Die to It
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 (nasb)
We all face situations in which we may feel left out, unappreciated, unloved. Those can be extremely painful. I try to avoid such situations as much as possible, but found myself in one the other day. While processing the hurt, and praying over what to do with it, the above verse came to mind.
It seems when we come across these challenges one way of dealing with them is to let the hurt eat us up inside, and morph into anger and bitterness. This takes a huge amount of energy. It demands our focus, and we lose our joy. But Jesus’ way is better. He says, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me.” In other words, “Die to it. Let it go. And let Me lead you into resurrection life” (msg).
Following Jesus in death to self is a daily choice, and sometimes moment by moment. In the moment His words came to my mind, I felt the knot in my stomach loosening. I don’t have to do this, I thought. I don’t have to be angry. I don’t have to let it matter so much. I can choose another way. His way.
The way of the Kingdom is the way of the cross. We die with Jesus to be raised with Him. He is the proper focus—not our issue or even our pain. Like the old hymn says, “the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
FAITH STEP: Are you hurting because someone has slighted you in some way? Take it as an opportunity to die to yourself, pick up your cross and follow Jesus. His way will lead you out of death into beautiful, joy-filled life.
Written by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry
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