Self-awareness and insight give us the ability to know who we are. A self-aware and insightful person can move beyond external pressure and rise above any internal insecurity to live a healthy life. This kind of person will grow and promote growth in those around them.

Practical application for developing self-awareness

To be self-aware, like David, we need to take time out and be still. Take a piece of paper and pen, find a quiet place, pray Psalm 139:23-24 and then ask the Holy Spirit to give you awareness in the eight areas of self-awareness:

1. Awareness of motivation

2. Awareness of abilities

3. Awareness of emotions

4. Awareness of intellectual processes – thoughts

5. Awareness of functionality and actions

6. Awareness of change readiness

7. Awareness of life principles

8. Awareness of the long-term

Then, write down your reflections and an action plan to put into practice each of the skills of self-awareness.

Awareness of the long-term >> finishing strong

October 1968 – at the Mexico City Olympics, die hard spectators waited for the last few finishers of the marathon. The race was won by Mamo Walde of Ethiopia, one hour before. The crowd started to leave as it was getting dark. However, news was sent through that there was one last runner. The crowd could hear police sirens a way off. John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania was making his way slowly to the end after having a bad fall – his leg was bandaged and bleeding.

When he hit the last 400 metres, the stadium rose and applauded until he reached the finish line. Awesome. He was asked the question, “Why did you finish the race when you had no chance of winning a medal?”

“My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish the race.”

God hasn’t marked out a race for you to begin, but one to finish. God has given you a vision to complete. And the way we finish is more important than how we begin. And how we finished, is determined by what’s in us. Any true vision for life will increase our ability to give and receive love. What’s the point in life if you gain the whole world but lose your soul? The test of any vision is how much love you have as you journey to its completion.

2 Peter 1:3-10

“Seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.” (NASB)

This is all about our whole life, not just spiritual things.

1 Timothy 4:8

“For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds a promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (NASB)

Relevant to this life > not just the life to come.

Isaiah 3:10

“Righteous will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.” (Paraphrased)

We can experience a sense of security, direction, permanence when we have a foundation for life.  We escape the transience of this world.

- We have a foundation to build an effective vision for life.
- We have all the resource we need to see that vision happen.
- We need not fear our future, whether single or married, for God gives us a foundation.

God gives us the resources through our relationship with Jesus (promises) – that’s God’s part. Now what follows is our part.

In verse five to seven of 1 Timothy 1 you’ll notice the starting point is faith and the end point is love. True vision starts with faith and focus, our end point is the increase of love.

1 Timothy 1:5

“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart, and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (NIV)

The goal is love – from a sincere faith.

Galatians 5:6

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (NIV)

The Starting Point

Read 2 Peter 1:5-10

1. Faith > a firm persuasion in your vision. Then add:

2. Goodness > a commitment to excellence > with your vision > moral excellence > excellence of achievement – God’s creation is not half-hearted, it is excellent

3. Knowledge > a transformation of thinking > doing not just thinking (Romans 12:1-2) > it is the will of God for us to live principles rather than idealistic concepts.

James 2:22

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action.

4. Self-control > an inner strength

5. Perseverance > an ongoing focus on where we’re going and resistance to pressure. When William Carey was asked the reason for his success as a missionary, he replied, “I can plod”. Perseverance has been defined as sticking to something you are not stuck on!

Proverbs 21:5

“Steady plodding brings prosperity.” (LB)

Proverbs 24:16

“A good person, though you trip them up seven times, each time they rise again.” (LB)

The National Sales Executive Association found:

> 80% of all new sales are made after the fifth call to the same prospect.
> 48% of salespersons make one call, and then cross the prospect off.
> 25% quit after the second call
> 12% call three times then quit
> 10% keep calling

6. Godliness > a practical awareness of God in every area of life – devotion

(the balance to perseverance – focus on the end)

7. Brotherly Kindness > a real connection with people  heart-felt warmth –

get rid of your agenda > Proverbs says “An isolated man has his own agenda”

8. Love > a self-sacrificing attitude

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “For everything you gain, you lose something.”  H. Jackson Brown, author of Life’s Little Instruction Book, said,

“You pay a price for getting stronger
You pay a price for getting faster
You pay a price for jumping higher
(but also) you pay a price for staying just the same.”

If your vision is to be sustained and to produce love in your life and others, you will have to pay a price of a self-sacrificing attitude.

Verse 8 > If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive.

Verse 10 > If you do these things you will never fail.