Psalm 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 love this Psalm for many reasons but one of the most significant is that it identifies the attitude God has toward His creatures, made in His image and likeness. The position afforded to man and the potential in man are incredibly lofty but often locked inside a misconception and misunderstanding of Who He Really Is. I remember Kirk Douglas in the “The Rag Man’s Son” where the hitchhiker asked, “Hey, do you know who you are?” That is an incredibly appropriate question for each of us. I have shopped for automobiles and many times looked for a used car. One of the keys in shopping for a used car is to focus on the internals more than the externals for that is what makes the car. If the engine, transmission, and drivetrain are good the externals can often be updated. It is the internals, not the chrome and/or shine that makes the car a good car.
I am convinced that “First Impressions” are often, if not usually, overemphasized in our society. Truthfully, you cannot know what a person really is by looking at the outside. Shakespeare said, “Nature with beauteous wall doth oft cloth in pollution.” Therefore, what the engine is to the automobile, the inner self is to the person. It is the real you. Man looks on the exterior but God always looks at the heart. Peter speaks of the real person in 1 Peter 3:4 as he speaks of the ‘hidden person of the heart’. The character is where the true beauty lies.
A person’s Character is that combination of qualities or traits that distinguish and individual. Personality is reflected in the aggregate of the features and traits that form the individual nature of a person. Morality and ethics are exhibited in the honesty and courage of the person. Personality is the projection of a person’s inner self or their true soul. A person’s Character is the actual state of the inner self or the true soul. Each of us has basic attitudes, feelings, and emotions. All of us have the capacity for anger, fear, love, or lust. Those emotions are a part of our being and whether they are rightly or wrongly controlled reflect the character.
The human soul is made up of our values, attitudes, motivations, reasoning, imagination, conscience, and will. Our value system is reflected in our lives. Let me illustrate it this way. A teenager might work two jobs but see his grades suffer. His desire and drive to continue working even at the expense of grades is for a reason. He has something he wants to buy, such as a car, bike, etc. That is a higher priority than education. What we value the most we will find a way to have or make room for in our lives. Our daily conversations and activities evolve around our value system. The relative worth or significance we assign to differ objects, people, purposes, or objectives determine how we spend our time, money, energy and lives. What is your focus?
I want to say a bit more on this subject but will pause for now and pick up next time focusing on the question, “Do You Know Who You Are?” May the LORD richly bless you as you embark on today’s journey in Jesus!