I have come to see more clearly the command of Jesus. He said in Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
The call to discipleship is a call to dying to ourself. We must admit that "Self, Incorporated" is no longer a viable legal entity. We are called to forfeit all claims against this company. If I owe a company $1,000,000. and they simply vanish… my debt is cleared. Likewise, when a person sins against me, I am to forgive them their debt, as though "Tim, inc." has no right to claim repayment from them, because "I" am out of business, and am a subsidiary of "Jesus, Inc."
Selfish Christianity often calls on us to focus on ourselves and healing ourselves and getting over the boo boos of life. Jesus calls us to die to 'self' so that we may live. For example: Do I have problems with fear? Fear is simply the body guard of "SELF" and all "I" possess! When I surrender myself and mystuff to God, it is HIS worry as to what happens to them… after all, I must be about my father's business, not my own. I have assurance that as I seek the Kingdom of God AND His righteousness, all these things will be added to me. My trust is in the Lord to repay and repair, not in myself to "figure it out" so I can "save myself".
Rejection, abandonment, bitterness, envy, fear, pride… all of these find their power over us to the degree we are living for ourselves. Can we lay it all down, like our brothers and sisters in chains of imprisonment in a communist nation, who would rather so suffer than to deny the name of Jesus, or to reveal the names of other Christians? When we are free and clear of our "self" identity, we will be set free of the arrows that pierce us. I don't have a problem if you don't like "me," if I have laid down my right to be respected by the world. Jesus said, 'the world will hate you,' if you do what you are called to do… so. I either seek respect for my 'self' or I forsake that 'right' and follow Jesus.
In dying to the empire of "self," we come alive to the Kingdom of God!
These are just some thoughts, what are yours on the topic?