In a world where self-promotion, self-gratification, and self-centeredness are hailed as virtues, living according to Biblical Principles that call us to die to self and put Christ first can be challenging. However, when we prioritize Jesus above all else, we experience a transformational shift that brings fulfillment, peace, and purpose like nothing else. This post will explore the Biblical perspective on self and how we can choose our Savior over ourselves daily.
The first step in choosing Christ over self is recognizing that the World's worldview differs entirely from the Bible's. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." This verse reminds us that although the World's way may seem enticing and alluring, it ultimately leads to destruction. On the other hand, the Bible offers a different way - the way of the cross. When we lay down our lives and surrender to Jesus, we find life in abundance.
The second step is to understand that choosing Christ does not mean we can never prioritize ourselves or take actions that benefit us. However, it means we should be honest and ask if our actions align with Biblical principles. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are higher than ours. We should, therefore, seek God's guidance in every decision we make, including those that concern our personal lives.
The third step is to be mindful of the World's values and resist their pull. Jeremiah 10:23 says, "I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." We inevitably fall short when we rely on our strength, wisdom, and understanding. We must rely on God's strength, wisdom, and counsel to make decisions and navigate life. This means we must be careful not to adopt the World's values, such as greed, materialism, and selfishness, but instead be guided by the Spirit.
The fourth step is prioritizing Christ, even when it means making sacrifices. Luke 9:23-24 says, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." Following Jesus means putting His will and His priorities above our own. It may mean giving up certain things or relationships that hinder our relationship with Him. But when we make these sacrifices, we open ourselves to experiencing the fullness of life that Jesus promises.
The final step is to remember that our true identity and worth come from belonging to Christ, not external factors. I Corinthians 3:19-20 says, "For the wisdom of this world is folly with God…let no one boast in men." When we base our value and worth on what the World deems necessary, we set ourselves up for disappointment and despair. We must instead place our identity in Christ, who loves and values us regardless of our achievements or possessions.
Choosing Christ over self requires constantly surrendering our desires, wishes, and dreams to His will. However, when we make this choice, we experience the joy and peace the World cannot offer. We are reminded that our value comes not from what we do or achieve but from belonging to Jesus.
May we continue to choose our Savior over ourselves and experience the fullness of life that He promises.