Last week, we examined ourselves, specifically the ignored, unwelcome, unwanted parts we continually try to hide. We learned that prayer takes us into the secret place with God so He can begin His transformation of us to our best selves. This week, we’ll go deeper into knowing ourselves as sinners. Take a minute to compare your real self with your ideal self.
It's challenging, isn’t it? We are all masters of delusion which makes it hard to know our real selves from our ideal selves. Why? Most of us learned in childhood to present ourselves in flattering ways, in other words, to fake it. We are willing to embrace reality when it complements how we see ourselves; yet not so much when life shows us areas with which we aren’t as happy. Often it is an unconscious coping mechanism which distorts reality. Jeremiah describes it this way, in Jeremiah 17:9, saying, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
This deceit and self-deception is a defense mechanism we have all employed at one time or another. In fact, they are exactly what the original sin is all about! When we recognize ourselves as sinners and work on our self-awareness, we begin to recognize areas of our lives which are not as they should be. We are all sinners, with a testimony much like the Apostle Paul who said in Romans 7, bemoaned the fact, when he said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
We are sinners, but the good news is we are deeply loved sinners. As we continue our journey to know ourselves, may we each confess our sin and self-deception and allow God to overwhelm us with His great love. His love for us is unconditional. He loves us just as we are – sinners saved by grace.
It’s not too late to join us in our journey. Pick up your copies of A Year to a Better You, the year-long devotional, and the companion S.O.A.P. Journal and come along with us as we discover our best selves.