Clearly I’m not talking about a physical DEATH, even though that would be pretty cool since I am writing this. But I am talking about the many spiritual DEATHS we must take each and every day. Mainly DEATH to Pride.
Below is an excerpt from my very first blog post, from four years ago:
Four months ago I went on a Minister’s Retreat with my church, Blessed Harvest Institute, to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The name of the retreat was the Ridgecrest Conference Center. It was nestled in the mountains and exuded serenity. We arrived at about 10pm or so on a Thursday night and then had our first session at 2am on Friday morning. At the first session we were each asked what has our Ministry cost us so far.
My answer was ‘nothing’. I didn’t feel as if I had lost or really given up anything for Ministry at that point. We took part in some more sessions and activities. At the end of that Friday night, right before we went to dinner, we were each offered a stack of turned down words and asked to pull one. I pulled the word DEATH.
I wasn’t alarmed about my word because I am a homicide detective and I deal with death on a consistent basis. I actually thought my word would pertain to something about work. However, we were told not to assume we knew what the word meant and to be open. As we sat at dinner, God whispered in my ear that the word DEATH did not pertain to my job, it was about me.
Huh? He said I needed to die to me. Self had to die now! He couldn’t use me the way He wanted to because of me. I didn’t realize that I had become my own stumbling block. I had become complacent and didn’t realize it. Selfishness had crept in disguised as me. Me wanting Ministry to be comfortable, me not wanting to be rejected, me not wanting to be inconvenienced, me not trusting Him, me concerned about what others thought, me wanting my desires met; me me me. DEATH to me!
When we are offended, or as we put it, ‘bothered’ with someone, something, or some situation, we hardly take the time to take a step back and see what we are contributing to the situation. And, even when we do we typically find a way to justify the stance or actions we’ve taken.
What happens when that thought flashes or someone says:
‘you could have handled that a different way’
‘it’s not about YOU’
‘why don’t you apologize?’
‘it doesn’t matter who did what first’
‘stop rehearsing it, because you are keeping it alive’
‘it’s not worth it’