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Growing in God

Today’s Reflection

WE HAVE BEEN EXPLORING what it means to know ourselves as a first step toward spiritual practice. The goal of this self-reflection is to broaden the breadth of our self-understanding so that we create enough spiritual space to deepen our understanding of God. This self-knowledge includes emotions (what we feel), reason (what we think), and attachments (what we want). Increasing our awareness does not mean we overcome or remove these forces; we simply recognize them. Our goal cannot be to rid ourselves of feelings, thoughts, and attachments. Instead we choose to be conscious and mindful of what triggers them and how they affect us.

We have all heard the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” So it is with our thoughts, feelings, and attachments. We should know them and stay aware of them, but we cannot let them define us. Consider the difference between saying, “I am having a sad feeling” and “I am sad.”

Recognizing our current emotional experience is healthy, but we are not our emotions. We are much more than those. We are not our thoughts or desires; we are more than those as well. We strive toward a way of life that does not allow thoughts, feelings, and desires to consume us. We will know ourselves better when we can identify our thoughts, feelings, and desires and take them into account as we react to the world around us.

– Christopher Maricle
Deeply Rooted

From pages 30-31 of Deeply Rooted: Knowing Self, Growing in God by Christopher Maricle. Copyright © 2016 by Christopher Maricle. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you agree that self-awareness creates room for growth in God? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

Mark 3:24, NRSV

This Week: pray for patience. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Boniface (June 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Lou June 9, 2018, 3:35 am

    Yes we are more than our emotions and God sustains us despite our emotions. Self awareness is key but focus on God and His will is what sustains us.
    Thankful to be all moved into my new house after two exhausting days. Praise God he got me through – I do not know how- I went from a huge 4 floor Victorian to a modest smaller house and I’m still amazed that we got it all in. I don’t care how long I have to live amoungst the boxes I am just thankful to be all moved in. My oldest daughter was a huge help to me- I ran out of steam a few times and she just took over – thankful for a new beginning and a place that is not full of old memories. Praying that God will help me continue to move forward. Many friends stepped in to help – thankful for my supports.
    Praying for Marcy- God is closer than your breath – I pray for that your appt with the specialists gives you relief – God is with you.
    Praying for Julie- I know how alone and scary the process can be- but living in a loveless marriage is even harder – I pray for your strength and comfort and peace.
    Prayers for Betsy, Andrea, Mary, Connie, Jill, and Robert.
    Thankful for the many prayers offered for me –
    Peace to all who come here seeking the Lord. He is with us and He will never leave us.
    I’m wide awake in my new house – prayers that I will acclimate quickly and be able to help my youngest do the same – she was distraught leaving her childhood home and she has the ACT this morning – God please hold her in your mighty hand – she is so very sensitve.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 9, 2018, 8:18 pm

      Thanks Lou for praying for all of us.

      The only time that i shift out is staying at the seminary which is compulsory and also accomodation is provided by my scholarship. It is a good experience as i learn to stay with people from different countries.

      Hope you and your children will adapt well and meet new friends in your neighbourhood.

      Blessings

    • Andrea June 9, 2018, 10:36 pm

      Prayers for your youngest daughter, Lou, and for you and your other children. I pray your “new” house will soon feel like “home base” to you and your youngest, as well as to your older children when they come home, and I pray you all will have many happy memories there. May you rest up and find enjoyment nesting in your new home. Blessings on your new beginning.

  • robert moeller June 9, 2018, 5:34 am

    Yes, I agree, self-awareness creates room for growth in God. I found this reflection very helpful, almost every sentence spoke to me. Yes, God is greater than every aspect of us and capable of dealing with every problem, issue, quality, or trait we face or have. The past 20+ years have taught me that. So thankful that God is always with us. Thank You, Lord.

    Wonderful news that the move is done, Lou. You had me counting the number of times I have moved, 18 times in 71 years, 21 if I include my military service. Some moves were easier than others, some were quite dramatic. Yes. this move will help all of you a great deal. Thankful you had help from family and friends. The boxes will be opened as time and need allow.

    Prayers for Marcy and her health, especially breathing, and Julie and her situation, prayers she is safe and the resolution will have her financially sound. Prayers for Gloria, Larry, Jill, and Becky, that there are many good days and awareness of God in this situation comes to Gloria.

    Thankful for a good walk yesterday, some minor improvements at the house, allergy medicine picked up, and a good supper for Erich after a long day at work. Thankfully he is off today and can rest up.

    There’s a Plan A and a Plan B as far as building a model of the HO scale Henschel Bismarck type steam locomotive. Have to make sure the cab and boiler assembly will fit on the motor and running gear.

    Thankful for all of you, your prayers, comments, sharing, and understanding.
    This remains an oasis where faith is strong. Thank you and Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill June 9, 2018, 5:37 am

    This is something my spiritual director has helped me with quite a bit. Not denying my feelings, emotions; but not being held bondage by them either. Feel them, respect them – but then let move on and re-center on God. Ask Him to show me what is necessary to learn from the moment, just don’t stay in the moment. Appropriate self-awareness – I would call it.
    Lou – so glad you are in! Yes – take your time, boxes will get unpacked. Praying right now for your youngest daughter as she takes the ACT this AM. Grateful for the support of your oldest daughter.
    Marcy – prayers for your health and your appointment on Monday. May you sense His tender mercies.
    Julie – praying for strength for today. I can’t imagine the overwhelmingness of this situation.
    I, too – like Andrea, encourage you all to feel free and safe in sharing your souls. I know I have borne mine to you all many times this past year – it is freeing and so encouraging to see the follow up comments and prayers. We all support each other here in this family – another of His blessings.
    Hoping to attend an outdoor art festival today with mom and dad. This has been a tradition for us the past several summers. Weather looks a bit sketchy so may have to go tomorrow. Hoping to go today, so mom can go to church tomorrow. She wouldn’t be able to do both church and the art festival in one day. Mom went back to church last Sunday for the first time since February.
    Grateful to be done with school yesterday morning, ran some errands and got some naps in. Attended my god daughter’s basketball games last evening. She has decided to try out for the tennis team this Fall at her school. She wants me to hit with her in a few days and help her on some strokes. I love that she loves the two sports that were/are so important to me.

  • Betsy June 9, 2018, 7:19 am

    So glad you are safely moved into your new home, Lou! You will make new memories and relationships with God’s help.
    In a recent Bible Study, I learned that allowing emotions alone to govern my thinking can be problematic. Self awareness and God’s guidance in my life combined helps me to balance decisions I’ve made. Prayers to all my UR family here as we meet the day.

  • Julie June 9, 2018, 8:00 am

    This reflection also spoke to me. Will try to take the words and meanings and teachings within my soul. I have noticed the Lord speaking to me this past week in different items I have read in various UR and Guideposts publications and emails.
    Thank you to Andrea wh posted a response to me yesterday that was wise and supportive.
    Lou, so good to hear you are finally moved. I hope to find a home that is safe. As I have no job, this is difficult. My daughter cries constantly over losing her childhood home also.
    Prayers for Marcy and her breathing and appointment.
    Prayers for and thank you to all of you. I need your words of support and they feed my soul.

  • Connie June 9, 2018, 8:48 am

    Lou. My welcome to your new home (adaptation)

    Bless your house, oh Lord, we pray.
    Make it safe by night and day.
    Bless its door that it may prove
    Ever open to joy and love.

    Sometimes my “self-awareness” is too critical. I “let go and let God”.

    Prayers for Julie, Marcy, Jill and family, Betsy, Robert and all my dear friends here. What a blessing we have each day.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 9, 2018, 8:12 pm

    May we all continue to grow in christlikeness as we reflect daily.

    Blessings to all

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