Andy Stoddard ~ Know Thyself

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One of the best things in the world that we can do is know ourselves.  Know our strengths.  Know our weaknesses.  There’s an old saying – know thyself. That’s a good thing. Because when we know ourselves, we know what to be on the lookout for.  What are things that could cause us trouble.

What are the things in our lives, in our past, in our present, that could trip us up?  Tempt us?  Cause to get ourselves in trouble? Do we know ourselves?

One of the things I really believe is that the Bible is the revelation of God’s truth for us, it points us to Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. But it also points us to how to live, and for us it is just true.  The Bible points us over and over again to truth.  In fact, that old saying really be better understood in the light of James 1: 12-15:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

James tells us, when you are lead into tempted, don’t say – God is tempting me.  Know where your temptations come from.  Within us.  Our flesh.  Our desires.  Our stuff.

That’s why we have to know ourselves.

What tempts you?  Where are you weak?  Where are you easily knocked off course?  Where does trouble come for you?

When you know where your weak spots are, you’ll know where to be on the watch.  You’ll know what to avoid. Where to be careful.

We aren’t all tested by the same thing. We have different weak spots.  Different temptations.  Different struggles.  Different histories. Different everythings.

What tempts me may not tempt you, and vice versa.  But I need to be aware of what tempts me.

That way I can (1) avoid it and (2) guard my heart against it when it can’t be avoided.  When I know myself, and you know yourself, we can (through God’s grace) better stand.

Today, what tempts you?  What is it that gets you?  Know that, and be aware.  And, when we know our weakness, we have a better shot of being faithful.  We have a better chance of being salt and light!

Reprinted with permission from www.revandy.org.

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Andy Stoddard is the Lead Pastor of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Madison, MS. He is the husband of Holly and the father of Sarah and Thomas. And besides all the important things (faith and family) he lives and dies with Ole Miss athletics.

Read more at www.revandy.org

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