Take our free Enneagram & Emotions Assessment →

How to Be the Spiritually Healthy Person You Want to Be

This week on the Soul Shepherding Blog our good friend Steve Carter lights the path to help you be the spiritually healthy person you want to be.

When hearing about the moral downfalls of celebrities, pro athletes, government officials, pastors, or even neighbors, do you ever find yourself wondering aloud, “What were they thinking?”

It’s hard to imagine someone hopping out of bed one morning after hitting snooze a couple of times and saying, “Today’s the day! Today I’m going to completely sabotage all the good in my life and wreck my career, forfeit my integrity, and damage the relationships that mean the most to me.”

I think we can agree that doesn’t happen. So then, why do those things come to pass again and again, over and over?

Is the answer as simple as what Paul decreed almost two millennia ago? “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)

Is there no understanding for the choices we make? Can it be that life is just a thing that happens to us, and we are unable to control our physical and emotional behaviors?


Over the last decade, I’ve become fascinated by this question of why people do regrettable things. Or better said, why do I do what I do?

A few years back, after an early morning walk, I was replaying a conversation I’d had with my wife. I say conversation, but really it took a turn from dialogue to argument. And in that moment I chose something other than God’s best. I’m a firm believer we do what we really want to do; but the more pressing question is, “why did we want to do it?”

It’s with questions like this that help us discover what’s really going and get after what I call the thing beneath the thing. As I was processing through my little argument I had with my wife I discovered something that forever changed the way I understand myself. This, my friend, is THING.

Triggers – The setup that sets us off. 

Hideouts – The metaphorical places we go to escape the pain of our story. 

Insecurities – The false stories we create about ourselves. 

Narratives – The false stories we create about others. 

Grace – The ongoing process and spiritual power that makes us whole, holy and spiritually healthy. 

So why do we do what we do?

It often begins when we get triggered and all those past wounds, trauma, pain and negative energy begin rushing through our bodies and need a simple release. It’s from here, we will go somewhere. For many of us, it’s a simple hideout -and metaphorical escape to soothe, or it’s a slew of insecurities we begin creating about ourselves or false narratives we create about others. 

What triggers you?

Where do you most frequently go to hideout when you get triggered?

What false stories do you often create about yourself and others when you get triggered?

What if our triggers are actually an opportunity to experience a deeper kind of grace, a grace that can help make us whole, holy, and spiritually healthy. The ancient spiritual mothers and fathers called this deeply spiritual process “sanctifying grace.” 

This is why I wrote my new book The Thing Beneath The Thing. I want to help as many people as possible discover why they do what they do, what’s hidden inside, and what God helps us do about it.

You can go to www.thethingbeneaththething.com to learn more about the heart of this book and ways to engage with the message through questions, spiritual practices and finding people who are getting after the thing beneath the thing! 


Listen to this week’s SoulTalk: Bill and Kristi sit down with Steve Carter, author of The Thing Behind the Thing, for a powerful discussion on taking intentional steps to deepen our awareness and walk forward in growth and grace. Emotional eruptions, our triggers, are evidence of underlying dynamics that God invites us to explore and surrender. Gain insight into asking bigger questions, tangible practices, biblical examples, and helpful perspectives to grow your character and relationship with God. 

Further Reading

Related Products


Soul Shepherding