Characteristics of the Self Life-Measure Yourself
Are you living your life strictly to please yourself or are you living for others? In the Bible we read "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) Once we come to Jesus repenting of our sins and are forgiven, we become a new creature and are filled with the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." (Galatians 5:22-26)
The following are some of the features and manifestations of the self-life. The Holy Spirit alone can interpret and apply this to your individual case. As you read, examine yourself in the very presence of God.
ARE YOU EVER CONSCIOUS OF:
• A secret spirit of pride or an exalted feeling in view of your success or position; because of your good training or appearance; because of your natural gifts and abilities; an important, independent spirit? Proverbs 16:18; 20:6; 25:14; Romans 12:3; James 4:6.
• Love of human praise; a secret fondness to be noticed; love of supremacy, drawing attention to self in conversation; a swelling out of self when you have had a special open door in speaking or praying? John 5:44; 12:42-43; 1 Corinthians 13:4.
• The stirrings of anger or impatience which, worst of all, you call nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when disapproved of or contradicted; a desire to throw sharp, heated remarks at another? Psalm 37:8; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Luke 21:19; James 1:19.
• Self-will; a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; a driving, commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored? Deuteronomy 1:43; Malachi 2:2; James 3:17; 2 Peter 2:10.
• Carnal fear; a man-fearing spirit; a shrinking from reproach and duty; reasoning around your cross; a shrinking from doing your whole duty to those of wealth or position; a fearfulness that someone will offend and drive some prominent person away; a compromising spirit? 1 Samuel 15:24; Proverbs 29:25; Galatians 2:12; 1 John 4:18.
• A jealous disposition; a secret envy shut up in your heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings, rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself? Genesis 26:12-16; 1 Samuel 18:8-9; Proverbs 6:34; 14:30; Matthew 21:15; Romans 12:9-10.
• A dishonest, deceitful disposition; the evading and covering of the truth; the covering up of your real faults; leaving a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; a false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth? Psalm 15:2-3; Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 23:28; Luke 22:48; Acts 5:2-3; 1 Timothy 4:2.
• Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an over-anxious feeling whether everything will come out all right? Isaiah 7:9; Luke 12:28-30; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:6; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 5:7.
• Formality and deadness; lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference; lack of power with God? Matthew 15:14; 2 Timothy 3:5; Revelation 2:4; 3:1.
• Selfishness; love of ease; love of money? Amos 6:1-6; Luke 12:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:10-11.
These are some of the traits which generally indicate a carnal heart. By prayer, hold your heart open to the searchlight of God until you see the very insides thereof. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me" (Psalm 139:23-24). The Holy Ghost will enable you, by confession and faith, to bring your "self-life" to the death. Do not patch over, but go to the very bottom and clean out all the dross. It alone will pay. Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord! Oh, to be lost in Thee! Oh, that it might be no more I, but Christ that lives in me! "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10). – anon. arr.