We mature the most as sons and daughters of God, when we seek to know God for Himself and as He is – and are not trying to maintain already held beliefs or prop up an already revered belief system. This is why the pure in heart – those without a hidden agenda - see God as He is and the less pure are stuck with a blurry version of God and themselves.
This is to say we will advance spiritually and in every sphere when we pursue truth for its own sake – because truth is life.
Truth is who God is. Truth is an accurate experience of what God has done for us and truth is an authentic living out of who we are in our participation in His Plan. If God is truth as Father, we are truth as sons.
WHO ARE YOU?
The core truth of living is to know who we are. We have a secure sense of being and a solid sense of identity when our sense of being is based on fact. When our sense of self is intrinsic to our person. That is, we are rejoicing as ourselves and the self we have possessed and the real self that has possessed us is. This is who we actually are in spirit and in truth.
A sense of self, an identity with honour is a commodity that we don’t have naturally. It’s something we acquire (Or we think we must). So we seek to earn a sense of self and status and we strive to protect it both consciously and unconsciously. We might seek to get our status from outside the self by attachment to communities of belief, by public displays of performance and by the occupancy of roles to which is attached some status. So ‘how we look’ is made to stand in for who we are.
STRIVING TO BE
This is a life project peculiar to our life in Adam. Achieving honour, maintaining status and avoiding shame is pursued as the realisation of our being as something of worth. At heart it is the attempt to be worthy of God and to ‘be as gods.’ It is pursued because we sense that we have no inherent dignity – no inherent dignity either because we have defined ourselves as a being who has evolved from a mollusc or having no inherent dignity because we living in separation from God. Even though we have this inheritance: This union with God that is our treasure in a jar of clay we have contained ourselves in the old covenant of law and separation.
So what is the effect? We seek significance in externalities. The externalities we are pursuing are the false symbols of who we desire to be. We adopt these externalities as our self. We rely on them because we have decided that this is who we are. Because that’s all we have. These accoutrements become more important than who I really am. They become the false self that we are not.
Here’s the rub and the lie. The status we get from such externalities is ephemeral. It has no real substance. It can go as quickly as it came. If based on fables it can be an illusion. If bestowed on us when we don’t deserve it by people without discernment and no true sense of self, it will become a snare, a stumbling block and we will be a blind leader of the blind in our sphere.
SHADOW AND REAL
We can live life yet have never lived because we have never lived as our real selves. We have spent our lives in externalities and other people’s expectations. It’s what Jesus meant by gaining a life and losing who you really are. This is why we should seek Christ as our life and not substitutes for life like religion and denominational affiliation.
Joe had a near death experience following a heart attack. He was not a religious yet he found himself in conversation with Jesus. Jesus asked him what he had done that he thought valuable in life. Joe began listing the kinds of externalities we have mentioned here – the kinds of things we imagine confer status and significance. Jesus laughed and said, ‘I didn’t mean that. What I meant was how successful have you been at being yourself?’
‘What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?’ Matt 16.26 NIV. This scripture is not about missing out on heaven. It’s about missing out on you.