Is There Any Benefit to Looking Inward to Find Myself?

Is There Any Benefit to Looking Inward to Find Myself?

Self-Reflection, Inclusion, Authenticity

It’s easy nowadays to kind of sneer at people who say things like, Be yourself. Be true to yourself. You do you. But the reality is there are some real benefits to looking within yourself to find yourself (the expressive individualist movement). I can think of at least three benefits.

Self-reflection is actually a good thing. Of course, all of us need to know what our personality is, what our gifts are, what our character is like. And the Bible actually has the injunction to think about yourself with sober judgment. The psalms are full of this kind of introspection. It can be excessive, of course, but self-reflection can be a good thing.

The second benefit is inclusion. So what’s driving the movement of expressive individualism in our day, in large measure, is the fact that within our societies in the West, we’ve had groups of people who are not mainstream, who feel to some extent marginalized and even discriminated against. And those groups basically are looking for recognition or for a kind of acceptance within society. And those groups—by owning that distinctive identity which they find within themselves—seek, and in many cases, social trends show they find, acceptance within society.

The Bible actually has the injunction to think about yourself with sober judgment.

Francis Fukuyma has a book on identity, which says exactly that. What’s driving even identity politics—which I think has a lot of problems with it—does have a positive side to it. Namely this idea that all human being—all of us—are made in the image of God and deserve the dignity and respect that everyone has.

The third benefit is authenticity. Now, being true to yourself as a piece of advice on its own is pretty simplistic and superficial. But, being true to yourself, being authentic, is a good thing. You don’t wanna be a phony. You don’t want to be not true to yourself.

I think of it this way. I’ve got lots of friends who are quite distinctive in various ways, and I say to myself, when Frank or when Sarah does a certain thing, Oh, that’s so Frank, or that’s so Sarah. These are people who feel comfortable in their own skin. And that’s the kind of sense in which we can affirm the notion of authenticity. So the three benefits again are self-reflection, inclusion, and authenticity.

Brian S. Rosner is the author of How to Find Yourself: Why Looking Inward Is Not the Answer.

Related Articles

What Does It Mean to Be Your True Self?

Carl R. Trueman

Expressive individualism, like a lot of things, captures something of the truth. Human beings do have an inner life, and that inner life is very important to who we are.

5 Reasons You Did Not and Cannot Reinvent Yourself

Brian S. Rosner

You are not just an individual. You are not your own creation. You did not invent yourself. You exist in a web of relationships. You are a social animal.

An Untethered Identity Is Dangerous

Kevin DeYoung

The way that our world shapes and steers us on that quest for identity can be dangerous because it’s often without reference to God, without being anchored in his Word.

Podcast: Why Is Our Culture So Obsessed with Identity? (Brian Rosner)

Brian Rosner talks about how our cultural obsession with identity impacts us as Christians and how we should think about that through the lens of the Bible.

Go to Source
Author: Brian S. Rosner

The post Is There Any Benefit to Looking Inward to Find Myself? first appeared on Koa Sinag Ministry.

You cannot copy content of this page