Saturday, October 28, 2017

Take A Good Look

by Sylvia Gaston

I asked the following question of several job candidates this past week: What is your greatest strength and greatest weakness?

Most of them easily recalled their strengths but had to think long and hard about their weaknesses. I found this fascinating because it is REALLY EASY for me to list my weaknesses. One could assume that is because I’m overly critical of myself, and I may be, but I can just as easily recite my strengths.

How aware should we be of ourselves – where we excel and where we fall short?

Go too far to one side and we can easily become narcissistic (too obsessed with ourselves). Go too far in the other direction and we can become oblivious to the areas of our life needing improvement.

What’s the appropriate balance?

I believe what the Bible states in the Book of James (4:14) that our life is but a vapor that is here for a little while and then vanishes away.  So, if my time here is so short, what am I to do with it? That’s probably where the real examination should begin.

I’ve asked myself that question at least a hundred times. Here’s what I know so far…
I know that I was meant to love and influence the five great humans that are my children. I know that I am to love my husband the best that I can. I know that I am called to my position at Koinonia Church. But, most importantly, Jesus Himself said that I am to love God with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind and all my strength. He also said to love others as myself. (Mark 12:30-31) That’s a lot!!

IF I don’t take a look at how strongly or weakly I am doing the things I was created for, how will I know if I’m getting it right?

IF I don’t reflect on my days, how will I learn from my mistakes?

IF I don’t take a look back, how will I enjoy and be encouraged by the small successes of life?

According to the Center for the Healing Arts and Sciences, self reflection
·      Builds emotional self-awareness
·      Increases integrity as you reflect on core values
·      Allows for new ideas to emerge

The Bible puts it this way - “Let us examine our ways and test them and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)

Personal growth occurs in silence as often as it does from experience.

Do you have a habit of intentionally setting aside time to sit in silence and reflect? How often should you do so to make it beneficial to your life?

In the busyness of doing, producing, accomplishing, living – we often find ourselves with no margins in our life for grace, rest, enjoyment…let alone, reflection. I’m so guilty of this! And as I type these words, I smile at the thought of those things – being gracious to those around me, resting in the company of the ones I love, enjoying life.

That alone makes it worth the effort of making time to take a look.

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