that guy

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t want to be that guy”? What do they mean when they say that? They are usually referring to someone who displays some characteristic that is out of sync with contemporary, mature or polite society. What they are communicating is that they recognize how the questionable behavior they have noticed in others is offensive, ignorant or downright unacceptable and they don’t want to come across in that way through their own actions.

Basically, it’s called introspection. Taking the time occasionally to assess ourselves. Taking note of behavioral patterns in our life and the effects those behaviors have on others around us. It also entails taking stock of our lives to see if we are accomplishing what we set out to do in life. It means taking the time to ask the tough questions of ourselves like…

“What question am I most afraid to ask myself?”

“Why have I not achieved the goals that I had for myself?”

“What will it take to achieve those goals?”

“Where am I and why am I here?”

“What will I do and how will I do it?”

That’s what successful people do. I’m not talking about being harsh or overly critical of ourselves – just taking an honest assessment and deciding what we’re going to do to make improvements.

We have to do the same spiritually. Paul admonishes us to, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”
(2 Corinthians 13:5) Spiritual growth, like any personal development, doesn’t happen by accident. We don’t just fall into it. To grow consistently we must be intentional. We must have a plan. We must do some personal evaluation from time to time. That’s why James calls the Bible a “mirror” in the first chapter of his New Testament letter. He says that we are to look into it regularly and see if we are developing into what God has called us to be so that we won’t be “that guy.”


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