“I truly believe that the greatest gift we can give the world is our true self living in loving union with God. In fact, how can we affirm other people’s unique identities when we don’t affirm our own? Can we really love neighbors well without loving ourselves?”
-Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazerro emphasizes the importance of knowing ourselves in order to know God. He suggests that one of the biggest traps we can fall into is living out of a false self, rather than living out of our God-given identities.
For years, social anxiety has been a “false self” that has shaped the way I’ve made decisions and have seen myself. Honestly, I’ve had almost a bit of an identity crisis as I’ve started to experience God’s freedom. It’s almost like I don’t know who I am anymore without the burden of fear and anxiety on my shoulders. While that feeling is a bit disorienting, it is also exciting. I want to discover who God has made to me to be, fully free from social anxiety.
So I’ve started to ask Him to show me what my true self is like. These are some questions that are helpful to me:
What did God design for me to do in the world that only I can do?
What desires has God placed in my heart that I’ve rejected because of anxiety?
How does God see me?
What does He love about me?
Who am I becoming?
That last question is especially helpful. God’s perspective on each of us is so beautiful. He doesn’t focus on the broken or sinful parts of who we currently are. He doesn’t identify us by our flaws and struggles.
Instead He sees our true selves, free from all of the constraints the Enemy has tried to lay on us.
He sees the whole and complete person that we are becoming.