Shakespeare once wrote," To thine own self be true." Is there a place in the Christian life for knowing oneself ....and how can this be achieved?
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At age 82, I haven't yet figured this out. I would like to suggest that for a Christian, chasing after the answer to this question is not only a distraction, but dangerous. God's purpose in this life is to make me like Jesus. The end result, as expressed in Jude 24, is: "Now to Him Who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing... " Exploring yourself is covered by a great range of social sciences including psychology, psychiatry, and many others. It's also very big business, with zillions of books, seminars, and large and small groups exploring the depths of this subject. Problem: No matter how high the caliber of the Christians trying to explain all this, the focus is on you. But our focus must be on knowing Jesus: "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection... " (Philippians 3:10) That's how He makes us like Himself. So why start exploring yourself, what you were or what you are, instead of hanging out with and getting to know the One Whose purpose in your life is to transform you into what you are becoming: He's making you to be like Him! There are thousands of good Christian counselors who believe that in order to get free from your sins and problems and shortcomings, you must first understand them. I believe that the mere act of zeroing in on your problems and sins and shortcomings, and charting your progress out of them, puts your focus on yourself, not on Him. Our Wonderful Counselor, the Holy Spirit, is far more highly qualified to point out and convict us of all our sin and unrighteousness than all the shrinks in the world. And, as He convicts us, the Scriptural response as given by all the prophets, John the Baptist, Paul, and especially Jesus Himself, is Repent! My understanding of Repent! Is, I make a deliberate decision, here and now, that from this time on, I'm going to submit to Him being the boss and happily agreeing to everything He sees fit to use in changing me from being my old miserable self into becoming like Him... which process is, of course, different for each one of us! "And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit." (II Corinthians 3:17-18) The result: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." (I Corinthians 13:12) One way of making this happen is listening to your favorite translation of God's Word on your iPod or cell phone every minute you can, like when driving or walking someplace, or on purpose. He calls this "the washing of The Word." To me, it's His downloading, as Phillips translates Romans 12:2: "Don't let the World around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within... " Now, doesn't that beat the socks off of "getting to know yourself"?
To truly know ones self is to see ourselves through God's eyes. This is possible by reading the Word of God, the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:13 "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." In order to have a Christian life or existence one has to have a personal salvation experience, to be saved, born again, redeemed. We have to truly know God and be known by God. A salvation experience is brought about by the Holy Spirit of God who "quickens" or makes us spiritually alive. This is accomplished by him speaking to us by and through His Word, the Bible. In this new God-given state of spiritual awareness we for the first time truly see ourselves as God sees us. This is reality, an awareness of who we are and where we stand before our creator. This same Holy Spirit then presents Jesus Christ, The eternal Son of God who became man that he could die for our sin, the only one who can save any of us from sin, death and hell. Having been presented with this truth the individual is drawn and compelled with an irresistible desire for this forgiveness and wonderful salvation. Have you experienced God's wonderful redemption? Are you saved? If not, please take a minute to read these verses and do a reality check. Romans 5:12 James 2:19 Ephesians 2:8-9 Acts 4:12 Romans 10:9-10
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