Finding Myself

“The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of ‘little Christs’, all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. He made them all. He invented— as an author invents characters in a novel—all the different men that you and I were intended to be. In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him. It is no good trying to ‘be myself’ without Him. The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires. In fact what I so proudly call ‘Myself’ becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop. What I call ‘My wishes’ become merely the desires thrown up by my physical organism or pumped into me by other men’s thoughts or even suggested to me by devils…Propaganda will be the real origin of what I regard as my own personal political ideas. I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call ‘me’ can be very easily explained. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”

The above is a selected devotional from C.S. Lewis book “Mere Christianity.”  In Philippians 3:12-14, the apostle Paul addresses this very topic of our true identity being found in Christ,

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

What the apostle Paul is writing to us about is that our identity is solid and certain when we are trusting in and following the teachings of Jesus Christ and our calling to pursue Christ-like virtues.  This passage informs us of the goal of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord. We are to become more like Christ. Otherwise, we are left to our own devices to “find ourselves” and be the “authentic me” which is vague, variable, and uncertain.  We can know God’s will for our lives as we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. We are not to pursue our own judgements and perspectives as Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:15,16,

14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

God’s guidance through these passages is to find our true identity and calling as Christians rather than trying to guide our own self-directed journey with the goal of “finding myself.”  I have learned not to trust in my own judgment and wisdom but in all my ways to acknowledge God  (Proverbs 3:5,6).