Clarksville, TN – Thinking about yourself isn’t always selfish; actually it’s necessary. You probably have a friend that comes to you with their problems. They seem to always have the same problems, on a different day. You give them your very best advice, but nothing changes. So what gives?
There is a good chance that they aren’t taking your advice because they aren’t aware of their own shortcomings or what they need to work on. They may be the very same friend that always thinks that things happen to them; that they are just victims of circumstance. But you know better, right? Or are you “that” friend?
Here are some signs that you may not be as self-aware as you think:
- The same problems keep popping up, or worse yet, they never leave.
- Each relationship you have involves the same issues. Perhaps there is always a lot of fighting, or misunderstandings, or money problems.
- You can’t relax. Not knowing how to relax could indicate you aren’t in tune with your body, therefore you don’t know how to serve it.
- Downtime is stressful. This could indicate that you don’t know your priorities. When you have free time, you don’t know how to use it because you don’t know what really matters to you.
- You don’t know your purpose. If you don’t know who you are or where your priorities lie, then you will wander aimlessly. Nothing seems to satisfy you, because you don’t know what you are supposed to be accomplishing.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12.2)
So how do you renew your mind and test what is God’s will for you? Aside from praying, meditating and reading the Bible, here are a few ideas:
- Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to have a unicorn in the front, or have a tiny key. The point is to record what you are thankful for and what problems keep plaguing you. If you read an entry from 6 months ago and you haven’t made any progress, it could be from a lack of self-awareness. Here is a great iPhone app so you can do it anywhere: http://mywonderfuldays.com (it even syncs with iCloud).
- Talk to different people. If you go to the same friend for advice every time, you might be sheltering yourself from wiser counsel. You might also be hiding from the truth.
- Find a mentor. This mentor should be honest to a fault, but they should love you to no end. Make sure they are godly and living in line with the kind of life you are striving for. Pray about their advice. If it is congruent with the Bible, take it. Don’t look for excuses to ignore sound reasoning. If your mentor isn’t perfect, this does not give you free reign to make bad choices!
- Fast. Fasting is a form of worship. There are different forms of fasting, but the mental benefit of fasting is clarity. With the fasting comes higher alertness, increased energy and improved focus. Fasting allows us to completely focus on a problem that we are struggling to overcome.
It’s exhausting to see those we love struggle at their own hands. And it’s draining to keep dealing with the same problems day after day. If you are ready to change your life patterns, take charge, and take heart. You can do this. Don’t be your own worst enemy!