Sam Allberry explains Jesus’s alternative to expressing self in this new One Minute Apologetics video.
“Just be true to yourself” sounds very intuitive. It sounds very right in our individualized culture. It’s a message we hear from all kinds of directions, but it’s actually a very catastrophic philosophy.
Jesus said that what is the problem with us is, in fact, our true self. He talks, in Matthew 15, about how it is out of the human heart that evil thoughts, murder, adultery, and all manner of other things come out (Matt. 15:19). And the issue, therefore, is the heart itself. On another occasion (Matt. 16:24), Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.
The most important thing we do with the self is not express it, but deny it.
So Jesus teaching about the self is that the most important thing we do with the self is not express it, but deny it. And the amazing thing is, as we deny self, we actually do become the real person God always intended us to be.