Our reasoning skills are represented by the Ego, one of the three parts of our personality as defined by Sigmund Freud, which serves as the mediator between the Id, pure raw impulse and the Superego, the component that makes you consciously aware of consequences.
Isn’t it interesting how our carnal nature is represented in this personality model?
Paul wrote about mankind’s Id vs Superego struggle long before Freud in Romans 7:14-25, “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.”
We will always fail to uphold the law by the book, as represented in the Superego. Our impulses will always get in the way as defined by the Id.
Paul continues to say, “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”
The Ego tries to negotiate between doing what is right and what is wrong. Paul found this frustrating in himself and said, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Jesus Christ is the only man who knew how to handle the Pharisee’s zeal for enforcing the law—the ones who knew the Mosaic Law and how it should be implemented into their legal system at the time. Jesus trumped the hypocritical debates about the Law with sayings as simple as, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Therefore, when entertaining Sigmund Freud’s personality model, I will let Jesus be the Ego.
Like this post? Read, Why Being Happy May Never Be Enough where I talk about the difference between happiness, a work of the ego, and joy, a fruit of the Holy Spirit.