Hello, and welcome to Dressed for My Day. In this post we’re turning our attention to inner beauty, as we do every Saturday here. But I also have another blog post up today. You might want to check it out after you spend a few minutes here thinking about the beauty of honest self evaluation.
Do you generally take personal inventory with the switching out of calendars? I like to think I do. But honestly, I’m more prone to give evaluation a few minutes of my time and then rush into filling the next year’s calendar with hastily set goals and many of the same routines I’ve had for years. But maybe it would be a good idea to spend a little more time in honest self evaluation as we ease into 2020.
Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!”~ Lamentations 3:40
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,~ Proverbs 3:5-6
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”
What’s the benefit of honest self evaluation?
In Proverbs 4:7 we are encouraged to do everything we can to gain insight. Beyond just being wise about life in general, we’re encouraged to gain a little insight into the specific situations of life. The implication is that when we gain wise understanding about the people, projects and past occurrences in our lives, we’ll be better equipped to live wisely in the coming days.
- We won’t make the same mistakes twice.
- We will communicate more clearly where before we were evasive.
- We’ll give grace more easily.
- We might steer clear of traps from the enemy.
- We’ll be a little more patient.
- We might be able to see trouble coming from a distance.
- We can deal with the other people in our lives more intuitively and gracefully.
Yes, God is the source of all wisdom. But unless we take some time to sit quietly and learn from our past, He can’t give us the insight He graciously wants us to have. Honest self evaluation takes time and intention, but it can lead to healthier relationships, a clearer sense of purpose, more aligned goals and more beneficial routines of life.
But where to begin with self evaluation?
Here are just a few basic questions we could ask ourselves if we are willing to do a little honest self evaluation. Then, if other questions arise, we can go from there. But we could start here:
- Is there something I committed a large portion of myself to this past year that I need to give less of myself to this year?
- Is there something I didn’t give enough of myself to this past year that deserves more of my commitment and resources this year?
- Do my actions, words and patterns indicate to the world around me that I am who I say I am in every area of my life?
So here’s the self evaluation challenge. I’m taking it. Maybe you will, too.
- Pull aside for an hour or more this weekend or next week for some honest self evaluation. You could go for a solitary walk or hike, sit outside somewhere peaceful, wrap up in a blanket next to a fire, or go to your favorite coffee shop alone. You may or may not use a pen and paper. The mechanics are completely up to you. Just make sure you can think!
- Begin with prayer, if you are so inclined. I think it makes sense to invite your Creator in on the process! Simply ask Him to search you and show you the truth about yourself (see Psalm 139).
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”~ Psalm 139:23-24
- Ask yourself the three questions above. Be gut level honest as you answer them. Think through these questions long and hard. Take your time with them.
- Go a step further. As you answer the three questions, one by one, take time to think beyond those specific prompts. For instance, if you admit that you’ve spent more time and energy on something than what is best, consider what caused you to do so, what action steps you’ll need to take in order to achieve more balance and what temptations may sabotage your efforts.
- Write down your commitments and action steps. After you get home from your walk or as you wrap up your day, take at least a few minutes to jot down what you discovered. Writing things down helps clarify our thoughts and nail down decisions.
- If you pray, take the time to share your heart with God. Thank Him for the insight He’s given you, confess any sins that He brought to your attention and ask Him to establish your steps as you get on a new path…if necessary.
Self evaluation is not easy. I think most of us know it is beneficial. But many of us neglect the time, patience or diligence it requires. I’ll be following through with this challenge this week. Let me know if you are, too. Or maybe you have already done something similar for this new year. I’d love to hear from you today!
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.
PS – Don’t forget to check out today’s other post if you have a few minutes. It’s a fun one!