Have you ever done anything and thought to yourself that this was not really what you are like? Or acted in such a way that you, and others said something to the effect of “I don’t even recognize who you are anymore?” Because we get off track and lose sight of who we really are and what we truly value. A proper view of ourselves and the ability to know ourselves, according to John Calvin, is a pre -requisite for truly knowing God. If we don’t know who we are how in the world could we know what areas of our lives God needs to work on, how do we know if we are growing or getting off track and how do we recognize our passions and desires and evaluate them in relation to Scripture and the Spirit? If we are not sure of what we see or mistakingly think we are something we are not, we deceive ourselves. Saint John wrote in 1 John 1:8-9: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Jesus said: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32).
We can live like the crow at our window, banging away after a false enemy…a distortion of our selves. A reflection, but not really who we are, good or bad. Or we can view ourselves through the lens of Scripture, through the eyes of Jesus, through the grace of the Spirit and have a valid view of who we are and how God sees us. This takes time and work, patience and process. It is more than a quick prayer before taking communion once a month. It is a life of self examination found in prayer, silence, solitude and reflection. It is a life of prayer and Scripture where we meet Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then we will know the truth. Then we will be set free.