For YOU have died, and YOUR LIFE is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then YOU also WILL APPEAR with him in glory. (Col 3:3-4)
Who are you? Really and truly?
Let's say that your true self has always been here. But it has been deformed by sin. God makes all things good. Including you. Sin twists all good things. Including you. In a sense, that true-you is buried, ruined, and lost.
But who is Christ? He is the Re-Creator. He is the Redeemer. What is buried, He unearths; what is ruined, He restores; what is lost, He rediscovers.
Your true-self is being remade, in Christ. There is therefore now no self-discovery apart from Jesus. No self-actualization apart from Jesus. No self-improvement apart from Jesus. The unique snowflake of your person-hood has been salted, shoveled, and blackened by this world; Christ transforms this, us.
But Jesus is so smart, strong, and good, so wise and powerful, that He doesn't have to crumple us up and start over to remake us. He...redeems us. He is the Redeemer.
What does that mean? What are our "redeemables"? They are our evil deeds, scars, and regrets. He works all things together for good, right? That has to mean the things we wish had never happened. It has to. It can't mean only the things we think are good already. It means all of us. Redemption is a farce otherwise. We’re redeemed in our re-creation.
So, if you want to "find yourself", don't bring Jesus the stuff you think needs a polish, but is pretty cool already. "Finding yourself" is not showing off the stuff you love about yourself; that's how the world thinks: display my admirable qualities in public and click *post. No, in Christ, finding ourselves means bringing to Him the stuff about our personality, our body, our past, our mess-ups, that we find frustrating, painful, and humiliating.
The *you that *will appear with Jesus in glory is the same *you that the Holy Spirit is working to unveil even now--"one degree of glory to the next." It's the *you that only Jesus can truly see--both the deeply buried you as created by God created, and also the farthest fetched you that only Christ's imagination can fathom.
You are there, in Him. Someday "you will appear with Him in glory." But even here and now we are being "transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." (2 Cor 3:18)
The world has, naturally, taken and ruined a good thing. Self-obsessed self-actualization is an addicting narcissistic fantasy only wealthy individualists could dream of and only a consumer-culture of self-improvement products could fuel and sustain. It's a dead-end: grotesquely painted and injected parodies, life-like waxworks, beautiful dummies peacocking products but thin, plastic, empty, and immobile. Christ, however, is a creator; the Father, however, is a father. Our God is interested in us being who God made us to be. He had an idea, when He made you and me. By Christ, that idea becomes us. In Christ, we appear.
Open up to Jesus a little more today.