There are times in which we must take stock of where we are. It is a good practice to make a regular part of our lives, and the purpose is two-fold for the Christian.
- Introspection-To understand and address any areas in our lives that are not Christ-like
- Outward reaching-To then re-focus our faith to affect the lives of others
Introspection can become its own life gobbling force if we are not careful, but at the same time it is an essential exercise. We are not called to be conformed to this world, which is to become similar in form, nature of, and character; but transformed, or changed completely for the better.
Romans 12:1-3King James Version (KJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
So introspection is an important part of our faith. I have taken several D.A.W.G.’s (Day Away With God) over the last few years. They usually consist of finding a quiet place to reflect apart from the madness of this world. Unplugging from all the technology and other stuff that screams for our attention. I can tell you it takes awhile just to settle down and begin to think clearly minus the personal agenda, anxiety, and tasks we deal with daily. But once the noise begins to subside the peace of God begins to envelope you and you just…..listen. Ahhh, nothing like it.
I really love how this scripture develops this process, for after being transformed, much of what we are is outwardly focused. I jump over to The Message translation for this section.
Romans 12:10-21 (MSG)
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
I have personally been in an extended period of introspection as I am being categorically transformed to Christs image. It has been a time of great personal change that is taking me from an inwardly focused person, to be more in keeping with the heart of God; to reach this world with His message of salvation, love, and compassion.