The Gap Between the Self We Imagine and the Self We Are

There is more to any person than he or she realizes. As C. S. Lewis put it in the sermon he titled, “The Weight of Glory”: “You have never talked to a mere mortal…it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”

Thinking of the beauty and complexity – the richness – of a human life, I recently shared these words at the funeral of a retired teacher who was part of our church family:

“You knew Barb, but God’s knowledge of Barb exceeds yours to a greater degree than yours exceeds that 151 word obituary [that appeared in the paper]. Barb was deeper than you realize; a deep mine, filled with rich treasures. The things most people noticed – her compassionate spirit, her hospitality, and that ever-ready giggle – were like primroses and daffodils growing around the entrance to the mine. Barb herself knew only the main shafts, but God knew the treasures that were buried in the depths.

“Or knows. I’ve been speaking in the past tense, but God knows us in the present.  “He is not the God of the dead but of the living,” Jesus said, “for all are alive to him.” Barb is, I believe, more alive now than she has ever been; more alive than you or I. And those treasures that were hidden in her are still present, waiting to be discovered. You see, when God designed Barb, he placed within her a magnificent store of treasures, even though he knew that only a fraction of them would be discovered in this age. That pleasure of discovery will still be ours … and hers … and God’s, and there will be an eternity to admire and enjoy them. That’s how God planned it.”

There is often a large gap between the self we imagine and the self we are. The audio file linked below is about closing the gap – growing closer to our true selves.


About salooper57

Husband, father, pastor, follower. I am a disciple of Jesus, learning how to do life from him. I read, write, walk, play a little guitar, enjoy my family.
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2 Responses to The Gap Between the Self We Imagine and the Self We Are

  1. I’m glad to see you putting your sermons on this site, Shayne. I discovered your column first, but I have been especially helped by your sermons. I hope others, too, will take the time to listen to them.

    By the way, in this sermon you say, as you’ve said on earlier occasions, that the Real Me is not the result of what I’ve been in the past but is from the future. I agree wholeheartedly, and I wish I had phrased my thoughts a bit differently in my “9 to 5” book. There, I insisted that who we are at the present is the result of all that we’ve said and done up until now. I also said that God was beckoning us forward toward a destiny we barely understand, but I prefer how you put it: that who we really are is not just the result of all that we’ve been — who we really are is only slightly revealed to us at any moment, “out of the corner of our eye,” as you say. What a powerful image!



  2. salooper57 says:

    Thanks, Ron. What a surprise the Great Unveiling will be (Colossians 3:4) – and hopefully a delight! – Shayne


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