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In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius gives some fatherly advice as he bids his child, Laertes, farewell. He offers him numerous rules to live by, yet one stands out: “This over all: to thine own self be true.” This month I desire to encourage us as a congregation to consider a Biblical alternative to the means our society follows this advice and progressively exalts what is labeled “authenticity,” or “self-actualization.”

More and more, we are urged to “be that we are.” We are told to withstand calls to condevelop our resides to outside criteria. To “know thyself” is the foundational commandment and also the determination to act in light of who we are is the guiding principle behind our principles and also ethics. As a pastor, I deserve to assure you that all of our inter-individual battles are the direct result of people being true to themselves; of civilization acting precisely like that they are; of civilization ‘to their very own selves being true.’

The Scriptures provides us a radically different perspective. Culture tells us to “be who we are.” The Bible tells us to “end up being who we need to.” In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul provides those that are his youngsters in the belief a really various farewell. In verse 11, he states,

“Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection…”

In Romans 7 he laments the fact that his conduct is extremely “authentically” that of a sinner conserved by grace in whom a consistent battle in between doing good and doing evil takes place:

“What a wretched man I am!,” he writes, “who will provide me from this body of death?”

Now tright here is a male who knows himself! But he desperately desires not “to his own self to be true.” Rather, he desires to be true to one more – he desires to condevelop his life to the pattern established in and also by Jesus Christ. He aims at perfection and calls us to execute so too.

This month let’s look at the significant images of our stays. Are we “being that we are,” or are we “Becoming that we should?” Being that we are is as straightforward as falling off a log. But, like falling off a log, it is always accompanied by the scrapes and also bruises of this life. Becoming that we must is in many type of means precisely the opposite.


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As a preeminence, it is harder to carry out the right thing, but it brings through us the heavenly rewards of a clean conscience and also our growth in Christ-likeness. Who will we listen to this month – Shakespeare speaking with Polonius, or the Divine Spirit speaking with Paul?