God’s idea of awareness (and self-awareness), is different from the world’s version. Very different. One is focused on God, and the other is on us (I’m sure you can guess which is which).
Our culture promotes what they call self-discovery. Finding ourselves. Really, it all stems from the age-old human questions of who we are and why we exist. There’s nothing wrong with that. God wants us to have assurance about the answers to those questions and has given us His Word that holds the truthful answer.
And that truth is that we were created by Him and for Him (see Colossians 1: 16).
We were created to delight in Him and bring Him glory.
So then what’s the problem with self-discovery? Well, it’s because it is all about us. The world’s idea of self-discovery is that we look into ourselves to find out who we are, our purpose, what we want, and what we should do. But the real way we find out who we are is not by looking into ourselves—it’s by looking into God! God is where we find our purpose and identity. If you want to find who you are, you’ll find it in Him. Not you, or in anything of the world.
Awareness isn’t wrong. No, it’s good! As my dad always says, “Maturity is being aware.” But there’s a difference between the world’s self-discovery and spiritually mature awareness of God, yourself, and others. However, again, the awareness we want is not found in ourselves, it comes from God-given discernment and wisdom.
So let’s quit seeking futilely within ourselves for the answers we’re looking for! Let’s turn to God, the way, the truth, and the life. He’s the Creator of the universe—He’s the One with the answers.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
And ‘follow your heart’? Um, I’m sorry, but that isn’t Biblical either. It sounds adventurous, it sounds strong… but it isn’t!
“The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.'”(Genesis 8:21– emphasis mine.)
As humans, we are sinful from birth. Our hearts are evil and prone to wander. We have to constantly contend with our sinful nature. Romans 7:18-25 says,
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
But God’s heart is good, it is perfect. Let’s not follow our heart—let’s seek to follow God’s heart and align our hearts with His. I know it can be hard, but we won’t regret it.