The Truth About You

John Ortberg, senior pastor of the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, is teaching a series now on “The Truth About You.” He says, “The truth about you is that you don’t know the truth about you.”

The most famous phrase on this subject is the inscription at the Temple of Delphi, home of the so-called Delphic Oracle, which says, “Know Thyself.” Christian theologians have picked up that phrase over the centuries–including Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, John Calvin.

During the course of years of my meditating, there have been periods where recurring images would come to me. I’d explore the images during meditation. Sometimes reflecting on them. Then some conclusion would happen, and I would never revisit that image again. Doesn’t mean that I forgot them. I just never went back to that experience.

Paul begins his letter to the Romans talking about how sinful we are. Those can be just words. In my meditations many years ago, there was an image that recurred over the course of many months.

One day during meditation, I opened a door and came face-to-face with all of my sins and all of the sins that I was (am) capable of committing. It was a a shocking experience.

Later, I could understand Romans. And other such works. Forget that I’m so good. I know that within me is the power if unchained has great capability for committing evil deeds.

I’ve said that I’m not really a “Lent” person. It was just never in my heritage and I’ve not picked it up very much. If we take it as a time of reflection of how much bad we have done and how much we are capable of doing, then the release from all that sin and evil (a subsequent experience in that series of meditations) is all the more sweet. That would be the climax of Lent–the celebration of Easter and the Resurrection.

Know yourself. It’s hard. It’s necessary.

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