Get to the bottom of ourselves

By Dave Henning / March 2, 2024

“We never get to the bottom of ourselves on our own.  We discover who we are face to face and side by side with others in work, love, and learning.”- Robert Bellah et al., Habits of the Heart

As Timothy Keller moves on in Chapter 6 of Making Sense of God, he notes that our culture tells us that to discover and express our deepest desires and dreams, we must look insides to express them.  As a result, the culture advocates relying solely on yourself to affirm and tell you who you are.

Above all, Pastor Keller asserts, it’s impossible to bestow the verdict of significance on yourself.  Because, in great measure, your identity must come from others.  Therefore, Pastor Keller underscores:

“We need someone from outside to say we are of great worth, and the greater the worth of that someone or someones, the more power they have to instill a sense of self and worth.  Only if we are approved and loved by someone whom we esteem can we achieve self-esteem.  To use biblical terms, we need someone to bless us because we can’t bless ourselves.”

Hence, contrary to our cultural narrative, we must first look outside ourselves and connect to something else first.  Only then, Timothy stresses, can we descend into ourselves and make any assessment.

In addition, it’s illusory to define identity as simply an expression of desires and feelings.  Because we all use some type of filter — a set of beliefs and values — to sift through our hearts.  To decide which emotions and sensibilities we value and incorporate into our one identity.  And which ones we reject.

In conclusion, Pastor Keller states, on their own our inner feelings fail as our sufficient guide.  Stated another way, our feelings and desires never define our identity.  Rather, Timothy states, it is “our beliefs about our varied, contradictory, changing feelings and desires.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you get to the bottom of yourself?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Go get our own identity?”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button