3/3 How can I help my Will Toward Total Wholeness?

Our Blog series have been devoted to the topic of ‘Total Wholeness’.  We have been explaining how the seven parts of our personality must be in balance for this wholeness to start to grow and spread in our own life.

In our previous post, we began with the Mind, the entrance to our Personality, or our Boardroom.

Then, in our last post, we began the discussion on how the Will relates to your Personality, we talked about the purpose of the will, the signs of a health and an unhealthy will and our challenge as Jesus Followers.

 In this third post, we venture into the forces behind the Will’s ability to bring change and health in the Total Wholeness view.  How do we get the Will to do as we will rather than be unhealthy and off-balance?

 Next, we plan on presented several other posts relating to the Will:  How to motivate the will to change, what does change involve and some points to remember when thinking about what to change.



 A wide range of motives come with every decision.  The most common motivations include: gaining approval, cooperating with an authority, curiosity, money, power or prestige, personal achievement and reaching a higher standard of excellence.

 1.  The incentives for action – why we do what we do:

The will can “feed into” various incentives, or reasons behind why you do something.  These incentives can produce either positive or negative results.  By examining the complex interaction between our incentives and our behaviour, we get a glimpse at the real condition of the BR.

An example?  Martin wanted to begin the new New Year with a clean car!  ….but as the weeks rolled into months, his plans became less and less important.  After a disgusting look from a girl he really wanted to impress, he knew he needed to do something about the mess in his car!

So what were his ‘positive incentives’ to keep his car clean?  … impress a girlfriend ……appeal to his sense of pride in his car ……to be able to find things when he wanted to  ……restore a sense of orderliness in his life …….others?

What were the ‘negetive incentives’ to not keep his car clean?   …….time spend cleaning meant less on his computer games  ……cost of cleaning equipment …..little knowledge on how to do the job  ……if girlfriend didn’t like him or his car, she could go elsewhere ….others?

2.  What part of our personality is getting their way?

We also need to look at which Boardroom member is being “gratified”, or fulfilled in what they want.  Questions we could ask: “What is being achieved by present actions or behaviour?  Which member of the BR benefits?”  Understand the heart’s gratification and you’ll often find a key to the will’s behaviour.  What part of Martin’s personality was having its way in his situation?

 3.   Positive and negative cycles with the will

There are positive and negative gratification cycles going on in the BR.  Sometimes these gratification cycles are in conflict, such as dieting and the pleasure of eating.  To further complicate things, it is not always easy to see what/who the will is gratifying.  It helps to look at the visible results of the situation to see who is in control in the BR.



 1.  There are many reasons for inertia, or the lack of action by the will.

These range from “sloth” < —— on one side of the scale, to —– > a deep “paralysing fear” on the other side.  However, there are usually Four main reasons why inertia happens:

  a)  Being passive

Failure to take responsibility, ‘under-adapting’,

  b)  A learnedhelplessness

Unresolved issues cause us to see ourselves as a victim, often from poor role models from the past.

  c)  Disablingself talk

The “I can’t do it” routine from past failures.  “It’s too hard to do anything” frame of mind.

  d)  Mind controlcycles

The ongoing guilt and depression cycles which rob us of being able to make decisions, and our peace.

2.  The difference between a reluctant & a resistant will.

a)  The Reluctant Will has misgivings about change.  It struggles with ambiguity between wanting growth and willingness to pay the price for any growth to happen.  It basically comes down to a management issue between the BR and the Lordship of Jesus.

b)  The Resistant Will fears the intensity of pain needed to bring change.  This may be due to a lack of trust, irrational fears or past hurts.  Sometimes the BR may feel a sense of shame when facing some painful self-disclosure.  Often, the struggle involves being willing to see one’s own weakness.  This may be a pride issue, or the fear of change itself.

Which do you think was Martin’s issue?    Some resistance and reluctance is normal for all of us, but it also can be another form of avoidance.  Search for incentives in the BR for moving the Will beyond resistance.  Get your Will to pair up with the spirit to resolve issues.

 2.  Numerous unmanaged situations also lead to inertia. 

It is important to find some incentives to build in hope.  It helps to look for positive feedback and to practice new skills.  Hope counteracts negative downward spirals.  Positive feedback allows growth while negative feedback suppresses growth.

            3.  Unrealistic goals influence the ability to change.

 Develop a healthy way to evaluate the realism of your goals.  The BR needs to be aware of the resources available, as well as the anticipated snags or obstacles in the way of achieving the desired goals.  An example?

 4.  The will is also influenced if it doesn’t know how to do something.  A realistic knowledge of how easy or hard the job will be affects growth.

 5.  It is important to consider the stress relating to overcoming old habits. 

Examine incentives to change, and circumstances to allow greater freedom for change.  The higher the stress ===> the less likely change will happen.  Again Martin is an example:  How much stress was there for him to change?  What place did his old habit patterns have in his case?  How can he do differently if his Will isn’t activated?

 6.  The Will can be overcome with the whole process of change

The will can be overwhelmed by the whole process and effort needed to change.  Breaking down the process into small steps, with meaningful ways of achieving goals, helps the will achieve results.

Be aware of any compliance or rebellious reactions that influence the ability to change.  Neither is wanted.  God honours our free Will.  We must be in touch with the BR’s issues, because our free Will is needed to make healthy, lasting choices.  Otherwise, the Will can drift, react and then drift again.  We were not created to be doormats.  We are created with a Will.  The question becomes what is the will hooked into?  What is it following?  Choice is the issue.



As you can see, understanding the place of your Will when it comes to Total Wholeness is important.  We can either work with our Will or be defeated as we try to work against our Will, especially if there are areas where you want change.  Unless our Will is on ‘our side’, defeat is always the outcome.  Continue with us as we see where change can happen….but only as we understand the purpose and place of our Will.

 In our next post, we will look at one of the hidden reasons for our Will’s behaviour: ‘Payoffs’.  Strange as it sounds, everyone does what they do for some reason rather than random actions.  So, the boy who bullies at school or the beaten wife, they all do what they do because there is a reason, a payoff behind their actions.

 So join us as we explore the concept of Payoffs.

 Susanne Fengler, Blog Author



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