Truth Or Tradition #356


By Gene H. Miller, Minister
Steer Creek Church of Christ
3466 Rosedale Road,
Stumptown WV 25267
Phone 304-462-0384
Steer Creek Church of Christ

Reach For The Sky #2

Dreams And Visions. Everybody has dreams of what they would like to do or like to be, but not everybody has the vision (foresight), the determination and the discipline to make those dreams a reality. What attitudes or personality traits must one have to be successful in life, to make those dreams reality? For one thing, one must have Self-Acceptance.

No Room For Self-Pity. If a person is to be successful in life, he cannot be consumed by self-pity. Helen Keller, being blind, could have easily been so consumed, but she wasn’t. She learned that: “Self-pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” After God wouldn’t accept Cain’s sacrifice, because it wasn’t offered “by faith”, his attitude seemed to be: Poor me! “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” (Genesis 4:13).

The Roman Writer Marcus Seneca once said: “A man is as miserable as he thinks he is.” That pretty well describes Ahab, the most wicked king of Israel. He once tried to buy a vineyard from a man named Naboth, who couldn’t sell it because it was part of his family’s inheritance.. King Ahab, who probably had dozens of vineyards and other properties, was consumed with self-pity. He took to his bed, turned his face to the wall, and refused to eat. He was about as miserable as he thought he was. His attitude seemed to be, Alas! Alack! I can’t have that vineyard. (1 Kings 21).

Accepting Who I Am. It was also Marcus Seneca who said, “What you think about yourself is much more important than what others think of you.” Because of a failure forty years before, Moses allowed himself to feel inferior. When God asked him to go back to Egypt to lead his people out of bondage, his response was: “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Moses had a little trouble with self-acceptance at the first.

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” After reading the listing of all the things the Apostle Paul suffered for the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23-33), plus the thorn in the flesh that he had to deal with (2 Corinthians 12:1-8), we can easily imagine how he could have been consumed with self-pity, but not Paul. He had learned “in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11). But he went a step beyond that. Not only had he learned to accept who he was, as well as his lot in life, he had learned to rejoice in that. “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, them am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

To be successful in life, to bring my dreams to reality, I must know who I am, and accept myself for who I am.

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