By guest author
Licensed Christian Counselor
Specialist in Child & Adolescent Therapy
Life Training Christian Counseling
Self-reflection is not something naturally occurring in humans. It is difficult when we are living in our flesh to want to seek growth and admit our faults. In fact, there is a counterfeit “self-reflection” that often occurs called “self-condemnation”. Instead of seeking God to transform and renew our hearts and minds in Christ, we bury ourselves in shame, accepting our behavior can never change because we will never change. God calls us to seek transformation through time with Him in self-reflection.
A Man After God’s Heart
Throughout Psalms, we see David’s desire for self-reflection. Psalm 139:23-24 NIV says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of the everlasting.” Part of why self-reflection is so difficult is that it requires humility.
I must acknowledge I have faults and be willing to give up my wrong behaviors; not just once, but continually as I grow out of my unhealthy ways. This can be difficult for a couple reasons.
There is a common misconception among Christianity that when we are saved, we no longer sin, and we become perfect. When one has this belief, it is unlikely they will acknowledge when they have fallen short. Consequently, their ability to admit their wrongs is blocked because they believe they have none.
Fear of Rejection
When I am dependent upon the approval of others to assess my value, avoiding rejection is my top priority. In pursuit of affirmation, I may accept blame for something that is not my responsibility to please them, resulting in self-condemnation, or we dodge responsibility to avoid their disappointment, resulting in blaming others. In either scenario, I am refusing to honestly look at my heart and leaving God out of the conversation.
How Do We Develop The Discipline Of Self-Reflection?
Read Your Bible
As I read God’s word, I learn of the character of God. I begin to see how Jesus loved those around Him and see how He placed the Father’s will above his own. The more we learn of who God is, the more we are able to see where our heart is not like His and what parts of ourselves we must die to.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
When I spend time in prayer, my heart posture changes. I am reminded to place God on the throne of my life and take myself off of it. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit can take the truths I read in the Bible and apply them to my life. Bible reading and prayer work hand-in-hand to reveal where we fall short and bring forth positive change.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2 NIV
Invest In Godly Friendships
Surrounding myself with friends who love God can help me in the self-reflection process. Friends can create accountability as you continue to seek the Lord, and they can verbalize some areas you may need to consider. When your friends point something out, then you must take time alone to think and pray over what they have said. The quiet time in prayer then brings out where your behavior may be stemming from.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17 NIV
Meet With A Counselor
Sometimes we need to seek the wise counsel of those who are better equipped than us. It is okay to sit with a counselor and talk through your difficulties. They may be better equipped to point out the source, or to ask you the questions you need to answer in order to find the source yourself. Just as other spiritual disciplines, the more you practice self-reflection, the stronger it becomes in your life.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”Proverbs 11:14 ESV
Kayla Wright joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in May of this year. The passion of her counseling work is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of teens and pre-teens.
Kayla is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association, with an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky.
Kayla Wright, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our COUNSELING FOR TEENS & PRE-TEENS in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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