Oh mercy, isn’t this a journey? Day 3 of dying. This is serious stuff, isn’t it?.
Dying to self. Well, this one has been quite the process.
I didn’t know anything about dying to myself when I was young. As I matured, both in age and my walk with Jesus, I discovered so much of life is about dying to myself, so God can use me. Dying to myself so I can love others better. Dying to myself so I can serve, and prophesy and really walk as a follower of Christ.
If you long to deepen your walk, you must learn to die to your own will. In growing with God, I discovered I would constantly need to lay down my rights. Yes, you heard me, in a world that glorifies “my rights”, I must lay mine down to follow Christ.
But, just as with most Kingdom principles, I discovered there is a great freedom found when I lay down my rights and die to myself. Who knew that not dying to self was such a burden? It’s so interesting how the things that seem natural, like watching out for self and demanding my own way, are actually burdensome. Largely because it’s not how God meant for us to walk. He designed us to walk the way He does. Thinking of others, serving, loving unconditionally, being in community, etc. So when we engage in the alienating act of self-serving, we enslave our hearts and sever relationship. It’s a lonely road, serving self.
What’s the other option? Well, serving Christ. I’m not saying we should never think of ourselves, I mean the Bible shows us we should love our neighbor as ourselves. This indicates that it’s healthy to love yourself, but not at the detriment of others. It says to love yourself, not idolize yourself. When we require all others to cater to us and only allow those willing to serve us into our close circle, we have idolized ourselves.
It wasn’t until I had kids, that I realized how much I had idolized myself. It was a hard road for me, finding a balance between serving my family and taking care of myself in a healthy way. I didn’t know how self-serving my behaviors were until I had others to look after. It is still shocking to me how selfish I was. I am not saying that I’m never selfish anymore, that’s probably going to be a lifelong journey, but I’m vastly improved. I have actually learned that when I discovered my true value to God, I didn’t need to demand my rights anymore. It was an internal thing, not dependent on circumstances at all. Now that I know God knows me intimately and cares for all of my details, it has given me freedom to serve others better. It’s when we feel a lack in those areas that we begin to demand others to cater to us. If you feel convicted by any of this, then I encourage you to go before God and ask Him to instill value in your heart. It’s never too late, as I always say.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4