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Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Disciple's Self Concept, Part 2

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

"You'll have to show me more than your marriage certificate!"

From the lack of life style change, the questioner perceived that the lady has not changed her self concept. Being a wife has not yet become the way she thinks of herself. How many marriages have failed because the partners have not adopted self concepts from God's Word?

As a changed self concept is crucial to marriage, so it is critical to becoming a progressing disciple. The purpose of making disciples is to change lives (Matt 28:20; 10:1--3, 39). Without growing in the soil of a disciple's self concept, will one's life produce, abundant mature fruit (John 15:1–8) or only a few green apples (Luke 8:14)?

A teacher of a well, known disciple making organization interrupted his lecture with a confession. He confessed that he didn't understand why many of his students did not sign up for sequential courses. They said that they benefit from his basic course! Further discussion indicated that he had neglected leading his students to adopt a disciple's self concept. He had enriched them spiritually, but had not motivated them to live as disciples.

The formation and function of a self concept come from a life person's context by choice or by inherent necessity. For instance, we CAN CHOOSE Christ and conceive of ourselves as Christ’s disciple. We must accept ourselves as residents of our country. One is a deliberate choice. The latter is simply recognition. The former choice was a deliberate act of faith. In spite of opposition or reluctance, we will make these decisions from pressure, from status, from desire or from God's promises.

Self concept depends more upon the internal environment a person CHOOSES, i.e. what role does he choose to play on their physical and social stage. Because a person frequently lives life in several subcultures such as home, work, school, political parties, social associations and religion, that one usually has several self concepts. Some of these may contradict each other, but one may govern the others. A person's governing self concept is his orientation over his combined areas of living.

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