the sinful self is not my real self, it is not the self You have wanted for me, only the self that I have wanted for myself. And I no longer want this false self. 75

What is this “false self” that I want and yet do not want? Why am I so divided over my allegiance to “my real self”?

This “false self” is “false” in the sense that it is something less than my “real self”. It is not the person I truly am. When I am living under the power of my “false self” I am living as a being who is less than the person I was created to be.

Paul described my true self when he listed the fruit of the Spirit as

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and inner strength. (Galatians 5:22,23)

This is my true nature. When I am “my real self” I am loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle and in touch with my deep inner strength. This is the vision of what it means to be human that was embodied in the person of Jesus. This is the calling of every human being.

These qualities are not things I can command. There is no self-help program or improvement project that has the power to enable me to live this full vision of my true nature. These are all gifts, “fruit” of the Holy Spirit. They grow in the ground of surrender and submission to the force and power of Love.

When my heart softens to the Spirit of Christ, I no longer seek to live by self-will. The desire to drive my own life, to fulfill my own petty agendas and exert my will over all of existence, begins to dissipate.

I find arising within myself a natural desire to be the person I was created to be. A freshness grows in place of that stale determination to get my way that has so often paralyzed my life. The Spirit to whom I open is the Spirit of freedom and life for which my heart longs.

What do I find so compelling and attractive about my “false self”?

What disciplines in my life help me to open and soften to the presence of God’s Spirit who desires to enable me to live as the person I was truly created to be?