Devotional Scripture: John 5:31-47
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid." - John 5:31
Do you like to brag?
Do you like to brag on yourself?
I guess, in theory, there is nothing really wrong with bragging about one's personal successes in life. Self promotion seems to be something our current culture encourages.
However, there is one itty-bitty-little element to bragging that gets many into trouble . . . Human nature.
I don't know of anyone who doesn't like a good story. And, I don't know anyone who doesn't add something unique to a story as they tell it.
What's the harm, right? We are only trying to make the story better, right?
Warning . . . if you keep reading, you may experience and "ouch!" or two. I know I did.
What I believe I have learned over life is reflected in the words of Christ in today's scripture. What I testify about myself isn't often to the level of testimony that comes from those who know me.
Bear with me for a few moments on this. Ask yourself a question, such as "What are my strengths?" Sit down and write down what you believe your top 5 strengths are.
Now . . . ask 7 of your family, friends, co-workers (people that you know well) the question, "as you see me live my life, what do you believe are my strengths?"
When they give you their answers . . . be prepared for a shock or two. What we often list as our strengths are the ones we wish we had. The more honest list about our strengths come from those who know us.
Now . . . ask yourself the question, "What are the things that are really important to me?" Sit down again and write what you believe are your top 5.
Now . . . ask the same 7 people as before to answer the question, "as you see me live my life, what do you believe are the things that are really important to me?"
Again, when you get their answers . . . be prepared for a few more shocks. Same as before, the things we think are important to us are sometimes what we wish for, or what we want to be important to us.
Sometimes, we add to our story . . . just a little bit here and there, because we want to make it a better story. However, in time, the story we are believing isn't the story those around us are seeing. Often the answers from others about what is important to us, as seen through how we live our lives, can bring us to a more honest understanding our ourselves, and to the balance we all need in the relationship between our heart, mind and soul.
As you work to straighten the road to Easter, spend some time getting to know yourself as well as others in your life know you.
Just remember, all road work is hard.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>