I believe sometimes there are people in our lives purely for us to learn how to die to self. “Curbing self will, dying to self at every opportunity, is essential to spiritual healing and growth.”*
We must practice discipline and train ourselves to die to self. It is not natural and can take time like a runner training for a marathon or an apprentice learning a trade.
we all need to train ourselves, but our second child really needed some help learning to die to self. I think he would have been a gamer all day and night never doing homework or aspiring to further his education If he was not taught the art of self control. (Note: I am not advocating that gaming in itself is bad but rather the lack of discipline when playing can be detrimental.)
This now grown and flown adult still games but sets up parameters for himself so he doesn’t loose valuable time when other things need to get done first. The old proverb “do first things first” applies for him and should for all of us when dealing with training ourselves.
What a great idea to get work done first then ‘earn’ the play time. If you play too long, you can get obsessed and all other responsibilities forgotten or pushed off.
That goes for other things too. Writing for me can keep me away from basic responsibilities so I do my best to engage in disciplining myself. Some days I am better at this then others as I would be happy never doing anything but staying home to write.
Another area that can result in similar issues is sleep habits. If you sleep too much, then you want more or have the tendency to become lazy. If you don’t get enough sleep you can become irritable or a workaholic.
How about over eating? I say step away from a buffet before feeling overstuffed.
What area or areas do you struggle in when it comes to self control? Please tell us in the comments below so we can all be reminded of more areas that might need some self regulation.
By continually surrendering small areas of your life, the act of dying to self will become easier and less disruptive and actually welcomed. That is why we should ask ourselves: how often am I dying to self?
Tomorrow begins a season of lent. This is a great time to put into practice self discipline. Pick some area you need to work on and do so over the weeks ahead. Perhaps giving up gaming or some other time sucker you engage in will give you time to reconnect more consistently with others and our Lord.
You might even find a whole new you! In doing so, you will…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” II Corinthians 5.17
Today is Shove Tuesday better known as Fat Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday.
Typically, it is a day of gorging on all the yeast items in the house since traditions fasting starts the next day. It is the last hurrah before lent begins and where Madi Gras got its roots.
It is funny that most ‘party’ days began as pagan festivals that early Christians tried to incorporate with the faith to make it easier for people to convert. I believe God gave us freewill so we could not only accept His free gift of salvation but we could learn to deny ourselves as well.
Take some time to contemplate what it is you could deny yourself to make this season of Lent more enriched. It does not have to be food related and often other areas in our lives need more attention. Tell us in the comments what you plan to do so you can have a little more accountability. I commit to reading The Word before anything else and I commit to diligently writing blog entries instead of wasting time scrolling social media accounts. Here’s to denying ourselves so we can be a better witness and draw closer to our Lord. Amen
In the meantime,…
*inspired by chpt three from the booklet Praying the Jesus Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green
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