+JMJ+Okay. So, forever have I wondered what it meant to die to self. I always would look it up to try and figure it out. It seemed like such an easy phrase. I know what dying is. I know a little about who I am. However, whenever I tried to bring the four words together and make sense of them, I always fell short.
Well, I've been on the road frequently doing weekend trips to see my family and friends back in my hometown and being in the car by myself gives time for some thinking. This past weekend, I was in town for my older brother's birthday party. It was tons of fun. We got to go out to an amazing Scottish restaurant, that has excellent mac and cheese pie, and then walked to his apartment for games and cake (and grapes haha). Okay. So, the game of choice was Mafia.
I'm not sure if you are familiar with Mafia, but the gist of it is that it's a group game best played with 10+ people sitting in a circle. The Mafia goes after Citizens and Sheriff by knocking them off to try and win. The Citizens and Sheriff can win by getting rid of the Mafia before the end of the game.
I don't know if any of the readers are competitive or prideful (yes I'm still working on that ;P), but being the last Citizen to be taken out of the game because the Mafia got the better of me, it didn't brew well in my kettle. The Mafia didn't win (I know that's kinda confusing. It's easy once you get going. We should play together sometime!). Yet, after the game was over, I looked at the Mafia member who bested me, my roommate, and said, "Good job." As someone who is competitive and doesn't like "losing,"(although The Mafia really lost. I just was ended.) I don't usually congratulate people like that, acknowledging that they bested me. smh.
However, to then put it in the broader spectrum--bigger life situations--I can see how it can really make an impact and bring me closer to Christ. I died to myself and chose to recognized my roommate in her accomplishments. I gave her what I wanted. I wanted to live--live and be the one who bested her--well The Mafia. It's funny in this case since I had to "die" in that game to die to self.
I realized if in those bigger life situations--choosing God over myself--choosing my neighbor over myself--I would be following the greatest commandments. (Matthew 22:35-40) By loving them, God and my neighbors, not living for myself, I would keep the law of Christ. That's legit.
So, it gives me another daily bundle of goals to set out in front of me. If something frustrating happens induced by a friend, coworker, or family member, I shouldn't get disgruntled. I should love them in that frustration--die to self--put them before me. Not lash out or let it fester inside me. If God challenges me with something that I don't want to face--ANY sort of trial, I can't just object and throw a fit. I have put my love into that trial and push through with His grace.
All in all it was a good weekend. I suffered a little. But, hey, that's what this blog's about. There's merit in it.
Here's to death. Death so that we may live eternally.
+ Pax +