Everyone has opinions of who we should be. And we must regularly look within to discover our true selves. At the same time, life is not just about us, and we must also ground ourselves in an ultimate reality beyond our own existence.

On the one hand, we miss who God has called us to be when we simply conform to the expectations of others.

We do this, for example, when we blindly follow our parents’ plans for our life rather than finding our own way. And this might mean taking over the family business, but we’re also just as free to march to the beat of our own drum elsewhere.

Likewise, this happens when we simply adopt the popular opinions of the day rather than thinking critically and forming our own unique thoughts. Without knowing the value and worth of our own contributions, we become lost souls merely drifting from one popular thought to the next.

We discover who God has called us to be by looking inside of ourselves and discerning the unique ways he has crafted us.

At the same time, this is not simply navel gazing or merely doing whatever seems right in our own eyes. We must learn to submit to realities beyond ourselves as well.

For instance, some things are really true, and some things are really false, regardless of our personal opinions about them.

And we have a duty to love our neighbor and promote the welfare of those around us irrespective of any other gifts and callings we might have.

Likewise, while we might all have our personal preferences, some things are still clearly beautiful, while others are not.

To be sure, we must learn to look beyond ourselves to find our place in the larger story God is telling.

We miss our unique contribution when we fail to look within. And we miss God’s objective reality when we fail to look without.

In the end, learn the wisdom of looking within and without to discover your true self and a humble respect for the ultimate realities of life.

Photo by raymond revaldi on Unsplash

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