“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
I was in the middle of my rushed morning routine this week when this verse caught my eye. Somewhere in the middle of finishing my oatmeal and scanning through my latest Bicycling Magazine, the Bible on the table hollered at me. Conveniently open to this page I glanced over and read this verse which I have heard quoted numerous times in Church.
“It is no longer I who live…”
Meditating on this verse it convicted me a little bit as I thought about how the world often revolves around my wants, needs and my schedule. I started wondering what my life should look like.
I couldn’t help but think about two different friends of mine. One of them is the most giving guy I know. Selfless in almost every way. You know that guy that would be willing to pick you up from the airport at 2AM with less than a day’s notice? That’s this guy. He is always going above and beyond his personal bounds of happiness.
My other friend I care about tremendously. He is a difficult guy to be friends with though. The world revolves around him, his schedule and what is convenient for him. A competitive and ego driven person, he always has to be the center of attention, and outdo the rest of the world. While he honestly tries to think of himself as a selfless person, his actions are not there to back any of it up.
Thinking about these two friends of mine, I wondered where on the spectrum I fell. I know I give up and volunteer time quite a bit when it is not convenient for me to do so. On the other side of the coin, I also struggle with pride from time to time when it comes to my professional and athletic accomplishments. I constantly have to mentally check my ego in this department. I guess I am somewhat in the middle.
The real clincher to all of this is that my giving caring friend is not a believer. My ego driven friend is. How does this affect the world’s view of Christ’s work in our lives? When Christ says we die to ourselves, what steps are we taking to actually die to self?
“It is no longer I who live…” expresses the great importance of dying to ourselves each day. Without a ‘daily decision’ to give up our egos, we will be no different from the rest of the world, and Christ will not be able to help us grow. Our daily practice of ‘dying to self’ means growing closer to Christ’s ideals. The closer we grow to those ideals, the less our individual lives and ego will matter.
I am praying for us all. I pray that my first friend will find the relationship that Christ provides and that his life will be all the more full. I pray my second friend will be able to grow in his faith, and start living a more selfless life. I pray for myself that Christ will continue to challenge me to give it all up and make me more like Him.
“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”