A while ago I was chatting to a guy I was getting to know, when he made a startling confession. “I hate myself,” he said, “I can’t think anything good about myself.”
I asked him which self was doing the talking?
He looked confused.
“Well, you have two selves,” I said, “The old one and the new one. Which one is doing the talking?”
He realized in that moment that only the old self would use the word hate and have no goodness to share.
“What do I do about that voice?” he asked.
“You ignore it,” I replied. “It belongs to someone who is dead in Jesus. Instead of dealing with the old voice, you listen for the new, which at least will tell you the opposite of the old!”
We don’t counsel the old self; we do not deal with its behavior.
That is the best way to keep it alive. Instead, we reckon that we are dead to it and alive to God in the new self. We replace the old, we don’t remodel it. The fruit of self control will allow us to deny the rights of the old self and promote the disposition of our new selves in Christ.
There is only one voice to hear. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit whose business is to make you like Jesus. He talks to you in the way that the Father talks to His Son the Beloved. It’s the same voice. Full of rest, love, and delivered with a quiet joy. It is the voice of patient kindness and gentle goodness that lifts our hearts to experience His faithfulness.
All other voices must be put in their place.
That is why we have self control: so that we may know the difference between our old and new self, and make decisions accordingly. There is something wonderful in saying “no” to the old self and “yes” to our true self in Jesus. It is deeply satisfying and powerfully renewing. The Holy Spirit will always (because the old nature is dead) focus our attention on who we are as new creations in Him. He does not deal with the old self, because Jesus has already done that on the Cross.
We are free to move about the Kingdom. Free to explore who we are in Jesus and discover what has been set aside for us to enjoy.
The new self does not need to choose stress when love, joy, peace, are all available for free.
Your new self can instead choose a better thought, a new mindset, a renewal of perspective and a more excellent way to live.
So I ask you, which self are you listening to in your life? How can you begin to discern the voice of God in your heart? What is He saying to you about how He sees you and feels about you?
P.S. For more material on this, be sure to check out Mind of a Saint. It’s a teaching I did on how to live in the new man and does its best to help empower you to discern between the old and new.
P.P.S. Every wonder what we’re about at Brilliant Perspectives? I recently shot a short video about why we do what we do here. Watch it here.