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Who am I? Know Thyself? How?

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Devotional Thought of the Day

12† Any who love knowledge want to be told when they are wrong. It is stupid to hate being corrected. Pr 12:1 GNT

Man wants to be himself the instrument by which history achieves its goal. Because he does not believe in God, he feels obliged to guide the course of history himself and, in doing so, acts as he imagines a God would act.

One of the biggest challenges in my life is discerning between intelligence and wisdom. The difference between being able to recall tons of trivial data, and actually being able to help someone else endure the challenges of life.

And as someone who has a bit of intelligence, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that knowing “it all” is equivelant to being able to use what I know.

But what I have to know, well, that is a challenge. Know thyself was the cry of Socrates, a man that would run circles around the intellectuals of our day, just as he did in his own. ( Side note, I highly recommend Peter Kreeft’s series “Socrates meets ….” books that use a dialoge between Socrates and Jesus, Machiavelly, Jean Paul Satre – etc)

To “know thyself” is a challenge, to be both the observer and the observed, to be able to judge yourself, who you are, who you really are, is challenging.

For you are more than the biological material, you are more than your gifts, abilities, sins, and weaknesses. To know those things, that is good, and yet they still do not define you. And if you focus on them as your identity, you will never allow God to correct you.

To know thyself is only possible in knowing Jesus. Then, correction is simply cutting away what isn’t you. It is freeing you to be you, a child of God, someone who dances in HIS presence.

By defining ourselves in relationship to God, we stop playing God, sitting in judgment over our lives (as well as the lives of others). We stop seeing life as we think, in all our imperfection, He sees it. We end the self-deception! What ends up defining us is God, who has made it that He sees us as holy and righteous as Jesus. Jesus, who died on the cross to free us from sin, and who rose, giving us life in this relationship with God.

Relax, know God is here, and find our who you are… His beloved.

AMEN!

Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (I. Grassl, Ed., M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans.) (p. 85). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

Love Includes Gently Correcting Each Other

Devotional Thought of the Day:
Featured image2  And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. Hebrews 5:2 (NLT)

10    Never reprimand anyone while you feel provoked over a fault that has been committed. Wait until the next day, or even longer. Then make your remonstrance calmly and with a purified intention. You’ll gain more with an affectionate word than you ever would from three hours of quarreling. Control your temper.  (1)

It is one of the most challenging parts of being a pastor or a parent, or a good friend.

It takes not only courage, but a level of love for the other person, that embraces the discomfort and the threat of rejection.

Still it is essential, it is necessary, and it can be done with gentleness and compassion. It must be done.

We have to learn to correct each other, and as the priesthood of all believers.  We can’t afford not to be there for each other.

But this correcting has to be done as Hebrews describes the high priest doing it, with gentleness!   Not in anger, not as a reaction to the error. But mourning over it, crying out to God in prayer for the wisdom to communicate the correction completely.

Gentleness doesn’t mean we become a pushover.  The term in Greek there means a measured or precise amount of compassion.  With the coolness and calmness that doesn’t come in the middle of a situation.  But to take a step back, look at the cross, and remember that God desires that the other person to come to repentance.  God wants them to be transformed, to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus..

That has to be the motivation for the correction. To help them, to break down the walls, and seem them benefit from the correction.

It will be challenging, they might reject you for a time, they might get angry, even if you do it as precisely as Christ woul have.  Remember, they nailed Him to the cross.  And that worked out all right, for that measure of compassion is so evident to see.

Walking this way through life will be a blessing to you as well.  For to correct others and to allow them to correct you, takes great faith.  We have to trust in God the Father to at His promises. Which means we have to walk with Him, constantly talking and listening to Him!  And that is a wonderful place to be!

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 185-187). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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