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December 3, 2013

Text:  “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment , each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”  Romans 12:3

What do you and I think of ourselves? Each of us spends considerable time sounding out the “I” that is within us. The little person in you and me has spent an immense amount of time shaping who we are, what rules we’re going to obey in life, and which ones we won’t. He impels you to have a “worldview” of how you should live by the makeup of your environment, surroundings, and education. Parents and teachers, attempt to place a moral guide in you so you will be a “good” person. Your religious teachers attempt to impress you about living by divine rules of God.

So what does this all say? Simply, there are forces in you, in the world, and God your maker that influence you every day in every activity you experience. It is yours to choose the ingredients that are going into making you that person you are along life’s way and the finished product you will be at the judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body whether good or evil.” II Corinthians 5:10

Man’s ego, pride, loves, dislikes, hopes, possessions, and ambitions have ways of twisting our goals and misdirecting our souls. Look at the person within you and be rigorously honest. Have any or all of these things changed you? Have you jettisoned  some of those ideals and moral teachings? Have your principles been slowly eroded and exchanged for worldliness and rationalizations? Have you chosen compromise rather than defending the right? How often we ignore in ourselves what others easily see. Poet Robert Burns nailed it:  Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel’s as others see us!

The Bible admonishes a person to look honestly at himself and then undertake reforms. James writes a story about a man who goes to the mirror, sees his scruffy, unshaven appearance, then leaves and ignores his condition. (James 1:23-26)  To see your own flaws and trespasses and make no changes for the better is to fail to repent of sins and choose to be disobedient to God. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 Be attentive to that little person within you (your conscience) urging you to clean up your act.

In today’s world many persons seek to overhaul themselves and create “a new me“.  Maybe their company is looking for “fresh blood”.  A guy may have lost his hair and gained a paunch that need renovations. A divorced woman may need newly sharpened business skills and a trip to the health spa. Results vary. Some abandon, some succeed.

God’s word says you can  begin again, and the gospel begs you to. Paul asserts that obeying Jesus can begin a new, forgiven life for you:  “Therefore , if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” II Corinthians 5:17  Then you must obey Christ’ gospel (Ephesians 4:22-24) and live a righteous life. When you fail and drift back into sin there is still forgiveness and new beginnings if you repent. (Acts 8:22)

Thanks be to God for the ability to see ourselves as we are! Thank him also that we can start over again!

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