Saturday, October 23, 2010

Being True to Myself?

The October 22, 2010 reports,

“President Barack Obama has issued a message exhorting young people who consider themselves homosexual to ‘be true to’ themselves and recognize their sexual tendencies as ‘a source of pride, and a source of strength.’”

This started me to think about how I might be true to myself, but I immediately encountered many perplexing questions. If I feel a strong urge to take revenge, should I act upon it? Would I not be true to myself if I didn’t? If I feel that it might be a lot of fun to ridicule or bully another, would that make it “right” for me? Perhaps closer to home, should I consume unlimited amounts of chocolate whenever the urge presents itself? Would I then be true to myself?

Even when I tried to apply this principle to sexual matters, I found that it still didn’t sit right. If my sexual appetite paralleled my insatiable chocolate appetite, should I sample every woman in the workplace? And does acting upon my urges become a “source of pride” or a “source of strength?” Would my wife and children also agree about such a new-found “pride” and “strength?” Should I even be concerned about what they think? After all, don’t I need to “be true to” myself?

But does being “true to” myself require me to pursue my feelings? Does this truth require self-expression or self-reflection? In this regard, Thomas A Kempis stated, “We must not trust every word of others or feeling within ourselves, but cautiously and patiently try the matter, whether it be of God.”

This raises the question, “Who am I? Am I the sum total of my desires, or should I be defined by other things – choices, commitments, and principles?” What will provide for me an enduring “source of pride?” I can think of nothing that edifies me more than knowing that,

• “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20).

What can give me more pride than knowing that the God of all creation and truth loves me with a love that is indestructible and goes beyond all understanding (Eph. 3:17-19). Instead, being true to myself is being first true to my Savior (Matthew 6:33).

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