7.20.2005

During vacation I finally read a book I've been meaning to read for a while, The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery, by David G. Benner.

God has used that book to challenge my understanding of myself, my true self versus my false self. To be honest, I didn't think I even had a "false self". I thought of myself as rather authentic in most ways, without pretense. After reflecting on some of the book and his suggested exercizes, however, I'm convinced that I have a very real false self, and it often mascarades as a very spiritual and righeous true self.

One of the questions the reader is asked to ponder in an effort to discover his or her "attachements" which help to define our false self, the self we wish others to see and attribute to us, is "What makes you angry in other people?" What makes me angry is dissension in the Body of Christ. What makes me angry is disunity and carelessness with words toward other sisters and brothers in Christ.

Now, this is a very real, biblical concern. But, to my shock, I realized that what was really going on in my anger was a desire to control things, to have them my way (okay, I'm pretty sure this is obvious to others, but seeing yourself as you truly are is much more difficult than seeing others as they are!). I have been lableing these issues with spiritual titles (disunity, disharmony, dissension), quite often, but that is not the whole truth. I get angry because others don't conform to who I think they should be and who I like to perceive myself to be. If Benner is correct, then, my false self is about, in part, being perceived as a leader who has it all together, whose people will follow him wherever he leads, who is harmonious in all his relationships and only wants what God wants.

I don't know. I'm still processing this, but I felt this was as good a place as any to do so. What I've just written above doesn't really get to the heart of the matter, I know. Not yet, anyway. There is still some self-discovery yet to go.