“Not to what I think thou art, but to what thou knowest thyself to be.” C.S. Lewis
This quote hit me hard recently, as I’ve been on a mission to rediscover who God really is – and not who my residue-inflicted filters, wounds, or foggy vision have tried to make Him out to be.
You see, as we go through life, life happens. Life comes at us from every angle, and even when we’re prayed up, there are still things that can creep in.
Small, subtle, partial truths can sneak into our subconscious through one little comment someone made, or a flash memory from our past, or a situation that just didn’t quite work out how we wanted, leaving us feeling disappointed – and when those partial truths embed, they become louder, engrained, and infused so deeply that they trick us into thinking they’re real.
I’ve been spending these last couple of months focusing on unlearning those nasty little buggers.
You know they’re nasty when you hear the actual truth and your brain sort of tilts its head like a confused puppy, going “wait. ummm…something about what you’re saying really resonates, but it’s not been my experience. But I want to believe you. I don’t like that there’s doubt creeping in.”
Like I said, it’s subtle, but there will be clues that something’s “off” and it’s in those times that you’ve got to lean into God’s infallible truth and friends who will stick with you in the diving exploration of “where did that false thought originate from?”
Those are the real ones. The “ride or die” friends (if my slang is correct)! The ones who will consistently point you back to truth and help navigate if/when things don’t line up. They won’t judge or tear you down or imply that you’re a lost cause. They’ll simply guide you back, ask questions to dig deeper, and pray with you to find and keep freedom from any nasty little bugger that’s trying to overstay its welcome!
So when I read “Not to what I think thou art, but to what thou knowest thyself to be.” it struck a chord because it’s something I’ve been reminding myself of lately, although not in the eloquence with which C.S. Lewis expresses it here.
That quote is from his book “Screwtape Letters” and is a must read if you want insights into why you think the way you think! Fascinating, enlightening, and a great resource to equip you in overcoming those thoughts that would try to take you out.
If you’re walking through anything right now that has you doubting whether God is good, let me assure you that HE IS, and sometimes we just need to see Him afresh with this simple phrase – “Not to what I think thou art, but to what thou knowest thyself to be.” and continue repeating it.