Be True To Self – Be a Servant

If you are not true to yourself you’ll remain untrue to others, starving their needs and catering only to their desires. But if you are true to yourself you will also be true to others, serving only those desires that truly satisfy their needs.

Todd Beal

Imagine that you have not eaten in at least two days. Your practical mind tells you that you need to eat a meal, but for some reason you don’t attribute your hunger to a severe lack of nutrients, only to the insatiable desire to fill your empty stomach. You immediately drive to the nearest donut shop and eat a dozen of your favorite sweet rolls. You then drive to the nearest well-stocked party store and purchase your favorite potato chips and dip, beef jerky, flavored crackers, bread sticks with cheese sauce, and a case of soda pop. You drive home and begin filling yourself to your heart’s desire. Strangely, only after a few hours, you begin to crave food as though you had not eaten – even though your stomach tells you it is full. You immediately leave the house and proceed to repeat the entire process all over again, never guessing that you are trying to fill a real need with something that is pleasurable but cannot possibly satisfy your body’s severe lack of life-giving nutrients. Interestingly, the craving to eat temporarily subsides each time you fill your stomach, but returns as a ravenous desire for increasingly more food with each successive time that you deny your body of the food it needs – even though your stomach tells you it is full. To make matters worse, when your children come home from summer camp and announce that they too are very hungry, you fill the table with all their favorite foods and cannot understand why each of them, one by one over time, fall ill and must go to the hospital because of malnutrition – even though they each are delighted with the meal.

We go through this same routine in our personal lives as well. If I indulge myself beyond my financial means and consequently cannot support myself, I will first try to increase my income to eliminate the financial restriction. I won’t immediately recognize or admit that my lack of self-discipline and discernment allowed the financial breakdown. Instead of replacing my indulgence with only those things that will make my life better, I try to feed my increasing financial hunger only through those things that continually deprive me of financial stability. Inevitably, I will cross paths with someone who has the same problem, but instead of teaching that person to recognize those things that truly satisfy I will try to point out a better income, thus leaving his or her personal indulgence in tact just like mine. We do this in matters of love, ways of thinking, personal pleasure, and our pursuit of God. In every facet of life, we try at all cost to satisfy our desires with only those things that make us forget our real need. If we are not true to our self, we always take the most immediate, pleasurable path and become the blind that leads the blind, following each other into the swamp of privation. If we are true to our self, we will fill our personal hunger with only those things that truly build us up. In turn, we will desire to help others build their life up also; and when you and I decide to build each other up, together we will flourish as brothers and sisters of humanity.

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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6 Responses to Be True To Self – Be a Servant

  1. The junk food analogy hits close to home. I have a full knowledge that nutritious, natural and whole foods are best for me, and in fact they even taste better than junk. Still I eat far more junk than I should. Why? Because it’s heavily advertised, easily available, less expensive, and doesn’t require much work on my part. Oh, and everyone else is doing it. It is the path of least resistance. This applies directly to the realms of spirit and truth just as you imply. We know what’s good for us, but we don’t do it because it requires effort. The world’s message to us is “don’t strain yourself. Take it easy. We’ll take care of everything. If anything does go wrong, it’s probably someone else’s fault.” The path to God is always described as “straight and narrow”, or likened to an “iron rod” to remind us that although life is meant to be rewarding and joyful, it is not meant to be a pleasure cruise in the world’s terms. It requires discipline, something the world disdains and Lucifer whispers is a waste of time.

    God wants our happiness to be lasting, not fleeting, and he won’t hesitate to give us what’s best for us, whether we like it or not. Sometimes this means a big plate of spiritual hummus and broccoli in the form of a trial that stretches us to our limits. Sometimes we pray for the wrong things. If I’m unemployed and pray for a job today, what if I come home at the end of the day with no job? Has God not answered me? What if he wants me to be more humble, to learn more about the value of work, to experience lack, discipline, and even hunger before he opens the way for a better job than what I had before? In asking for a job NOW, might I be asking for a stone, a serpent, or a scorpion without knowing it? These are the things Jesus said a good father would not give his children. Our Father will give us bread, fish, and eggs because he knows those things meet our needs. When we pray, we tend to ask for immediate and specific outcomes, when God is thinking more of our long-term, broader education.

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  2. Thanks Todd, sometimes I feel like I’m adding TOO much. I don’t make comments like that on other blogs, and I don’t really even write like that on my own blog, but your posts just get me thinking in a way no one else has.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      That is the reason for this blog, for each of us to facilitate life-changing thought in each other.

      Michael, the one thing I see in your comments is that you don’t simply read words and take them for face value; you give the content a fair hearing. You truly immerse yourself into what you are reading and extract a personalized meaning. You then think about that meaning and, in turn, write about how it applies to your own life and/or the world at large. If what you are reading is unclear, you ask for clarification instead of impatiently jumping to conclusions; you truly think about what you read and also about what you write. It also seems apparent to me that whether you are reading or writing, you are constantly asking the honest question, “Is that true”, whether you like the answer or not, whether you ultimately agree with it or not. That approach to life is most rare.

      I do understand that you may sometimes disagree with what I write (that’s life), but I value your willingness to at least try to see where I am coming from, and your willingness to understand my point. That is not to say objections are not welcome. Healthy debate is just as valuable as justified agreement, as it challenges us to reassess and/or defend why we believe and think the way we do, and in the process refines and sharpens our skill for thinking.

      Finally, I appreciate the care and effort you put into making your quantity of words represent the quality of your content. Put another way, you say what you need to say without using any more or any less words than is meaningfully and contextually necessary. I don’t say this to criticize the writing or thinking skills of other people – as we each are uniquely gifted in different areas – but to reaffirm my belief that, regardless of one’s natural abilities and associated skills, we each need to actively employ our mind in all things, according to our potential.

      Michael, my point here is that I value your thoughts and personal presence on this blog, Truth Behind Reality. Thank you for your kindness, your thoughtful and valuable contributions, and your obvious desire for Truth.

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  3. Some of the basic needs of all humans are Acceptance, Belonging and Encouragement.

    I know of one family where the son was encouraged in all his endeavours while his sister never received any encouragement. The parents had the philosophy that she would marry but he would have to succeed. The two were equally gifted but only the boy was encouraged. The boy advanced while the girl became introverted with a low opinion of herself.

    Encouragement is vital and I agree with you that this is something we cannot pass on unless we firstly accept ourselves and live honestly as we really are. I think it was John Maxwell who said something like “No man can lead another higher than he is himself.”

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    • Todd Beal says:

      What a powerful comment, the whole thing; that was none other than the voice of truth speaking through your words. You irreducibly boiled down my entire statement and elaboration into one thing and then married it to real life, the here and now. Your comment commands respect, and irresistibly invites one to read and reread it through careful study, doing so with an attentive mind and an open heart. Thank you very much!

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