The Skill of Awareness
Awareness is an essential skill required for healthy relationships. Awareness is required in three dimensions: Self-awareness, Others-awareness, and God-awareness.
Self-awareness requires us to be aware of our personality traits, temperament, tendencies and talents. It is also important to be aware of those areas where we need to improve and grow as people, because our weaknesses as well as our strengths can impact our relationships. There are lots of helpful tools to help us grow in self-awareness (personality tests, evaluations from co-workers or supervisors, professional counseling, etc). But one of the best ways to grow in self-awareness is to sit down with someone you love and trust and invite feedback. Ask those closest to you: “What is it like to be on the other side of me? How do I typically come across? What are my relational strengths, and where do I need to do some work?” The purpose of these questions is not to beat ourselves up, but to make ourselves more aware, so that we can get better as people. The better we become, the better our relationships can become.
Others-awareness requires us to be aware of the personality traits, character qualities, temperament and tendencies of other people in our relational world. This helps us to better understand why others say what they say and do what they do. Learning the stories and background of other people can help us better understand who they are and how they relate to others. This can help us build stronger and more healthy relationships with the important people in our lives.
Finally, there is God-awareness. Ultimately, the goal of our lives is to be so aware of God’s loving presence in our own lives that we are able to love others with the love that God provides. In the Old Testament, God promises “I will be with you.” But in the New Testament, God promises “I will be in you.” It is the loving presence of God working within us that enables us to love others. But we must be aware of that love and allow it to flow through us. One of the important purposes of the Church is to help people become more aware of God’s love in their lives, and commit themselves to love others with the love of the Lord.
If we want healthy, happy, God-honoring relationships, we need awareness in all three dimensions (self, others, and God). When we become more aware, we become better at loving others, and that’s the whole goal of life! Listen to the sermon “Reality Skill: Awareness”
Pastor Mark Miller