by | Apr 27, 2023 | Alignment, Burnout, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor

Thank you for joining us once again on the journey to help leaders attain alignment in their personal lives. You can catch up on our previous installments here, here and here  as we continue to work through Unshakable Leader: The Simple Yet Amazing Power of Alignment.

Alignment Component 3 is entitled psychological integration, where we bring together the way we think and the way we feel about the way we think. In his book, John says, “What we think and feel about God, ourselves, and others determines in many ways the degree of health and fruitfulness we experience in leading our family, team, business, or church.”

Please take time to dig into a couple key scriptures regarding thought processes. Here is the first one: 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” 

Here the apostle Paul is telling the Corinthian believers—and us too—that we are to take our thoughts and subject them to the truth of God’s Word. If those thoughts do not line up with God’s word . . . out they go! Replacing inaccurate thoughts with accurate ones is a critical piece of personal alignment.

Ephesians 4:17-24 is another important portion of Scripture dealing with our thought patterns. It’s lengthy so feel free to take some time diving into it on your own.

These verses in Ephesians 4 indicate that what we think, and how we feel about what we think, impacts many areas of our lives—our personal relationships, our professional life, our leadership.

If we are serious about alignment and its beneficial impact on our emotional health, it requires us to bring the lies we believe into the light of the truth. When our thinking patterns and the emotions attached to those patterns get skewed, we find our internal reserves increasingly depleted. If this becomes a long-term pattern, the well runs dry, and we discover it’s nearly impossible to pour from an empty cup. We can’t give what we don’t have.

We believe two approaches make the most sense when addressing the integration of our thoughts and emotions:

The Preventive Approach 

This approach answers the question, how do we align our thoughts and emotions in a preventive manner?

  • Tell ourselves the truth . . . regularly – God’s word is truth. Regular doses of His written word help align our thinking. Talking about God’s word with likeminded people brings fullness to our understanding of truth. Jesus said in John 8 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • Intentionally fill our emotional tank – We discover what fills us up mentally and emotionally, and we schedule it into our calendars regularly. Whether it is an activity, a location (the beach?), a hobby, or a friendship, create calendar space to pursue those tank-filling activities and treat those appointments with the same degree of importance that we would an appointment with a client or team member. No one else is responsible for this preventive approach in your life. You own this responsibility.

The Curative Approach 

The longer your thinking patterns and the emotions you attach to them are decoupled from truth and regular refueling, you’ll likely find yourself running on empty mentally and emotionally. Perhaps even burned out. If so, this second approach is called for. Below you’ll find a few ideas that may be helpful. We encourage you to journal your way through this process:

  • Identify your feelings without judging yourself. Put a name to your emotion while avoiding the temptation to tell yourself that you should not be feeling this way.
  • Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts and feelings. Go to that spot, park there for a while, and work through your thoughts and accompanying emotions.
  • Decide to take responsibility for your thought patterns and the emotions you attach to them. It’s human and all-too easy to blame others for the way you think and feel. Keep in mind the overarching concept of ownership—you are an adult and are ultimately responsible for the way you manage your thought and feeling life. This does not mean you can’t ask other people to help. Which leads to the last point under the curative approach . . .
  • Invite a network into your thinking patterns and emotions. It is our contention that it’s impossible to think and feel accurately in isolation. God, plus safe, competent, caring people, counselors, coaches, and mentors are going to be a key part of your alignment journey.


Our lives are greatly influenced by the way we think—and by the emotions we attach to the way we think. Here are several reflective questions to help you get started with integrating your thoughts and emotions in a constructive way:

  1. Do I have a quiet spot where I can safely process my thoughts and emotions? If not, what can I do to create or find that type of space?
  2. Am I taking responsibility for my thoughts and emotions, or am I blaming other people?
  3. What is the status of my relational network? Who within my network is safe to process my thoughts and emotions with?

As you work to incorporate these most essential elements of personal alignment into your life, please know we are rooting and praying for you! And we are here to help.

John & Jaime