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I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

Romans 7:15 NLT

How well do you know yourself?

Do you understand yourself? Asking myself this question, I can initially feel like it’s a silly question – of course I know myself! I know what movies I like, what music I listen to, who my friends are. But the more I think about it, I realize I don’t understand myself as much as I thought I did.

I don’t understand why I isolate even though it makes me lonely, or why I get angry over the smallest things. Sometimes I feel like the more I try to figure these things out the more confused and frustrated I get. I can’t figure it out on my own. I need God’s help.

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Get to the root of things

The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.

Jeremiah 17:9 MSG

God knows us for who we are, and can see through any facade we may put up. Maybe we know a little bit of our hearts, but we are afraid of admitting what’s in there and don’t want to look any further.

Or maybe we feel like we don’t understand ourselves at all. Sometimes we feel completely in the dark about who we are and why we do what we do.

Either way, God knows who we really are and can help us get to the root of things. We just have to be willing to let him.

Pause and reflect

  • How much effort do you put into understanding your heart?
  • What parts of your heart are you afraid of seeing?

Know the real me

Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain. [24] Examine me to see if there is an evil bone in me, and guide me down Your path forever.

Psalm 139:23-24 Voice

An important part of having a friendship with God is letting him get to know the “real you.” With God’s help, we don’t have to be scared to dig deep into our hearts to discover who we are. God already knows every part of us, even the parts we hate about ourselves or don’t understand about ourselves, and loves us anyway.

We don’t have to be afraid of rejection. When we read Scriptures like this and pray about the areas of our hearts we’ve been afraid to explore, we begin to see how much God really cares about us.

Pause and reflect

  • Find scriptures that help you see how God cares about you no matter what, and pray through this emotions chart to help you begin to understand your heart!

As simply and honestly as you can manage

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

Matthew 6:6 MSG

We don’t have to try to be someone we’re not with God. When we go to him as simply and honestly as we can manage, we “begin to sense his grace,” meaning that we see that no matter who we are, no matter how many times we fail or make mistakes, no matter how messy we feel, he forgives and loves us for who we are, so we can be confident.

Be a mess together

My friends at Corinth, our hearts are wide open to you and we speak freely, holding nothing back from you. [12] If there is a block in our relationship, it is not with us, for we carry you in our hearts with great love, yet you still withhold your affections from us. [13] So I speak to you as our children. Make room in your hearts for us as we have done for you.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 TPT

When we are comfortable with being a mess with God, we can be the type of friends that help others be okay with their messes, too. Being in touch with who we are and what is going on in our hearts allow us to understand what others are going through and empathizing with them, as this video narrated by Dr. Brené Brown illustrates:

“Rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.” 

Dr. Brené Brown

We attach and make connections with others when we open wide our hearts to them and allow ourselves to feel what they feel.

What two friends need you to be vulnerable and connect with them?

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. [4] Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too.

Philippians 2:3-4 ERV

When we allow our hearts to be messy and honest, we free ourselves from thinking about ourselves so much. We are capable of caring about and being interested in other people, too.

Have conversations with a few of your friends to reveal parts of your hearts to each other. What can you learn about each other that you didn’t know before?

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    This article was created by a member of the Deep Spirituality editorial team.

    Deep Spirituality logo

    This article was created by a member of the Deep Spirituality editorial team.

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