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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 2:56 pm | Fair 71º


Jim Langley: Who Do You Think You Are?

Let me start with a deeply personal rhetorical question. Who do you think you are?

Perhaps you think highly of yourself and your abilities. Then again, perhaps you don’t have a very high self-esteem at all. If humility is not your strong suit, I believe this discussion can greatly benefit you in the remainder of your life journey.

You see, I was much like many of you earlier in my career. I was caught up in my own little world, busily climbing the corporate ladder to success. I distinctly remember spending three full days at a required retreat in San Diego with all expenses paid by my employer.

As the benefits manager for a medium-sized manufacturing company, I was the only functional manager on the human resources staff not having an advanced degree in Organizational Development. I’m certain they were hoping I would return being more like them after participating in this sensitivity training experience. I believe it got my wheels turning at least.

But one subtle incident has stuck with me all these years.

I was anonymously called narcissistic by one of the participants during an interactive small group sensitivity session. It took me quite some time to really come to grips with this revelation, but I gradually came to understand that I was self-centered and more concerned about me than the well-being of others.

Apparently my early years excelling in sports and academics set me up to tout a very high opinion of myself. I had a certain swagger that was quite obvious to those who graciously put up with my occasional obnoxious behavior.

Fortunately, I gradually overcame this shortcoming in my personality as I grew in my Christian faith. That’s enough about my early years of assessed self-worth.

Now let’s take this discussion in a slightly different direction. We all believe in something — even atheists have a belief system if they are honest with themselves. For the past 30-plus years I’ve placed my trust in the God of the Universe. I know that I can go to Him in times of distress and am certain He watches over me in all my circumstances.

My trust comes from the holy scriptures, which were written by 40 authors from approximately 1450 B.C. through 95 A.D. Those writings seamlessly present the evidence that our Savior has been there from the very beginning with God the Father, and I know that the Holy Spirit lives in all who believe in the one and only God of the Universe.

So, let me expand my earlier question. “Who do you think you are to determine who God is and how He should act?”

He is Who He is, not Who we want Him to be! Some people see God as a loving father while others see Him as a jealous being, and yet others see Him as angry and vindictive.

Many have trouble seeing God taking vengeance on whole nations and destroying many of His own people during their 40 years in the desert. Others struggle with their perception of a God who allows bad things to happen to good people. They also struggle with a God who allows good things to happen to bad people.

Just because we have trouble seeing God in these ways does not mean He does not exist.

One of the Bible verses I find myself referring to often in my life journey is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Then Solomon continues in verses 11 and 12, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

Yes, I truly believe that’s what we all need. We long to be loved by our Father in Heaven. But first we must accept Him for Who He is and place our trust and complete faith in Him and His plan for our life.

I pray that you will place your trust and devotion in Him this day forward. He truly loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with all His children.

Passages to Ponder

» Genesis 50:18-21

» Exodus 3:13-15

» Psalm 17:6-7

» Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

» Ezekiel 36:26-27

» Hebrews 12:1-2

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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