The reality of it is this: There is the visible you and the real you.
The visible you is the you that everybody sees and interacts with.
In a certain sense, we allow people to see the "visible you" by learning how to act and speak in order to fit in with people, in both small and large group settings.
While some people have the ability to "fit in" to any kind of group, most people only stay in groups that they are comfortable, in part because it takes a lot of energy to relate to different types of people.
The visible you is the known you.
But the visible you is different from the real you.
The real you is the you that is known by God.
We are who we are in our minds first, before we speak or act.
Our speech and our actions are the result of our thinking.
Here's what I know: You and I are only as spiritual (real) as our thought life.
Pointed question: What if you and I were to put all of our thoughts from this week on the screens in the chapel? The answer is: we wouldn't. It would be embarrassing, disconcerting and too vulnerable for any of us to handle.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
That is an insightful verse.
What is implies is this: To protect our self-image we kind, trick and fool ourselves into believing that the visible you is the real you.
But to see ourselves as we really are, we must acknowledge that we need God's help to do so.
The mind is where the battle takes place. It's a battle between the flesh and the spirit.
Ephesians 6:12 describes the battle for the mind: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
So my thought today is this: Spend some time examining your life. Is the "real you" matching up with the "visible you"?
Let the Holy Spirit help you with this today.
Just a thought for a Thursday.