Being a pretty introspective person, I’m not quite sure what to make of the widely held notion that women are more in touch with their feelings than men. I’m more in touch with my feelings than I would like to be.
In our culture, that last statement sounds like crazy talk. At thefrontieratgrace.com we’ve often discussed our culture’s fascination with “finding ourselves.” We have argued, though, that who we are and where we should go are matters that are externally, not internally defined. It is God who tells us who we are, and it is Jesus Christ whom we are to follow. And perhaps strangely to us, we start to find out a lot more about our true identity when we cease to be so concerned about ourselves and focus on the Caller.*
A degree of introspection seems wise, but a lot of us go overboard with this. For such people it is very difficult to say with Paul, “To live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). Paul so closely associated his identity and calling with Christ that he devalued his earthly resume (Philippians 3:7–9) and didn’t even judge himself (1 Corinthians 4:3–4)—an amazing fact in light of his tremendous intensity.
I keep coming back to this subject in part because it’s one that has been so helpful to me personally. More and more I’m finding that my impulse to understand and express what I am thinking is not necessarily helpful. Some would tell you that all good Christians keep a journal. For me that is a recipe for disaster. I’m plenty in touch with myself. Sometimes it’s just good to say, “Who cares what I think?”
* Let me highlight again a wonderful book on this topic: Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003).