At what stage of one's life should he/she be content with what they know about themselves? Is there more to me worth discovering? Is there solace at the end of one’s journey of self-discovery?
I ponder these questions as I think about this self-discovery and how it is marketed today. According to the Collins Dictionary, self-discovery is the process of gaining understanding of oneself and one’s motivations and needs. It is believed to be essential in one's path towards a purpose-filled life.
However, in seeking our purpose, are we digging for hidden treasure or ignoring the obvious? Many would say the former, but I put to you that many do the latter under the guise of self-discovery. This article seeks to inspire a reflection on one's own journey of self-discovery and evaluate whether it is what they think it is.
Ignoring the obvious
I believe that every human being is beautifully multifaceted and complex and it’s these attributes which makes self-discovery so appealing. Self-discovery is fueled by people’s desire to be a better version of themselves. Which stems from their desire to make the best use of the resources given to them in achieving their full potential here on earth.
However, can there be a better version of yourself? What is this potential that we are yearning to unpack? And does unpacking this potential deliver on its promise? Answers to these questions lie in two truths about man; that we were created in God’s image and that we have sinned and fallen short of God's glory.
These truths reveal to us that everything beautiful, diverse, and complex about us stems from us being made in God’s image, while everything sinister, devious and broken about us is a product of our sinful nature. As obvious as these truths are in today’s world, many chose to ignore it. Chasing deceptive, ear pleasing and eye-catching messages masquerading themselves under the guise of Self-discovery.
The sobering reality of man’s condition is that sin has limited our potential to how far we are willing to satisfy our flesh. Galatians chapter 5 verses 19-21 reveals to us what man is truly capable of. Verse 21 speaks to the promise which awaits us when we operate at our potential and sadly it's not as rosy people have us think. It is this ignorance which leads many to leap into a future which leads to nothingness thinking they are searching for hidden treasure.
Digging for hidden Treasure
Thankfully, a future of nothingness is not all that is promised in this lifetime thanks to Jesus and what he did on the cross. As stated earlier, all that is beautiful about us, whether known or unknown, stems from us being made in God’s image. The magnificence of who we are is best observed when we are reconciled to our creator.
We uncover more about ourselves when we seek to discover God than if we seek to understand ourselves without him. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that it's impossible to be a better version of ourselves without God. Who we are is enveloped into the mysteries of God’s character.
The mystery of God is like hidden treasure. We will never find it all but there are precious remnants scattered along the path which motivates us to dig deeper. The pursuit of God gives us sobering, truthful and graceful bits about who we are in light of him.
Since the main aim of self-discovery is to identify a unique purpose which promises the greatest fulfilment to our lives. What greater purpose can there be than to pursue the one who’s image we bear. Without him, the narratives we uncover from our self-discovery will only give us insight into our present and past but not into our future.
It is not what we think it means
The self-centered nature of self-discovery leads us to a false narrative about who we are. Self-discovery starts, is sustained, and ends with Christ. Yes, we can understand more about who we are by reflecting from within and evaluating our interactions with the world (people, nature, etc.) ; but self-discovery is vanity if God is not at the center of it.
Akeel Henry (West Indies) enjoys sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with all individuals. He is currently a trained Biochemist who aspires to become a physician and a pastor. If you wish to share feedback concerning his articles, his email address is email@example.com. He can also be reached on facebook, Instagram (Akeel Henry) and on twitter (@A155_thevine).