January 15, 2024

“It’s All About Jesus!”
Luke 15 (The Parables of the Lost)
“The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.” – Luke 15:12 (NLT)
“How Well Do You Know YOU?”
In his book, “Practicing Greatness,” Reggie McNeal talks about the seven disciplines of great leaders. The first of these seven that he discusses is “self-awareness.” I’m not sure that most of us understand how critical this discipline is. It’s the ability to be utterly honest with yourself about who you are. It’s the courage to do enough self-study to know what your weaknesses are as well as your strengths. It’s being able to recognize your own “Achilles heel” as to what your vulnerability points might be. It’s being honest enough to be real about your assets, but also being honest about your character, your flaws, and where you tend to have blind spots. Self-awareness can save you. The lack of it can do you in.
The young son did not possess good self-awareness. His request to his father to take charge of his inheritance was a fatal mistake. He wasn’t disciplined enough to handle that much money. He wasn’t wise enough to handle all the responsibility that comes with living on your own. He didn’t have the ability to navigate safely through all the traps and temptations that would be waiting for him when he left home. Tragically though, he thought he was. And it was that pride, that lack of self-awareness, that was the root of his demise.
In my current sermon series called “Deep Change,” I talked about how critical this piece of self-awareness is. I pointed out the incredible prayer that David gives us in Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT): “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” That prayer isn’t about asking God to know everything about us. He already does. That prayer is asking God to help US know us—it’s saying, “God, help me see me as YOU see me!” That’s the prayer for self-awareness.
I believe that praying that prayer with an open heart and mind is the beginning of getting our lives on a path that God can bless. It’s the beginning of making wise decisions instead of foolish ones. It’s the beginning of the death of who I’m not and the birth of who I am. Self-awareness would have saved the younger son a boatload of heartache and bad decisions. And self-awareness can do the same for us. That’s God’s Word for you today.
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