Pay attention to yourselves! Luke 17:3
When I first went to college, I apparently had a habit of being a “one-upper”. Whenever anyone told a story, I had a bigger, better story that I needed to tell. I remained blissfully unaware of this annoying habit, until one of the guys I hung out with, started issuing a loud, obvious sigh, every time I did it. After 15 or 20 loud, obvious sighs, I finally caught on.
Self-awareness is something most of us are inherently bad at. Most of us just naturally think that the way we do things is the right way. It takes maturity, humility, honesty, and effort to be introspective enough to see that our way may not be the best way. We all have flaws and struggles, but we’ll never work on them as long as we remain blind to their existence.
This frustrates us when we see it in others. Nothing may be more annoying than the one who is profoundly self-absorbed and yet remains totally clueless to the behavior. Convinced that he is in the right about everything, this individual remains incapable of seeing his mess and thus, is destined to remain in it.
Introspection is necessary for spiritual growth. The Christian life is meant to be one of continual transformation. None of us will be made perfect in this life, but neither are we to meant to remain stuck in our struggles. Daily, we are to abandon our old ways to follow Christ (Luke 9:23). This process of discipleship or sanctification is completely impossible while we remain unaware of our own failures.
I must daily ask myself, How did I do today? Was I selfish with my family? Was I arrogant at work? When was I immature and petty? I must also listen to those around me. I often need others to point out those things to which I remain blind. This always hurts a little. I don’t mind recognizing my own flaws nearly so much as I mind someone else exposing them. God uses others to shape me though, and it does me no good to choose blindness.
If we want faith, transformation, and recovery, then daily, we must choose to be introspective, asking God to show us where we need to grow. If we read this and think it’s about someone else, then we still have a long way to go. It’s only in daily choosing the discipline of self-awareness that we may learn to grow and change.