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The Unfolding of Our True Selves

“I have discovered that inviting the Spirit to help me become more like Jesus produces much better results than trying to be ‘the best version of myself.’”

James Bryan Smith

Sometimes the Christian walk can feel more like striving than thriving. I want to be God’s holy vessel, so in the past, I’ve set goals for my behavior and speech to be more Christ-like. I muster up sheer willpower in my endeavor to try to sin less. Sanctification is an ongoing process, much like the undertaking of discovering who God created each of us to be. We don’t need to put the effort in or to try by grunting or pushing, or by making something out of our lives. I believe becoming our true selves looks less like striving and more like an unfolding, much like how a flower blossoms.

A rose doesn’t think, If I do this, then one of my petals will begin to open. No, it’s more within them, in their nature how God created them. It’s natural, not requiring any thought or decision. Even if it wanted to, the flower couldn’t stop the process of blossoming into what its Creator designed it to be. Likewise, we simply need to be and let the Holy Spirit unfold us for His good pleasure. “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

The more we get to know God, the more we get to know our true selves and our identity in Him. As I spend time in God’s presence and reflect on who He is and the passions, giftings, strengths, and weaknesses He’s given to me, the more likely God’s design for me will unfold without any effort from myself. I just need to take the time and become aware of how He’s created me and in turn that will point to the direction of His assignments for me.

What are you particularly good at? What comes easy to you, like it’s in your nature? What do you love to do? Your answers to these questions help define who you are, the person God created you to be. The unfolding of God’s divine design does not require striving to be someone. When you discover who that is and walk in your true self, you will experience a greater sense of purpose, significance, and contentment. And the agreement of who you are and who God made you to be, will give you peace.

“I must become the unique person I am meant to be. The more I become what my Creator called me to be originally, the more I will be united with my divine origin.”

Fr. Adrian van Kaam

Relevant Reflections:

  1. How have you been striving to be your true self?

  2. In what ways can you allow yourself to unfold?

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