“The Christian life only works through total abandonment. You have to be all in. If we hold anything back, retain some part of our lives for ourselves, large or small, the Self will rule there and continually set itself against God in us. . . . Most disappointing Christian experiences can be explained by the honest admission that they weren’t abandoned to God.”- John Eldredge
Then [Jesus] said to them all, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”- Luke 9:23 (NIV)
John Eldredge concludes Chapter 9 of Get Your Life Back as he discusses three practical ways to turn the Self over to Jesus.
1. Admire and be grateful. As Dorothy Sayers wrote in The Six Other Deadly Sins, “Envy cannot bear to admire and respect. It cannot bear to be grateful.”
Therefore, when you admire and respect others, that represents a wonderful way to thwart the Self. So, pray for those in better situations that you or those who possess more gifts. Also, pray for someone else’s promotion or healing. Because those actions crucify envy.
2. Make no room for offense. Above all, John underscores, whenever and wherever you notice offense cropping up, do only one thing. Crucify that offense! Give it no hold in your life. Offense is the last thing you want to entangle you. There’s never a good ending.
3. Cultivate admiration. When you hear about someone else’s wonderful life, praise God for it. And make it personal. Lift up that person! In doing so, you say goodbye to Self. Furthermore, you proclaim that Self cannot possess your soul. Finally, John adds:
“Oh, the joy of it — the enormous relief. I would rather have so much more of God than coddle the little tyrant of Self. And as soon as I crucify the Self, God is right there, and now there’s so much more room in me for him to fill.”
When you pull back the curtain, you’ll find God right there!
Today’s question: What most helps you achieve total abandonment of your Self Life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Neglected loss, disappointment, and grief”