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A Crumbling Foundation: Identifying Triggers in Your Soul

As I said in the last post about triggers, I break triggers down into four categories.

1. Soul

2. Heart

3. Mind 

4. Strength

I think that dividing them is important and, hopefully, throughout this series you will see why.  Let’s start with triggers of the soul.

Defining the Soul

I have no desire to start a discussion on the dichotomy and trichomoty of man here.  For the purpose of this series, “soul” is going to encompass our spiritual life.  It is our relationship with God and how that relationship is fleshed out.  It is the core value of what we believe (not know, not feel).  It is our faith, worship, study, pretty much anything you could say is “spiritual” (as in relating to the Spirit).

Why Does it matter

You cannot build a wall on a crumbling foundation and expect it to stand.  That’s just reality.  If the soul (what we believe about God and how we relate to Him) is faulty, that affects us.  What you believe in the core of who you are influences how you feel (heart), think (mind), and react (strength).  Without a strong foundation, the rest is sure to crumble.

The unfortunate truth for many of us is that this foundation (our relationship with God) actually receives the least of our attention.  We may put more weight on a 12-week program of accountability or on taking a baseball bat to the laptop than we do investing ourselves into a deeper relationship with God.

In fact, many of us would say that our relationship with God is the first thing to suffer when we start to struggle.  So, regardless of whatever caused you to fall in the first place, if your failure drives you away from God, you are in a danger zone.  If we are not investing into that relationship, cracks form, and triggers take advantage of those tiny open doors.

What “Soul Triggers” look like

When you think of trying to find a trigger at your soul level, don’t go philosophical on yourself.  Don’t get me wrong; philosophy is fun, but keep it simple.  Simply step back and evaluate your spiritual life.  How is your relationship with God?  How stable is it?

Perhaps you experience ‘spiritual highs’ and then come crashing down afterward.  In that crash, do you fall?

Maybe your devotional life just isn’t as strong as it should be.  If you miss a couple days do you fall?

You’re not always the best at making sure you get to church.  If you miss a week, what happens?

Perhaps it isn’t a pattern.  Maybe it is a flat-out lie.

God doesn’t care about me.

What’s Tough About “Soul” Triggers

Patterns aside, the difficult thing about soul triggers is that they are not easy to spot.  If I said, “God is a liar” you would know that to be false, but the soul trigger is a crack in a belief.  Do you believe that God is true?  Not know, not feel, but truly and honestly believe that as a foundational truth.

Many times in my experience, I’ve found “soul triggers” when I’ve traced back other triggers.  I’ll talk about that more when I talk about triggers of the heart.

Here’s your take away question for today, though, and it may seem like it has nothing to do with sex, lust, or porn (but remember, most triggers don’t).

Is there a foundational truth of God, your relationship with God, or even your faith, that is missing or ‘cracked’ in your life?

You cannot build a strong wall on a crumbling foundation.


Part of the Triggers Series (check back every Friday for new posts!)



  1. I tell you, sometimes I feel like God just uses you to speak DIRECTLY to me!

    This year I have struggled like I haven’t since I finally got sober, and it’s so easy to trace the reason why: my relationship with God is faltering because my trust in Him is faltering. I feel like, after being a Christian all of my adult life (and I’m 45!) that I’m starting back at square one in trying to get to know God. And for some reason I don’t even know where to start. It’s rather a weird place to be, and without a good church family (left our last church Dec 30th and haven’t found a new home yet), I feel like I’m just wandering around.

    I don’t do this often, but I ask for your prayers to find a strong foundation both in God and with a church.

    1. Tina,

      And you have them! I think we all might go through that feeling of “oh, hey, yeah, God… ooops, I kinda forgot about Him.” I hate that I have those moments. I might be in one right now actually. It just gets so easy to do the Christian thing that we forget about the whole relational aspect of our faith. Definitely praying for you!