Why don’t we do what we know to do? – Part 3

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his is the third in a series that explores the many reasons why we do not have as much success in the Christian life as we think we should.

As long as we have the great host of ‘ordinary people’ who know who they are and are not caught up in the temptation to become what they are not, we can take comfort that God is yet at work bringing blessedness to coming generations.

[Myron D Madden, Blessing: Giving the Gift of Power, p, 185]

“Ordinary people who know who they are…”

Our understanding of who we are is at the core of a healthy self-esteem. There are many books and theories about how to help our children grow up feeling good about themselves, but too often they are based on personal self worth and not a healthy self-understanding and respect. An overemphasis on how worthy we are as individuals can create a false sense of being better than others’ or nurture the “I am the center of the universe” attitude.” Unfortunately, this teaching not only does not create confident secure children, it produces attitudes of selfishness and deep feelings of inadequacies. After time, we all learn that we are not the center of it all and if that is where our “feel good” comes from, then we are in trouble.

Jesus said “…I know where I came from and where I am going…” (John 8:14).

The confidence Jesus had was based in the value of his origin and his destination.
He did not need the approval of others to see if he was okay. There were times when people praised what he said and did, and other times people wanted to kill him. He did not change his direction.

True identity demands that what I reflect of myself to others be a true
projection, not one shaped to please or delight others.

[Madden p. 47]

Is such confidence possible for ordinary people?

It is such recognition of the ‘true self’ that makes even simple people seem strong, yet approachable. We long for such well-centered people. It requires being certain of the past: the blessings and the damage. It requires making peace with the hurts and being grateful for the blessings.

We find the idea of blessing’ to be a strong theme in the Bible. Blessing is a life-shaping influence. It is like a gentle shove of a toy boat so it will catch the breeze and fill its sail. Blessing is not compliments – it is the investment of one person into the success of another. It is very important that along with becoming clear about the things that harmed us in our past that we also become clear about the things that encouraged us. The healthy journey of knowing ‘from where we have come’ requires a teachable heart for truth – for the purpose of getting that gentle shove until our sails are filled and our journey continues.

We need more ordinary people to have an extraordinary understanding of who they are where they came from and where they are going. Don’t miss out!

Future issues of this series will address:

  • How can I know if I know my true self’ – and why that is important
  • How knowing where I have come and where I am going impacts me emotionally
  • How to celebrate blessings
  • The need for blessing at every stage of life – and how it impacts the future
  • What if I missed my blessing?
  • How can I move beyond past hurt? – grace and forgiveness
  • How can I bless others?
  • How this knowing impacts my relationship with others and the choices I make now

NOTE: First Place 4 Health addresses the emotional element of our lives and encourages personal awareness and growth. The groups and individual support do address our personal journeys – But First Place 4 Health is not a therapy group. There are other resources that may be needed for some to make the progress they desire, in addition to the First Place 4 Health group experience.

Dr. Bill Heston
bheston@fpchouston.org

Dr Bill Heston is Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Houston and is Licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy.