The Gift of Being Yourself: David Benner

“The Gift of Being Yourself” is an exceptional investigation of the subject of self-identity. The author, David Benner, is able to masterfully bridge the Biblical paradox of death-to-self and self-discovery. He writes, “For if we find our true self we find God, and if we find God, we find our most authentic self.” We don’t find our true self by seeking self-identity but by seeking God.

Benner sees our identity not as a creation but as a discovery and as a gift from God. By discovering and living our uniqueness, we fulfill our destiny. The purpose of the book is to assist people in the transformational journey of becoming their true self in Christ and living out the vocation that this involves. To do so we must know ourselves as known by God. In knowing ourselves and knowing God we can experience the gift of being ourselves.

The author contends that through self-deception, we tend to confuse our true self with some ideal self we wish we were. We adopt masks that portray us differently than who we authentically are. Self-discovery is not to escape reality but to commit to it. We must decide to accept what is really there and accept ourselves as we are and accept God as He is, not how we would want each to be. Spiritual transformation does not result from fixing our problems. Our tendency toward disobedient ways is not self-fixable. Instead, spiritual transformation results from turning to God in the midst of our problems and meeting God just as we are.

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