Any time we learn something new there is a danger of using that truth to analyze ourselves and compare ourselves to this new “standard”. This is the opposite of what we should be doing. This is especially true during times of distress or when we are still new in our walk with God.
I love to read. I’d rather read than watch T.V. (Yes, I know that probably makes me a huge geek but I’m ok with that.). It is a good habit and it has helped me to grow but it has also hindered me in many ways. I find that when I read a book by one of the great spiritual leaders and learn about a standard above where I currently am, I immediately begin to look inside and compare where I think I am to where I think I should be.
This would cause me to examine myself and try to figure out what I was missing then I’d commit myself to “changing” or “trying harder.”
Ultimately, like with New Years resolutions, I’d fail and move on with life without any permanent change.
Is Introspection Effective
No matter what, when you compare yourself to any standard and “look within” for power to overcome… you will fail.
The Scriptures warn us:
The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
And yet this deceitful heart is what we rely on during introspection.
There is a better way. A way that God has set up for all His children.
Where Can We Find Light
Psalm 36 Tells us exactly where we should be focusing when we want to examine ourselves. (Hint: it’s not inward)
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
Who is the fountain of living water? Who is the light of the world?
We now know that to be Yeshua.
He is the one we are to focus on and He is the one who has the ability to change us.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.
He Is Contagious
Yeshua taught that those who listened to and obeyed His teachings are the light of the world.
The more that we learn from Him, the more we obey Him, the more we focus on Him, the brighter our light shines.
Remember that God’s ultimate plan with us is that we too will be perfect in everything we do. This will not be accomplished through introspection or learning more. It will be accomplished through our seeing Yeshua as He truly is:
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
(1 John 3:2)
If we truly want to grow, if we truly want to change our behavior, if we truly want to reach a new level in our spiritual life we must turn to our source.
We must turn to Messiah Yeshua and submit ourselves to Him.
It is only in doing this that we can overcome our flesh (our deceitful heart) and become more like our Father in Heaven.
Our Take Away
There have been a few lessons that have been hard learned from all of this:
- Learning can point you in the right direction
- Yeshua is the one who gets you there
- Introspection and willpower ultimately fail
- Focusing on the Light of the World will ultimately bring success
Question: When was the last time you struggled with not living up to a new standard? What do you do to make permanent changes in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.