Jesus always seemed to know who he was. Throughout his life there was a developing awareness of his person and mission, but he always had a coherent sense of self. His habitual self-awareness and unwavering fidelity to his mission stand in contrast to how we live in contemporary American society. A lifestyle centered on security, pleasure, and power precludes the possibility of establishing any coherent sense of self for the simple reason that these desires peremptorily exclude God.
Just as the mind of Christ Jesus created his world, so too do our minds create our worlds. An ego grasping for security, pleasure, and power freely barters self-awareness for something that will enhance the mirage of fulfillment that these desires brings. Our addictive patterns – our expectations, desires, attachments, demands and mental models – dominate our perception of self, others, and the world. This grasping, manipulative focus keeps us on that roller-coaster ride of pleasure and disappointment that makes continuity of character and fidelity to vision impossible. – Brennan Manning, “The Importance of Being Foolish”