Week 35~ Galatians 6:3-5
‘If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.’
How many times do we try to deceive ourselves?
How does self- deception make us feel?
Chances are that there have been many occasions when we practiced self-deception, some relatively minor and others highly significant, however the probability is that we were left feeling short-changed and guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or suffering with another negative emotion. Why? Because we cannot feel glorious if we are fooling ourselves- just think about athletes who take steroids. Many of them didn’t wish to in the first place but eventually talked themselves into it knowing that they cannot enjoy true glory when they cheat the system.
We are all unique so it is important to celebrate our individuality rather than trying to emulate others which may occur due to a lack of self-confidence or self-love. There are times when it is good practice to learn from the best, particularly in relation to sports or other professions but this has to be with a goal in mind and not just a copy- cat move.
When you know yourself you can be yourself! Obvious but not always easy. We start life in our families and core communities however, as we develop free thinking and the art of questioning, we are able to change- sometimes quite fundamentally. This is when we start to reach maturity and form our true identity. At this time we can be proud of who we are and continue to progress through life’s journey.
How do we test our own actions?
We always have a sense of right or wrong emanating from our gut reactions. We have instinct and intuition. When we do things, how does that action make us feel and what are our guidelines? You need something to measure against in order to test and this may well be our moral code. Are we honest with ourselves? Are we doing something for the right reasons or to create a stir? Questioning is a good test to use before we do something- what, how, why and expected results. If we accept our answers and they match up with our personal code of practice, then we can go ahead: if not, the anticipated course of action needs revising. We can only be proud of ourselves when we endorse our standards, otherwise we compromise our opinions and are dishonest with ourselves and others.
How often do we think more of ourselves than we should? It can be easy to convince ourselves that we are right, our opinion is the best opinion therefore everyone should listen to us. If you put yourself on a pedestal be careful in case you lose your balance and topple over! This ties in with the end of these verses. We cannot see other people’s burdens or have a true awareness of their situation or feelings. Empathy- yes, but not a full understanding because we all see and experience everything differently. Our burdens are of a size and shape that suits us because we are individual. We have our own weight limit which cannot be exceeded! We can help ease one another’s burdens but cannot remove them- God is the person who can alleviate them for us. So go about your daily life with a real sense of self and act accordingly, always trying to be the best you can be with honesty and integrity for that is the road to a more peaceful existence.
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