Is Self-Actualization Biblical?
If we were to actually become “fully” ourselves, there essentially would be no need for Jesus. So, what’s the point of Jesus actually dying on the cross if we have achieved our highest abilities? If that’s the case, then we are deceiving ourselves. Galatians 6:3 reminds us, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Becoming our best selves happens through the leading of the Holy Spirit as we take up our cross each and every day. We die to our selfish desires, impulses, thoughts, actions, behaviors, and temptations in order to emulate Christ because we live in a fallen world that began when Adam and Eve sinned. They introduced sin to the rest of humanity (Romans 5:12). Without God, our hearts deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9). We are dead in our sin (Colossians 2:13) and Galatians 5:17-21 says, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
This is the hard, painful look at our reality. It’s hard for us because we, as human beings, are not inherently motivated towards positive growth. However, the beauty of becoming our best selves is that God wants us to. We were created in His image. He stamped eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God created us to love and be loved. He created us to lay down our lives for others. Jesus set the example of how to bring the best out in each of us through our purpose of glorifying Christ.
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