Know Thyself!

Most of us profess that we want to be with people who are ‘just who they are,’ who are real but, at the same time we are tempted to create an image.  We can look good on in our social media, posting images that catch us in our best moments. It’s a sad line that has been repeated a million times  – ‘May your life be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook.™’  Ooh, that stings.  How refreshing to be with someone who has learned to be himself, who knows who he is, his strengths and gifts.  A person who is self-aware may not be perfect, but she is relatable and warm, capable of genuine empathy, able to correct course readily.

A ‘wannabe’ is “a person who copies the behavior, customs, or dress of an admired person or group.” Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes pathetic, and sometimes down- right annoying. Just about anyone can pull off playing a role for a time but the a lack of authenticity becomes obvious when real skill is demanded. The wannabe, because he hasn’t put in the time learning the skills, getting the education, and developing the art, is unable to come through in the crunch. 

The real tragedy in a ‘wannabe’s’ life is the emptiness. The lack of substance and/or accomplishment makes his life a lie. The wannabe never finds out who he really is or what he is really capable of doing. Focused on trying to be somebody else, he misses the joy of being who God created him to be, joyfully filling the place in this world that God, through spiritual gifts, experiences, and opportunities, creates just for him.

The Bible says – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:2-3, NLT)   

A basic fact is this – each of us is a unique creation. We do not all shine with the same  brightness but we are equally valuable! God loves YOU.  He won’t love you more if you learn to imitate some great saint or if you learn to play the role of your favorite Christian hero. Choosing to merely ‘act like a Christian’ is a sure way to short-circuit the realty of the life of the Holy Spirit in you.

Self-acceptance can be difficult. Looking in the mirror- physically and spiritually – reveals parts of ourselves that are not always pretty. Growth in the Spirit and true joy in our place in this world are impossible for those who simply refuse to face the facts. As that passage I quoted a moment ago teaches, God doesn’t do ‘make-overs.’ He does transformations.  In His care and by His power each one of us can aspire to become an authentic saint. This transformational process is called sanctification. That just a big word for ‘becoming like Christ’ through the school of the Spirit! There will be blunders along the way, but – if we are committed to Him and to being authentic- we can be sure that His promise – “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)- will be true.

The many stories of people used by God that are told in the Bible reveal a common theme- He uses cracked pots, broken people, making them whole, gifting them to do His will in the world.
David was a murdering adulterer who gave us the hymnal of worship. 
Peter was a waffling coward who became the leader of the Church.
Paul was a religious zealot, full of self-righteousness, who became the messenger of God’s grace freely given us in Christ. 

What can He do with you, my friend?  In a phrase – “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV)   It starts with humbly turning to Him, receiving the life you have, not the one you think you deserve, and living as a genuine follower of Christ Jesus.

The word from the Word – “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, NIV)

(Video of this blog at this link)


Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me

What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer
There is no more for heaven now to give
He is my joy my righteousness and freedom
My steadfast love my deep and boundless peace

To this I hold my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to his
Oh how strange and divine I can sing all is mine
Yet not I but through Christ in me

The night is dark but I am not forsaken
For by my side the Saviour he will stay
I labour on in weakness and rejoicing
For in my need his power is displayed

To this I hold my Shepherd will defend me
Through the deepest valley he will lead
Oh the night has been won and I shall overcome
Yet not I but through Christ in me

No fate I dread I know I am forgiven
The future sure the price it has been paid
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And he was raised to overthrow the grave

To this I hold my sin has been defeated
Jesus now and ever is my plea
Oh the chains are released I can sing I am free
Yet not I but through Christ in me

With every breath I long to follow Jesus
For he has said that he will bring me home
And day by day I know he will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne

To this I hold my hope is only Jesus
All the glory evermore to him
When the race is complete still my lips shall repeat
Yet not I but through Christ in me

When the race is complete still my lips shall repeat
Yet not I but through Christ in me
Yet not I but through Christ in me

Jonny Robinson | Michael Farren | Rich Thompson

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Farren Love And War Publishing (Admin. by Integrity Music)

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