“Adam and Eve hid, and we all have used them as role models.” (Brennan Manning)
It is true to say that one of the things that we as human beings are most accomplished at is hiding. Ingrained in the core of who we are, inherited from our forefathers, in the history of what it is to be the descendants of Adam and Eve (and all that the Fall represents) is the internal compulsion to hide our true selves from one another and from God.
Many of us do not even know who we are – the false self and the true self have become so interconnected that there is no telling one from the other. They overlap, finish each other’s sentences, but could not be further from each other at the root. The false self keeps us from living the life that God created us to live. Living from the false self is not what God intends.
We each have a purpose. We were placed in specific families, in a specific location and specific period of time all for the specific purposes of God. Many of us never come to fulfill that purpose – we live fraudulent lives. We do not even touch the tip of the immense potential, giftedness and promise that God has instilled in us as we were formed in the womb. We are His image bearers – but many of us will spend a lifetime hiding from that image unless we are intentional about seeking His truth in our lives.
There is a reason you are here… there is a true you deep inside that needs permission to be real. Why are you hiding?
Brennan Manning answers that same question in his book, “The Rabbi’s Heartbeat.” He offers this quote from Simon Tugwell in reply:
“We either flee our own reality or manufacture a false self which is mostly admirable, mildly prepossessing, and superficially happy. We hide what we know or feel ourselves to be (which we assume to be unloveable or unacceptable) behind some kind of appearance which we hope will be more pleasing. We hide behind pretty faces, which we put on for the benefit of the public. And in time we may even forget that we are hiding, and think that our assumed pretty face is what we really look like.” (The Beatitudes)
How hiding manifests itself is that we rarely express our true heart around others. We don’t tell the full truth – censoring information that might be too damaging to our image. We put on a ton of “spiritual makeup.” Manning says, ” No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him.” We rewrite our histories, refusing to focus on the past in humility and truth, but instead using “whiteout” to mark over the blemishes, inconsistencies, sin, failure and the like. We use whiteout when Jesus died to wipe our lives clean. We drift far from our true selves. Hiding, manipulating, lying, and avoiding become such a part of who we are as we put only our “false foot” forward that soon that we believe this false-self to be the REAL US. We mistake the counterfeit for truth. There is no demarcation line.
The false soon inhabits the majority of our being. Which does not leave much room for God – the very essence of truth. “God is not man, that he should lie…” (Numbers 23:19 ESV) or “whose rider is called Faithful and True.” (a reference to Jesus Christ – Revelations 19:11) Only Jesus can draw us out of the fake. Only Jesus can redeem what we have squandered, denied, blamed, hid and lied about. Only one who has known no sin can reach into our deepest fake – and call us, “Beloved.” Only a heart facedown in obedience before the throne of God can find herself beginning to live a life of truth.
Perhaps you are unsure? The only way to know if you are living from the true self and not some fraudulent self is to: read God’s word (study the Bible) – know the truth, live what you read, pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and PRAY – facedown in the dirt kinda prayer.
“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” (John 8:31 The Message)