Identify Heart Values From Suffering? Um…how’s that?

Chris and I have run a couple blogs about the upcoming Thrive Conference March 24-28. But that was general information for registration for those who knew they wanted to attend. Now I want to share with you a specific skill you will learn when you attend Track 1 – The track for learning to “Quiet and Rest.” If you recall Anna Hill’s testimony, the skill of quieting was transformational for her and her family. Being able to identify heart values by looking at what causes you pain, relational brain skill #6, is equally transformational.


Skill 6 is about learning to identify your heart values from your main pain—your suffering. You can tell a lot about a person’s values by what hurts them. Your “main pain” points to the main characteristic of your heart. This is something the Lord placed in you; it is part of your design.

Since this is February, the “love” month, this would be an excellent heart conversation to have with your spouse or BFF. Be intentional about understanding each other’s heart values. It may shed light on mystifying behaviors and motivations! Just clear the schedule so you have uninterrupted time and see what God reveals.

Everyone has issues that particularly hurt or bother you and always have been the way you are likely to be hurt. Looking at these lifelong issues helps identify the core values for your unique identity. You hurt more the more deeply you care. Because of how much pain your deepest values have caused, most people see these characteristics as liabilities not treasures.

  • Write down the pain that seems to consistently show up in your relationships. Chris’s example:
    • I frequently feel let down by others.
    • I seem to work harder in my relationships than other people.
  • What does this pain say about you? What qualities did God place in you that are expressed in this type of pain?

Carol’s example:

Betrayal by a trusted friend is devastating to me. Consequently, I am slow to trust. I want to know you are not going to turn on me later. I try to avoid betrayal so I can appear to be distrustful or suspicious. Once I learn I can trust you, you have a loyal friend who will go through thick and thin with you. Trust and loyalty are very high values to me and that is why betrayal of trust cuts me so deeply and takes so long to recover from.

Another characteristic that God placed in me is high sensitivity. My central nervous system picks up more sensory data than most, which means I can be easily overwhelmed…by lights, sounds, activity, temperature, people, pain…easily overwhelmed. And it can be physically painful being bombarded by all of that!

That pain points to the ability to sense, know and understand what people feel. It means I am able to also sense God’s heart and how He wants to meet and help people. He designed me as an intercessor who can pray the prayers asking for what God wants to do for hurting ones.

I can hate the pain and the way I am designed; see it as a curse or thank God for the way He made me and learn how to use the gift and work with my design. Under all the pain I feel is the heart value of desiring to help those in pain. It is my heart value to help but I must learn how to help in a way that does not overwhelm others or myself.

My Heart Value clip_image004  My Main Pain

  • If God placed the heart value in you that you have identified, do you feel it is a weakness to despise, or a gift to embrace?
  • How would Jesus live with your heart values and main pain? What 2 responses come to mind about who Jesus would be under varying conditions?

FootprintsAction Step: Take these questions and have a discussion with your spouse or BFF and identify some your heart values. As my husband and I did this we found ourselves strategizing how we could support the other’s values. It also gave us insight into avoidance behaviors that caused us to question the other’s motivations. This is a very helpful little exercise. You will learn more about Skill #6 at Thrive as well as  additional skills.

If interested, Click here to register. Find Out More

May your JOY be full!

Chris & Carol,

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer, 

Twitter – @coursey_chris

Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                  

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