You’re not who you think you are.
Isn’t that a scary thought? The person that you’ve always envisioned yourself to be, however close or far from the truth, isn’t who you think you are. Who you think you are is simply that – who you think you are.
Humans are good at this by nature. We like to think that we are innately good people. I’m sure that the “bad” or “annoying” people in your life don’t think they’re bad or annoying. People don’t tend to think that way about themselves (unless they’re wallowing in self-pity, which is an entirely different blog post.)
I mean, Hitler thought what he was doing was “right” in his own mind. That’s a bit of a drastic example, but it’s true. Think about politicians in general – they’re great at this. However they are portrayed to you on a TV screen, whatever news you read about them, they usually think that their values and perceptions line up with the way things should be. And you may disagree, because your perceptions are different. You may percieve them as selfish or out-of-touch. And with so many scandals popping up in the news recently, it’s easy to distrust anyone who claims to have authority. Because they’re not who we thought they were.
So why do we construct who we think we are or should be in our heads? Because it’s only natural. Self-perception is innate and comes from a variety of feedback we recieve from the world around us. People tell you you act like your mom – you percieve yourself as being like your mom. Pop culture tells you that blondes are dumb – if you’re blonde, you might percieve yourself as dumb. You might take on traits and characteristics based on feedback as well, in order to enhance your self perception. Girls your age dye their hair, so you do too, et cetera.
But it’s still not who we are. It would be too easy if that’s all there was to it. We would constantly be morphing, becoming different people based on who we think we are when we wake up in the morning (haven’t you ever gotten out of bed wishing you were someone else?) Change is a bit slower than that and it’s often hard to see until further down the road. People do change, but usually not into their ideal self-perception.
So where do we find who we are? We can’t always say we are our job. Our job may change in the next few years. We can’t always say we are our family. Our family isn’t going to be around forever, and bigger influencers may come into our lives as we grow up. It can’t be a dollar amount, or a spouse, or a child. It can’t be a degree, or a vehicle, or a brand. We can use these things to fluff up who we think we are, to project ourselves to the world. But all of these things are finite.
It’s a natural, human thing to adapt and project. The truth is, we are born with holes. We try to fill these holes with different things, things I’ve mentioned before: a job, a spouse, a success story; or possibly you try to fill it with more incendiary things like drugs, alcohol, and reckless sexual exploits. These things might fill you for awhile, but that hole can never quite get filled. We’re like broken jars: whatever we put in, it will continue to leak out.
Why am I talking about this? Why am I making you, and myself, come face-to-face with what you need and what you think you need? Maybe it’s because I’m not who I thought I was and need to rethink that. Like I said, you’re constantly changing. No human being is stagnant or even stable. It would be stupid to believe that. There is very little in this world that we can rely on being constant, if anything at all.
Isn’t it great that we have a God who is the same every single day?
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Our souls come from a God who is unchanging. People at the time were so flabbergasted by who he was that they tried to equate him to one of the ancient prophets. That was the only logical explanation for what he was doing.
We like to think we know who we are. We like to think we know who other people are. But the thing is, we will always be works in progress. There’s something almost liberating about that thought.
And to be completely honest, who we all really are is Depraved. We are in need daily for a Savior. Someone to save us from who we are and who we think we are.
The unfortunate fact of this life is that we are never who we think we are. We can post whatever we want on Instagram, say whatever we want, update our LinkedIn however we see fit. We can choose friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, mentors, who solidify who we think we are, but it will never change the fact that who we are is needy, thirsty for something beyond the persona.
I think you know Who can fill the cracks. I think you know Who can fill you. Because that’s what it all points back to. Don’t be afraid to bare your dirty soul to Him. He wants to see you, not who you think you are. Oftentimes, we hide the darkest parts of ourselves from people, even people we love the most, because we’re afraid. I’m often afraid that people will see through me to who I truly am and be disappointed. I live in fear of letting people down.
But God wants it all. He wants every ounce of your fear and disappointment in yourself. He wants all of you, and He will never be disappointed by you. He will see your pain, your darkness, and know it in ways that no one else can.
Run to Him. Show Him your scars and open wounds. Show Him who you really are.