How a New Identity Can Help Others

The other day three members of the Life Model Works team were talking when an interesting idea came up.

One of our key volunteers, Conrad, was talking about how he and his wife Lori come alongside struggling families. They work together to teach them using Life Model principles like those we train at Thrive until they are “right side up again.”
“Ah,” said, Jim Wilder. “This reminds me of Jim Martini’s story of flipping his catamaran in the shipping lanes on the way to Santa Cruz Island. Despite everything that was going on, Jim knew his job was to flip the boat back over again.”
“Right side up again” in meant that they learned and practiced the nonverbal relational skills that helped them get their lives back in order. It also means that they had a new identity as ones that then went on to help others get right side up again.
These once struggling families understood themselves as being relationally “weak.” However, with focused attention and practice, they had become “strong.” But it’s not enough to master a few skills. They had to start thinking of themselves as people who have something to give.
Imagine if all our attempts at healing, recovery, and discipleship focused on giving people new and useful identities. A hospital would never keep its patients in the recovery room for months or years? However, even people who are trying to grow hold on to their old identity. For instance, consider the former addict who, decades later still says “I’m in recovery.”
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Let’s flip this boat back over and sail to anyone else that needs their boat flipped. Then let’s sail on as a fleet of life givers.
I want to learn how to help others live with joy!

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