We are challenged today to consider who we are under the surface of our identity. We all have layers. They are not the kind of onion layers that make us cry. But there is a spiritual process of knowing, owning, and transforming our internal identity. I think we all know that there are much deeper things going on inside than we let be known on the outside. Is that true for you?
Maybe you are one who says everything you think and acts on every impulse. Or maybe you are more closed than most. Either way, the spiritual process is the same. It often happens in three steps.
Step one involves letting your own self actually see and interact with your inner identity. Do you know that the best secrets we keep are often from ourselves? It is true. We can become convoluted in the way we see into our own hearts. We get captured by trying to be the person we think everyone thinks we should be! We work so hard at being something we are not...that before long the real self can no longer be found without an intentional search party being dispatched. Look deep, find who you are!
Second, we need to run a bit of an evaluation tool on the things we find. Is it really us in there? Have I hidden so long that I have developed a patina that no longer allows the refined gold to shine? We need to evaluate what we find in the light of Scripture and through the lens of trusted friends. Are you willing to take that risk?
Third, we need to allow ourselves to smile at what we find! It is easy to frown, feel bad, get guilty, connect to anger, be frustrated, or just lock it back in the cabinet of our heart never to be seen again. That is the easy part. The hard, and truly spiritual path, is to discover a way to enjoy what God has done in your life and smile. Smiles make growth much less painful!
Take a look, sift what you find, and smile at the hand of God that has shaped you in a wonderful way. Then give thanks to God for all the things you have. At the same time, you can stop feeling sorry for all the things you do not have.
Go deeper. That is where God resides!