Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Introspection. So What? Big Deal.
For some time I've been attempting to keep up with my reading in Beth Moore's "90 Days With The Beloved Disciple John". This morning's topic was Judas.
Christians know the story of Judas, yes, but so do many who have rarely, if ever, read the Bible because it's a timeless story. It's the story of a man who betrayed another man - a friend, in fact - for money.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the potential for exactly that same kind of behavior lies within all of us - it runs through us with the force of the Colorado River, requiring the emotional equivalent of the Hoover Dam to keep it contained. We know this to be true because we've all known, or at least known of, someone who has betrayed a friend in one way or another - someone who has sold their soul for 30 pieces of silver somewhere along the course of their life.
To me, it's as clear as the waters of the Colorado. HONESTY.
I don't mean being honest with others - though that's certainly important - I mean an ability to lay bare raw truth within YOURSELF that you then use to effect the way you live your life.
So often today, we humans become mired in concern about the public side of our package. We take selfies, we spend long minutes in the morning staring at our reflection in the mirror until we have our 'look' just right, we even devote moments of the day we can't get back to finding that perfect outfit. How often do we take that same effort and focus it inward?
Though I shouldn't, I have a tendency to blame technology for the mental distraction it poses. It is so much easier to punch a button and watch Dancing With The Stars, read posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from our phones, and check our email than it is to sit quietly, read the Bible (certainly the New Testament) and then contemplate our own thoughts, beliefs, and ideals within that framework. Unfortunately, human nature tends to favor protecting the psyche from pain and discomfort, causing soulful examination to become pushed aside in favor of activities that provide more immediate and pleasant gratification. Oh, we may stop to quickly contemplate a situation, but without true introspection, there is a perpetual human tendency to pin feelings of shame or anger on whatever shiny object we see OUTSIDE ourselves rather than on our own actions simply because it doesn't feel good to have to admit we're wrong, or we've hurt someone, or our actions have been inappropriate.
This emotional dishonesty is emotionally damaging because of one very inescapable truth - if you will betray yourself to yourself, you will betray anyone outside yourself as well.
Only INTROSPECTION in good HONEST doses will keep us in line with God's will for us. We'll never live the lives God has planned for us if we keep looking to others as bulletin boards on which to pin our errors. Only by looking inward and acknowledging the still small voice of God will we conquer our human nature, becoming truly self-aware and honest followers of Christ.