Philosopher Sigmund Freud described the "Id" aspect of our personalities. This fleshly being cares only for himself or herself, and is consumed with taking, seldom giving anything back.
This lower, or base, part of our personality has received much literary attention. Thomas Merton, for example, wrote extensively about the true authentic self. It's opposing side was the false, or fictional, self.
We need to understand both sides of ourselves.
First, we must grasp that we are capable of all kinds of evil, as we are fallen beings. Yet, at the same time, the Scriptures tell us that we have been reborn into a new life that God sees as perfect. When we look at our false self, we realize its basic instinct is narcissism, which currently resides in America at an all-time high. God exhorts us to humble ourselves first, so that He may exalt us (Matthew 23:12). Our narcissism is then quenched.
So our heart constantly battles with our mind about who we really are. When we are redeemed, Paul tells us that our life is hidden with Christ in the heavenlies (Colossians 3:3). It is redeemed, and when God looks at us in that condition, He sees only Jesus. All these things we understand deep in our heart, but the physical mind has not caught up.
As Paul points out, we are a "living sacrifice," in the process of being transformed in the way we think. So our heart understands the reality that we have already been perfected by Jesus. As we go through an entire lifetime on planet Earth, we hopefully are renewing our mind to fall in line with that thought.
The problem with a living sacrifice, as described in Romans 12, is that it is constantly crawling off the altar. Paul realizes that our soul has been saved, but our minds need to be constantly transformed to the image of God. This involves "dethroning" the self. The Id must go. When Jesus was speaking to the disciples in Matthew 10, He encourages them to take up His cross, a despicable symbol of torture and thievery. He tells His disciples that he who has found his life will lose it and he was lost his life, for Jesus' sake, will find it.
How do we “dethrone” the selfish part of ourselves?
How well do we understand the perfect and eternal qualities of our redemption?
Do we live more often as our true selves or as our false ones?
© Revolworks 2019