Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Self-Consciousness is Really Self-ish"

1st Corinthians 4:3b-5a

“...I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time,…”


Can personal effectiveness be swallowed up by too much introspection? Could one’s destiny be sadly altered and negatively determined by his own limited (but finely-tuned) low opinion of self? Is it possible to be too self-aware?

If I begin with the premise that I am not all-knowing then judgment of anyone, including myself, is at best incomplete. Conclusions drawn from an incomplete analysis set the stage for bad decisions and failure. Should I, like Paul, learn to become “conscious of nothing against myself”?

The concept is foreign to me and requires almost supernatural strength to overcome the common motivations of guilt and shame. In the real world of service to others, I have little time to consider the wider impact of my actions. I must get in the moment according to the need of the moment and sometimes act quickly without regard for the opinion of others. Paradoxically, this often turns out to be the best thing I can do for those around me.

Reducing self-consciousness in my behavior toward
others is the most self-less and Christ-centered thing I can do.

To be “conscious of nothing against myself” is not an excuse for sin. Like Paul, “I am not by this acquitted”. But its practice does direct one’s attention away from relentless introspection which, while it may appear spiritual on the surface, masks an unhealthy fear of others which drives a man toward the false goal of perfectionism.

Instead of focusing on my sin, becoming “conscious of nothing against myself” places the responsibility for my examination in the hands of Him who is both caring enough and capable enough to render true judgment about me. It also frees me to become more effective in my service of others.
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Artist of drawing above unknown. I cannot decipher the signature or locate the artist, but would like to obtain permission and give proper credit for this amazing drawing.

2 comments:

Von Draco said...

Instead of focusing on my sin, becoming “conscious of nothing against myself” places the responsibility for my examination in the hands of Him who is both caring enough and capable enough to offer true judgment about me.

All my life I have aloud others to motivate me with there judgments of me. I am learning how to use God’s judgment as my new sounding board in life. I am not great at it but I believe I’m on the right track finally. Putting God at the front of everything I do has been making things easier to see. I love our lord God, and even though I still make mistakes He forgives me.

Bro, Danny

Dave's Bible Blog said...

AMEN Danny!

Dave