You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. Ephesians 4:22 (NIV)
Self means total focus on me, what I want, what pleases me, in total disregard of God and others. Self means independence from God and total dependence on my own understanding and effort.
It all started in the garden of Eden when Adam listened to the lie of the serpent that he could eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and become wise, and be like God.
That lie of the devil implied that Adam could live and be successful on his own apart from God. But that was the sin that led to all the sins, troubles, sufferings, pain and death that came into the world.
God created us for Himself, for His glory. We are made and designed to focus and depend on God, to be sustained and upheld by Him.
Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. Just like branches are lifted up and maintained by the parent tree, we are also upheld and sustained by Christ.
Apart from Him we are nothing and can do nothing.
Self is the attitude of all for me and me for myself alone.
It is the mindset that I can make it on my own, that I don’t need God or others.
This is sin that gives birth to pride, greed, being tightfisted, envy, grabbing, stealing, and even killing.
It all leads to death because the wages of sin is death- see Romans 6:23.
Therefore we are commanded to put off our old self which is corrupted by deceitful desires- see Ephesians 4:22.
Since self is an attitude or mindset, what is implied here is to get rid of that old attitude of ‘It’s all about me and no one else” Then we replace it with it’s all about you Jesus”. Everything I do, I do it to the Lord, for His glory, and in doing that I consider the wellbeing of others.
Get rid of that mindset of “I can do all things in my own understanding and strength” Replace it with the new mindset of “I can do all things through Christ who is my strength and who strengthens me” see-Philippians 4:13.