“To thine own self be true.”
I’ve often written about this Shakespearean phrase from Hamlet. For me, it’s just such a dynamic human truth. I’m on it again today but with a little different slant.
Two Areas of Being True
I’m seeing two areas of “being true” that we have to have about ourselves: knowing who we are in our natural self, and knowing who we are in Christ. Both are so vital.
The deep spiritual work of knowing ourselves in the natural must be done in perfect honesty as the Spirit reveals it to us. The Spirit comes to show us our brutal being and we have to own it. As He shows us who we are in our sinful nature, we must say, “Yes, God, this is true. I am exactly what You say!” To not accept it is to call God a liar—a foolish path because He’s coming to set us free. It’s a deep work of acceptance where we need much forgiveness. To own my wretchedness is part of the transforming work of the cross. It’s finding out what I’ve been saved from. Part of the work of salvation is coming to know why I need a Savior. “To thine own self be true.”
Being True in Christ
The Spirit also reveals who I am in Christ. This can be equally as difficult to accept, especially if you’re a neurotic. I know my wretchedness but to receive the truth of who Christ is in me is quite another thing. But in reality it’s just as evil to fail to listen to the Spirit about this as it is to refuse His assessment of my human condition.
Knowing who we are in Christ is a must. It’s how He wants to reveal His life through us. Christ in me is His Life through me and to this I must be true. His envisioned life in us is His perfect will for us. We cannot experience His Life lived through us while outside of His will. So, “to thine own self be true” is being true to His idea of His own Life in us.
In my next post, I will discuss living in His Will versus the willfulness to live beyond that.
I had to laugh on the “equally as difficult” …how true! First I had difficulties to accept who I am, and then difficulties to accept who I was meant to be 😉 But what a freedom is in both.
What a relief in fact, when I gave in and saw I could not “repair” my me, it never worked – and then found out I was not even meant to!! Instead was meant to LET Him be Himself in me. Do nothing; just let. Big struggle.
And then biggest surprise of all: This works!
Thank you John. We will be attentive.
Love and care.