The best life is a God First life

Category: Accountability

Learning from self-evaluation

Self-evaluation is not about longing for our past but instead learning from it!

Some say: Always look forward, never look back! So, if by looking back, you find yourself longing for those past days and focusing so much on what you once did that it distracts you from being content and enjoying what you can still do at the moment, this is a valid point. In this respect, I struggle in tennis, falling prey to looking back and longing for the game I once played with its power and speed. But, in doing so, I steal from the moment and all it could be If I would just let it.

However, self-reflection and evaluation are different from looking back and getting stuck in the past. When we evaluate ourselves, we create opportunities to take pauses and learn from our experiences.

Self-reflection is essential, it does indeed stir up feelings of embarrassment, regret, and sadness, but it also stirs up levels of self-validation, self-approval, smiles, and laughter which can add to our contentment.

For example, looking back on one such moment was embarrassing and funny.

It was in the late 80s; There was once a popular sitcom cartoon on TV called “The Simpsons,” One of the characters was “Bartman,” which was the superhero alter ego of “Bart Simpson.” Although I was not a fan of the show, Virginia gave me a pair of Bartman shorts for my 30th Birthday.

A couple of weeks later, probably in November of 1989, we met our friends Jan and Wayne to play mixed doubles tennis. It was a chilly day, so we all started in warmups. As we played, the clothing trickled off till I was down to a T-shirt and my new shorts. A few points after removing my warmup pants, Jan paused the match to ask: Are you going to play in underwear? I quickly stated: No, these are Bartman shorts; Virginia got me for my Birthday.

Jan responds: with a flap in the middle?

I was instantly embarrassed as I realized they were “Bartman boxers,” not shorts. I had never worn boxers and assumed they were regular shorts. Needless to say, I immediately put my warmup pants back on, was relentlessly teased, and we laughed about it.

However, this moment of embarrassment etched a permanent place in my mind, and I learned at least three things from experience.

  • Assumptions are dangerous (Be more careful)
  • Details are important (Pay closer attention)
  • Relentless teasing ( It’s going to happen)

Without self-reflection and self-evaluation, we hinder self-accountability, which helps us make better choices on what to and not do in the future.

Scripturally, We find attributes of self-reflection and evaluation attributed to many of King Soloman’s writings. A man gifted with wisdom from God. And, in the Psalms of David, more on this later.

God First!

Does God love some more than others?

As I contemplated this question, I believe the answer is that God loves the “response” of some more than others.

Like parents and children, one child might do as directed most of the time while the other doesn’t. It’s not that parents love the obedient child more than the other; however, they love the obedient child’s response more than the disobedient response. The obedient response shows a desire to please the parents by doing as told. (love)

In Scripture, we learn Jesus died for all the world and that God shows no partiality. Scripture also tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we find Jesus said; if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

David was considered a man after God’s heart; why? God tells us: “He will do my will” Saul, on the other hand, lost his kingdom for doing “his own” will, not God’s.

King David made many huge mistakes and was far from perfect, yet he constantly turned to and relied on God; David pursued righteousness. (doing God’s will mattered to David)

We all have the same choice!

Follow God’s will to the best of our ability by studying and following the commands and examples of Scripture or following our feelings, our ideas, or those of others.

When we choose to follow God according to His will, we spend our lives pursuing righteousness. In James chapter 5, we find the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. This should be one of our goals, to have our prayers accomplish much because our hearts are where King David’s was, pursuing righteousness.

God First!

John 3:16 tells us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

“So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Act 10:34-35

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” Acts 13:22 ESV

But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” Samuel 13:14

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

NOT EVEN 10, Maybe toleration led to apathy

Not even 10 Righteous were found in Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. “And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Genesis‬ ‭18:20-21‬ ‭NASB

2.” Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” Genesis‬ ‭18:25-26‬ ‭NASB

3. “Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten. Genesis‬ ‭18:32‬ ‭NASB

‬‬Ever wonder how many righteous built the cities?

What happened?

Maybe toleration led to acceptance followed by apathy till no one cared about doing what was right, All the way to the point they convinced themselves there were no absolutes to right and wrong. Void of God maybe they relied on their wisdom rather than following God’s.

Sounds eerily familiar to the attitude of many today.

God First!

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