all wrapped up in myself…

5169wrapped_up I can get all wrapped up in myself.  That's a strange thing to say from a language perspective… and perhaps an even stranger thing to say from a life perspective. 

From a language perspective, if I'm wrapped up in myself then it sounds as if I myself am holding myself… or I myself am containing myself.  In which case then the wrapping is the same substance as what is being wrapped. Effectively (or ineffectively actually), I serve as the wrapping of myself.  In which case there is truly no wrapping other than that which is being wrapped.  Make sense?  No, you're right, it doesn't!  This is no way to live!

Which is why from a life perspective, it does us no good to wrap ourselves up in ourselves.  It provides us no freedom to be bound up within ourselves.  To wrap ourselves in our own affair is to become inward and immobile and adulterous to others whom we are to love.  The selfish, arrogantly anxious wrapping we use is ultimately ineffectual as a wrap- as it provides no true layer of presentation.

So it is that most people who are wrapped up in themselves must adhere a secondary exterior.  For anyone who is wrapped up in themselves can attest, they are unconcerned with present-ing (gifting) themselves to others… but they are remarkably concerned with representing (showing) themselves to others.  Therefore, a person who is wrapped up in themselves must put on another outward display… a demonstration, a projected layer that allows their egotostical self to remain in itself unaffected by others.  This secondary exterior usually reflects the grander aspects of the self-wrap, minus the gnawing defects that create the anxious arrogance of the self-wrap in the first place. 

I'm struck by Jesus who wasn't wrapped up in himself when he present-ed (gifted) himself to us.  He could have wrapped himself in majesty and strength and light (etc etc etc – even though with integrity he truly could have presented himself this way).  Remarkably, Jesus chose to wrap himself in swaddling clothes, both in birth and in death (Luke 2:6-7; Luke 23:53).  He offers us a humble present-ation (gift giving) of his inner self.  And in the humility of his offering, we are drawn into the depths of wonder and love that are self-contained within him.

I'm also struck by Jesus who longs to be wrapped within us.  Colossians 3 reminds us that we are to allow Christ to "rule in our hearts" and to "live in us".  Christ's words are to be alive in us. 

Profoundly, as Jesus lives in us, we are to let go of our own anxiety in ourselves and allow Christ to wrap us up in him.  Colossians 3 encourages us to strip off (cast off, throw off) the false image of ourselves that we demonstrate.  We are to "clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience… forgiveness… [and] love."  In other words… we put on Christ.  We are to wear Jesus inside and out.

We are supposed to wrap ourselves in Jesus… through and through.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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