There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self. — Benjamin Franklin

It’s fairly easy to get to know your mate. It’s a whole lot harder to be honest enough to get to know yourself and be humble enough to take responsibility for your flesh.

Carol is a counselor who helped my wife and me turn over a new leaf in our marriage. She has talked to so many people about their flesh that she’s identified numerous flesh patterns. Which ones might describe your natural bent?

  • Performance flesh: The hard worker. Well-adjusted, aggressive, outgoing, positive, motivated, driven, take charge kind of person.
  • Religious flesh: The “Good Christian.” Passive, nice, sweet, obedient, dutiful, pious, sanctimonious.
  • Superior flesh: The “snob,” outwardly proud, defensive, conceited, know-it-all. They look down on other people because they’re not as bright as they are.
  • Comfort flesh: The laid-back easy-going person, cautious, indecisive, unmotivated, and avoids conflict like the plague.
  • Victim flesh: Negative, complaining, defeated, self-pitying. They are often unforgiving and blaming.
  • Caretaker flesh: The enabler, rescuer, fixer. Often obsessive, nagging, overly responsible, overly protective.
  • Pleaser flesh: The nice guy. Compliant, submissive, compromising, self- neglecting. Has a hard time saying “no” and says “yes” to too much in order to feel accepted.
  • Indulgent flesh: The compulsive person. Obsessive, easily addicted, insatiable, thrill seeker, pleasure seeker.
  • Hostile flesh: The abusive, antisocial person. Angry, domineering, vengeful, quick tempered, hateful.

Anything sound familiar? (If not, you probably have religious or superior flesh!)

Holy Spirit, make me honest and humble so I can identify the patterns of my flesh. Lead me in the ways of Your love. Amen.

Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.