II. DEALING WITH SELF
How is self dealt with? In other words, how should we deal with self? We have already mentioned that the Bible only says that our old man has been crucified with Christ. The Bible never says specifically that our self has been crucified with the Lord. In spite of this, the way to deal with self is still the cross, just as the way to deal with the flesh is the cross. In considering this matter, we will divide it into the objective fact and the subjective experience.
A. The Objective Fact
The objective fact in dealing with self, just as in dealing with the flesh, rests in Christ; that is, our old man has been crucified with Him. This is because self is part of the expression of the old man. With God, the problem of the old man has already been solved; thus self, which is of the old man, has also been solved. Therefore, on the objective side, the only fact is that our old man has been crucified; but on the subjective side, there is more to it. It is like having a chicken dinner: what we have killed is a chicken, but when it is being served on the table, there are many different parts—the breast, the legs, the wings, etc. Similarly, when the Lord was crucified, He solved the problem of our old man, but since the old man has various facets, there are likewise various aspects of dealings in our experience. One aspect is the dealing with the soul life; other aspects are the dealings with flesh, temper, self, and the breaking of the natural constitution. These are our experience of the cross.
B. The Subjective Experience
The subjective experience in dealing with the self, just as in dealing with the flesh, is through the Holy Spirit. If we have seen the fact that our old man has been crucified, then in our daily living, whenever we discover the expressing of our own ideas or opinions, we must let the Holy Spirit work the death of the cross upon these ideas and opinions to put them to death. This is our subjective experience in dealing with self.
III. THE PROCESS OF DEALING WITH SELF
A. Seeing That the Old Man Has Been Crucified
The process in dealing with self is quite similar to that of dealing with the flesh. The first requirement is to see the fact that our old man has been crucified. This means that we must receive revelation from God that we may see that our old man has been crucified with Christ.
B. Seeing That Our Opinions Are One of the Expressions of the Old Man
The second requirement is to see that one aspect of the expression of the old man is our opinions. The old man expresses itself not only in the flesh, but also in the opinions, which are the self. If one only sees that the old man has been crucified and yet does not recognize the manners or ways in which the old man is being expressed, he cannot have the subjective experience. Therefore, the first step in our dealing with self subjectively is to see that our opinions are one of the expressions of the old man.
(The Experience of Life, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)