“… Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew…” (Psalm 39:5,6)
What is this strange itch to have others know “who we really are?” Who are we really? God only knows. And He has told us – we are poor creatures called to a great glory that can only be realized when He has become our all.
In the end, whatever we display “of ourselves,” to be seen of men, is a vain image, a temporary “snapshot” that represents a sliver of our lives. Our goodness is like the morning fog. Our appearance changes from one moment to the next: we look good, we look bad, we look great, we look terrible. As far as our inner goodness – that also changes. We do some kindness and we want to believe it reflects our basic person; and then, we act in such a way that makes us feel very ugly. Who are we really? The search continues.
When we look to men for affirmation we are searching for a mirror that will tell us what we long to hear – “You are really good, you are indeed beautiful.” But deep down, even when we find such a mirror, we have a hard time believing it. We know ourselves better than they do.
We will always live in a gaping uncertainty as to who we are until we are known of God. He would first have us know our nothingness, our sinfulness, our poverty without Him. In humility He would have us cry out, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” (Isaiah 6:5) And then, looking to Him for all our goodness, He would have us know ourselves in His Son – complete in a beauty and glory and righteousness that the world can never recognize. Mirrors are no longer necessary.