The Death of Self

The Death of Self

Recently, a family member approached me for help. He was looking for a mentor. His request quickly flooded my heart with dread—his was not a perfect situation and I was sure I didn’t want to be drawn into a potential circus that offered little to no reward. However, God had uniquely prepared me to serve in this way.

I had both the life experience and professional experience that would be needed to speak life into this humbled person. No doubt, I could help improve his situation; but honestly, I didn’t want this opportunity. I felt much like Jonah did when he was asked to go to Nineveh…I didn’t wanna!

Then it happened…deep inside I felt my own selfishness being challenged by what I was being called to do. Through God’s leading, my heart spoke these words of truth—it whispered…

“The death of self is the most painful of endings, but necessary for those who aspire to breathe life into others.”

Matthew 5:42 says, “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”  Those are God’s words, not my own; therefore, who am I to challenge His will?

We are called to be like Jesus. This means taking up our own crosses and seeing things through to the end. Doing so doesn’t always end the way we want, but if we operate under God’s authority and do things His way, everything will end the way God intends.

I can report that I have made a difference in this young man’s life…but I had to die along the way.




John Long

The Afternoon Drive
Joy FM

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