Easter Impact – Part 7a
E = Energy
A = Attitude
S = Success
T = Transformation
E = Excellence
R = RE-NEW-AL
You have put off the old self with its habits and have put on the new self.
This is the new being which God, the Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image,
in order to bring you to a full expression of himself.
There’s great mystery and often a lot of confusion when we start to speak about one’s “True Self”. Depending upon your religious background, this can be relatively normal, completely bizarre and for some, quite dubious. However, in the sense of healthy Christian faith the pursuit of the authentic self is simply discovering and sometimes scraping the cultural graffiti off of who you were created to be in the first place.
The first thing we need to get out of the way is that from a healthy Christian perspective, discovering your true self is not separate from or at the expense of your relationship with God. Thomas Merton, a 20th century Trappist monk, reminds us that we discover ourselves, who we really are by finding God. “It is essential to remember that who we truly are in the best possible sense is inextricably rooted in the Creator. The true beauty of who we were created to be, our gifts, talents, our best possible self is never discovered outside of this relationship with the divine because he is the source of who we are.”
That being said, contrary to some narrow Christian thought, God does not discourage us from discovering and being that person. God, by calling us deeper into himself, becomes the best way to realize our true self. When we talk about finding the true self, we are talking about that which is our core. It describes that foundational centre that is pure, authentic, life-giving and lovely. It is important that we don’t see this as a separate part, distinctive from the whole, rather that our true self is inextricably a part of an integrating whole. We discover this by allowing ourselves to be loved by God. The source of perfect love has the transformational effect like sunshine on Spring Flowers. The sun’s warmth awakens the seed, and it bursts forth from its slumber and blooms with all the created beauty intended.
This journey of discovery is more like being open to God or as the mystics describe it as waking up from sleeping. It is indeed as much a search for God as it is allowing ourselves to be found by God and in the light of this perfect love releases us to be who we really are! “To be a Christian is to be loved by God, pursued by God, and found by God.” (David Platt)