In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where do I put me in the lineup?

All around me I see messages, some blatant and others not so obvious.

The messages tell me that I'm important and that I need to take care of me first and that I deserve, for the most part, anything I desire.

This simply isn't true!

Want to know why I think these messages are all wrong? At the simplest level these messages are wrong because they just plain don't work. At a higher level these messages are wrong because they go against what Jesus Christ teaches.

I've never ever personally experienced or heard of anyone else who could tell me how putting themselves first or living for their own pleasures brought them peace, joy or happiness. I know, from my own selfish blunders, that putting me first in the marriage relationship is a sure way to ruin everything. I'm finding repeatedly as I "suck it up" a bit and try to seek to do things for my husband and to please him, that two things occur. The first is that peace reigns in our home. The second is that my husband tries more and more to do things for me and/or to please me. I also know that when I give myself whatever I want all the time, be it food or anything else, that those "things" I wanted so badly fail to bring satisfaction.

Then there's the fact that I accepted quite gladly the salvation of Christ. I made the trade - my sin for His holiness - my acceptance of His sacrifice in my place on the cross. Part of this acceptance was that I agreed to make Him Lord of my Life to become His follower. Now I know that following Christ is a process filled with His grace and mercy as I fail, but it does mean that I follow Him verses me. One of Jesus statements that I come back to frequently (because I need to change the way I think) is John 12:24-26:

24-25 "Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.

26 "If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you'll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment's notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

(This is from The Message paraphrase)

So I've got to, by God's grace and mercy and power, learn to die to my self. Does this mean that I deprive myself and don't take care of me? I don't think so. In fact I think that I have to be able to ensure that I get legitimate needs met and take care of myself in a healthy manner to be able to live in relationship with others.

I have some ideas, but I'm not totally sure what all it means to die to myself. I am certain that it means that life doesn't work when I'm the center of the universe, when it's all about me. But what else does it involve? What do you think?

4 comments:

Joe Chiappetta said...

Your point about the me first mentality is right-on. Jesus indeed said we "must deny" ourselves.

Kathy said...

Hi, I just ran across your blog and I really like it. I agree with the things you've said here and I would like to come back and read more. I have found the same to be true, by doing things for others, it makes me much happier and complete.

Tracy said...

Joe,

I saw your comment here and checked out your website. VERY FUNNY! I especially laughed at the entry "Silly Daddy Math".

Tracy said...

Kathy,

You make a good point here about doing things for others being a practical way to help us deny ourselves.

I checked out your blog site and like it. I'm trying to hear your writing in southernese (both my parents were southerners and I went to college for
a semester in Tennessee).

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