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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Dying to Self

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dying to Self

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds....
Ephesians 4:22-23

When I first revisited the idea of "dying to self" this past fall, I started wondering what the Biblical backing of this very "Christianese" saying was. I just couldn't remember which verse it was from. Turns out that it isn't a verse after all. So where did we get it. I knew it wasn't original to myself... I'd heard it somewhere and I'd heard teachings of the concept.

A number of years before marrying My Beloved I was part of a Bible Study that studied, among other things, the book of Colossians. In fact, we spent a lot of time studying Colossians, and the thing I remember parking on and have carried with me ever since is the whole idea of "putting off" and "putting on". It's this idea of putting away the old self. It's not enough to just change the way we do things as believers, or to start doing good. A number of places in the Bible talks about this whole idea (Romans 8:13, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:5 [and others throughout Colossians] to name a few... I'm sure there are more) of putting off the old self, putting to death the deeds of the body and all in all "dying to self".

But what does this mean in daily life? Sure it means I shouldn't lie or steal or hate... but it occurred to me this past fall that it means something more than that. It creeps in to every facet of our daily lives... not just the moments we are "struggling with sin".

So what does it mean to me??? It means picking up and doing what needs to be done... even though I don't feel like doing it. Even though I didn't get enough sleep last night. Even though kids are sick. Even though I am sick. It means that no matter what, I need to Do It Enyway!

Did you catch that??? Do. It. Enyway. For me to "mortify the flesh" on a daily, moment by moment basis, I need to "put to death the deeds of the body"... for me, this is my very flesh. My desires, my laziness, "me time". When something comes up or needs to be done or a baby cries or needs to be disciplined or trained again, I need to just Do It Enyway... despite whatever I may be feeling.

When I want to sit at the computer, read a book, stare out at the street, talk to a friend on the phone... I need to die to my fleshly desires for self. These desires aren't sinful in themselves, but anything that takes me away from the purpose the Lord has given me in this life needs to be put off, so that I can put on the new and Do It Enyway!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go fold the laundry and do something about dinner! And it's not because I want to... it's my next step in DIE-ing to self!

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