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The Danger of Not Knowing Yourself

know god know ourselves Feb 26, 2024

We’ve spent weeks learning to know ourselves and God better, moving closer and closer to transparency. This week we’ll come to a greater understanding of the danger of not knowing ourselves. It begins with not valuing and appreciating the right people and places in our lives. 

Take a few minutes to read Judges 11:1-11. In this passage we meet a man named Jephthah the son of a man named Gilead and a prostitute. Jephthah’s father, Gilead, in a moment of weakness and questionable judgment, visited a prostitute and Jephthah was the result. In contrast, his brothers were all sons of Gilead and his legitimate wife and did not carry the stigma of illegitimacy. His brothers drove him away, leaving Jephthah in self-doubt and wondering if his life had value.   

Jephthah faced biases and prejudice in his life. His family apparently assumed he would inherit his father’s weaknesses. Yet none of these judgments, feelings, and opinions were based on anything Jephthah did – it was not his fault! Interestingly enough the scripture tells us God saw Jephthah as a might warrior, one full of courage, valor, and substance. The problem was (and often is for us) Jephthah didn’t see himself that way because those around him did not validate him. He placed the truth of who he was in the hands of others.

In this passage God is teaching us a priceless lesson – we need to value and appreciate the right places and the right people, not those who formed opinions about us which were not grounded in facts. Eventually Jephthah settled in Tob, where the people saw him as a leader. He married and had a family, and his life flourished there. While his biological family didn’t recognize his uniqueness, God and these people did! He had all the things he had hungered for in his past, but he could not see it, and kept looking for validation from the sources in his past.

Many of us do the same, not appreciating the people and places God has brought into our lives, not seeing ourselves as God sees us. This week, may we choose not to continue grasping for people and places which failed us or hurt us in the past, but instead trusting God completely in all that He is working for our good. 

If you want to learn more with us, there’s still time to pick up your copies of A Year to a Better You, the year-long devotional, and the companion S.O.A.P. Journal.

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