“Jesus Christ, we believe, is the fulfilment of every truly human aspiration. To find him is to find ourselves.”
― John R.W. Stott (1921–2011)
SEARCHES are made by every human being, whether they seem to care or not about life, because everyone wants to be happy. And what is central to happiness is to know the self. Our thesis, above, is that we cannot know ourselves unless we know Christ.
Jesus, when we come to know him, will give us intimacy with ourselves.
A good many of us still battle to fully know and accept ourselves, because our spirituality is compromised or we don’t have the connection with the Lord we could have or used to have. Indeed, it is so important to know ourselves through knowing Christ that God connects them both intrinsically; to know one is to know the other, but if we struggle with either we struggle with the other.
How can we describe knowing Christ or knowing ourselves? We cannot. We can only experience it, but perhaps if we could describe it, we would need to write volumes to more fully capture what such knowledge is, what it means, and what it gives. But let’s make an attempt...
Knowing Christ – Knowing You
Considering these knowledges may be identical in their character, what is it to know Christ or to know the self?
We could say that either is about being able to approach truth and not deny it, and to acknowledge our weaknesses just as willingly as we do our strengths. We might say that love would consume us: loving the self is licence to love everything else. Grace, warmth, empathy and genuineness become us. Such knowledge is the entrance to wisdom, though none of this is perfected, yet. To know God and to know the self is about having a constant God-consciousness, which is a mode of prayer which is continual. We would be ever mindful of God. And the devotional life becomes irrepressibly part of us. A fuller knowledge of God compels us toward doing the will of God, cheerfully. The fuller faculties of faith are not only available and accessible, they are compelling.
If we were to get inside ourselves, to know and love ourselves as we are, then we would sense a type of freedom that comes only in Christ – a freedom that transcends every other voice, particularly the judging and condemning voices.
‘You getting inside you’ is actually the purpose of life.
As we do such a thing, if we do not know Christ already, it’s as if we are led directly to the Throne of Grace to partake of his Presence; we could not deny the things of God any more. We would experience Christ via the Holy Spirit in his immeasurable fullness.
To find Christ is to know him and to know him is to find ourselves. The rest of our lives is an ever extrapolating journey of growing in Christ and growing in ourselves.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.