Watching auditions to talent competitions makes me chuckle and cringe at the same time. When a sweet young person is belting away on a song, completely unaware that she can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I cringe. The embarrassment I feel for the person is intense. It is apparent that along the way someone told this girl she had real talent. I believe I cringe so much because I wonder, “Am I doing some task or activity and am completely unaware of my lack of talent?”
It is a common human characteristic to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Psychologists calls this the “self-enhancement effect.” This means that most people view themselves as morally superior to others.
The transverse can also be true. There are probably many things I can do, but don’t, from lack of confidence or a false perception of my abilities. Luke 6:42 says, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye,” (ESV).
Not only do we often view ourselves in a favorable light, sometimes we view ourselves as lacking in the gifts and talents the Lord has placed in our lives. We often walk around like we are slaves, when we are really the children of God.
It seems it is a common human condition to have an inability to view ourselves objectively. Whether a person is easier on themselves or too hard on themselves, it all boils down to a lack of self-awareness. I have often heard this called a “blind spot.” For us to have accurate self-awareness, we need to know how God sees us. The lens God views us through is our true identity.
Identity in Christ is something every believer desires to understand better. There have been numerous bible studies and books written about this topic. Some excellent books that helps to delve into self-perception and how God sees you are: Search for Significance by Robert McGee, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.
We are often confused regarding our worth and significance to God and this world. The age-old question of “Why are we here?” has been raised many times throughout the ages. What we believe about that question shapes how we value our lives and our impact on those around us.
There are numerous influences affecting our self-awareness: family, friends, school, geography, family income, electronic media, intergenerational influences, and the Word of God can all influence how we view ourselves and our place in this world in varying degrees.
Rather than the word of God, family can be the most significant in developing the lens in which we view ourselves from an early age. As we grow, friends often take a higher priority than family. The friends that we choose have a significant impact on our development of values and our life choices. Not only friends, but school, geography, media, and pop culture show us what is cool, how to look, and who to be.
As Christ-followers, we know the word of God is the only accurate source for discovering who we are in Christ. When we come to Christ, the old things are gone–the old nature, the old values, the old life. The new has come–a fresh start, a new birth, a new creation. We can be redefined by God’s word and his values!
Although our spirits are made new, our minds still need to be transformed. We can only have an accurate perception of ourselves when we understand that we are new creations in Christ, the result of asking him into our heart. The miracle of becoming a new creation frees us from our old way of thinking about ourselves. Ask God to show you how he sees you–that is true self-awareness.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”