St. Augustine once said, “Dig deep enough in any person, and you will find something divine.”  That is a perfect description of the working method of Jesus.  Put Him one-on-one with any person, and He would dig until He found that something divine.  Then He would seek to draw out that quality and make it the dominant theme of that person’s life. 

He did this with the woman who was caught in adultery.  He saw something inside of her, deeper than her sinfulness.  And He made His appeal to that.  Underneath her worst, He never doubted there was something better.  That woman must have left His presence that day with a new vision of who she was.

Inside each of us is the person we were meant to be.  Those good qualities are already there.  Those personality traits are already there.  Those skills and talents are already there.  We do not need to import or transplant anything from the outside.  We just need to become the person we were always meant to be, to get out of ourselves the best that is in us.

In recent years, a great deal has been said and written about self-expression.  And most of it has been wide of the truth.  Proponents of the playboy philosophy have exhorted people to cast off all sexual restraint and express themselves.  Advocates of the “me generation” have exhorted people to forget social responsibilities and express themselves.

Self-expression is not a bad term.  It is a good term.  The problem is that we have turned it over to the wrong people.  Jesus believed in self-expression.  In a sense, that is what He was saying to Simon Peter – “You are Rock.”  That is who you are; now go out and express yourself. 

The only solution to a false self-expression is a true self-expression.  You and I cannot be who or what we are not.  We must be ourselves.  The challenge is to be our best selves.  And that is where Jesus comes in.  He has provided the means that will enable us to do that.

Jesus has taught us to think of God as a heavenly Father, who loves every one of us.  He is not our enemy:  He is our friend.  He wants for us the very best.  He is concerned for our every need.  Jesus has given to the world the highest concept of God that the human mind has ever conceived.  It is, in fact, so high that we have a hard time believing it.  But if, somehow, we could believe the best about God, is would aid us in the struggle to believe the best about ourselves. 

Also, Jesus not only taught the truth, He lived the truth.  He taught His disciples to love even their enemies.  Then by example, He showed them how.  In His own life, He has painted graphic, vivid, unforgettable pictures of truth.  He has given us an example to follow. 

Tomorrow, we will all go out to face a difficult world.  In that world are many things that appeal to our worst.  That is why it is so important for us to hear Jesus, who appeals to our best.  Listen to Him.  And then tomorrow, in that difficult world, try to remember who Jesus says you are.