Maybe we have to die to live.
Jesus tells us that only those willing to lose their lives will save them.
But this has to mean more than believing in the fact of the atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus.
Which I do.
It certainly has to mean more than putting to death sin in our lives, especially in our usually narrow way of constricting sin to obvious, individual, discrete acts of misbehaviour and disobedience.
What in me and in my life has to die so that I can live as Jesus calls me live?
I think it can be a whole bunch of things.
I need to die to fear. I need to die to my fear of other people and their expectations (perceived or actual), of not having enough, of failure, and even of pain, discomfort, and death.
I confess that my fear reveals my need for deeper trust in God.
Trusting in God—letting his perfect love revealed in Christ cast out my fear—is what it means to live.
I need to die to my need for control. I need to die to my need to have control over my life and my circumstances. I need to die to my desire to control those around me and closest to me.
I confess that my need for control reveals my need for vulnerability and dependence.
Acknowledging my weakness and limitations—that God’s power is made perfect in my weakness—is what it means to live.
I need to die to my self-centredness. I need to die to putting myself first, to seeking my desires ahead of others’ needs. I need to die to ignoring the consequences of my decisions on the world around me.
I confess that my self-centredness reveals my need to live more generously and to be more aware of the impact of my choices.
Learning to have a more open hand—because it is more blessed to give than receive—is what it means to live.
All of this means dying to myself.