But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,to put off your old self,which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-23
When we speak of the best or true self in our Life Model circles, we are referring to becoming more and more the person God has always intended for each of us to be and become. The verses above are a good New Testament reference from which we can derive this helpful language. Paul says, “truth” is in Jesus. He also says the old self is corrupt due to “deceitful” (false) desires. So, the new self is the true self. He also refers to a “renewal” that is to take place in the “spirit” our minds (i.e. an aspect of spirituality in Christ) that guides us into the “best” attributes of human life under God – authentic righteousness and holiness (wholeness). Though people can mature in many ways and form better character, we cannot become who we are fully intended to be by our Creator apart from being joined in a secure heart attachment to Jesus Christ. The scriptures teach salvation by attachment. So our new self is also our best self.
By cultivating an “Immanuel Lifestyle”, the Spirit and people of God help us to offer our bodies (and our brains), along with every other capacity we possess, to God as instruments of righteousness. We now know more profoundly how God designed our brains to operate, and this insight helps us to cooperate in practical ways with the Holy Spirit to become progressively conformed in our identity and character to the image of Christ.
From a neurological perspective, as we grow spiritually according to our God-given design, we learn to live more from the front of our brains (joyful identity) than from the back (fears), more from the right hemisphere of our brains (broader relational awareness) than from the left side (focused problem solving), and more from the bottom of our brains (being our best self in God’s sight) than from the top (managing our public image).
Practicing the Life Model, in concert with the many other aspects of following Christ, help us to make these transforming shifts.