Just be Your Real Self
by Norman P. Grubb
our footsteps more in Christian living than our constant sense of
condemnation. We see ourselves as such failures; we seem to be so
fruitless. We are so up and down. We are such weaklings, so cowardly.
Our battles are not so much against the great sins — the things we do or
don’t do — but with this dragging feeling that we are no use because we
are such a mess. We look at others, and some of them seem to be doing
fine; so we wonder why we are such failures. We are constantly
weighted down with a heavy feeling. We don’t feel bright, we don’t feel
loving, we don’t feel spiritual; but we do feel out of touch, dull, dry,
The sense of
condemnation manifests itself continually in the quick way in which we
downgrade ourselves as useless, more of a hindrance to God than a help,
so rebellious, so disobedient; and we are fond of saying that if God
uses us at all, it is in spite of ourselves.
To know how we
can accept ourselves without condemnation is of the greatest importance.
To fail to understand this is to have all of our vitality sapped from
The key is that
it is He who accepts us, and He who chooses us.
If it depended on our
choosing Him, we might continually hold back, for how could we know He
would accept such as us? But He chose us — unconditionally. “You have
not chosen Me; I have chosen you.
He chooses us exactly as we are, with every facet of our
humanity. We may well laugh at the strangeness of His choices, but that
is no business of ours. He paid the highest price possible for us — the
price of His own Son’s blood — so we had better get busy choosing
ourselves if He has chosen us. To not accept those He accepts is to
In fact, we need a
thorough spring-cleaning of those condemning, smearing, guilty ideas we
have inherited or picked up somehow about ourselves. That is why the
wide-openness of today, though it shocks many because of its abuses, is
actually much healthier and much nearer the truth than the hush-hush of
past generations. And no book can be more boldly open than the Bible.
There a spade is never called anything but a spade.
Let it sink into us that
there is not a single reaction that we can have as humans — not a single
response of our bodies, minds, emotions, imaginations — which is
intrinsically wrong. God intends that we have all of these human
Let us drag
such things to the surface and, instead of condemning the instincts or
reactions — instead of trying to pretend they are not there, like so
much religious play-acting — examine how misuse can be replaced by right
The negative is
to say a thing is wrong, conceal it if you can. The positive is to face
it and see how God’s purpose is to use that very tendency as some
channel for His outgoing goodness.
God “works all
things after the counsel of His own will.” He is in us “to will and to
do of His good pleasure.” When we have been called by Him and accepted
by Him, “all things [negative and positive] work together for good.”
we go through is God’s perfect will. It is precisely the necessary one.
So praise God for each situation! Don’t question or condemn yourself in
any situation, because this is what produces the bondage of spirit that
has caused us all so much suffering. Instead, accept yourself exactly as
you are and as you feel.
Don’t fret and
struggle and try to change —just be yourself. Realize that as you are
honest with yourself and with others about the way you are, there is no
“God is the One
who justifies; who is the one who condemns?” At the same time, realize
also that Christ is now your life. He has replaced your old self. This
then releases you to be truly free as yourself — the Christ in you.
Only He can
change any attitudes and feelings you might have. So don’t try to do
more than what comes easily and naturally for you. Just do the next
things that come spontaneously to you. Take the position that in Christ
you are dead to everything except abiding in Him.
death includes those things we would really like to be. But we have to
be content to be what He chooses to be in us at this moment. “If need be
you are in heaviness through manifold trials” Peter says. When it is one
of those dines for you, accept the human heaviness and suffering and
don’t try to change this condition. Just accept it as being His direct
will for the moment, and praise Him for it.
You can’t tell
what God has for you, or what future purposes He might have in the
experiences you are going through right now, so don’t try to find out.
Just keep doing what you feel at present He is giving you to do. He has
a perfect purpose for all that is happening to you, even if at present
it is not clear. So keep centered on this glorious freeing truth.
The single eye
of faith of which Jesus spoke enables us to remain free within,
regardless of outside circumstances and appearances. We are not to be
double-minded, frustrated by the circumstances. We are to accept fully
the situation of the moment — the external situation He has us in, and
the way we feel toward it — knowing that it is for the purpose of
manifesting His life in us.
Our sole job is
to keep inwardly at rest in the midst of suffering and temptation — and
in the midst of failure and seeming defeat — knowing that we walk with
Him alone and that He walks in us and will cause us to walk in His ways.
Because He has
determined to take us this way, He does not see the confusion, heaviness
or perplexity, but only His next step in His perfect plan for us. And He
in us is the One who will bring it to pass as we accept the present
fully and rejoice in it, trusting that all things truly do work for good
despite the appearance of the moment.