Summary: Today we’re going to consider the nature of the real you, beneath the surface.

The Real You

Series: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Brad Bailey – January 22, 2012


Who are you?

I realize that is a question that defies any simple answer… but it does raise the challenge of what might be involved in responding.

Today we’re going to consider the nature of the real you.

Last week we began our series entitled: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.

We began by considering how we can face the same tragedy as the Titanic….created with great pride and potential…we keep the party looking good on the upper deck…while below the surface… there is damage… and danger. Like the Titanic…there are warnings if we are willing to listen. This series is an opportunity to slow down and listen... and to look beneath the surface.

We all have a large part of who we are that is below the surface of our lives…. far more than we likely are even aware of.

From the moment we began to experience the world around us… it has never been fully safe to be alive. Our parents may have loved us deeply…but no parents love is perfectly unconditional. Every human life has there own insecurities and needs.

• Many of us know that there is a lot of good longings got quenched… or withdrawn… or misguided.

• We may have felt that to really be acceptable… we needed to have been a better student… be married… proved ourselves in a different career.

• We may have felt that we must not have been valuable enough for our parents to stay together.

• We may have felt certain feelings weren’t accepted or safe…and we may have tried to cut them off…. or bury them. We bury them in guilt…in shame… in fear. The problem of course is that most of what we bury….. we bury alive…deep perhaps…but alive. So much of our inner life… our hearts…are trying not to be who we are.

We all develop an upper and lower deck… the seen and unseen… the presented self and the protected self….the outside of the cup and the inside of the cup…the outer life and the inner life.

To become spiritually healthy involves becoming real…authentic.

And knowing our real selves is what we will consider this morning.

The idea of getting to know our true selves may strike us as a fairly common part of our modern culture. The recent decades seemed marked by the phrases such as ‘getting in touch with myself’… ‘you gotta find yourself… ‘gotta be true to yourself’… and of course you ‘gotta have it your way.’

Depending on what is involved in such pursuits… they may reflect something of what it means to become emotionally healthy as Jesus was… but it’s important that we grasp the difference from what can be simply a self centered pursuit. It is VITAL that we get a hold of the difference between the spiritual maturity of healthy self-awareness and the potentially spiritually stunting nature of self-absorption… that seems to be both prevalent if not problematic today.

A healthy approach to self-awareness can actually be what liberates us… saves us… from self-consumption…which proves to be our death.

What is the key to healthy self awareness?

True self awareness is bound together and centered in the knowledge of God.

To know who we really are we need to know who God is… and if we do not properly know our nature and condition, we will not truly know God.

• If someone believes that they are the center of the universe, they do not know themselves nor God well.

• If someone believes they are worthless, they do not know themselves not God well.

Self awareness is rescued from becoming self-centered and ultimately self-consuming by being centered in the knowledge of God.

Self awareness is essential to genuinely relate to others as others (i.e. differentiation, empathy, personal responsibility, etc)

If someone is not aware of what is personal to themselves, they will not relate with healthy care and respect for others. (Note that an infant has little ability to care for others as it has little awareness of itself as distinct from others.) [1] [2]

This is what we discover in…

The life and spirituality of David.

Unlike Saul whose life and leadership proved self-destructive…. David is a life whom God refers to as ‘a man after His own heart’ [3]

“The LORD has sought out for himself a man after his own heart.” -1 Samuel 13:14

And he is one who would stand forever as a model of relationship with God… and success in life.

David reveals something about a more integrated life. His young years tending to sheep gave him toughness and courage (that emerged in his rising up to defeat Goliath)…. But also time to reflect on the bigger nature of life and God (wrote many of the prayers and songs we know as the Psalms).

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