Character Quality: Introspective

Character Quality: Introspective with {free} coloring page download.

Character Quality: Introspective

 

“…this man came to Jesus by night….” By night. He didn’t come in the daytime. He came under cover of darkness. He came in the shadows. But he came honestly seeking, asking, considering. He wanted to know for himself.

When my oldest son was about eight, he participated in a children’s play called, “Nick at Night”. It retold the story of Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who sought out Jesus after the sun went down. Scripture tells us that he was a ruler of the people, respected. It seems that Nicodemus took his position seriously, he wanted to lead well; he came to see if he could get some answers.

Jesus was causing a stir, creating controversy. His ministry had only just begun and already He was working miracles and cleansing the temple. Already lines were being drawn and sides were forming between those who believed and those who didn’t. Nicodemus didn’t want to make a rash decision; he didn’t want to jump to a conclusion. So he came.

Most people, even non-Christians, know John 3.16. Most can quote it, but few are aware of the context of the verse. It is the most popular verse summing up the Gospel message—God’s merciful plan for mankind, the gift of His Son, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, the availability of forgiveness of sin and the gracious gift of salvation. It’s beautiful. It’s free. It’s radical.

Nicodemus came affirming that Jesus was from God. It seems from Christ’s response to him that Nicodemus had a pure heart and was honestly seeking to understand. Jesus plunged into the necessity of being born again. Jesus answered, but still Nicodemus didn’t understand and asked again

Nicodemus wanted to know for himself. He wasn’t willing to embrace the judgments of others concerning Jesus. He wanted to know first hand. Instead of taking a poll of the other Pharisees, he went to the source, Jesus.

After their brief conversation in which Jesus lays out the gospel emphasizing the importance of belief, contrasting light and darkness, Nicodemus fades into the darkness. But he obviously contemplates the moonlight meeting with the Messiah.

The next time we see Nicodemus, he quells a potential mob by simply asking, “Doesn’t our Law prevent us from judging a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing?” The next verse says that everyone went home.

When we’re introspective we look inside first. Looking at our own hearts we see selfishness, pride, impatience, envy, discontentment, and lust. In other words we are slapped in the face with the reality of our own sin. Though saved, we are reminded just how much we need the blood of Christ, how grateful we are for His sacrifice, how amazing grace really is.

This ‘look inside’, this sober introspection, ignites praise to Him alone who is Worthy. It grants us an opportunity to acknowledge Him who sits on the throne, who is Sovereign, Holy, Immutable, Almighty, and Righteous.

This awareness, this mindset of praise, profoundly affects how we see others. Remaining mindful of our desperate need for God, His gracious and merciful gift of Jesus, grants us compassion toward each other. It grants us the ability to skip harsh and rash judgments and instead to extend gentleness and kindness.

It’s easy to be judgmental. It’s easy to criticize, easy to assume, easy to condemn. It’s easy to think we know what someone should do, or should have done. Often we think, if I were them I’d… But we’re not them. And the truth is that we probably don’t know enough to make such a statement. What that person needs is not our evaluation of what they should or shouldn’t do, but rather our compassion. They need us to extend them grace in the measure of grace that has been given to us.

Nicodemus was tempted to judge Jesus based on what others were saying—others who were probably not considering their own hearts. When Nicodemus went to Jesus he asked some honest questions. He was searching, not racing to judgment. It seems that he continued to think long after their conversation because Nicodemus participated in burying the body of Jesus. Though he couldn’t stop the madness, it seems that he got who Jesus was.

The next time we are thinking about judging someone else, the next time we’re tempted to point out someone else’s flaw or mistake, the next time we consider being tacky, let’s dare to stop ourselves. Let’s dare to pause and remember how lost, how messed up, and how sinful we were before He found us.

Let us not be anxious to judge others and avoid the mirror of God’s word, the Light of life that reveals sin. Let us not run from the revelations of our own failures, faults, mistakes, and mutterings. Let us dare to ask God to show us, to teach us. Let us prepare our hearts daily to respond to His prompting.

Father,

As we look inside ourselves we don’t find the answer, we find a mess. We don’t find the strength, we find weakness, we don’t find hope but instead despair. Father you are our answer, You are our hope. Grant us time today to take a look inside, to be still and know. Teach us what it means to be teachable. Come and make us whiter than snow.

Psalms 139

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know [a]when I sit down and [b]when I rise up;

You understand my thought from afar.

You [c]scrutinize my [d]path and my lying down,

And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue,

Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in [f]Sheol, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,

If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand will lead me,

And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will [g]overwhelm me,

And the light around me will be night,”

12 Even the darkness is not dark [h]to You,

And the night is as bright as the day.

Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my [i]inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will give thanks to You, for [j]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.

15 My [k]frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with You.

19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God;

Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

20 For they speak [l]against You wickedly,

And Your enemies [m]take Your name in vain.

21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;

They have become my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

24 And see if there be any [n]hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

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Character Quality: Introspective with {free} coloring page download.

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: May 14, 2015, by : Rachael Carman