How do you display the real you? This is a statement I realized was true when a very inspirational and spiritual person unloaded in a fit of anger. “You are not who you are by your words, you are who you are by your actions.” It hasn’t happened too often to me, but when it does it takes me by surprise. People who make a living telling others how to live spiritual lives, and inspiring others to take a risk on Jesus, will occasionally become unglued and unhinged … usually about a minor issue. Has that ever happened to you? When it happens, you must wonder where did all those words of instruction and inspiration go that were used to instruct others? I can’t tell you the times I have watched Christian leaders belittle others, or get irate over issues that could be solved in a less aggressive manner. I remember getting yelled at by a Christian leader for a decision I felt was in my authority to make, and was threatened by this person because he thought I made the wrong decision. That day, I saw who this person really was, and even now I am reminded of how awful and belittled I felt. Everyone makes mistakes, but who we are will be revealed in how we handle the mistakes made by others, and the mistakes we make ourselves. In either case, the way you handle it will reveal the real you.
Forgiveness is another way that will reveal the real you. I have known people who will never forgive an offense, even if they say they don’t hold grudges, but then they remind everyone how offended they were by this person. The real you is revealed by the way you live out forgiveness in your life. If forgiveness is hard for you to practice, it usually comes from the root of selfishness. Someone has offended you in a way that takes something from you, your pride was hurt, or you were treated unfairly or passed over for recognition. There are more egregious offences such as an affair, or the death of a loved one by a drunk driver. Nevertheless, things were taken from you, and those things matter to you. I will never understand some offenses, but I do understand forgiveness. Forgiveness is the release of a human loss that was of value to you. That loss can never again be repaired or replaced, and the person you are is seen in how you live in forgiveness toward those who are to blame. Forgiveness is the act of mercy … a value God holds dearly. It was in His mercy that He sent Jesus to forgive the entire human race. Forgiveness reveals the real God we serve, and forgiveness will reveal the real you.
Matthew 6:21 Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Your heart will follow what is important to you. The real you is found in what you consider important. I always admired people who create a business empire … people who have the skill to run Amazon, Google, or Apple. I realize that kind of skill is important to keep an empire healthy financially, and know when to change directions when the market changes. I would imagine the hearts of those leaders are married to their corporations which is one of the reasons they are successful. Their heart has become one with their treasure. Yet, when we think about the real America, is it the corporations that will be remembered, or will it be our philanthropy, the heart of giving to others, that will be the cornerstone of our values? The real you will always be found in what you treasure. I think people are looking for significance more than ever. Will we pursue the values that bring meaning back again into a nation, into families, and be the guiding perspective in discovering the real you? I am convinced as a nation we have lost our way because we don’t know the real America today. The same is true about the real you. Jesus knew that significance has to come from a source of truth, or aimlessness with result.
Matthew 6:33 He said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The real you is revealed through what you pursue … it is the best gauge of knowing who you are, and what you want from life. My challenge to you is to pursue God by your actions, live in forgiveness, and seek to obey the values of His Kingdom.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler