By Cynthia Teo
Should Christians attend an NLP course? Can they watch Harry Potter? Can Christians do a magic show? Can Christians …? Should Christians…? Yoga?
When I told my church cell group leader that I had signed up for NLP course, she appeared concerned. “You should talk to the Pastor,” was her response. NLP seemed to have generated a certain sense of unease among Christians, much like the talk about energy healing, yoga, meditation etc. I guess when God gave us the Bible and its 66 books, people were looking out for a book entitled, “Christian living -The Do’s and Don’ts,” and expected that book to detail everything a Christian should and should not do, lest we be struck by lightning. And when that book could not be found, man decided to write it himself.
Think about it, if such a book were to be really present, where then do we place ‘Choice’? Something that God has placed in man’s hands?
In Corinthians 6:12, it is written:
“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
And in the same book later on in verse 10:23, it is written:
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.
In the same book, it is iterated twice that “Everything” is permissible. This is the Believers’ freedom. It is supported by 3 other points:-
Not everything is beneficial
Not everything is constructive
I will not be mastered by anything
There you are! Everything is permissible as long as it is beneficial, constructive and does not make us a slave of it.
What then is considered beneficial and constructive? Upon my discussion with my pastor, Christian friends and the Holy Spirit, I have crafted some internal checks with regards to what is permissible for me.
Is God still THE source and the master of my life?
Does it helps me in manifesting the fruits of the spirit? (Galatians Chapter 5 talked about Freedom in Christ and in verse 22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.”)
Does it draw me nearer to God; i.e. help me in the transformation of the mind process?
If the answers to the above questions are yes, yes, and yes, then I’ll dive into it.
And after going through the NLP Practitioner course, the answers are indeed yes, yes and yes. The learning I’ve gotten out of Practitioner training gave me so much clarity (light) into my life and my journey with God that I came back again for the NLP Master Practitioner course. It is at Master Practitioner Course that I began to gain an appreciation on how to unlock some of the transformational processes that led to a few breakthroughs in my life and even in my walk with God.
Accepting Christ some 9 years ago has changed my life forever.
It has since give me a very clear purpose and direction for my life. It was then that I began my journey of transformation into Christ-likeness, and that journey of transformation has taken me places and has resulted in much personal growth, as can be seen by my family, friends and colleagues. Christ has brought much awareness (light) into my life, through revelations by His words and the people whom He sent into my life. It is as if some parts of me were slowly awakened and I began to grow holistically as being. However, most of these growth was a result of pretty much an unconscious process, through prayers, thorough Christian counseling and encounter sessions.
On the other hand, encounters with the NLP body of knowledge has enabled that unconscious process to be brought into consciousness in the form of systematic and structured processes that can elicit at awareness.
Having knowledge and mastery of NLP tools helps in growing that spirit of discernment. It is like hand in glove. They fitted so well to bring so much clarity and awareness on a level that I had never experienced. And NLP tools, being secular in its nature and systematic in its approach, have also enabled me to use the tools to help people around me gain clarity and awareness in their own lives, Christians and non-Christians alike. In fact, if any counsellor were to be equipped with NLP tools, I have a strong belief here that his/her effectiveness as a Counsellor will definitely take a quantum leap, as she uses the tools to dance along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To me, there is no contradiction here. God alone can give light and NLP is one of the tools He uses. He is the ultimate source.
NLP can help to bring about the awareness and hence move that process of transformation.
“How to build change that lasts?” – To borrow my trainer Barney’s question here; to me, the answer lies in the Christian Community. Once change has been effected, it is the community around one as well as the accountability that we hold to one another in the community, that can help to make the change last, and to move forth in that process of transformation. To me, there is definitely no contradiction.
Should a Christian take up NLP training?
Pray about it yourself, and hear what God has to say to you today. 🙂
Bible passages quoted are from the NIV version.