Recently a good friend asked me to inform him of any mistakes he is making and for me to share ideas on how he could improve. As a response started coming to mind, my thoughts went to admiration for his courage and humility in opening this door to real conversation.
Do I know where I can improve, and the mistakes I’m making?
Considering this question I quickly wrote eight areas for me to improve; four professionally and four personally. Only one of the eight was technical or tangible (objective) and that was to continue to improve in my Italian language skills.
There was no science behind the number of areas, it was just that these were the first to come to mind and they seemed right. Certainly there are closer to 80 or maybe even 800 areas for me to improve but let’s not crush my spirit just yet.
The remaining seven…
- Communicating better. Sharing ideas and setting expectations; not assuming people know what I’m thinking or what is going on.
- Asking better questions. Becoming more vulnerable.
- Becoming less judgmental.
- Becoming more humble.
- Loving others more.
- Allowing more joy in my life (by removing distractions).
- Listening better. Stopping and listening and referring back to the goals around humility and becoming less judgmental.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 6
All of the aforementioned improvement areas (and related weaknesses) are good reminders that I am a sinner in need of a savior. Failure in these areas can usually equate to some sort of sin (typically selfishness, pride, greed, and even hate). I constantly need to remember to focus on the appropriate priorities, and most important, I need to be cognizant of God’s rightful place in my life.
God’s rightful place is to be high and lifted up. To be Lord of my life. To be my first thought in the morning, with me throughout the day and in the night.
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1a)
We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (as in Philippians 2:12), in awe of our loving and perfect God who knows us and calls us by name. To be like Isaiah, knowing our sin is unacceptable to God.
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5)
Isaiah needed an intermediary (the burning coal) to pay for his sins.
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:6-7)
We too are in need of an intermediary that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Consider praying today for God to reveal opportunities for putting him in his rightful place in your life. May He richly bless you today, for His glory alone.