Self-awareness can be found with serious introspection

| August 3, 2017 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Christopher Hodge
303rd Ordnance Battalion
8th Military Police Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — To be critical of another person’s character or behavior is probably one of the most natural responses in human relationships.

Often, we live our lives in a type of reaction to the myriad of offenses that might come our way on any particular day.
In fact, being offended means nothing at all, it is a powerless whining that leads the person in a “victim cycle,” giving them a numbing shot of self-righteousness indignation.

Ultimately, no one really cares if you are offended – except maybe you.

Twain perspective
Mark Twain said, “When people do not respect us, we are sharply offended; yet, deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.”

Do you truly respect yourself? Have you taken the time to reflect deeply enough to even know who you are?

Self-reflection has become a lost art form. Our media driven world has given us plenty of distractions and cheap entertainment to prevent us from looking deep into our own lives in order to recognize our character flaws.

Instead, many of us opt to take the lower road of finger pointing, blame shifting and complaining. Indeed, it feels like a gentle downhill slope, a much easier path, but ultimately leading us into the swamp of the bitter, unproductive individual.

Psalm 26:2 states, “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart.”  

Have you asked God to do this to you, and are you willing to look at what he shows you? The spiritual disciplines of solitude and meditation (self-reflection) are the path of the noble heart. Pain can indeed be our best teacher because it’s usually only during times of intense pain that we will desperately seek to relieve it by taking a long hard look at ourselves.

The only way to produce deep humility in our own lives is recognizing that we are just as flawed as the person who just offended us. This allows us to be merciful, because the more we strive to get better through self-reflection, the more we realize just how much mercy we need ourselves.

Don’t spend your life pointing at someone else’s flaws; instead, look deeply at yourself and embrace the pain of knowing that you are actually deeply flawed. Then, take that knowledge and pursue the noble path of becoming a better more productive person. I think we can all agree that the world needs such people.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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