Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Four ways to be known

I heard an interesting sermon last Sunday on being authentic and reaching our God-given potential. The pastor mentioned four different ways of being known.

First, there's a surface knowledge we have of one another. We know certain facts about acquaintances and those in our circle. You know these things, and the person with whom you have that surface relationship knows them. These are essential factual pieces of information.

Second, there are the masks we wear. We know who the real us is. Others do not. That's because we don't want to fully reveal ourselves to each other. We want to project ourselves in the best light, so we tend to hold back certain thoughts and behaviors. If and when we feel safe with someone, we may show more of our true self to that person and so be known on a deeper level.

Third, we each have our blind spots. These often are known by others but not seen by us. Some areas of our behavior we either choose to not see or truly don't see at all. Others, especially those close to us, known our blind spots. For example, we may be extremely sensitive to criticism and not even be aware of it ourselves. Others can see, however, that we get easily offended and hurt.

Fourth, our potential is known by God—and sometimes by us. Other times we have no idea of our own potential. Sometimes those close to us may see some of that potential, too. It's too easy to look at our perceived flaws and not see what's possible.

These last three ways are worth our attention. Can we remove our masks and be more authentic? Can we hear about our blind spots and make some changes? Can we fully see—and then realize—our potential? What must happen for you to live into your authentic self?

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