Would you trust a complete stranger to manage your life? Would you trust someone who lied to you often, tried to deceive you with subtlety, was always trying to work things to his advantage, blamed you when things went wrong and took the credit when things went right? Would you feel good about someone who was one way in front of someone and then another in private? Or how about that person being nice to someone’s face but defaming them when they’re gone?
Now I ask you to consider that that complete stranger may well be you. We hold others up to a scrutiny we rarely do for ourselves. We question their motives but rarely look at ours. We think we know others, but are so ignorant of ourselves. And yet, we let this stranger run our lives with virtually no accountability! Think about that for a moment. We let ourselves get away with all kinds of behavior that we would never tolerate in someone else. And I’m not speaking about obvious sins.
We justify (make excuses) for our failings and shortcomings when we are often not willing to extend that same grace to others. We look in the mirror and give ourselves the thumbs up, seeing ourselves one way while everyone else is viewed through a much sharper lens.
Isn’t that what Jesus meant when he said…
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:4-5)
While I’m not a member of the navel gazing society, I do believe it is utterly important to examine yourself from time to time. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 13:5 that they should examine themselves, as to whether they are even in the faith. He exhorts them to actually “test” themselves. How do you do that?
May I suggest that you immerse yourself in Scripture. See yourself in the reflection of our Sovereign Lord’s majestic Word. While none of us are perfect, the Word of God is incredibly powerful if we will just feed on it, meditate upon it and deliberately respond to it.
James refers to God’s Word as a mirror.
Maybe it’s time we spent a little more time in front of that mirror examining ourselves and a little less time online, examining everyone else’s life. After all, the one person you spend 100% of your time with is you. Shouldn’t you know that person much better?
Hold yourself accountable like you would anyone else. After all, you’re letting “you” run your life. Why not take charge? Think of it as a regime change, (a key to personal success), that you can make with God’s great help. But it’s first of all, a choice. Wouldn’t you rather have your life decisions being made by a new regime that was based in truth, walked in love and gave no quarter to the enemy or his lies?
Change is hard but the results are worth it. And when it comes to business, if you don’t have someone you can trust with your decisions (namely yourself), you will easily find yourself taken in by any number of deceptions that promise you instant success, great wealth and all without sacrifice. It just isn’t so. If you want to know what it really takes, I hope you will join me in the fall session of the MPI Christian Business Institute. You can learn more about that here.
Until next time, Be fruitful and multiply!