No one likes it. In fact, we will fight tooth and nail to prove our point because no one likes to be wrong. But, what if you are wrong? People who can never admit they are wrong are people who have too high of an opinion of themselves. Sometimes, it is called narcissism … a prideful condition that is very difficult to overcome. But, let’s not get into the narcissism quagmire in this blog because I want to talk to people who have become believers in Jesus. One of the characteristics of a Godly person is that they are self-aware about their behavior and always aware that they have a higher calling.
Colossians 3 12Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
The hardest part of self-awareness is to evaluate how you react to others. Your reaction always tells you what is going on in you. Your reaction to situations will tell you how much compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience you have in your life. Some teach that if you get into a tense conversation your first reaction should be to ask yourself if you are wrong in your opinion. Most of the time, our first reaction is to prove we are right and often our behavior is crass and unbecoming of a believer in Christ. I think there is wisdom in being self-aware about yourself, asking the question, “What is it about this argument that makes me mad, or uncomfortable, or being misunderstood?”
Self-awareness will help you understand how you need help with being honest about yourself. You are the hardest person you need to deal with when attempting to be completely honest. Most of us will place the blame for things in our lives on other people or circumstances, yet self-awareness is an honest evaluation of one’s shortcomings when it comes to anger, pride, selfishness, and greed. When facing difficult issues, we have to first stop and admit that how we interact with others first begins with ourselves. For example, look at how often the Bible tells us that anger is manageable:
Psalm 37:8 Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble.
Proverbs 29:22 People with quick tempers cause a lot of quarreling and trouble.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 Keep your temper under control; it is foolish to harbor a grudge.
Ephesians 4:26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.
Proverbs 14:17 People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm.
Proverbs 14:29 Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes.
Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
Proverbs 19:11 Insightful people restrain their anger; their glory is to ignore an offense.
Proverbs 16:32 Better to be patient than a warrior, and better to have self-control than to capture a city.
My reaction to any situation begins with me. Self-awareness highlights my behavior and asks the question we do not want to hear. Have I been wrong? We think strong people don’t admit to ever being wrong … why is this? Because strong people can’t risk weakness that shows vulnerability humanity like everyone else, which they feel is not a trait for leaders. However, the exact opposite is true. Vulnerability and honesty about being human and making mistakes, even to the point of admitting you were wrong, shows leadership that you can trust. Why can you trust them? Because they are not making up stories about why something didn’t go the way it should. Leaders who are honest and admit when they are wrong demonstrate the most critical element of leadership, which is humility. Remember, God says He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
So, don’t start by blaming the source of your problems on others or the situation … start by asking if the problem is with you. Self-awareness is a critical process to undertake before you respond and it will save you from many unnecessary apologies.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler