I released this article earlier in January in our church’s newsletter, but thought it worth sharing through this medium as well. Continued “Happy New Year to you.”
Who’s that? I looked again. Had to smile. The guy looking at me was not as young as he used to be. He had a twinkle in his eyes; eyes that showed a little wisdom and sagacity with age, lessons learned from failure and challenges faced. I thought I recognized him. I chuckled. The key there is I thought I knew him. The humor is I was looking at myself! The inverted image was my reflection in the mirror.
How well do we know ourselves? We are all works in progress. And the work of knowing ourselves—let alone others—is never complete.
Maybe one of our challenges in 2022 could be to pay attention. Listen to what’s going on in us—our inner being, emotions and rambling thoughts. Can we see past the surface and understand who we are, who we are becoming? Are we brave enough to face our fears, question our assumptions, examine our motives, etc.? Can we get past denial, pretending and hiding, be honest with our faults, failures and fears, and embrace our hopes and dreams?
Consider Shakespeare’s quote from Hamlet, “to thine own self be true.” We have to be honest with who we are in order to be true to ourselves. Coupled with this is the challenge to rise up to be our best selves. Recognize God’s work in and through us as new creations.
This year recognize the person God created you to be. Intentionally, deliberately, prayerfully let God’s love shine in and through you. That takes honest confession and recognizing God’s forgiveness in Jesus. It also includes claiming and connecting with God’s powerful love expressed through you.
The world is a better place because of you, because of God’s love shining through you.
Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
12 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. 13 Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. 14 And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.