Conversations are common things. Are they helpful or harmful? Do our conversations drive and focus our pursuits or are they just idle chit-chat (time wasters)? Some conversations are more important and more helpful than others. And we need to identify the important ones and have them often. Why? These conversations will improve every aspect of our lives!
Conversations With Ourselves
The subject is serious. But I can’t resist a humorous approach. An amusing piece of wisdom was passed on to me many years ago:
- It’s not bad to talk to yourself.
- It’s not bad if you answer yourself.
- It is bad if you say, Huh?
These conversations are the ones we have with the person in the mirror. These chats help us with self assessment. And just one reason this is important is our deep need for repentance. This conversation is directly related to Scripture’s instruction:
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
This means I must ask some probing questions and ask them often. I need to evaluate things like:
- How am I doing as a Christian disciple?
- Am I growing?
- Are those I allow in my life making me more or less like Christ?
- Am I being ‘iron sharpening iron’ to others in my life?
- Am I participating/cooperating in becoming more like Christ?
And if this conversation isn’t challenging enough, let me add its final element. We cannot be completely successful in this conversation. Why? The Lord tells us our hearts are deceitful above all things and we cannot fully know them. He does know us inside out and through and through. That’s why we should join the Psalmist in his prayer:
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
So this is one of those conversations I must begin. But before its over I must invite my Master to join in. And then I do that thing that’s important in all conversations: I listen!
Conversations and Community
We come to Christ as individuals. One cannot repent for another. But when that moment comes to any individual they become part of a new family. It’s a new community. God places us in a community of faith in order for us to grow and serve. So we should ask questions about that as well:
- Do I know my spiritual gifts?
- Am I serving the Lord and others with His gifts and power?
- Am I being the hands and heart of Christ in demonstrating love to my spouse?
- Do my children see Christ in me?
- Am I serving in my community of faith (local Church)?
- Do I really love my neighbor as myself?
That last question is the Lord’s summary question. Loving our ‘neighbor’ really begins behind my own front door and moves out from there. So these two conversations mean we must ‘manage’ ourselves as well as the way we impact others…To Be Continued!
Soli Deo Gloria!