As I write this blog post I want you to know that many of the things I write about are the struggles that I personally go through myself . I write about these things with the hope that something will minister to someone who maybe having the same battles in their lives. It always helps us to know that we are not alone.
In our society we are inundated with the importance of pleasing our own self desires. I saw a magazine today named Self, I am reminded of a the not so new slogan for a fast food restaurant, “ Have it your way”. I also saw a commercial advertising a casino, and the woman said “It’s all about me. I am sure you can think of a few of these examples too.
It is really difficult to die to yourself ! What does dying to yourself really look like you might ask? Consider one of the statements of Jesus in Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily , and follow Me.” This is not an easy process. On a daily basis we are to die to our own agenda that we have for the day and put others before ourselves.
As parents we do this all the time with our children and other family members. This is a no brainier for most of us when it comes to serving our families. As a child I saw my mother go without so that my brother and I could have what we needed. I also saw her make sure that my dad was served first because he was head of the household. My parents weren’t Christians but these values were instilled in me because of the christian influence that permeated the society.
Sure it is easy to serve our families but what about the needs of others around us. Do we take time to listen to the grieving mother that continues to go over the memories of her child who has passed away? What about the person that is all alone for the holidays, do we include them in our plans? What about people who are unkind to us?
If we are truly dead to ourselves then we can’t be moved. When you can kick a dead man you get no reaction. When you kick a barrel what comes out water or vinegar? My Pastor David always used this word picture in his messages to describe your reaction when painful things happen to you. I will end with this powerful quote,“Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength” – Billy Graham