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As important as it is to be objective in our thinking, most of us find it hard to do. It’s difficult to look at things with straightforward honesty and to keep learning until we have a well-rounded perspective on the subjects we deal with. And the one thing we find it hardest to be objective about is ourselves. But since most of the truly good things in life require self-honesty, gaining a more truthful perspective on ourselves ought to be a priority.
The tendency is for us to go to extremes in our thinking about ourselves, either under-estimating or over-estimating the truth. In the body of Christ, for example, we may think too little of ourselves: “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body” (1 Cor. 12:15,16). Or we go to the opposite extreme and think too much of ourselves: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’ ” (1 Cor. 12:21).
What we need to do, of course, is to think “with sober judgment” (Rom. 12:3) about ourselves. That means to have a level-headed seriousness in our thinking, viewing ourselves in a balanced, truthful way. Ultimately, of course, sober thinking about ourselves involves learning to look at ourselves as God sees us. We can’t have His perfect, infallible understanding of ourselves, but we can grow in the accuracy of our understanding. We can strive to see more of what God sees about us. When we do, we’ll be helped in many ways.
Truth is always important, regardless of the subject. We can’t be saved by the gospel if our hearts are closed to the truth. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32). A part of the truth that we must be willing to accept is the truth about ourselves. It is not just dangerous to be deluded about ourselves; it is eternally dangerous. This week, let’s aim to have a more accurate and complete understanding of ourselves. Let’s pray that God will aid us in seeing all that He wants us to see about ourselves as His created children. The more truth we have in our hearts, the closer we’ll be to God.
Monday: Genesis 1:26–28
Key Idea: We should try to see our created nature as God sees it.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.27, what is the “image of God” in which we are created? How does this make our nature different from that of the lower creatures that God made? What is said about mankind in Psa. 8:5–8?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 26:18,19.
Tuesday: Psalm 139:1,23,24
Key Idea: We should try to see our sins as God sees them.
Questions for Family Growth: Why is it so difficult to see our own sins as objectively as we see the sins of other people? What is the prayer of David in this Psalm? Can we repent of our sins if we don’t see them as they really are?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 26:20–22.
Wednesday: 1 Samuel 16:1–13
Key Idea: We should try to see our strengths and weaknesses as God sees them.
Questions for Family Growth: How does a shallow or superficial view of our weaknesses hurt us? What about our view of our strengths? What are some things that can help us see our own strengths and weaknesses more truthfully?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 26:23.
Thursday: Matthew 6:26; 10:29–31
Key Idea: We should try to see our worth as God sees it.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus teach in these texts about our “worth” or “value”? Why is it so important not to underestimate how much we are worth in God’s eyes? What can help us to have a better appreciation of our true worth?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 26:24–26.
Friday: Revelation 3:8
Key Idea: We should try to see our potential and our opportunities as God sees them.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus say He had set before the church in Philadelphia? Do you think He does the same thing for individuals? In 1 Cor. 16:8,9, what often accompanies our opportunities?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 26:27.