Two options – alter ego or altar ego

By Dave Henning / February 26, 2018

“As I see it, we have two options: an alter ego or an altar ego.  Having an alter ego means pretending to be who we’re not, and it’s absolutely exhausting.  The other option is to put our ego on the altar and find our full identity in Christ.”- Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson continues Chapter 9 of Whisper as he introduces a fascinating matrix on human personality called the Johari window.  The quadrants represent four windows into personality and identity.  In today’s blog, Pastor Batterson talks about the first two quadrants.

1.  The arena quadrant.  This window consists of (a) what you know about yourself and (b) what others know about you.  In other words, this quadrant represents your public persona.  It’s what everybody knows and sees.

2.  The façade quadrant.  This quadrant also consists of the things you know about you.  However, in this window others don’t know these things about you.  Thus, this identifies your alter ego- who you are when no one else is looking.  Here, Mark notes, we fake it to make it.  But, we only fool ourselves.  As a result, we get stuck spiritually and hide emotionally.

Most noteworthy, confession provides the only way out of this second quadrant.  And it’s not just confessing your sins to God.  As James 5:16 exhorts, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

In conclusion, Pastor Batterson explains the critical role of confession in the healing process:

“Confessing our sins to God nets forgiveness, but confessing our sins to each other is a critical part of the healing process.  And it’s not just for you; it’s also for the person you’re confessing to.  The Enemy wants to keep your secret a secret:  it’s an ancient isolation tactic.  It’s only when we confess our sins to each other that we realize others are also struggling with pride or lust or anger.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you develop your altar ego?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Overcoming self-defeating dimensions of personality”

About the author

Dave Henning

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