Monday 27 September 2010

The Meaning of "Being Yourself" by Fred Pruitt

I really recommend you following Fred Pruitt's blog
It has only recently come to me in a deeper way how much the words, “be yourself,” cause a stir among people who consider themselves the “redeemed” of God.

When I have written those words in the past, I don’t think I really realized how they hit people. It seems, to some, to be the philosophy of “the world.” Indeed, it is the modern cry of the more psychologically astute society we live in. Asserting one’s “self” and not letting others drag or tear us down is a personal theme of these current times.

But that needn’t lessen the meaning of those words to those who have inwardly received, through Jesus Christ, the “Divine Nature.” Because hearing the words “be yourself” and to, as a Christian, be afraid of them as if they are somehow license to sin, is to completely miss the meaning. The fear in being troubled by those words presupposes that one’s “self” in Christ is somehow wrong, and a thing to be avoided and nullified if possible.

The opposite of “be yourself” would be to “be something you’re not.” Wouldn’t it?

To be something we’re “not,” would, then, necessarily, involve putting on some sort of mask or costume, to appear as if we are not really who we are. We don’t like our “real self” as we perceive it, and therefore seek to put forth a “better” representation of ourselves, playing a part we think others, including God, want to see.

That’s what “the law” is all about. The “law” involves “putting on” something from the outside, a set of rules or goals, that we think by putting on and acting as if this is really us, will somehow grease the wheels and get God into action.

Years ago I was traveling on business. I was up for a break from driving and I saw a Christian bookstore in a little strip mall, so I decided to stop and check it out. I went into the little shop and started browsing the shelves, when the lady-owner came over and stood beside me. Instead of just greeting me and asking if she could help me, instead she clasped her hands in a “holy manner” and said, “May I say that God loves you and I love you in Jesus Christ?”

Now, there’s obviously nothing wrong with that statement. A Great statement! But there was something in the way the woman said it, that seemed forced, or false, and all I could think about was getting out of there. Not that the lady didn’t mean it in the sense that she WANTED it to be true — she WANTED it to be true that she loved me in Christ — but the statement was almost screaming to me “this isn’t really true, but I’m saying it to you in hopes that it is!”

Now of course, the joke is, the statement WAS true! If she was indeed in Christ, and I had no reason to think she wasn’t, then she DID love me completely in Christ Jesus. She didn’t have to say it or prove it. It simply was the fact between us! But, my impression was that from her perspective, she didn’t KNOW it was already fact, and she was trying to make up for it by this forced, insincere-sounding statement.

Crazy, huh? Trying to be Who we already are?

Comment by Chris Welch
Somewhat puzzled I heard Mother Basilea Schlink say Go the way of the Lamb , it is a way of great power. This was Lutheran speak, or perhaps Older saints speak for one of the greatest truths in the universe. Forget Superman, although even he had his Clark Kent….the most powerful force in the universe, (a bit like the unstoppable grass stalks that dislodge huge slabs of concrete)is the naked life of Christ. We, as Christ did with His Father, go around as ourselves, without flash add-ons, “helpful extras”, nope….just naked…just us….but conscious of Him living His life as us….and we follow that life through all the rat holes,all the situations that very life causes us to be in….like a helpless Lamb to the slaughter….but somehow God does this crazy superman stuff around us…currently opening the world up to this new idea of Christ living as us….maybe opening cities up…maybe the odd individual here and there suddenly in the Kingdom. And we have this deep knowing that it is Christ working this stuff in us. Why are we so sure? Because…everywhere…just everywhere right through the New Testament epistles it says this is how things will be. Its running right through like lettering through a stick of Blackpool rock

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