I am suspicious of most fashionable theories, but the narrative theory of the self has a certain merit if one doesn’t take the metaphor it is based on too literally. Maybe we could view things like this.
In the soul is a story, of which I am the author and in which “I” am the main character. In a sense I make myself up as I go along -- not my entire self, but a part of myself -- the part of myself that is my story of myself. My story of myself, my so-called ego, is what I think of as myself.
There is a story of this kind in every soul. But the story is never very accurate. Besides telling it, one of the things a person must do in his life is try to uncover the hidden errors and correct them.
Suppose it were rewritten so profoundly that it became, for the first time, wholly true. Yet suppose the old draft with all its errors was not just thrown away, but incorporated into it: “Once I told that misleading story, and tried to make myself into it; now I tell it more truthfully, but part of the truth is that I told it the wrong way before.”
The great thing would be to revise the narrative to reflect my real motives, and God’s actions, at every point. The self would still be the main character in the story, but God would be what it was about.
Only God can rewrite my story in this way. That is a metaphor for redemption.
By His own laws, He will not do so without my go-ahead. That is a metaphor for repentance.
As I tell it, my story is full of perjuries – evasions about my motives and attempts at justification, misrepresentations of divine love and apparent neglect, sheer lies by which I treat myself not only as the main character of the story but also as its theme. That is a metaphor for pride.
I can never rewrite the story deeply enough. I cannot even get outside it to see how it would have to be rewritten. Only Truth Himself can make both my very self, and my story of myself, wholly true. If only I can see it, if only I can confess it, that is a metaphor for humility.
The freshly retold self is something like a child. Perhaps that is a metaphor for the beginning of maturity.