Vol.III No.IV Pg.1
May 1966

"To See Ourselves..."

Robert F. Turner

Can a man be what he, in reality, is not? It's a tricky question, so give it time to 'soak in'. Can greatness spring from the small and mean; sweet water from a bitter spring?

I believe the answer is "No!". Our true character is not the veneer we wear externally, and by which casual acquaintances think they 'know' us; but "the hidden man of the heart". We may pretend beautifully, convincing many people and almost convince ourselves; but what we are, deep inside, will prevail. That noble philosopher, Popeye, was correct in asserting, "I am what I am, and that's all I am".

Is this a shocking revelation to you?. Haven't you really suspected it all along?. Jesus said, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit". And again, "How can ye, being evil, speak good things" (Matt.7:18, 12:33-35). The authority of truth is involved here -- what really is asserts itself through every cloak of sham and pretense. Many lives are storms of confusion and conflict, as people try to live at cross-purposes with themselves; to be (in the eyes of others) what they are not. Nor is this charade alwanor& deliberate deception. Many have lived a "false front" so long that they can no longer "know themselves" honestly. We see in ourselves what we want to see; and this conflict of the heart and our false front makes a scrambled mess of our lives. Verily, "What fools we mortals be!"

At this point it would be easy to draw some false conclusions. One may say, "All right, I am not a great man, nor even a good man, and there is nothing I can do about it. I will be true to myself, and live out my life in smallness and meanness". Another, having caught a glimpse of a better life, and desiring heaven, may become despondent. "I have tried and failed. I am hopelessly lost!"

Historic theologians say man inherited a depraved nature from Adam, and is incapable of anything good. They would leave the true nature of man as they believe it is -- dark and evil --