November 21, 2021

Self-Awareness

All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart.
Proverbs 21:2
Though all things are possible as far as God is concerned, I just don't see how there can be such a thing as a Christian utterly lacking in self-awareness. I don't think it's necessary to be morbid and filled with self-loathing. But being a disciple of Christ means continually taking stock of our life—our words, actions, and attitudes—and recognizing when and where we've strayed from the Way.

There are people—some of whom call themselves Christians—who think they can do no wrong. No matter what they say or what actions they take, they're able to justify themselves in their own eyes. These are the kind of people for whom apologizing is impossible. Or if they do express remorse, they might say, "I'm sorry if anyone took my words (or actions) the wrong way"—in other words, the problem is not with me, but with the way you chose to understand me.

Christians need to be able to look in the mirror in order to understand who we are and where we are in our walk with Christ. If we have done something wrong, we have to first be aware of it, then admit it, then do what we can to make it right. It's not exactly a hymn, but a disciple would do well to think about these words from Michael Jackson:

I'm starting with the man in the mirror.
I'm asking him to change his ways;
and no message could've been any clearer: 
If you wanna make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and then make a change.

For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil.
 Romans 16:19
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Eternal God, my Creator: You have fashioned my limbs to serve you and my soul to seek you. With sorrow and contrition of heart I acknowledge before you my faults and failures...
  • My failure to be true even to my own accepted standards; 
  • My self-deception in the face of temptation; 
  • My choosing the worse when I know the better:
           O Lord, forgive. 

  • My failure to apply to myself the standards of conduct I demand of others; 
  • My blindness to the suffering of others and my slowness to be taught by my own; 
  • My complacency towards wrongs that do not touch my own case, and my over-sensitivity to those that do; 
  • My slowness to see the good in others and to see the evil in myself; 
  • My hardness of heart towards my neighbors' faults and my readiness to make allowances for my own; 
  • My unwillingness to believe that you have called me to a small work and my brother or sister to a great one:
           O Lord, forgive in Jesus' Name.
     John Baillie (alt.)
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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