Neither False Self nor Shadow Self

I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. - 2 Corinthians 11:27-30

This is a strange section of scripture, where Paul is listing off some of his weaknesses, some of the ways he's faced hardship (a.k.a., the ways God didn't immediately come through for him), and how he struggles with sin. The context is that some "super-apostles" have come to the city of Corinth after Paul left and they were boasting about how they had it all together, how God always blessed them, and how the people should follow them instead of the Jesus that Paul preached.

Paul will have none of it.

Just as Brenna preached on Sunday, so many times we engage in splitting, where we hide what we think of as the 'bad' parts of ourselves (that becomes the shadow self) and we exaggerate what we think of as the 'good' parts of ourselves (that becomes the false self). Paul cuts through the false self (the over-emphasized 'good') of these "super-apostles" earlier in this chapter and here he freely exposes his own shadow self (the so-called 'bad' parts we're supposed to hide). He's willing to name his weakness bluntly, because he knows that he is beloved of God, that Jesus sees him and cares for him, and that people aren't really fooled for that long anyway!

Can you distinguish your false self and your shadow self? Name both to God and invite God's healing in your life by extending you grace and love for all of yourself.