May 25, 2021
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. Proverbs 27:19
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. James 1:23-24
Solomon offers an insightful aspect of human nature. When we honestly reflect on our motives we will see ourselves as we truly are (not as we idealize). Conversely, as James notes, we will face an identity crisis if we fail to allow Scripture to shape who we are (as evidenced by our actions).
In the field of psychology, Dr. Karen Horney identified the pathology of self-aggrandizing that she coined as the “idealized image”. This destructive process of distorting how we see ourselves is rooted in recognized but unmet needs. While psychotherapy may help to some degree, ultimately, when we submit to the counsel of Scripture and the promptings of the Holy Spirit we will discover our true identity, which is in Christ. Then only can we boldly ask God to search our hearts and expose our inmost thoughts (Psalm 139:23-24), confident that we need not be anything more than who we are: “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Father God, help us to place our identity in your Son and find rest for our souls from the tyranny of pursuing worldly identities. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling