Thursday, January 5, 2017

Connections: Knowing Ourselves

Chuckle: “A husband is someone who, after taking out the trash, gives the impression he just cleaned the whole house!”
Quote: “To begin with oneself, but not to end with oneself; To start from oneself, but not to aim at oneself; To comprehend oneself, but not to be preoccupied with oneself.” –Martin Buber

“But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us — is held in perishable containers (clay pots), that is, our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT).
Today, we continue to think about our connections with God and other people. Our prayer should be: “Lord, teach me to understand what it means to know you and myself.” If we don’t feel good about ourselves, we usually fail in our relationships with others. A healthy self-image is accepting and respecting ourselves. This means seeing ourselves as God sees us. Paul paints a powerful but simple word picture of us as clay pots – fragile – easily broken – temporary. But God has entrusted His treasure, the light of Jesus Christ into us through the power of His Spirit. This is because we are special in the eyes of God despite our human weaknesses.
God wants us to know ourselves as He knows us. God knows everything about you, but He loves you any way. You may think, "if people really knew me and were aware of my past failures, my faults and sins, they wouldn't care about me." David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me oh God and know my heart, test me and know my thoughts, point out anything in my life that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." Have you asked God to help you understand who you are? You are a unique treasure to God. There’s no other person exactly like you. What should we know about ourselves?
A. We need to know our assets – our strong points: These include your strengths, skills and abilities. Someone has said, "Maturity begins when you really understand yourself." Are you a planner, organizer, teacher, leader? Everyone has skills and gifts. God gave them to you. Your other assets include your values -- your core beliefs and convictions; your personality and temperament; your spiritual gifts -- given with salvation by his Holy Spirit; and your God-given abilities with which to serve him and others.
You may say, "I don't really have any assets God can use." But everyone has assets, and God will show us what they are if we allow him to do so. Each of us can help our children and grandchildren to know their assets so they can use them for God's glory.
B. We need to know our liabilities: We’re all perishable containers -- clay pots – earthen vessels. But God can still use us if we rid ourselves of pride and a haughty spirit. We can stop acting like we are the God of our lives. Romans 12:3 tells us, "Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourselves with sober judgment."
We should see ourselves from a Biblical perspective and evaluate ourselves realistically. God would have us face our sins, failures, and weaknesses, and ask Him for strength to overcome them. 1 John 1:8, "If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." But as we confess our sins to Christ and receive forgiveness, we begin to discover and understand the kind of persons God want us to be.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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