Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Living Dead, Part Seven

Whew!  We've finally made it to the last point on The Living Dead Test.  I don't know about you, but I've learned a lot along the way--both about myself and about what it really means to be fully surrendered to God in all things.  So, let's finish this test up, okay?

"When you can take correction, when you can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, with no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart--that is dying to self."

This is where that ugly thing called pride comes in. . . again.  To be corrected means that obviously someone thinks we're doing something wrong.  Now, whether we're actually doing something wrong or not, our natural tendency is to balk at correction, is it not?  Our pride doesn't like to hear the words, "You're not doing it right" or "You shouldn't be doing that."  We like for our egos to be stroked.  We enjoy encouragement and consent, not correction.

Just this weekend, I was discussing something with Jason, and from the information I had given him, he felt that I was making hasty conclusions on a particular topic.  In an effort to "correct" my way of thinking, he brought up a side of the topic that I was trying to ignore.  It wasn't that I didn't know it was there, but I had already thought it through and was trying to avoid thinking any longer on the drawbacks.  Because I didn't bring them up, Jason assumed (and rightfully so) that I hadn't thought things through, and he was trying to help me avoid setting myself up for failure or frustration.

I see that clearly now, but I must admit that, at the time, my pride was wounded.  My knee-jerk reaction was, "What, does he think I'm stupid?  I know this.  I've thought it through.  Why did I ask for his opinion in the first place?"  But even as these thoughts swirled through my mind, trying to find a foothold, the Lord brought to mind this study on dying to self, and I was able to recognize those thoughts for what they were--the results of wounded pride, nothing more.  Upon this realization, I cast the thoughts aside, and Jason and I were able to have a wonderful day of communication and fellowship, without any trace of bitterness or negative feelings.

Jason was completely right in what he said and did.  He was acting as a faithful and loving husband should.  He was being a spiritual leader and protecting me from all enemies (even myself).  I was the one in the wrong because I was the one who almost allowed my proud heart to ruin a wonderful family day.  I was the one who balked at the correction and decided to take it as an insult to my intelligence when it was truly intended as wise counsel.  Thankfully, the Lord helped me to see what I was doing before things got really ugly, but oh, how wonderful it would be to get to the point where we don't jump to faulty conclusions or react out of foolish pride.  It's going to take some work, but that's where I want to be.  How about you?

"When you can take correction, when you can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, with no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart--that is dying to self."

As we close, let me remind you that dying to self is not a one time thing.  It happens every day, often several times a day.  It entails constant surrender to the Lord, allowing Him to live through us in everything that we say, do and even think.  And while I know it seems impossible, may I leave you with this one comforting thought--Nothing is impossible with God!!!!!

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. - Mark 10:27

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