Every once in a while we should take time to look at our life and our choices and evaluate.
Am I doing the best I can?
Am I making the best choices?
Am I spending my time wisely?
What do I need to do differently?
What do I need to stop doing?
What do I need to start doing?
Who needs my attention?
Who needs grace from me?
How am I reacting or overreacting?
Then we need to stop and hear what people are saying to us. Those comments that are said repeatedly or continually from different sources. Everyone we talk to gives us feedback and reinforcement. When people are giving us the same commentary, we need to stop and listen.
Then we need to ask ourselves the hard questions.
- Am I being confrontational? Do I feel a constant need to be right? To prove people wrong and let them know it? To rub people’s noses in their mistakes?
- Am I holding people hostage to my standards and assumptions? Am I expecting people to think, act, and talk exactly like I do? Do I refuse to engage in conversation and discussion about things? Am I so dead-set in my thinking that I won’t compromise or consider?
- Am I withholding compassion, acceptance, leniency, mercy, and forgiveness from anyone who has hurt me or is different from me? Am I holding (tightly) onto hurts? Do I refuse to forgive people? Do I constantly replay conversations and repeat wrongs to remind myself of how I have been hurt?
- Am I judging people’s life choices? Am I commenting on people’s character, integrity, morality, and philosophies? Am I making them feel small with my condemnation or criticalness? Am I belittling or constantly questioning people’s decisions? Am I making them doubt themselves?
- Am I constantly pushing people away? Am I so worried about being hurt or criticized that I refuse to let people get close to me? Do I refuse to share anything personal about myself so I can be “safe”? Am I isolating myself to avoid bad things happening?
- Am I reading anger into everything people say to me? Do I automatically assume that people are upset with me? Do I think that people cannot disagree with me without being upset?
Self analysis is hard. But it is necessary. To know our heart. To understand our thinking. To forgive the hurts we’re holding onto. To clear our thoughts. To cleanse our emotions. To purify our heart. To direct our loyalty. To focus our vision. To align our choices. To redeem our bad choices. To guide us today. To give hope for tomorrow.
Proverbs 4:23-27 – 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. 24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
So as the new year approaches, take time to look at your choices. Continue with the good. Stop with the bad or self-involved. Make changes as needed. Choose to do things His way. And you will find joy indescribable, peace unceasing, and grace abounding.
Marie Fremin. 10/14, 12/23-24/15.