Today I randomly jumped back into a book I have not picked up in a few weeks and opened to a page that was exactly what I needed to read.
The section is on living faithful to your true self. If you have been following these writings you will know that the past twelve years have been about finding my true self and understanding who I am, not just as an individual, but also in Christ.
Searching for understanding of true self, is both a rewarding and convicting experience. To be sure, it can be a challenging search, because we are so unaccustomed to being our true selves, this process can seem impossible to know even where to begin.
Thomas Merton (A Trappist monk from France) once said: I love to clothe this false self and I wind experiences around myself with pleasures and glory with badges in order to make myself visible to myself and to the world, as if I were an invisible body that only becomes visible when something visible covered its surface. But there is no substance under the things with which I am clothed. I am hollow, and when they are gone there will be nothing left of me but my own nakedness and emptiness and hollowness.
I think we are all a little bit guilty of clothing ourselves in visible things so we can be seen the way we want to be seen, or so we can see ourselves the way we wish we were. But this is not true self. True self is being who we are without being controlled by the opinions or pressure from others.
Awakening the true seeds of self requires following God into the unknown and learning how to dismantle false self and allow true self in Christ to emerge.
Through Jesus’ prayer in John 17, He reminds us that the Holy Spirit has been given to us so that we may be our true self in Christ.
John 17:20-23 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.