"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eye lookin in...

Really, I am such a mixed bag.

I am strong and weak. I am faithful and lazy. I am kind and I can be mean. One minute I am full of faith--- genuine and real faith, and the next moment I am doubting or fearful. I am a mixed bag.

We need to know ourselves. We are complex beings, no two-dimensional sitcom character, to be sure. We need to know who we are and what we are made of... the good and the bad, the mixed bag.

We need to be aware of how we have been uniquely created and gifted. We need to be in tune with our strengths and our victories. We need to know our individual temptations, our weaknesses and our wounds.

John Calvin once said, "True wisdom consists in two things: Knowledge of God and Knowledge of Self."

I have definitely found that the more I get to know myself honestly, the more I am able to know God. I begin to see myself rightly and see God rightly when I know myself. He created me. He knows me. The more I know myself the more I know a bit more about my Creator, my Father. I see His hand and begin to see His mind when I truly see myself.

When I think of myself with sober judgement (in my right mind, with a right perspective), "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Romans 12:3, ... then I am able to assess myself, others and God more accurately.

All that said, there is a fine line between healthy introspection and "inward eyeballs". I think that I have been on the unhealthy side of this introspective looking-in this past week. When I look in too long without lifting up my eyes and heart to look at God, my inward lookin' eyeballs get unhealthy.

John Calvin does say there are two things that beget true wisdom... self knowledge and God-knowledge. Too much self knowledge and my balance is off. Paul does say in Romans that we have to look rightly at ourselves, in accordance with the faith God gives. So it seems, we must have our looking-in always illuminated by the light of God, His creative work, and faith given to us by Him. Any looking-in without God just becomes dark, bleak and hopeless.

David Benner has a wonderful little book called, The Gift of Knowing Yourself, that is truly priceless when it comes to this topic. He says,
"Knowing ourselves must begin by knowing the self that is known by God. The possibility of knowing yourself is grounded in the fact that your self is already known to God. ...Our identity is who we experience ourselves to be--the I each of us carries within. An identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God"

Living as one deeply loved by God. Do I live this way?
When I look-in too long without a simultaneous Godward glance, I don't live this way... When I am looking in without eyes also looking out and up, I am walking in foolishness (not wisdom) and without a full perspective or wisdom.
This was God's heart message to me this morning. Steph, look out and up!
"Repentance and rest are your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength", His word came from His heart to my heart this morning. OH! yeah!
I can look within and see these weaknesses... and repent and then ...I can rest.
Repent and rest. What a great concept! And, then I can be still, quiet and strong as I trust Him. I can look up from the place of repentance and trust Him who is on the Throne.
I need to look in from time to time, yes! I need eyes lookin' in... but while looking within I also need to keep my eyes looking out and up at the one who made me, my kind Father.

Oh, Father keep my eyes on You, for You are high and lifted up!
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