I like true self/false self language. It is the language of spiritual transformation. It is the language of Jesus and of the apostle Paul:
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self (the false self), which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self (the true self), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22--24 emphasis mine.
"...since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Colossians 3:9b-10
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.....For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin" Romans 6:4, 6
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.' Luke 9:23-24
The more we embrace who we are in Christ and live out of that, the more we become our true the self. The person we were created to be. The person God breathed into existence and formed in Christ. There is such a freedom in becoming this person, though the road is rough, we must go through death ~ death of our false self. Yet that false self feels so much like who we really are that it is often confused with "the real me". Each time I get a new pair of glasses with a new prescription I realize that I have not really been seeing clearly. I thought I was, but then that new set of lenses which makes what I see much clearer, reminds me that I had not been seeing as clear after-all. So it is with our false self. We think this is who we are, but then as we grow in Christ-likeness we begin to become the person we were really created by God to be. And the true self emerges and grows and we begin to see clearly that what we thought was real, was actually false. Our false self is made up of the lies we we believed about ourselves; it is made up of the person we thought we were supposed to be in order to be loved, to be liked, to be valued, to cope. It is made up of the coping mechanisms and defenses we created in order to survive. But all those things do not make up who we are in Christ. They do not make up who we are as a child of God, fully loved and valued for who we are ~ His beloved child. We are called in Scripture to live more and more out of our true self. Spiritual transformation comes as we yield to God and position ourselves in His presence to be changed. Positioning is experimenting with and finding those spiritual disciplines or practices which help us draw close to God and allow our hearts to be examined and reformed by Him. Art journaling as become one of those practices for me, along with Bible study, writing in my journal, reading, solitude, and connecting with kids and nature.
Well, this is not the post I had intended to write today, but it is the one that was revealed as I sat down and typed. It is the message that God drew out of me today.
A little more art: