Some of you aren’t afraid to share the results of that personality test you just took. Others, like me, may be too embarrassed to admit we take time for such silliness. After all, is it that important what color best describes us, what animal most resembles us, what our hipster names, Disney characters, or ’80s songs are?
Truth is, we all love anything that reveals the real us—even if we feel a little guilty for indulging in the exercise—even when we fear these tests are a self-centered waste of time.
But, are they? When was the last time you studied you: what frustrates you, overwhelms you, saddens you, excites you, motivates you, or silences you?
You know what? God thinks YOU make a wonderful subject to study! He even said so.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me …
You understand my thought afar off…
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether (v 1-4).
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb (v 13).
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand … (v 17-18)
In fact, taking a look at the awesomeness God has woven into our beings, should lead us to worship Him.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well (v 14).
Numerous times God instructs us to make ourselves an object of study. He gave Paul insight about the beauty of each individual, challenging us to serve according to the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: …
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. … (1 Corinthians 12).
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: … (Romans 12).
We are His handiwork, created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). How can we discover what that good work is, if we don’t take the time to study the handiwork?
Remember the second greatest commandment: love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)? One way or another, our attitude toward ourselves will be reflected in our treatment of others. In order to love others as commanded, we must take the necessary time to fall in love with the person inside our own skin.
That may be hard to do when we know we are far from perfect. But God has made a way to deal with the icky stuff, too. Listening as God searches and reveals our hearts is key to walking in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).
So why should we take time to study ourselves?
• Because God delights in studying us
• Because seeing ourselves as God sees us causes us to worship Him
• So we can serve others with the most ease and greatest joy
• To discover the work God created us to do
• So we can truly love others
• To keep our hearts clean
And most importantly: so we can show off our Treasure
2 Corinthians 4:7 says we are each a treasure box, and our treasure is JESUS. How can we show off this Treasure if our box is a plastic imitation of someone else, unkempt from neglect, or lusterless from being shoved into the attic? It’s time to pull ourselves out of hiding, clean off the grit, polish up the shine, and add some embellishments.
So tell me, what items decorate your treasure box?
Mine is papered with Scripture verses, music scores, and pages from journals. Attached are photos of grandchildren—and their parents, and their grandfather—along with other shots of friends and family members … and moms. Words of encouragement for people I love. Yep, that’s what’s on my treasure box. All that along with a few strands of pearls.
©Cheri Johnson September 2016