INNER CIRCLE: Bring Forth What Is Within You

INNER CIRCLE: Bring Forth What Is Within You August 25, 2023

IMAGE: Keith Giles


Jesus said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”


Here we have favored the translation suggested by scholar Elaine Pagels as her rendition makes the most sense out of the assorted other versions of this saying.

Some scholars, such as William Duffy, have argued that the unspoken thing that is brought forth must be love because, as he puts it, “love is the only thing that increases when shared.” But that may or may not be the case here. I tend to think that Jesus intentionally leaves the answer open-ended and allows us to fill in that blank ourselves. Because I think the saying is true whether what is brought forth is love, or pain, or anger, or trauma, or joy, or any other human emotion.

So, if we bring forth our pain, or sadness, or love, or joy, then this expression of what is hidden inside of us will save us. But, if we hold those things inside and refuse to let them out, or to express them, then those things will eventually kill us or destroy us, as Jesus suggests here.

In the book, Black Elk Speaks, the great native American mystic expresses something quite similar when he says: “I had a dream and because I did not live my dream, my dream was making me sick.”

In other words, do not hold anything inside. Do not withhold your love, or your pain, or your sadness, or your joy from others. Let it out. Make it known. Share what is inside you with others because, as Jesus has told us over and over again throughout this Gospel text, there is no separation between you and the other person or persons around you. Keeping your emotions inside and refusing to share those thoughts, feelings and ideas with others is what those who are deluded by the illusion of separation do. But, since we are not deluded by this illusion, and because we are aware of our Oneness with God and with one another, it makes no sense to withhold our feelings and emotions from those who are intertwined with us in ways we can barely comprehend.

Our Oneness with God means there is nothing to hide from God. Our Oneness with one another means there is nothing to hold back from each other. In fact, to practice our new reality of interconnectedness it only makes sense to share what is inside of us with everyone around us without fear.

On the practical side, sharing what is within us with those who are still living inside the illusion of separation might not be a good idea. Those who still have an “Us/Them” perspective of the world are liable to use what we share with them against us, or for their own advantage. But, we should be free to trust those who truly see our Oneness with God and with one another. This is part of how we celebrate our Oneness with those who recognize that Oneness as we do. It’s what the earliest Christians called “Koinonia” or “continuous devotion with one another.”

So, this saying is perhaps one of the most profoundly practical sayings in the entire Gospel of Thomas. It has meaning and carries insight that can truly help us understand the necessity of sharing what we have inside with those who understand the reality of Oneness. It also warns us of the dangers of holding things inside and creating partitions within ourselves that deny our Oneness with others and perpetuate the illusion of separation that we must always strive to escape from.


If God is the One in whom we all live and move and have our being, then perhaps we are the ones in whom God lives and moves and has being too. If so, where does God end and where do we begin? Author Keith Giles asks us to reconsider our common assumptions about God and ourselves in ways we’ve never imagined before.

Join me for a new 3-week online course based on my best-selling new book, SOLA DEUS. Class begins Monday, Sept. 11th, 2023. But, if you register today you’ll get a ten percent discount.

HURRY! This offer ends soon.


Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” He hosts the Second Cup with Keith podcast, and co-hosts the Apostates Anonymous podcast, and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.

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