8 If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:8 ERV)
My "true self" apart from Christ is pretty "unlovable" - it made messes out of life's choices and created more than a little chaos in the lives of others who were just trying to love me. With Christ in my life, I'd have to say I am more "true" to self than I have ever been before - for I no longer have to live to impress myself or others - just to please him. Maybe this is why we find ourselves much more contented after we settle into this walk with Jesus - because we don't have to try so hard to find our sense of belonging or prove our worth in this lifetime.
I want to stop for just a moment to consider something referred to in modern day circles as "perfectionism". In today's economy, there is a high price put on those who can somehow conform to some image we expect of others. We place a premium upon what we see as the ideal employee, mate, leader, etc. We even pay a little more to gain the employee, seek out that mate, or elect that leader. Having lived for more than half a century now, I can assure you no one has really reached "perfection"! The premium we "pay" to attain perfection in ourselves or in others is a high price to pay and not always assured of the "return on our investment" we'd hoped to achieve!
Perfect doesn't exist this side of heaven. It takes heaven getting into us to even bring us close to the place we realize "perfection" - and then I don't even know if we "arrive" at that destination this side of actually being in heaven. We seek an unattainable goal in our natural ability or power. We strive for what cannot be created - but which exists in the one who created it all in the first place! Rather than seeking an elusive "standard" of perfection, maybe we'd do well to seek the one who IS perfection! Just sayin!