Reflections January 2006—Who Am I Becoming?

January 2006

Who Am I Becoming?

n today’s world many people ponder the questions “who am I and what am I becoming?” Sadly, this search often leads to confusion or self-deception. For disciples of Jesus Christ there is a clear answer to these questions, and it has been well-articulated by C.S. Lewis, who covered this ground in his own life.

The more we get what we now call “ourselves” out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of “little Christs,” all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. He made them all. He invented—as an author invents characters in a novel—all the different men that you and I were intended to be. In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him. It is no good trying to “be myself” without Him. The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires. In fact what I so proudly call “Myself” becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop. What I call “My wishes” become merely the desires thrown up by my physical organism or pumped into me by other men’s thoughts or even suggested to me by devils. Eggs and alcohol and a good night’s sleep will be the real origins of what I flatter myself by regarding as my own highly personal and discriminating decision to make love to the girl opposite to me in the railway carriage. Propaganda will be the real origin of what I regard as my own personal political ideas. I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call “me” can be very easily explained. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.1

How do we who have already turned to Christ “give ourselves up to his personality?” God calls each of us to fully surrender ourselves to him as a response to his great love for us in Christ. Then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we set out each day to please God by obeying his will while also saying “no” to the habits and desires of our old nature. Until we do this we will remain largely in the grip of our “old self” and will make little progress in the spiritual life. But once we make this surrender and commitment we will begin to discover and become the unique person God intends us to be and fulfill his special purposes for our life. Have you ever made this surrender? Are you still walking in it?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is
—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

ROMANS 12:1-2 (NIV)

 

1 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster, 1996), p. 190.

© 2012 C.S. Lewis Institute. “Reflections” is published monthly by the C.S. Lewis Institute.
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