Traditionally, Christian discipleship has been understood as a process of taking the truth and principles that Jesus taught and trying to make individuals think and behave like Jesus did. But there is a flaw here. If you mechanically stamp the image of Christ onto a person the way you rubber-stamp an envelope, you risk creating superficial Christian behavior that is not organically integrated with the depth dimensions of one’s personality.
Dan and Kate Montgomery propose that a more authentic experience of Christian discipleship can emerge from using the Self Compass®: an empirically validated growth tool for promoting healthy personality and relationships while at the same time reflects Jesus’ behavior in the Gospels.
The Self Compass And Compass Therapy and its corollary principles, known as Compass Psychotheology, equip Christian discipleship with practical tools for Christians to understand their conflicts, thoughts and feelings, and conscious and unconscious dynamics. Through this knowledge they can increase communication and communion between one’s self, God, and other people.
Utilizing the LAWS (Love/Assertion; Weakness/Strength) embedded in the Self Compass allows you to intuitively cooperate with Christ’s transforming power in your personality. Your Christian discipleship comes alive with depth and maturity.
Employing your entire Self Compass means that you express both tender care and diplomatic assertion. You are competent and strong, yet at the same time humbly aware of your weaknesses, maintaining free and equal access to all four compass points.
Love lets you care for yourself and others, drawing out your potential for nurturance, compassion, and forgiveness. Love provides the bridge of intimacy that connects you to people in caring ways. But no one remains loving all the time. There are times to stand up for your self and negotiate for what is fair and just. Assertion allows you to do just that: express your point of view with diplomacy.
Weakness helps you accept as normal the times when you feel uncertain or anxious. When you admit these vulnerable feelings into awareness, you can freely acknowledge your clay feet and ask for help when needed. On the other hand, Strength provides you with a sense of competence, confidence, and personal power. Healthy strength encourages you to achieve your best, while humbly acknowledging your weaknesses.
In Christian discipleship Jesus does not want you to become his clone. He wants you to become a full-fledged individual in him. With the compass points of Love and Assertion, Weakness and Strength up and running, the result is a dynamic, flexible personality. Jesus’ behavior in the Gospels, and modern research on personality, confirms that flexibility is crucial for personality health.
In using the Compass approach to Christian discipleship, the correlation of Jesus’ personality with the Self Compass provides people with a psychological as well as spiritual understanding of Christ, and enriches their perception of how the Holy Spirit works in their personalities and relationships.
“I’ve waited a long time for a book like this! Like a caring counselor in private session, Dan Montgomery writes to anyone who thinks being a Christian means conforming to someone else’s pattern. To anyone turned off by squabbling among denominations. To anyone who believes his current situation is hopeless. To anyone seeking a more intimate walk with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
— Guideposts Magazine, Elizabeth Sherrill
“Trusting in the Trinity is a fascinating 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 Christian growth.”
— Raymond Pendleton, Ph.D., Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary