The English Dictionary defines *SELF* as…
A person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one’s own self; a person’s nature, character, etc.: his or her better self; personal interest; Philosophy, the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.
I came to an understanding a while ago that my *SELF*, has many different hats so to say. For instance there is my Family-Self, (represented by my surname and genetic inheritance) My Work-Self, my Cultural-Self, my Social-Self, my Happy-self, my Sad-self, my National-self, my Lower-self
and my Higher-Self (which equals my Higher Power or Spirit- Self). I have a body-self, a mind-self, emotional-self. I also have an Addict-Self, and a Co-dependent-Self…etc…
I’m sure you get the gist of this. A human-being is a fairly complex and wondrous creation. I have many different identities in this sorjourn of life. But my soul’s job here, is to find, know and understand my REAL identity in Christ.
*SELF* is about identity, who or what I identify most with, becomes the dominant *SELF* for me. So when I talk about *Self*, I am describing a multi-faceted identity. My Higher-Self identifies with God, my lower self is my *EGO*; or sin nature, my addictive self, it is also the self, I was living from primarily before I was born again in Christ, my old self. The Bible says…
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
My Higher-Self is my Spirit Self, The New Creation; and is the part of me that is with Christ, God and Holy Spirit. It is my re-born self. My saved self. See Scripture…
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
My lower-Self, which is my Ego self, is the one that carries my addictive patterns, and behavior. It is also connected primarily to my sin nature.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:9
How do I come to understand these different aspects of SELF?
The Bible says….
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.1 Corinthians 2:10
Having understood that there are different Selfs, it is then clear that some aspects of *SELF* work directly with God (ie. My born again Spirit Self or Higher Self) to overcome the other aspect of self that is the sin nature enslaved to Satan’s world (ie. My addictive lower self or ego)
So when the recovery program talks of *Selfishness* in a good way, it is referring to my Higher-Selfishness, ie. the Self that is committed to serving God, honoring Christ, working my program, etc…This is also the *Self* related to such things as Self-Esteem, Self-confidence, and Self-Love.
The selfishness referred to here, relates to 100% focus on God, and away from the sin-nature, addictions and attachments to this world which is predominantly ruled by the ego, lower-self, satan and sin nature. This is the *Self-worship* that the article discusses.
Therefore we also have *selfishness* of the ego, or lower-self. This is the selfishness we find in our addictive behaviours. It’s connected to arrogance, pride and all the other sins. It is this selfishness that is referred to in the Scripture: “deny yourself, take up your cross and
follow me”. I am required to deny my ego-self, my lower self, my addict-self.
Finally it is important for me as a Christian to be aware of which *SELF* I am serving the most, at all times, is it the Higher-Self of the Holy Spirit, or the lower-self of the addict, and of the enemy Satan? The Bible points me in the right direction for that also, here….
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23