Are You Comfortable With Your Self?

We are beginning a new series at New City this Sunday.  I’m excited for it.  It’s about identity, value and worth.  We will look at three central areas of our identity with the goal of answering the question, “Who Are You?

In preparing for this week’s sermon, I came across this powerful Merton quote on being and doing.  Enjoy.

All men seek peace first of all with themselves.  That is necessary, because we do not naturally find rest even in our own being.  We have to learn to commune with ourselves before we can communicate with other men and with God.  A man who is not at peace with himself necessarily projects his interior fighting into the society of those he lives with, and spreads a contagion of conflict all around him….

It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done.  In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity.  We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and work that are the quiet expression of our inner life.  We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting an immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition….

Our Christian destiny is, in fact, a great one: but we cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great.  For our own idea of greatness is illusory, and if we pay too much attention to it we will be lured out of the peace and stability of the being God gave us, and seek to live in a myth we have created for ourselves. It is, therefore, a very great thing to be little, which is to say: to be ourselves.  And when we are truly ourselves we lose most of the futile self-consciousness that keeps us constantly comparing ourselves with others in order to see how big we are.

No Man is an Island, pg. 120-122

These words were like a cool drink of water to me.  I hope you enjoyed them. 🙂

Photo from flickr.


2 responses to “Are You Comfortable With Your Self?”

  1. James Kim Avatar
    James Kim


    Great quote. I need to check this Merton guy out more. It’s so tough to internalize and live out what Merton gets at here, especially because of the culture we live in, the insecurities and idols of our hearts. A little gem of a book I just read called “A Poverty of Spirit” by Metz helped me tremendously.

    Thanks for writing. I appreciate it tons brother.

  2. Hi James! Thanks for the feedback and the book recommendation!