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Jesus often taught the art of personal reflection. That is, the idea of debriefing emotional experiences in order for his disciples to better grasp what had just happened in their life and ministry. Debriefing is considered by many to be a lost art by many, unless you are in the military. However it is considered a great tool in coaching.

Debriefing is basically the exercise of unpacking emotional experiences, that is, anything that moves you deeply either for good or bad. The idea is to learn from life. Nothing should be wasted but rather should become a life lesson, helping us navigate failure and success with grace.

We see Jesus doing this in both Luke 9:1-10 and Lk.10:17-24 with his disciples.

There are three principles primarily aid us in the use of debriefing.

  1. The discipline of slowing down to recall. This is a real challenge for most 21st century disciples. The break neck speed of our lifestyle works against us. Slowing down is a simple principle, but one rarely done.
  2. The discipline of processing our emotions and feelings. The discipline of processing our emotional life is a challenge to say the least. It is much easier at the time to let painful emotions go and merely move on. However much can be learned from processing our emotional baggage.
  3. The cataloging of our findings. Finally task of writing down what we have found is of utmost importance. The pen often clarifies that which is fuzzy in the mind and emotions. Be sure to take time to record your findings.

Have you learned the art of debriefing life as it flies by you everyday? The Proverbs teach us that wisdom speaks at the places where the paths meet. (crossroads) We must learn to debrief all of life, to unpack the unpleasant and learn from every experience.

Don’t waste your precious experiences, but embrace them for good and grow wise thereby.


Complete the following statements below:

  • I am not very good at debriefing because…
  • In order to get better at it, I need to…
  • My first step toward this is to…


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