“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
If I did two things, I would be a better person and the world would be a better place. First, have more self-awareness. My family knows I don’t score high on situational awareness. Often I’m in “Norma’s world,” lost in my own thoughts, unaware of my surroundings.
It’s those blind spots in our lives which require help from outside. My family and friends who love me unconditionally, are the ones I ask to point them out. I need them to hold up a mirror, so I accurately see who I am. Blind spots are areas of ignorance or deception in how we come across and portray ourselves to others.
Secondly, I would offend others less if I put myself in their shoes. Before I speak, I need to ask myself how I would feel if someone spoke those same words to me. My mom used to exhort my sister and I to “taste our words,” before they left our mouths. This reminds me of Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Before I act, I want to look at it from the other person’s viewpoint and decide what my response would be if I were them. God exhorts us in Matthew 19:19 to love our neighbors as ourselves and the Golden Rule encourages us to treat others as we wish to be treated.
In II Samuel 12, God sent Nathan, the prophet to admonish King David for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and arranging for her husband’s murder. Instead of coming right out and accusing David of his sin, Nathan shared a parable. David burned with anger at the injustice. His blind spot though, kept David from realizing Nathan was talking about him. Once the prophet spelled it out, David grieved he had sinned against the Lord. I wonder if David would not have sinned, if he first placed himself in Bathsheba’s and Uriah’s shoes. Realizing my sin hurts God’s heart, helps me to choose to not sin.
The world would be better place if people had more self-awareness and placed themselves in other people’s shoes before they spoke and act.
“Self-awareness…the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.”
1. How self aware are you? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how others see you.
2. Who in your life loves you unconditionally and can point out your blind spots?
3. How can you taste your words and actions?