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Christian Cognitive Dissonance

Updated: May 11, 2023

"I believe that Christ died for me and has forgiven me for ALL my junk, so why do I have an overwhelming sense that it’s up to me to save myself or somehow “get right” with God?"

Roughly 10 years ago, that was the question I realized was bouncing around in my noggin like a pinball, leaving me to squirm and shift incessantly as I sat in church each week. A sense of hard-to-identify incongruence that when present, I would try and put a lid on as soon as it bubbled up within.

It was as if I was questioning what I believed, but was I? I knew I was a Christian and knew I believed that Christ died for me, even as me and was the fulfillment of the law-based system of sacrifices for human effort of trying to cleanse themselves of sin – past, present, and future, so why do I have an overwhelming sense that it is up to me to save myself? I could no longer silence the growing dissatisfaction of the sense that there was more to this faith thing than what I was experiencing. More life and more peace than I was finding at this juncture, yet the circumstances in my life and the world around me had me questioning the validity of this.

Hence the term I call Christian Cognitive Dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is defined in many ways, but I connect most with the definition as “the sense of discomfort that arises when one experiences something that is deeply contrary to prior expectations.”

What if it is this very sort of cognitive dissonance experienced within the human mind, body, and spirit that actually steps us into living the life God created us for? I mean, outside of spiritual implications, cognitive dissonance is the very pressure that can be used to propel us into new ideas and understandings leading to growth. Left unchecked, it can lead to stagnation and anguish.

At first, I was sure I was wrong. I was missing something or not getting it. I doubted myself and questioned what was happening to me. Luckily, my body knew better. It was telling me to trust my heart and that my heart was actually good.

If you want to hear more about this story and listen to further musings on cognitive dissonance from my own experience, then join me Wednesday at 11:00am CST right here on FB Live for a brief chat.

And don’t worry, we will cover some ideas on ways to move from cognitive dissonance to cognitive consonance in this area as well. It is my desire to use this platform to connect and encourage YOU as you too journey into your own discovery that you too were Made For More, so let’s do this!


To creatively reveal the wholeness in Christ that resides in every broken-hearted believer so they can experience more than they ever realized possible.


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