These words, spoken by Polonius and written by William Shakespeare in Hamlet, have done some significant damage to our world.
This phrase, one of Shakespeare’s most famous, implies that what matters most is to be true to yourself.
First, what is your true self? Is it when you are fervently bashing abortion clinics? Is it when you refuse to attend church because the pastor isn’t giving you enough attention? Is your true self the guy/girl who lashes out at his family in hostility and anger? Is it your true self when you openly divide ministries and attempt to disrupt a church family by displaying your critical and angry heart?
Furthermore, was Hitler his “true self?” How about Stalin? How about the guy who recently shot up Fort Hood in Texas?
This narcissistic and individualist obsession has plagued our world today. More than ever, we are witnessing people simply doing things because they want to be “true to themselves.” When Madonna makes up her own religion, she is doing so in individual truth. When The Bachelor has to follow his heart and break off his engagement, he is being true to himself. When athletes complain about not getting $6 million a year rather than $5 million, they are just “being true.” When leaders are caught in affairs and scandals, they are just being true, they’ll say.
The point is this: We can’t rely on our “true selves.”
Instead, we need a compass, a guide, a master.
We need to embrace his humility. We need to follow his courage. We need to live up to his righteous anger and compassionate love. We need to soak in the life and love of Jesus Christ THROUGH the Spirit he left for us.
Want to know what your true self should like that? Look no further than Galatians 5:22-23. The “fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL.”
That’s the SELF to be TRUE to.
Today, take a moment to breathe in the fruits of the Spirit. If you haven’t looked like any of these lately, repent, embrace forgiveness, and embrace Jesus.