Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8

“The only road to Christlikeness is to behold not our own hatefulness, but his goodness and beauty....Beholding self, we are more and more changed into the image of self.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 8/8

When I was a child I found myself easily imitating others.  I was shy and spent a great deal of time studying others in order to figure out what they would or would not like about me so that I could present that and therefore be liked.  In the process I usually picked up their mannerisms.  As I got older I found that I no longer picked up people’s mannerism, but I did continue to study people for the purpose of pleasing them so that they’d like me.  I’ve since realized that this was not what God wants from me and am constantly battling the temptation to do it.  But I’ve not stopped to think that I also needed to be wary of looking at Self because of this need to please.  If I’m constantly looking at myself like I do other people, it would be quite natural to mimic my Self and it’s old nature without even realizing that was what I was doing.  “The fruit God desires is character” is another of Hannah’s writings. Character is built. It is not acquired in one event.  Looking at Self and all it’s flaws vs. looking at Christ and all His goodness should leave no one guessing which is better.  It’s obvious that those around us can influence us, including our old nature, so we must be careful to look only to Christ.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:1, 2

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