Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Once Was Lost...

There is one phrase that really annoys me: "You just have to find yourself." I admit, I am guilty as charged of uttering this myself, but simply as a cliche when I had nothing else to say. Perhaps that it why it bothers me. It's a cliche. What does it really mean to "find yourself?"

If you have to find yourself, it implies that the essence of who you are is lost. This leads to the question, what is the essence of who you are? We can discover this by examining your priorities. There are some who are only concerned with worldly gains and pleasures: Making money, feeling good, being content. My brother gave me a good litmus test. Think of the 5 things that are most important for you to do in your lifetime. When you look at this list, how many things are just for your own temporary happiness rather than your eternal well being? The material things of this world are perishable, and everything has an expiration date. If you concern ourselves with only these things that won't last, then you surely are lost.

Jesus spoke numerous times about finding what is lost. These people were losing coins, sheep, even sons. Each of these have basically the same point, though. If we are lost, He will come looking for us. Let me repeat this: If we are lost He will come looking for us. Perhaps this is the root of what bothers me about trying to find yourself. It is not I who is finding myself, it is Christ finding me. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10 If you focus yourselves on your role in the Body of Christ rather than your gains in the material world, you then find yourself with a solid and eternal purpose.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote about "finding yourself," not in a self-serving worldly way, but rather in a way that serves the will of God.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24