the name of the game.

As a pastor I often feel pulled in multiple directions.


  1. For those seeking some guidance in these matters, Chuck DeGroat’s book Wholeheartedness might prove helpful. DeGroat is a therapist and professor of pastoral care at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.

  2. Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and

  3. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” The story is told, perhaps it’s apocryphal, that my grandmother spotted me preaching in.

  4. Truthers’ Insist My Photos of Sandy Hook Were Faked. They Can Go to Hell.

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