A mentor of mine says, “It’s what you don’t know about yourself that hurts you the most” For me, its easy to live in self deception. I think we all have a high capacity for deceiving ourselves.
Have you ever watched the TV show, “American Idol” and noticed all of the people that think they can sing but they can’t? Now you may think, How is that possible to not know you can’t sing? It’s self deception. Everyone of us is capable of doing the same thing! Maybe our self deception is not about our singing, but we self deceived about something. Before we embarrass ourselves on national TV or look foolish to those around us, why not get real with our selves?
3 Ways to Get Real with Myself
God speaks. He will show you things about yourself you are hiding or do not see. He speaks through his word and through prayer.
David was king of Israel and had everything he could want. Life was good for him but he deceived himself in thinking he could commit adultery and get away with it. People do this all the time. “I won’t get caught.” Get real! You will.
This is David’s prayer after his life fell apart from his affair and his attempts to cover it up:
Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way of everlasting. Psalm 139:24
He prays to ensure he was real with himself. He asks God to test him, to see if there is any way or thought in him that was not right. He is asking God to lead him. I know it’s easy to think I can lead myself without God, but it’s just not true.
Pray and God will show you what needs to change. The saying is true: God loves you, but he loves you too much to leave you the way you are.
2. Listen to those who love you.
If more than one person that loves you tells you that you’ve got a problem with something, you have a problem with something. God places people in your life for this very reason. Do you have a person in your life who will tell you the truth?
For me one of those people has been my dad. Like the people on American Idol, I used to think I could sing. I convinced the music minister in my church growing up to let me and a friend sing a duet. I thought it was pretty good, my dad told me the truth. I’m glad I learned the truth that singing is not one of my gifts. You probably have people that have tried to tell you something about your life, do you listen?
For example, you may have an overspending problem and people have been trying to tell you, “This is not good, you are spending more than you bring in!” Or “You have a temper, its scary when you lose control.” Or “you drink too much.”
Listen to the people who love you! Create an environment where someone will tell you the truth, because you’ve been stiff-arming them so long that they don’t even want to tell you anymore.
Do you want to be a better spouse? Ask your spouse what you can do. Do you want to be a better parent? Ask your kids how. It may surprise you what they say. Do you want to do better at work, get a raise? Ask.
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
If we listen, we are wise. If we do not listen the bible says we are not wise or another word for that is foolish.
3. Change with God’s help
Change is painful. If you decide to lose weight, when fewer calories are coming in, your body will let you know about it. If you decide to exercise or quit whatever addiction you have, your body and mind will let you know about it! I believe that some changes are easy. Most change is hard. If change is pain, then we also know the old saying is true as well, “No pain, no ______.”
Often the pain of staying where we are is greater than the pain of change. That’s when change really occurs.
Have your tried to change and failed? Don’t give up! I have learned: To try and fail doesn’t make me a failure, it makes me human.
Keep trying. Some changes must be attempted again and again. Take one step forward, if you find yourself two steps back. Take another step forward. Don’t give up!
I have also learned that some changes must be made with the help of others and the help of God. Other people will have to help you. It’s called accountability, partnership or friendship. We need support of others. Do not do everything alone. Ask for help.
Some changes must include God. Failure may occur, so you will realize that you cannot do it alone. You need God to help. “I CAN do all things through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me.” Philippians 4:13.
Let me pray for us, “God we acknowledge we want to get real and need to change. We can only change with your help. Give us strength when we are weak. Help us move through the pain with your presence. Help us be the people you want us to be. And when we have changed may you get the credit, because we did it with your help.” Amen