I love the term self-awareness because it makes me accountable for who and what I am. Behavior is the one self-awareness metric that can measure what I really believe. We all get motivated by different things. Music for some is a great motivator, while others are motivated by a good speech or sermon, but we all have our triggers in how we get inspired.
Along with self-awareness, I love the honesty of Scripture. It doesn't dance around issues, nor does it give us a pass where we need to be corrected. Correction isn't easy or fun but often is necessary for change. Everyone gets off course from time to time, attitudes get nasty, thinking gets messed up, and behavior takes on a negative critical direction. Sometimes you just need someone to come alongside just to work things out and get back on track.
Here are 7 self-awareness thoughts that have helped me get my attitude and behavior back into reality:
1. Greatness is not in me; greatness is in my God
2. Power is not in me; power is in my God
3. Wisdom is not in me; wisdom is my God
4. Knowledge is not in me; knowledge is in my God
5. Giftedness is not in me; giftedness is in my God
6. Prosperity is not in me; prosperity is in my God
7. Influence is not in me; influence is in my God
This is the basis for the idea spoken by John the Baptist where he says:
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Psychology tells us that we must have a good self-image because everything in life will hinge on that. My self-image is not who I am … it is who He is in me. The Apostle Paul endured so much as he went into the world to preach and teach the gospel. I have often wondered how he did it. Stoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and left to die. What motivates a guy like that to go through such treatment? He tells us what drove him:
Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Self-awareness is digging down into the core of who you are to see how you are put together. All of us have the same core by the way. No one is different by birth.
Galatians 5 19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul is giving us a lesson in being self-aware. When you follow the core of who you are, the results are simple … no surprises here. The brokenness that comes because of our sinful nature will drive us away from God and away from being self-aware of how far off the mark humans can go. We see this waywardness every day in our world. There is no health, no healing, no restoration, no redemption, and no salvation without God. Notice what happens when God becomes a part of your life:
Galatians 5 22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
The difference between a life living without God and a life living with Him is also a lesson in self-awareness. The Christian life is about surrendering to God in an act of consecration to Him. He doesn’t become a part of your life … He becomes your life. There is a huge difference between the two. When God becomes a part of your life, He is like an item on the menu of your life. He is a Sunday morning menu, where you enjoy a time of worship and an inspiring sermon sprinkled with a touch of fellowship. When God is your life, He is the menu and nothing else is offered. He is a daily routine of listening to Him, preparing your heart to receive and to give on His behalf to the world in which you live.
Being self-aware means you are honest about where you are with God. You may have made a commitment to Him in the past, but where are you at in the present? Recently, my wife and I had a conversation about how seldom Christians talk about the Lord with each other. This happens in marriage, in church, in ministry, and in relationship with other Christians. Perhaps we have drifted further away from Him than we want to admit. The lessons learned about God were yesterday’s experience and today we are still living on what we have learned, but not on what we are learning.
Here's a self-awareness moment. What are you learning? Is He increasing in you, as you decrease in yourself? The image we strive to achieve is not our image, but His image. How self-aware are you today?
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler