“A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, but they were frightened when they saw a man who had been demon-possessed, for he was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane.”
— Mark 5:15

Knowing yourself sounds simple, until you come to your senses and realize you really don’t know yourself as you’ve assumed. It’s not only the loose mouth that reveals the intents and contents of the heart; what you prioritize reveals the kind of life you want to live. What you do in secret, or say in the open reveals a lot of who you are inside. Pay attention to these secret-revealers. My counsel is to apply honesty and ask hard questions when it comes to yourself. Apply a lot of discernment and grace when dealing with others.

There’s a lot of humor and truth to this statement of Cullen Hightower. He said, “Laughing at your mistakes can lengthen your own life . . . laughing at someone else’s mistakes can shorten it.” I’m sure you were smiling, as well as thinking, while you read this. Have you ever asked yourself this hard question: “What does my fear reveal about me?” Prayerfully ask God to let you see these things so you can depend on Him.

The crowd was frightened upon seeing the insane demoniac become sane. Were they not supposed to be glad to see a former captive set free? We can only speculate as to why they were afraid of the sane, rather than the insane. What did this fear show about the kind of society they had? Was their fear due to shock, or surprise? Perhaps they thought the “case” was hopeless until hope came and became a reality. Perhaps, they now saw the man as a threat to their own interests—as competition in business, or as an influential follower of Christ. These are my speculations; what are yours?

The bottom line is their fear revealed their hearts and their concerns. What about your fears—what do they reveal? Do you see the ugly head of envy towards someone else’s success? Or does your fear reveal a burning consciousness of doing what’s right in God’s sight? The list goes on and on. What’s important is we learn from what our fears reveal and humbly surrender them to the Lord, so He may be glorified even in the worst of life’s scenarios. Bring yourself to a corner and honestly ask yourself why you’re afraid. Learn from your fear and pay attention to what it reveals about you or the people around you.

— This excerpt is taken from Moments of Grace written by Arnel C. Tan and published by OMF Literature Inc. To get the full devotional in print or digital format, please visit any OMF Lit and Passages Bookshop or go to www.passages.com.ph