The chapter this is taken from is about the importance of praying for self reflection and introspection, based off one of my favorite "life scriptures", Psalm 139:23-25. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Paul, you may remember, urges us to offer our bodies-- our very selves-- as living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1). This offering cannot be made in some abstract way with pious words or religious acts. No, it must be rooted in the acceptance of the concrete details of who we are and the way we live. We come come to accept and even honor our creatureliness. The offering of ourselves can only be the offering of our lived experience, because this alone is who we are. And who we are-- not who we want to be-- is the only offering we have to give. We give God therefore not just our strengths, but also our weaknesses, not just our giftedness, but also our brokenness. Our duplicity, our lust, our narcissism, our sloth-- all are laid on the altar of sacrifice...
There is, therefore, no need to repress, suppress, or sublimate any of God's truth about ourselves. Full, total, unvarnished self-knowledge is the bread by which we are sustained. A yes to life means an honest recognition of our own evil, but it is also a yes to God, who in the midst of our evil sustains us and draws us into his righteousnesses.
Through faith, self-knowledge leads us to self-acceptance and a self-love that draw their life from God's acceptance and love.