Sunday, March 23, 2014

Your True Self v Off the Rack Personalities

In the world to come I will not be asked, “Why were you not Moses.” I shall be asked, “Why were you not Zusya?” 
-Rabbi Zusya

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
-Søren Kierkegaard

The Psalmist declares that we were fearfully and wonderfully made. This is not solely a declaration regarding the wonders of bones and muscles, organs and neurons, but about that which makes you a once in all eternity human being. Your existence is a gift from God and you are His gift to the world in which you live.
Yet how many of us spend our lives seeking to be other than whom we were created to be, effectively telling our Creator that we reject His gift, His designs, and His purposes for our existence? True peace and joy are found in being the individual whom you were created to become, for only that person “fits” in the grand scheme of God’s designs.
Your identity is not out there hanging on a sales rack. It can’t be found for $599 at a seminar promising that you can reinvent yourself. What does it say about us when we scurry around trying on personalities like clothes off of a rack, seeking to be loved, honored, and successful—not as God defines those experiences but as our culture defines them? Whatever it is we think we are doing, all we will end up with is emptiness and despair.
In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, author Bonnie Ware writes that the number one regret of those who are facing impending death is that they wish they had “the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” I would add here, “and not the life I lived in reaction to those who did not believe in me, seeking to prove them wrong.” Whatever. The point is you have a knowing-ness as to your true self: all other personality makeovers don’t fit, trouble you, and make you into someone you don’t recognize when alone with God.
We are not self-authenticating because our self is a gift given to us by our Creator. Sure, many of us want to be other than who we are because our culture has exalted personality-types and lifestyles that help us all feel good about being narcissists and condemned those that dampen the party. But we won’t be standing before our culture when we die: we will stand before the One who said, “Let there be … you!”
Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2014

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Monte! On a side note, your recent quotes of Kierkegaard, make me want to spend more time with him. In my philosophical reading, I have inadvertently neglected him.