I mean, for most of my life, I dragged my dummy-me everywhere. It was exhausting. I had to do the thinking for both of us, “Hey, there’s some people we know, dummy,” and I had to do the talking for both of us, “Let’s say ‘hi’ to the people, dummy,” while simultaneously animating my false-self, “Let’s wave to the people, dummy.”
No matter where I was, I held my dummy-me out in front of me. No matter who I was with, I pushed my false-self forward.
Where did this dummy-me come from?
I made him.
The real me was wounded, broken, confused, and afraid. So I made an alternate-me, a shield-me, to hide behind. The tricky part is, I wasn’t aware of it. I thought my false-self was really me.
We all have a tendency to respond to our brokenness by going into hiding—from ourselves, from others, and even from God.
The troubling thing is that we can build a whole false life around our bogus-selves. We can even do it religiously. It’s possible to bring our false-selves into shallow community with other dummy-selves and make-believe we’re healing and growing. All the while we’re actually hiding from the help we need.
The enemy loves the false-self. And the enemy loves dummy community precisely because it’s unreal. When we assemble together with fellow pretenders, no one is really helped and no one is truly free.
I learned the hard way that it’s impossible to apply the truth to a false self. We end up trying to make superficial improvements to our artificial selves with a counterfeit gospel.
Several years ago, God began ripping apart my dummy-me. He tore it away from me one limb at a time because I wasn’t letting go. Eventually, I had nothing left to hide behind.
At first it was scary to go out of the house without the cover of dummy-me. I mean, people could see everything. And it was terribly uncomfortable to enter into the intimacy of authentic community without a false-self to push forward. I felt naked. Now they could see me!
And that’s the whole idea. Healing begins when we bring our real selves into the light of grace and truth.
Jesus didn’t die for dummies. He laid down His life for the real me and the real you. In fact, Jesus came to liberate us from our false selves. He redeemed us in order to restore our true identities.
My dummy-me may enjoy a better reputation than I do, but he’s got no character. He’s just a shell of a manikin, and there’s no help for him.
But there’s real hope for the real me. And now that I no longer have to support the weight of my false-self, my life feels a lot lighter, too.
How about you?