“To Err is Human” as the saying goes… What if to apologize is human? How many times do we, in a day say an unkind word to a co-worker, spouse or a friend? It happened to me yesterday. I couldn’t find my black jeans. Where on earth could my black jeans have gone! My husband started to help and was making suggestions about where I could have misplaced the pants. I snapped a rude remark at him. He looked at me, stopped searching for the denim I had lost and said, “well that wasn’t very nice”. At that moment I had the opportunity to apologize or to brush it off and excuse the snappy remark as “ok” since I was frustrated. I had the opportunity to tell my husband that I see how kind, thoughtful, and loving he is and doesn’t deserve to be treated that way or I can brush it off as not that big of a deal.
The Problem with the Phrase, "Inner-Goddess"
When a friend is getting married, you find yourself running all over town looking at shoes, gowns, wedding veils, and boutiques. My good friend is getting married soon, so I joined her and her maid of honor for dress shopping in Chicago, Illinois. She found three wedding dress options and an idea for her flower girl’s beaded sash. On the way home, we stopped at a new boutique on Michigan Avenue.
On the walls of this boutique were signs with fun Southern, faith-based sayings. Phrases like, "All I Need is Jesus and Coffee" were painted onto wooden signs to be placed over coffee carts and in kitchens. This place was "all things girl". In the dressing room, there was a prayer box. I was surprised by this discovery and started chatting with one of the employees. From what I gathered, the owners know Jesus and pray over the received requests. The young lady I was speaking with seemed embarrassed to tell me this. She went on to share that it was “Okay if I didn't pray". Instead, I could “send good vibes out” for myself. Before I could stop her, she started talking about how she believed in her inner truth. She channels her "inner-goddess" and this gives her confidence in herself.
When she was done explaining, I asked her a few more questions about her beliefs. After listening and understanding a little more about her story, I shared that I wouldn't trust myself with my own "truth". From her face, I could see that she knew what I was talking about; I mean, we are two girls in our twenties. I shared with her that I stand firmly on the truth of the Bible and not on my own feelings and thoughts. I absolutely loved the conversation and it left me thinking about the term "Finding Your Truth."
Being True to Your Truth
The terms "Finding Your True Self" or "Being True to Your Truth" are sometimes used in psychology practices. This practice is used to help a patient connect to their emotions and explore who they are. In itself, this is good! It is very helpful to know who you are and what you believe in. If you don't know what you stand for, you can get into an unhealthy co-dependent relationship or feel anxiety whenever someone else disagrees with you. What we have to remember, however, is that we can't know our true selves until we personally know our Creator and who we are in Jesus Christ. God loves truth and honesty. God desires truth in the very beginning of our lives (Psalm 51:6). Scripture tells us just how well He knows us. He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13). God desires and loves truth and He created us. How do those two facts about God work together?
Our True Self Is Not Good
God does desire truth AND He already knows who we are because he created us. Finding our "true selves" may not be that great. Going back to Psalm 51, David was talking to God about needing forgiveness for killing a man and sleeping with this man's wife. In verse 3, David says, "I know my transgressions, my sin is before me," and by verse 5, he is confessing to being born a sinner. As David is talking with his Creator about what he did and who he was, he pleaded, "restore to me the joy of your salvation" (vs. 12). He ended this confession by saying that he has a broken spirit and a contrite heart, as God so desires (vs. 17).
Truth Comes from the Creator
My husband John and I love going to art museums. I enjoy asking him to come up with the meaning behind a painting, “Why did the artist paint a dot in the upper right-hand corner?” John will go on and on with a story that is outrageous to which I laugh my head off! After he polishes up on his storytelling skills, we read the artist's intended meaning behind the painting, and that's when the painting makes sense.
Since we know from the Bible that God created us, it only seems right to find our truth, our meaning, and our identity in Him. Searching for life's answers within ourselves is like staring at an abstract painting trying to make sense of it from just staring at the brush strokes and random shapes. It is really healthy to explore who we are and to be in tune with our emotions. However, the best way to do this is to go back to the Bible, to spend time with Jesus Christ, and to hear from the Creator of our souls.
It was the senior year of my Moody Bible Institute education. Breaking up at a Bible college is not something that you do. What is done is the exact opposite, which is what many of my peers did. Many of my friends were married the summer we graduated, while I was grieving a recent breakup.
I was not only angry and bitter towards my ex-boyfriend, but also I was ashamed of a failed relationship. Does that sound familiar? If you haven't had that feeling, congratulations...you are just like my husband, who didn't have to go through a failed relationship. I don't know why this happens, and for some of us, it happens over and over again. Maybe it is a list of failed dating relationships. You want to be married, but the relationship never seems to progress to that point. Maybe you are facing a failed marriage–you never thought something that started so wonderfully would end so horribly.
For me, it took a long time to overcome the shame of this failed relationship. Stories of Jesus reaching out to others gave me hope. Here's what we know about Jesus,
"For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost." (Matthew 18:11)