A friend of mine told me recently that some people seem to know God but they don’t know themselves. It’s a controversial statement, if I’ve ever heard one. I mean, how can one trace the ins and outs of the master of the universe but not be in touch with their little old self. Come on. How hard can it be? Apparently, for many, very hard.
The typical Christian has been taught to hide behind a veneer of godliness. Now, this is not taught overtly. It is more of an indirect, subtle indoctrination of keeping up appearances. If you say you follow the teaching of the greatest man who ever lived, then you should look the part, right? Seems fair.
But, what does that mean for the average Christian:
- If I’m having a bad day, then I shouldn’t say it or show it.
- If I’m struggling with same-sex attraction, then I’ll pretend that I’m straight.
- If my kids are running the streets, then I’ll say they’re not feeling well and can’t come to church this Sunday.
Simply stated, if I’m a Christian, then I must trade self-awareness for self-denial.
To be honest, this school of thought is — for the most part — well-intentioned.
We usually think these approaches are best:
1. We should be more preoccupied with God than ourselves because he’s our only hope to becoming our best self.
2. We need to be more focused on the not-yet-realized promises of God than on our current messy circumstances so we can stay sane.
3. Other people need to be inspired by us, not let down by us, and that’s how they’ll start believing in the power of Christ, too.
I’d like to challenge those three notions with a vote for self-awareness in one’s Christian walk.
Christians and self-denial
I’ve known about this self-denial practice for much of my life, yet found it particularly problematic in dealing with the opposite sex.
I would meet Christian guys who, for the sake of maintaining their Christian reputation with me, would not tell me the whole truth about their past and even present experiences. They would tell me tall tales.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Tiffani Knowles