Sunday, July 4, 2021

God's Help over Self Help (Revised)

I picked up a self-help book recently.  It began with an inspirational story, then moved to a bunch of platitudes then began to instruct me on how I could find my authentic self by focusing on myself more and beginning to getting to know myself better...  Let me clearly state that while this may have some value, self-awareness is beneficial, it is not the ultimate to the secret to finding your true self.  The assumption is that it is buried deep inside you and if you concentrate hard enough you will find yourself.  This is not true.  Sin has obscured your perception of who you are.   Even at your best, you do not know your true self.  It is not somewhere to discover internally, if you dig deep enough. 

The hope of self-help is that if you just try harder you will succeed.  This is false.  When you are dealing with a sin issue you need the power of grace to overcome your fear and compulsion to hide.  Your compulsion to reject his way and to create an identity that you believe will meet the standards of others is so ingrained that supernatural transformation is needed from your creator.  You cannot do this by yourself.  The same effort that got you there cannot get you out.  It is you plus the power of God through the Holy Spirit that will help you rebirth the true self in you.

How do I discover my true self?  Since it was lost in your choice to take control and handle things yourself, it begins with submission to your creator.  You must go back to where you started.  It is found in connecting to the ultimate source of life and love.  God, your transcendent, loving creator grieves your confusion, loss, and pain.   He wants to embrace you show you yourself in that embrace.  He wants to love you unconditionally.  He wants you to rest in that love so that you can quit feeling the need to pretend and disguise your true self.  He wants to affirm you and show you that he made you exactly the way that he intended.  When you connect to Him you will begin to experience a level of growth and awareness unsurpassed.  It will result in what you were seeking by focusing on yourself.  It will give you confidence that allows you to be yourself and choose not to hide or create a mask when you are with others.  It will bring the satisfaction and fulfillment that you have been seeking, even if you didn't know exactly what you were seeking.  So while you can get some benefit from self-awareness, don't forget that your Creator knows you best.  He is a logical place to begin.  It is the relationship that opens the door to real growth.  It creates an exchange of love that you need.  Like the prodigal in Luke when he sees your move toward Him, He comes running to meet you(Luke 15:11-32).

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