Introspection. Depravity. Balance.
Introspection is a wonderful practice, because it allows you to take the focus off of what you think everyone else is doing wrong and ask yourself those same questions. This week in class I heard this, “one of the ways to flee being judgmental is to make yourself your main project.” For some of us, this can be dangerous if it isn’t guarded with boundary because at times we are self-deprecating enough as it is. There are times in my life when I have really been consumed by this and in retrospect, I am thankful for those times, but in the moment I become pretty selfish. A few years ago I tried to bring balance to this by asking the people around me what their opinions were regarding my life and decisions, another blurry line…
Depravity. I love this word because there is nothing that I can do to counteract my depravity, it just simply exists. So, as I seek the natural falls of my depravity and the places where my heart is just dark, selfish and wicked, I am tempted to be held captive by these and make them my identity. Introspection allows me to identify these dark areas of my heart and expose them to the light, both in terms of the truth of Jesus Christ and also making my struggles public. I can say with good conscious that I am a man who pursues integrity and strong moral and Godly character.
Let the fight begin…
In order to not become completely wrapped in the arms of my faults and darkness, hoping that I am making good, intelligent, Godly decisions with my life, I often turn to my family. My family runs much deeper than genealogy and blood line, while there are members of my natural family in this “other” family, the majority of them are brothers and sisters united by one Father. When I turn to my family, I weigh the light versus the dark and my intentions versus my decisions, mainly to receive advice, correction and approval. If I am being honest, approval is what I seek the most. One of these members of my family often says, “you are just too good with words”, and his statement implies that I am able to twist them in a way that you’ll feel compelled to agree with/support my words. I am guilt of this many times over, which has led me to where I am today.
The unfortunate truth is that even your “family” won’t always be honest with you… we [I’m including myself as a family member to someone] often just smile and nod, maybe ask a few “devils advocate” type questions, but typically walk away with words held back in fear of being offensive or hurting someones feelings. And, where there is often truth from the outside looking in, there is even more truth from the inside [if you’re willing to accept it]. What I know is that my family loves me, but I also know that doesn’t always mean they see my heart purely because of past decisions I have made [both good and bad], which effects how they respond to me. So, I’ve decided to trust that God is continually changing me, molding me and making me more like His son, Jesus, which means I am going to trust my ability to make decisions. It would be death for me to not stand by and rely on my family, but I am capable of making good decisions for myself, despite my depravity and introspection.
So, I’m choosing… some of you may agree, some of you may not, I hope you are all supportive, but I can’t live your version of my life anymore.
I love you.