Most wouldn’t recognize their true self if they met them face to face. The truth is that your true self is your best self. That is the unique person that God made you be. Over time, the events and people in our life changes us from what we started out being into something else that is far from who we truly are. Identifying those past events and people who impacted our lives, and then peeling back the counterfeit layers and disposing of them will help us to understand who we actually are, and in so doing discover our purpose and vitality for living. That in essence is how Dr Phillip McGraw states it in his book “Self Matters”, “Creating your life from the inside out”, copyright 2001, selling over 2,000,000 copies.
Dr Phil says in his book that 10 or so life altering events and around 5 or so people, including ourselves, has molded us into what we are today. He says some of the events and people in our past have been a positive influence while others have been negative. Objectively searching your past and determining the events and people that stand out in your memory, and deciding how they might have influenced you in creating the person you are today is necessary in order to acknowledge what needs changing. You can’t change until you acknowledge what needs to be changed, so says Dr. Phil. In some cases, you will discover the need to escape the influence some have had on your life and at the same time embrace the positive influence others have had on you.
I found Dr Phil’s book to be interesting, and no doubt it is helpful to a lot of people. However, the best possible result from applying the principles in Dr. Phil’s book is a remake of the old person. I’ll have to say that is far better than doing nothing at all, and indeed can make a enormous difference; but it, in no way, compares to becoming a brand new person to begin with and then developing that person.
I’m 100% for personal development, and that is what Dr. Phil’s book is about, even though it is of a secular nature. JimmieBurroughs.com is a Christian personal development site; the principles are fundamentally the same as secular personal development with one crucial difference. The difference is where the starting place is, whether with a brand new person or with the old person. You can make an old car look new, but you can’t make it new, although, it will certainly be a much better car. The objective of Christian personal development is to first deal with the problem that keeps us from being our authentic self in the first place; that is our separation from our creator.
I understand that some will not want to accept what I’m saying as a valid truth. That is quite understandable today, more than ever before since the current generation has been brought up to believe that evolution is the creator of life. There are only two alternatives as to the origin of life; it has to be either evolution or intelligent design. Since only what is referred to as scientific evolution is allowed to be taught in public school, it isn’t any wonder that a lot of folks today are indifferent to anything that refers to God.
Nevertheless, no matter how hard evolution is pushed on young people today, it still can’t get past the primary principle upon which it is based: 0+Nothing=Everything. I don’t know if you have thought about it or not, but it requires a lot of faith to believe that, even more faith than it takes to believe that an omnipotent God created everything. It would be like me telling you that I have a beautiful car sitting in my garage that just happened to be one day with no designer or creator; you wouldn’t believe that! Nevertheless, there are many who accept evolution without question that the human body, which is far more wonderfully made than any automobile, had no creator or designer.
It is not my purpose here to try and disprove evolution or to prove intelligent design, since both are theory and can’t be proven scientifically, but I would like to challenge you not just to accept evolution blindly based on what you may have been taught in school. If, however, you choose to believe evolution, you must also accept that nothing has purpose; just like evolution, everything is from nothing and going nowhere; there is no hope or purpose in life. On the other hand, God does offer purpose and hope. Since both are accepted by faith, it far more satisfying to me to choose hope and purpose over hopelessness and despair.
God created heaven and earth with purpose in mind. He created man and placed him in a beautiful environment, the Garden of Eden. God created both man and woman and gave them the freedom of choice. Adam and Eve choose sin, and, as a result, sin passed upon all. Sin caused a separation from God which is referred to in Scripture as spiritual death, a spiritual separation from God.
God loved his creation and didn’t want to leave man in a lost and hopeless condition, so he came to earth in the form of man, Jesus Christ, and paid the penalty for sin by dying in man’s stead on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, we now can become a new person in Christ and renew our connection to the creator. This is our true authentic self and not just a makeover of our old self. From this point, we can build on that and reach God’s full potential for our life.
It’s true that a lot of people, who claim to have experienced this renewal, show no evidence of it in their life. I think the reason for that is that, in many cases, is that they remain at the starting place. The renewal is a beginning; from there it is a gradual completion of our full potential in Christ. It is personal development with a twist; instead being of self it is of God. This is referred to as sanctification in Scripture; which means the process of setting us apart from the ways of the world and setting ourselves in communication with the things of God. It is actually a submission to God who is the potter and we the clay. He is the one who forms us into the new person that we long to be and the new life that we long to live.
God offers you a new beginning and a new self, but it is entirely up to you to choose. If you are tired of living a lie and trying to be something you’re not, why not try it God’s way and discover the difference it makes in your life? God promises us his peace, peace that passes all understanding and eternity in heaven with him when we die.
How do I know this works? I know because it has worked for me and thousands of others that I’ve known over my lifetime. I’ve known those who have come from the worst possible background and have found a new life in Christ. Like my friend John in Florida whose background was that of a gangster who served 22 years in prison for first degree murder, but now lives a complete new life in Christ and serves his church as a deacon; or like David who spent years in drug addiction and now is a minister of the gospel. Space would not permit me to tell you all those I’ve known who were in total despair, but now live in peace with a newly found purpose in their life, all because of Jesus.