The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Hating Myself (Hating False Sinful Self or Ego)

It’s the old sinful self (ego) I hate. The ego is nothing. I have been crucified with Christ and risen to new life. I put on the new self daily. Hating the ego leads to repentance as I die to self daily. I fall in love with love (true self). We fall in love with our true selves like a mother falls in love with her baby. I have been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who lives but Christ lives within me (Col. 3:3). I put on the new self daily having been created according to God in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Eph. 4:24).

Self-Esteem in Christ

I am nobody special in the worldly sense of the term. But in dying to self and coming to faith in Christ I have eternal significance. I am special to God. His love is a holy love. Holy means to be set apart (special). I don’t earn my worth but it is a gift of God received by faith. My sense of belonging and sense that I count comes from being a child of God. The ego is nothing. The paradox is that we are set apart and special because we are united to all. We are light in a dark world. What the world considers special God doesn’t. What God considers special the world doesn’t. When I’m nobody I’m somebody. When I’m somebody I’m nobody. We become nobody so that Christ will be glorified in us - our true self. In and of myself I’m nothing so that Christ can reign in my heart. I’m covered and infused in God’s righteousness. Therefore, I have intrinsic worth because I’m in Christ. Everything I have; family, friends, possessions, health, all comes from my heavenly Father (Job 1:21). Knowing this, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I am “fearfully and wonderfully” made (Psalm 139:14). In Christ, I have my true identity, apart from Him, I am nothing (John 15:5).

Romans 12:9 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil ; cling to what is good.

It’s the true self or Christ within we fall in love with. The body’s the temple. We worship (fall in love with love). That is to say we put ourselves first. We love nourish and take care of ourselves first. Christ did away with sacrifice. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. ushering in a new era.

You are in control

Stop complaining

Take your own decisions

Stop gossiping

Honor your right decisions

Believe in yourself (true self, Christ within)

Stop blaming others for your troubles

Don’t criticize others

Stop judging

Give up guilt

Stop competing

Take action, make it happen

Stop procrastinating on your goals

Know yourself

Accept your emotions

You are not your actions

Beware of false self-esteem

Don’t take criticism personally

Gracefully accept praise

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Admit your mistakes

Be authentic. Be You

Stop caring about other people’s opinions of you

Fulfill your needs first

Enjoy the small things in life

See the glass as half full

Be grateful for what you have

Create a positive environment

Look on the bright side

Perform a selfless act every day

Focus on your strengths

Do work you love

Find your purpose

Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes

Treat your body like a temple

Take some me time

Take a walk every day

The power of meditation

Take some time off for fun


Let go of the past

Give up dwelling on the past and worrying about the future

Pay attention and enjoy your life as it happens

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Old sinful self (ego) = Worthless, nothing

New self in the image of Christ (Christ within, Holy Spirit within, true self) = Eternally significant, valuable and worth

Here’s John Piper’s view. He agrees with what I’m saying. He says to hate the sinful self but love the new self:

From the article:

Let me first say something that will probably strike Isaac as depressing. And then, I hope, because it is true and because it is real and because of the wider biblical context, it will be hope-giving and not just depressing. I think it is impossible to really hate our sin and know that this sin originates in my corrupt heart and not hate that part; that is, hate my heart, my sinning self, insofar as I am corrupt, world-loving, God-hating, rebellious. And that is who we all are without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. ~~ John Piper

More from the article:

Now, of course, God enters into our lives with the power of the Spirit. The old man is crucified. Sins are forgiven. A new nature is given through rebirth. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts. He begins to lead us in paths of righteousness. We are not the same people anymore that we once were in such awful rebellion. So, you might think: Well, that is the end of that self-hate.

There are two catches. One is that Paul tells us to remember what we came from in Ephesians 2:12. This is just ten verses later than what I just read from Ephesians 2: “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” So, remember that. Don’t forget that. Bring that to your mind. Let it humble you. Hate that old self.

The other catch is that, in spite of our newness in Christ, the old nature must be seen and recognized now and put to death now, daily. Paul said, “Put to death . . . what is earthly in you” (Colossians 3:5). Reckon to be dead to that old nature. You can’t put your old nature to death if you love it. In cases like this, you only kill what you hate. And it is not just sin that you kill. It is the old you that keeps trying to raise its head, and you must hate that old you.

“It would be sin if you hated the new you that the Holy Spirit is shaping after the image of Christ.”

And, yes, it is a real you. I base that on Romans 7:24 where Paul cries out, “Wretched man that I am!” — not just, Wretched sin that I do. He is not calling the work of the Holy Spirit wretched. No, he is not, because he says in Romans 7:18, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” But he knows that something good does dwell in him. The Holy Spirit dwells in him. A new nature dwells in him. What he is calling “wretched” is his old sinful nature. And the way he says it is, “Wretched man that I am!” And he knows he is still responsible for those acts that crop up from his old nature.

So, in that sense I think there is a genuine and proper self-hatred that is essential to fighting the fight of faith. Now, here are two or three warnings how that — what I just said — can go haywire.

  1. I have already said it would be sin if you hated the new you that the Holy Spirit is shaping after the image of Christ. Every hint of godliness, every degree of love to Christ, every mustard seed of faith should cause you to feel thankful that God is at work in you, making you new. It is a sin to hate this new work of God. Don’t ever hate what God has wrought in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. And he is at work in you if you are born again. And here are two more warnings how things can go haywire.

  2. Jesus bases his whole argument for self denial on the preciousness of the human soul, the value of everlasting existence. Listen to how he says it. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Here is his argument: “For whoever would save his life will lose it.” Well, you don’t want to lose it. “But whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” And you do want to save it. And then he adds, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit [or lose] his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:34–37). The whole argument, the basis of Jesus’s argument, is: You should love your soul — that is, love it in the sense of doing whatever it takes to save it.

So, in this sense, we should never, never, never hate our soul. That is, we should never act in a way that destroys the soul. The whole world is acting as though they hate their soul by living in sin. We should love our souls in the sense that we will do anything, we will deny ourselves anything, we will sell anything, we will go anywhere, we will believe Jesus to the max — including any self denial — in order to save our souls. That is the way Jesus is arguing. So, don’t ever become a self-hater in the sense that you don’t care about saving your soul, but only destroying it.

  1. And the last warning about how things can go haywire in this recommendation that there is a genuine self hatred that belongs to the Christian life is the third warning. Don’t dwell on your past corruption or on your present remaining corruption to the degree that it keeps you from leaning into hope with such joy that you are set free to love. And here is the text: “Brothers . . . one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).

“Don’t dwell on your corruption to the degree that it keeps you from joy, freedom, and love.”

Notice the key words: forgetting what lies behind. So yes, remember your corruption enough to humble yourself and keep yourself utterly dependent on grace (Ephesians 2:12). But forget your corruption if it ever keeps you back from pressing on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ with joy and hope and confidence and love.

So Isaac, that is how you measure whether your self-hatred is pathological and self-defeating, or whether it is Christ-exalting and hope-giving. Does it throw you on to grace in Christ? Does it intensify your love to Jesus and your confidence in his love for you and his readiness to use you for his glory? Say to yourself often: I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am not my own. I was bought with a price. I will glorify God in my body (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

Again, the idea that Christianity causes mental illness doesn’t hold up to the scientific evidence of psychology and medicine. Here’s the Calvinist view of self-worth by John Piper:

What does the term “self worth” mean to you?

It means first a humanistic effort to solve man’s problems by helping him make peace with himself so that he ceases to be displeased with anything that is truly him. Since this is the overwhelming meaning of the term in our society, I find it unprofitable to use and I oppose it with a radically God-centered anthropology which aims to preserve a proper and profound appreciation for the mercy of God.

But if I am forced on certain texts like Matthew 6:26 (Luke 12:24) “You are of more value than the birds.” I will use the word worth or value and define it like this: man is valuable because he is created in the image of God and is therefore an expression of God’s glory. Humans have value in that they unlike all the animals have the unique potential to consciously honor God by thanking him and relying on his mercy alone.

Indeed R.C. Sproul says in "The Hunger for Significance’, page 110:

Dignity and Sin

There is a road to redemption where every human being has dignity. Many reject this road because they think Christianity destroys self-esteem, disparaging human value with woeful denunciations of the evil of man. Preachers rail against corruption, calling man a wretched sinner

God Takes Sin Seriously Because Mankind Has Value

These grim statements make it seem that Christianity has a low view of human dignity. But the point often overlooked is that the character of sinfulness in no way diminishes the worth of persons. It is because humanity is so valuable that God takes sin seriously.

Indeed, Sproul says this in an online article:

The image of God in the narrow sense concerns mankind’s ethical capacity and behavior. In creation, man was given the ability and the responsibility to mirror and reflect the holy character of God. Since the fall, the mirror has been splotched by the grime of sin. We have lost our capacity for moral perfection, but we have not lost our humanity with this ethical loss. Man may no longer be pure, but he is still human. Insofar as we are still human, we retain the image of God in the wider sense. We are still valuable creatures. We may no longer be worthy, but we still have worth. This is the resounding biblical message of redemption. The creatures God created are the same creatures He is moved to redeem. ~~ R.C. Sproul