Ps 8:1-9 – “O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen — Even the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” NKJV
I do not mean the title question to be rhetorical but real. The Psalmist identifies the attitude of God toward His creature, made in His image and likeness. The position afforded to man and the potential in man are lofty but often overlooked through a misconception and misunderstanding of WHO HE REALLY IS. Kirk Douglas, in the Ragman’s Son, the hitchhiker asked: “Hey, do you know who you are?” A great question for each of us.
If you are shopping for a used car it is important to keep in mind that it is INTERNALS, not EXTERNALS that make the car. The engine, transmission, etc. not the shine or charm. Tragically “first impressions” are grossly overrated in our society. It is impossible to truly know what a person is really like by looking at the outside. Shakespeare wrote, “Nature with beauteous wrath doth oft clothe in pollution.” Thus, the engine is to the auto what the inner self is to the person. What really makes you, you are the eternal parts which is the internal part. I Peter 3:4a, “…hidden person of the heart…
CHARACTER – “The combination of qualities or traits that distinguish an individual; personality. The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing; moral or ethical quality; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity; reputation.”
- Personality – The projection of a person’s soul (Inner Self).
- Character – – The actual state of the soul (Inner Self).
Basic attitudes, feeling and emotions such as anger, fear, love, and lust all reside in the soul of man. They are a part of us whether they are right or wrong, good or bad. We receive information from innumerable sources such as experience, observation, education, television, newspapers, church, movies, etc. We store that data, even though some of it may be wrong or harmful. Then, we operate on the data in our daily lives, acting according to what we believe to be true or beneficial, even if it is not.
THE SOUL – Is made up of our value systems, attitudes, motivations, reasoning, imagination, conscience, and will. Our value system determines what we do and who we are. For example, a teenager might work to part-time jobs resulting in their grades declining. Why? They have their eyes on a car which is the highest priority and they are willing to allow everything else to suffer to achieve that most prized objective. We do that in life as adults as well. Much of our activities and conversation evolves around our Value System. The relative worth or significance we assign to different activities or possessions determines how much of our time, money, energy and lives we will invest in it. WHAT IS YOUR VALUE SYSTEM?
WORLD VIEWS – Different world views help to create our Value System.
- One Worldview – Holds that all reality is physical and material. Life is limited to the body and everything ends with death. Therefore, the focus is the physical and material pleasure because it is all they have or can look forward to.
- Another – Holds the Present as being the only thing that is important and gratification becomes the objective and goal.
- Another – Is willing to forego physical and material gratification for a richer more meaningful life later. This is identified as delayed gratification where they seek to enhance pleasure by meeting and experiencing pain fist and getting it over with.
- Another – Perceives not only the Physical, Material, and Temporal but the Spiritual or Eternal. They view eternity as the most important. In that view, there are two views. The futuristic where it is some day we will receive. The other is Eternal Life now in body, soul and spirit.
We have not scratched the surface in addressing who we are but hopefully, you have been sufficiently challenged to begin to think and evaluate your views in life. If you have then in the next devotional we can make a run at answering the question.
God bless you as you embark on today’s journey!