Giving up your life
For whomever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whomever would lose his life for me and the Gospel, will save it. NIV
This, and Grace inspired by love, is the hardest part of being a Christian. At least it is for me. So what does this mean? It means that we give up EVERYTHING that our “old man” considered important, our thoughts, our motives in all we do; our life as we knew it.
However, there is hope as we struggle, because it DOES get a bit easier! When my sister and I were kids, our Biological mother was very abusive; physically, but even worse was the verbal and psychological abuse. By the youngest of ages, all the way up to now even, we struggled with making decisions, because one of her favorite mind games was to allow us to make decisions, then degrade and belittle us for choosing “wrong”. So we learned to ask her on everything.. Even if it was ok to change out empty toilet paper rolls, or to move forward on green lights, while learning to drive… in essence she taught us not to THINK anything without her permission. Giving up our worldly lives, for a life led by God is kind of like that, without the abuse! Let me explain that better..
Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you, they are for good and not for evil; to give you hope and a FUTURE.”
You see, unlike my mother, God’s love isn’t directed towards having total control over me, but to build for me a future, a hope; the life He always had planned for me. I have a choice.. I can choose to be obedient and yield my will and thoughts to what is glorifying to my savior, who gave all so I could receive the inheritance of everlasting life, or the things that glorify my self. Giving up my life means I choose to glorify God in all I say do and think instead of myself. It means I give up the right to do what I want; instead, I make myself available to do what God needs done in this world.
When we live God’s will instead of our own, we become the hug that heals the souls hurting and broken..we become the hands that build the shelters for the list and cold.. We become the feet that carry the provisions to the needy.. We truly become a body! And that body, then serves the will of God. We become the tools of God’s own hands, drawing those needing His love the most into His loving embrace through our service. I, for one, have found such intense joy in losing my life to this purpose!
Now, don’t get be wrong, I am, by nature, a very selfish person.. ( we all are, that’s why doing this is so hard, and makes such an impact when we DO!) so yes, I still struggle and fight against, I still demand my way sometimes.. But when I let go, and let God, He does mighty things for me, and in me! I change.. That old piece of me dies off, and a new, greater piece is born!