Who is the real me and the real you? Sometimes we are not who people think we are as there is a public persona of who we hope people see us as and the real us that is not always in alignment with that persona.
The real us does pop out from time to time and it comes in interesting ways: when we face a deep crisis, when we are unjustly accused, when we are confronted over an issue in our life or when we lose our jobs. All of these situations (and I am sure more) bring to the surface that which is most deeply hidden in our hearts. Here is where the true test of character lies - for better for worse.
Most of us pay too little attention to the words of Jesus that what comes out of a man is what is actually in a man. Most of us can manage our emotions and actions well enough in public forgetting that the most authentic version of us is being forged deep in our hearts in quiet times and hidden places that others do not see. This is where our deepest convictions are forged, our most authentic faith is developed and our character is hammered out.
When crisis comes it is those convictions, that faith and that character that emerges in all of its depth or shallowness. Because it is in these times that we don't manage our emotions and responses well. Rather what is there is what emerges for all to see. Often it is not pretty. Sometimes is it amazingly Christ-like. The difference is what was forged in the deepest places of our lives.
When faith, patience, trust in God's sovereignty and kindness toward others, even our accusers shows up in a crisis situation you know that it comes from a core of spiritual health. When bitterness, anger, accusations, and self serving actions and attitudes show up in crisis you know that it comes from a core of spiritual dishealth.
For what is forged on the inside is what will surface in difficult times.
Who is the real you? The authentic you? Are you forging in deep places and quiet ways the faith, character and convictions that will show up unexpectedly when hard times come - as they inevitably do? The test of our true self is not how we act on a good day but how we handle ourselves on a truly bad and awful day.