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You Are Not Who I Think You Are, and Neither Am I

There are two things that will test a person’s character more than anything else: criticism and praise. Here’s the thing you probably don’t know about me. I’m pretty good at being pretty good when things are pretty good. But when the pressure is up, I sometimes fall apart. Ever happen to you?

I listened to a message the other day by Kerry Shook about fasting. In the message Kerry talked about how in a fast, our heads hurt and our attitudes are bad. We’re grumpy. He made the point that going through self-discipline does this to us and it can be a good thing. When our sinfulness rises to the surface and is exposed, we can deal with it.

Fasting or not, that point resonated with me. When we are criticized, when we’re under pressure, when we’re suffering temptation, our sinfulness rises to the top and the individual that most people think we are seems to falter and fade away.

Here’s my heart – character matters most in the tests. I’ve failed a lot of tests. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever pass one.

I need to change. I need to be more like the person you might think I am. You might need to do the same… I just don’t know.

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  • http://highlyfavored.affiliateshelpdesk.com Kiesha @ Highly Favo

    Yeah, I'm there. Especially when I get home in the evenings and I'm tired. Everyone is happy to see me, but all I want to do is sit on the couch and vegetate for a minute. I'm terrible – almost everyday my kids pile up and all want to hug me at the same time while I still have bags and mail in my hands – after about 5 seconds, I'll growl, "okay, get off of me!" then I immediately feel bad, because I'm so lucky to be loved yet, because I'm tired, I let the worst out. I'm not really a grump, but sometimes my family can't tell because of the way I treat them sometimes.

    I definitely need to change that part of me, but I know God is there to help. …so grateful for grace and mercy!
    .-= Kiesha @ Highly Favored´s last blog ..Don’t be afraid of thrift store shopping =-.

    • Brandon

      It's a really good thing you're not alone in that – we all need His mercy and grace.

  • http://outreachnewmedia.wordpress.com/ AlexMurashko

    Good one! Interesting … because part of my preparing for Easter includes simply thinking! Thinking before I eat, work, play…as many as activities as I can remember … to think, pray, and act accordingly.
    .-= AlexMurashko´s last blog ..Pastors fellowship mobilizes to rebuild Haiti orphanage =-.

    • Brandon

      Sounds like an excellent practice! We should come up with a plan to set aside about 40 days before Easter for this very thing. We'll call it Lint! (I think "Lent" is taken.) ;)

  • http://TheNetworkMarketingMatrix.com Greg Vining

    This is a great post, & a great point. Never heard it put this way. It reminds me of what Bob Proctor calls "Praxis". Praxis is when our behavior is in line with our beliefs. Most of us think, at least on the surface, that our behavior must be in line with our beliefs or we wouldn't do those things. But that has not been the case in my life for sure. In business, a lot of us have what amounts to a double personality. Being different with business associates then we are when no one is looking. And I think it would do us all a lot of good if we were honest with ourselves and started being more like the person we want people to think we are, even when no one is looking.

    Keep the good stuff coming!

    Greg
    .-= Greg Vining´s last blog ..Free Leads Anyone Can Get =-.

    • Brandon

      Thanks Greg – will do my dead-level best!

  • Kerrie Smith

    I really enjoyed reading this post today because my older brother gets on my nerves at times, even though I love him and try to treat him with respect. But, sometimes, my behavior doesn't line up with who people think I am when I lash out at him for being ugly to my folks sometimes. I don't think he means anything by it; it's just the normal family thing that happens sometimes. I have to remember that we're only human and we're going to do things or say things that don't line up with our beliefs. I guess I need to change some things and not criticize him so much for this. I've probably done the same thing, too.

    • Brandon

      Now siblings can provide a real test of this whole principle!

  • http://www.seomkt.com bbrian017

    What a great article! Very true about many of us and perhaps all of us. I’m always a great guy when I get praised but if it’s criticism my back gets up and I’m on the defensive. I have also failed many tests apparently.

    Great food for thought. Thanks Brandon
    .-= bbrian017´s last blog ..I started my first blogging e book =-.

    • Brandon

      No problem, Brian, and thanks for identifying as one of us – we're called humans. ;)