A Tale of two selves

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

Jesus is clear: there is a self that we must lose. There is also a Self that we must find. Thus, a Christian must know the difference between self and Self.

Our self fears other people and is committed to being separate from them. Our Self treasures its distinctive role in the Body and understands his healthy dependence on others.

Our self puts up walls. Our Self has good boundaries.

Our self thrives on past and future. Our Self lives in the present.

Our self identifies with mind and emotion. Our Self identifies with spirit and soul.

Our self is a starter kit: our role, name, achievement, report card. Our Self includes these external identifications, but also transcends them.

Our self is boringly common. Our Self is fabulously unique.

Our self seeks control. Our Self is relinquished to God.

Our self wants to win and believes that the stakes are high. Our Self knows that she has already won and is deeply at ease.

Our self is reactive and defensive. Our Self acts freely, for there is nothing to defend.

Our self clings and clutches. Our Self is an open hand.

Our self is a disguise. Our Self is disguised, “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

Our self pretends to be an adult. Our Self delights in being a child.

Our self flees from God, a Consuming Fire. Our Self runs to God, a Refiner’s Fire.

Jesus speaks to the self: “I never knew you.” Jesus speaks to the Self: “Come ye blessed of my Father.”

In short, selfishness is our problem and Selfishness the solution.