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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Friday, October 23

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
—Mark 8:35-36

In Christianity we speak of the false self and the true self. The false self is that ego-centered matrix of energy that each of us creates early in life as the way we try to get our needs met.

Each of us needs security, affection, and power/control. When those needs were threatened during our young and vulnerable early development, each of us created ways to get those needs met—be very good / be naughty; be very strong / be dependent; work hard / withdraw; et cetera.

Most of us continue to try to solve problems in our adult life with the same strategies that worked when we were children. And we exaggerate our needs for security, affection and power/control, seeking to accumulate the cultural symbols for those three basic needs.

Great portions of our energy and motivation comes from our self-centered energy trying to meet those needs. That is our false self. It's what is killing us. The false self will ruin your life.

To die to the false self is to live. The good news of Jesus is that your life is already perfectly secure, loved, and grounded in ultimate power and control. All of this is a gift from God. We don't have to do anything to be secure, loved and empowered. Your true self is your natural being at the center of your soul, which is always one with God, always in union with the ultimate.

From within that union, all is well, even death itself. From within that ever-present union, you are free from the compulsive fear of the false self and able freely to love. That is the way of the cross. The path of dying in order to live.

Shower us with the blessings of your grace, that we may know ourselves to be so completely secure, loved and empowered that we may die to our compulsive fears and live in union with you.

These Signposts were originally published on in 2005.