What Did Paul Mean When He Said, “I Die Daily”? – Emily Massey
“I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31, NASB).
Living for Myself
I was born to worship, but for such a long time I worshiped myself and anything else in my life that helped numb my pain.
As a little girl, I was fascinated with the stage. Looking back, I now see that my obsession with perfection and performance (to prove my worth and value) probably had something to do with that. It wasn’t a coincidence, then, that many years later I would study theatre and dance in college. During my senior year, I had made up my mind that I was going to move to Los Angeles to become afamous actress. “Everyone will regret the way they treated me when they see who I will become! I’m going to be a star,” I would say to myself. I craved approval from anyone who would give it and was so drenched in pride and selfish ambition. As I neared graduation, I focused all of my attention on making a name for myself as I networked with professionals in the entertainment industry.
“It’s not about Jesus anymore when it’s all about me, myself, and I!”
Since I didn’t understand that I could find true joy and security in Jesus, I was constantly running away from my problems by filling my life with more relationships and more parties (and sin) and more career plans – idolatry to the one-millionth degree. I was the center of my own universe.
What is so disheartening is that during this time of my life, I considered myself a Christian. Instead of living my life to fulfill Christ’s plan for me on this earth, I somehow tried to use my faith in Christ to fulfill my plan for my life. Jesus was merely an accessory to my existence to make me feel better about myself. Since I focused so much on performance, it was natural for me to live with a works-based faith. “I do better” equated to “I am a better version of me.” This is what I like to call “the gospel of me.” Sadly, this is a very popular message in our culture, even among other (often influential) Christians. It’s not about Jesus anymore when it’s all about me, myself, and I!
What does it mean to “take up your cross” and “die daily?”
I think it is important to focus on the life of Christ and the finished work of the cross as our example. How do we imitate Christ in our everyday life?
1. Just like Jesus humbly approached the Father through prayer, we must make it a top priority to carve out time in our day to get alone with God and commune with Him. The more we cultivate a relationship with the Lord, the more He begins to transform our life, and we become more like Him.
2. Each day, we are faced with the temptation to satisfy our flesh and go outside the boundaries of God’s perfect will, yet, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we must imitate Jesus by obediently submitting ourselves to the will of the Father.
3. We need to lay aside certain selfish desires so that like Christ, we can serve others. I know as a mom and wife, this is something I am challenged with 24/7. I am given countless opportunities to set aside my wants and give my love, time, and attention to the needs of my husband and children. Pouring yourself out like that on a daily basis can sometimes be physically exhausting; I find myself praying for supernatural strength often! At the end of the day, my heart is always full.
How I learned to Die Daily
After years of living for myself, God changed my heart, and just a few months after college graduation, I found a life worth living. It wasn’t mine at all; it was Christ’s. The abundant life that He promises us in John 10:10 became my reality. God gave me the eyes to see my sin and selfishness and filled my heart full of genuine repentance. I was desperately ready for a new life with Jesus as the King of my life. Over time, I learned what it meant to take up my cross and truly follow Jesus (Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27).
To conclude, “Dying Daily” definitely isn’t easy, but it is worth it because Jesus promises us that whoever loses his life will find it and find it abundance (Matthew 10:39/ John 10:10)!But remember, we cannot die daily in our own strength, friends. The Holy Spirit is who empowers us to choose God’s way through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). With each passing day, by God’s grace, we mature and cultivate a life worth dying for, a life found in Christ alone!
Edited from Ibelieve.com