The importance of reflecting on one’s self is very significant. There is no telling in the results of an individual who reflects on how they can improve. In fact, many of the issues we face today, such as the stigmatization of mental illnesses or the guilt-laden youth, arise from a lack of self-awareness and self-reflection. And even the Bible supports reflecting and being aware of one’s condition, as it guides us to do it in the right way. Because anything good done in the wrong way could end up in unnecessary disaster.
Self-Awareness in the Bible
It is quite apparent when reading the Word of God, that when God uses people, they tend to be self-aware. And what self-awareness really means is that a person is capable of analyzing where they’re at in life, and that they understand who they are in the context of their situation.
An example of this from the scriptures is Peter, who is one of the twelve apostles of the early Church.
1 Peter 1:24-25 King James Version (KJV)
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
As you can see from above, Peter was aware of his state. He recognized that we are all people, and as with all people, we are immensely fragile.
Psalm 103:14-16 World English Bible (WEB)
14 For he knows how we are made.
He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass.
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone.
Its place remembers it no more.
Furthermore, King David, another significant character from the Bible recognized his status when compared to God’s status. He acknowledged himself as grass compared to God, and was self-aware even as the King of Israel. And so, when you are aware of how fragile and how small you are in comparison to God, you start to realize that life is not only about you. It’s about the One who created you.
You may be the toughest person on the planet, with a cold heart, an unbreakable will, and a stubborn attitude, but you are still a human being. Nothing less, and certainly, nothing more!
Reflecting on the Fragility of Man
After world wars, civilizations rising, societies crumbling, and all the likewise, God stands tall above it all. He is the God who blessed Abraham, He is the God who delivered Israel out of Egypt, and He is the God who came to Earth in the flesh as a human being to die on the cross at the hands of His own people, both for you and for me.
Romans 5:17-18 World English Bible (WEB)
17 For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life.
Jesus Christ died on the cross to take the punishment for your sins and died a cruel, hellish, death, but, after three days, He rose again victoriously so that your salvation would be justified. And I urge you today, if you have not already, to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
I cannot imagine a better outcome in my life, if I had not accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Why? Because there are countless times from the day of my birth to the day I write this blog where God has intervened in my life only to bless me and to guide me. He is my Lord because my life belongs to Him, and He is my Saviour because He paid a heavy price to save me.
Once you’re aware of that, there’s meaning in your life. You’re not just a random product of time plus matter plus chance. Ultimately, with God in the picture, you become a sacred being.
So in the example of your case, you must ponder where you’re at in life. You can ask yourself, “Am I happy with where I am in life?”
If happy, do you believe your life has any meaning and can you justify that? I believe the only coherent justification to a life with meaning, is only possible through Jesus Christ. If you’re unhappy with your life, or mental health for that matter, why? And, how can you fix it?
As I said earlier, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Whether happy or unhappy, read the Word of God and commit yourself to prayer. God will hear you, and He cares for you. And as you walk with God, you will feel a comfort and love like never before. So, be aware of your limits as a human being, but recognize also that God still cares for you!
1 Peter 5:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Self-Reflecting in the Bible
Now, if self-awareness is the bread, then, I’d say self-reflection is the butter. Self-reflecting is identifying what you’ve done wrong and as to how you can improve yourself.
This is very different from guilt. In fact, self-reflection relies on conviction whereas guilt relies on condemnation. Now, the only one who can really convict you, is Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 World English Bible (WEB)
25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.
And Holy Spirit is the spirit of God (Jesus Christ) who comes to guide you and lead you once you accept the atonement work of Jesus. He does not condemn you, but, He does convict you.
Godly conviction, furthermore, is when God aids your heart in identifying where you’ve gone wrong and as to how you should do better. On the other hand, condemnation is a fallen nature which punishes your conscience for the ways you’ve erred.
John 16:8 World English Bible (WEB)
8 When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;
So, throughout your life, allow Holy Spirit through prayer and through reflection on the Word of God to convict and correct you so that your life and mental health aligns with His love. This is the self-reflection which God wants. Spending your time reflecting on Him allows you to improve and to make yourself more like your Heavenly Father.
Therefore, trust God that He forgave you, and through time spent with Him, you will face a life saturated with blessings. God’s very spirit will guide and convict you to be the best person you could possibly be. And be aware of yourself in God’s eyes, don’t be proud, but, be humble and have faith in the love of God in Christ Jesus. The key to self-reflection or self-awareness is in reflecting on the love of God.
By Andre Wijesekera