To Thine Own Self Be True

Mel Gibson as Hamlet

Jennifer’s recent post “Are You Intact?” is so amazing! Not only the post itself but the work I’m seeing Jennifer do in her life. She’s taking full possession of herself and her choices and it’s an amazing sight to see. She’s becoming freer than ever to be and experience all that is Jennifer. And as this has taken place, so has her embrace of all that He wants to be around, about and through her. In light of her recent posts, I wanted to finish one I’ve been writing for weeks.

I’ve found that I have to live in the integrity of my own heart. We all have to be who we are in actuality. Shakespeare had it right when he said, “To thine own self be true.”  And I’ve always connected this statement with Hamlet’s haunting question two Acts later: “To be or not to be: that is the question.”  If we are unwilling to be ourselves, we commit suicide to our personhood. To be or not to be…  Will we be right in our own integrity, or will we kill ourselves with a false mask?

“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

To be, or not to be: that is the question!

If we’re not being our true self, then we end up annihilating ourselves. We inflict deep wounds on our own souls. We may not register a wound or even feel the hurt, but this is only if we have calloused our heart and trained it not to be. In reality, it’s a mortal wound upon our person. It’s a moment-by-moment choice to die to the one God Himself made. And the more our hearts are wounded in this manner, the less we will feel the effects of our self-murder. The evidence is that we’re robbed of all joy, and that payoff is way too high. But more than that, being untrue prevents us from experiencing true lasting Life.

God created us and we have to be true to our own self. To do otherwise is to deny our real self and resist our own reality. We have to come to God as we were fashioned, raw and unadulterated. This is a daunting task, I know! How many of us embrace ourselves in totality? Here a change, there a change, everywhere I change to change. But there’s a perfect purpose in our forming – a God-ordained choosing of how He made us. Even our negatives, which we often refuse, have their place in His perfect order. And here’s the kicker: all those weaknesses in our personality that we fight are just solidified through that opposition. Our refusal to be locks us in, rather than freeing us up.

Once we own ourselves, warts and all, then we have an intact gift to give the Father. What?! That’s right! When I’ve received and accepted the truth about me, taking possession of who I am, then I have a gift to give to God.  I can then give Him the man He has created me to be—and who I really am in Him.  Only when “to thine own self be true” becomes my reality can I fully receive God’s gift of a new me – and “to my NEW self be true.” We have to leave our concepts and embrace His. Our Creator’s thoughts and mind is above ours.  Only as we come into the reality of who we think we are, can we enter into the actuality of who we are in our new creation.

Imagine! To the degree that I embrace my story and myself, to this degree, I will experience Christ’s manifestation of Life in me.  My unrestricted heart towards myself equals His unfettered expression towards me.  Wherever I refuse to accept my life and resist my story, in that place, I’ll hinder His very movement.  I see and “be”—and then He comes to be all in me.

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!
John 1:47 AMP

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    • lori

      Beautiful – and so perfect today – thank you John (and Jennifer) – reminds me of Nell …
      Love !

    • Sam

      This is so true John… we can only meet (receive) His forgiveness when we are true to ourselves. This doesn’t mean we must love sin (“because He made me so”). I know some people that seeks to justify their sin this way. “He made me so… I am just being/doing as He made me.”

      It is completely different. This just means we are sinners in raw need of forgiveness (which is cleansing.) This is John’s words (the other one in the Bible):

      “We are sinners but He is faithful to forgive us (IF we recognize we are sinners, being truthful to ourselves… and to Him)”

      I get message high and clear, John.


    • Sandy

      So true John, the road to “being” begins with accepting…I’m sure most people really want to be free, but the accepting part really stands in the way! I might accept the FACT that I have warts, but to embrace them is a whole other issue!!
      I think that the flip side of this coin is also true – not wanting to recognize ones natural qualities/strengths/beauty…

      • John Enslow

        So true! How about even seeing that which God calls beautiful as beautiful. Unfortunately, I sometimes have seen what He says is beautiful in me as not so beautiful. Was taking about one of them last night with a good friend. I have had big contention in the area of reading in my life. And God told me that He had a totally different view than mine. I have had to bow to His view and it really has set me free. Maybe I’ll write a post about it. Thank you Sandy for your comments and encouragement! Bless you!!!

        • Sandy

          “How about even seeing that which God calls beautiful as beautiful.”

          Oh John…Thank you, these words crushed me…I felt like crying…

          And what to say of seeing that which is beautiful as beautiful: IN OTHERS!!!

          Oh man, I don’t know what to say.
          I’m just crying…

    • Irene

      “Will we be right in our own integrity, or will we kill ourselves with a false mask?” The part that is difficult for me is allowing the time and hurt for the false mask (or masks) to be revealed and removed by the Holy Spirit. Yet I know that true freedom to be the masterpiece He created as per Eph. 2:10, will be the result. So why do I tarry? You are right John, “Are You Intact” and now this post of yours, are amazing. Deep calls unto deep . . .

    • Tina

      Often I have denied who I was in an effort to be who I thought I ought to be.

    • Sharon

      amen John!

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