I recently came across a little gem about the ego and the soul.
It’s quite profound. It states things like:
“Ego looks outward. Soul looks inward.”
“Ego sees lack. Soul sees abundance.”
According to one definition of the word, soul is comprised of the mind, the will and the emotions. So, it stands to reason soul would be quite vulnerable to disease. Indeed, there is a battle going on.
And, let’s get real — a large part of that battle involves the toxic pride factor.
Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
And that pride rubs shoulders with rebellious foolishness.
The fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Psalms 14:1
And yes, that goes for even us Christians.
It’s not about being a good little boy or girl in the pews on Sunday. Instead, it has everything to do with the very real, very rebellious, prideful and diseased thoughts which have ensnared us in affliction. Saying “no” when we should say “yes.”
As is echoed in the “Ego Versus Soul” post…
“Ego rejects God. Soul embraces God.”
And, while we may nod our heads in agreement with that statement, do we really examine any rebelliousness lurking in our tricky hearts?
After all, we’re not above being deceived…
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
For, once upon a time, there was a certain rebel who let some audacious, prideful attitudes rip.
And he said unto them, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18
But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14
And here were the consequences:
…you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.Isaiah 14:15
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” Isaiah 14:12
“Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence,” saith the LORD. Jeremiah 49:16
So, one can argue if we do not embrace God and His perspective, we’re, therefore, embracing this guy’s attitude instead.
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. James 3:16
Are you squirming yet?
You may think I’m being over the top here. But is it really such an astounding leap?
After all, Jesus, Himself, said, “You are either for or against me.” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23).
Addiction, like it or not, has some rather unflattering roots in pride, envy and self-interest, hence the ego. And, many of us have the wreckage to prove it: hurt loved ones, lost careers, jeopardized health, financial and legal issues. The list goes on.
But the soul…
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10
Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. Psalms 62:1
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Psalms 116:8
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:19
But there IS, indeed, some good news concerning our souls; God is not us.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
So, because of those different perspectives, our thoughts not necessarily being those of God’s, we need to intentionally approach Him with a different response that the rebellious choices which have landed us where we are.
Enter the favorite recovery word, surrender… and its corresponding steps, such as…
1. We admitted we were powerless over a substance or behavior – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
All of that flies in the face of rebellious ego. But man, does it ever harmonize with soul!
One of my favorite quotes is from C. S. Lewis:
You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
Again, returning to our definition of soul, that of our mind, will and emotions, we are, therefore, challenged to utilize those three components toward, not away from, God. No easy feat. Often, it’s not fun. Let’s just get real about it.
Yet, there is a more fulfilling, healthier path is choosing that direction.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
There is a question being asked of us. Our response is needed.
Which one do we choose to pursue, especially concerning our recovery?
Is it the ego? Or is it the soul?