“Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”
From Desperate, p. 90-91
“Jesus emphasized self-sacrifice as the greatest love. Are you willing to give up all your rights for the sake of blessing those around you?”
Short answer: Nope.
Long answer: I'd LIKE to be able to do this. But sometimes its hard to see the 'blessing of others' part. Sometimes it just feels like pointless doormat behavior. That would be a lie, obviously. God will happily use any unselfish behavior on my part to further His kingdom. I have written about this before- and it is just hard for me to always say, especially to other professing followers of Christ, “Okay, your turn to be selfish (again) and I'll be unselfish (again).” Happy happy blink blink.
It is easier to get over that hurdle with my kiddos because they are small and helpless and developmentally correctly self-centered. And, I can say to them, “Hey! You're being selfish, and I'm not and here's why: Jesus says. Now, go, and do the same.” And it's relatively easy with folks who don't give a rip about Jesus. It's almost easy because I have a hope that the light of the gospel will shine through my smile and patience.
But anyway, giving up all my rights can be relatively easy, medium hard, and close to impossible, depending on the situation.
“Are there any particularly important rights that are difficult for you to give over to God?”
Short answer: I think yes.
Long answer: My right to raise and direct my family as I see fit is the hardest right for me to give over to God. I have a plan and a vision and when some outside force presents an obstacle to that vision. I have a tendency to dig in my heels, grit my teeth (with a smile?), and hold on tight. The hard part with this one is that in some cases this behavior is absolutely appropriate. Sometimes that's my JOB, baby, so back off. But sometimes, oh sometimes, it's not an imperative. Sometimes it's just a strong desire on my part to have my family traditions look a certain way, or to have my kids not consume HFCS or red dye number 40. That's when it's hard for me to loosen my grip on my right to raise my kids MY WAY and extend grace and blessings to those who have a different way. Wow, I have to take a deep breath now just thinking about it. It's a trust issue, a faith issue. Do I believe that God has full ownership and responsibility for my children and that I am just a steward for this time? Do I believe that He will be at work in their lives regardless of my perceived level of control? Do I trust that He will bless them and keep them? That He will make His face to shine upon them and be gracious to them? That He will help them grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? That goodness and mercy will follow them all the days of their lives and that they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever? That is my constant prayer for my kids. Do I have faith that God will do it? I need to loosen my grip when it comes to letting go and letting God.
So, there is ample proof that I have a lot of dying to self left to do. But, God is faithful to complete this work He has begun, so I am hopeful.
And if God can help me, He can help you too- just ask. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”!