Working Through Resistance: New Wine Goes Into New Wineskin

You can’t put new wine into old wine skin. Matthew 9:17 says “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”

This verse came to mind as I was reflecting on some of the process work that I use with my clients and what happens when we run into spaces of resistance. A good bit of what I do is help my clients challenge and dismantle belief systems that are no longer serving them. Often times, we get stuck in a way of thinking and being, because that is what we have learned and been conditioned to think and be.

Imagine you are driving down a dark road early in the night hours. It has been raining for three days, but the dreary weather has recently subsided. You lose focus just for a few moments, and you veer off of your course ever so slightly. Unfortunately, what you were not able to see is that the slight veer off was taking you into a shallow ditch.

Since it had been raining, the shallow ditch was now, soft, mushy, and just damp enough to get your front tire stuck. You push down on the on gas pedal, but you realize that your efforts are futile. You are spinning your wheel, but it is not producing the result that you are expecting. There is now resistance against what usually would have worked due to changes in the weather over the last few days. And here you are, STUCK.

The same is true for our patterns of thinking and being at times. We are taking our respective journeys on the road of life. Doing things as we have always done, and the atmosphere and climate of the day influence the conditions of the road and the environment around us. When we try to use the methods of thinking and being that we normally use, we may find that they can’t help us at that time. If we persist in trying to look at it from the same way, we might continue to get stuck even further and create more issues.

Here is my encouragement. Pay attention to the times that you are feeling that resistance. That push back from life. Try to lean into it to understand it. Note what happens when you apply your usual way of thinking and being to the situation. If more resistance is created, do some work to challenge that. Other concepts that are also probably at play here are control, fear, and security. There is great fear in letting go of a way of thinking and being that has served and probably brought success in the past. On the other side of that new way of thinking and being just might be greater opportunity, greater growth, and even greater success.

Again, if you try to fit the new wine into the old wine skin, the old wine skin will burst and you will waste the new wine. Why not try fitting new wine, your new journey, into a new way of thinking, your new wine skin. And in this way, they both can mature together.

Published by Counseling With Leslie

Leslie Stevens, M.Ed., LCMHC is a North Carolina and Virginia board-certified licensed professional counselor. She co-owns a successful practice in Carrboro, North Carolina. Leslie specializes in helping adults navigate stress, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. Additionally, she is a life strategist, spiritual coach, and writer.

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