|The Person I Want you to Think I
This is pure facade. It is the hypocrite who wears masks and uses psychological makeup to give a false impression. This is the manipulator who tries to present an image to others of what he really isn't. It is the fake in us. It is the world of pretending and deceptions. Not only do we deceive others, but we deceive ourselves. It is hard to stop playing the game of make-believe once you begin. (Cf. Mark. 7:6-15, 20-23; Galatians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 3:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6).
The Person You Think I Am
Here lies my "blind spots." I can't see them, but you can. We all have these areas, and they are not all bad. Some of us can't see the good characteristics and qualities in our own lives. This area has its strengths and its weaknesses. This is a great potential for personal and spiritual growth. (Cf. 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-13; 1 Corinthians 1:10).
The Person I Think I Am
This is the person I know and see. It is, as best I can tell, the real me. These are my self-perceptions, dreams, hopes, ambitions, etc. Much of this person I do not know how to articulate, and a lot I am afraid to share with others. It has its good, wholesome, positive, Christ-centered characteristics. It also recognizes the flesh, sin and weaknesses. This person I can share with you if I so desire. You can know this person only to the degree that I am open, honest, genuine and transparent (Cf. 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; Romans chapters 6-8).
The Person Neither of Us Knows
This is the part hidden deep within me. It contains the concealed secrets of my subconscious mind. Only the Spirit of God knows this part of my life. Jeremiah, the prophet, realized this when he wrote: "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Cf. Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 1:6; Mark 7:20-23; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; 13:12, NIV; Romans 1:21ff).
The Person that I Want to Become
This is the person I am becoming by the grace of God. This represents all my hopes, desires, goals, ambitions, etc. Who is it I want to become in the Christian life? If I were guaranteed 100% success at doing something in the next three years, what would I do? The Apostle Paul understood this aspect of spiritual growth when he wrote 1 Corinthians 2:9-16.
Some Abiding Principles
- Each of us has potentials for growth that we have never considered before. Some of these are hidden from our eyes. We need someone to point out these possibilities and help us find the resources for personal growth and development (Cf. Colossians 1:27-29; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:10-14; 2 Corinthians 2:8).
- It is easy to wear psychological makeup. Not only do we deceive others, but we deceive ourselves. When we ask ourselves the question "Who am I?" we really don't know, and we are afraid to find out. Do I really want an honest reflection of myself? Am I out to make a favorable impression on others? Who am I trying to please? Why? (Cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:4; James 5:16; 1 John 1:9).
- There are "warts" that need to be removed. No, it is not easy to face some of these needs. This is when we want a close, intimate friend who loves and accepts us for who we are. This individual must treat us with respect, unconditional love and acceptance if change is to take place without emotional scars. Sorry, but there aren't many of this breed around, and we all bruise easily. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:5-8; Gal. 5:25-6:5; John 15:2ff).
- We need courage to tell legalistic Pharisees where to get off. We can tactfully and assertively tell them the Holy Spirit is working on our splinters, and they need to work on their stumps (Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:7, 12; Luke 16:15; Galatians 1:10).
- If there is a tendency to be a modern legalist, STOP! The most burning words of Jesus were to Pharisees, ancient and modern. Growing Christians need mature love, not hostile, indifferent, immature, critical nit-pickers. The Holy Spirit is fully capable of doing His job. (Cf. Matthew 6-11, 18-20; 18:1; John 7:24).
Some Practical Applications
- To what extent are you allowing the holy Spirit to work in these five areas of your life? In which area are you most threatened? Why?
- Read I Corinthians 2:9-16. What has the Spirit been teaching you from the Word of God in the past six months?
- Thinking back over "the five people who live in you," pick something in each of these categories to work on during the next month. Be specific. Develop a plan of action for personal growth. Write out a behavioral contract with yourself stating specifically what you will do, when you will begin and what you hope to accomplish.