The Sting of Dying to Self

In 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 we see an awesome truth! I know it’s brought hope to my heart,

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Wade through this with me for a minute. If we want to be Christ-like in all our relationships, then we want to die to selfishness. We want to be self-less. It’s how most mothers best nurture their children, we’re selfless, we love them and sacrifice for them. When we trip up, it stings. It hurts to know we’ve lost our temper, or put our own interests ahead of theirs to the point that it’s hurting them.

Sin stings. And here is where I think most of the problem is in the anti-submission camp. Instead of finding grace and mercy in God when we mess up, we heap self-condemnation upon ourselves to the point that we get so discouraged we throw in the towel on God, on our husbands…on the law of dying to self forgetting that in Christ we have victory over sin and death. Oh the power of sin is the law. Sin has the power to destroy. Jesus died to set us free!

The other hang-up is that we think if we’re too self-less, our spouse will take advantage of it. Stiffen up (and remember I’m preaching to myself too), does God say to be self-less only when it’s in our favor? Are there escape clauses? (and I am not advocating that women remain in physically abusive marriages, I’m talking about personality/soul clashes between h/w).

Lest you think I’ve arrived, I haven’t. Just yesterday, yep after posting, I admit I was not dying to self when I got frustrated with dh for not going to the Awana kick-off with us. There was a big misunderstanding, which led me to believe he wasn’t going (which was going to break his little girls’ hearts) and when we were already running five minutes late, he came to the house grimy from working on his truck. He was going to clean up and go with us. Oh man, that ugly self reared its head within me. All I could think of was that he’d had all afternoon, and we were going to be late…and we’d invited a new family who’d be waiting on us to get to the church. And on and on. My reaction stung, let me tell you. It stung me and my kids. He saw that I was concerned about being late and told us to go without him.

I should have stayed there and urged him to come along, no matter how late it made us. The evening wasn’t the same without him.

But when these things happen, we’ve got to let it go. Confess it and continue walking in the spirit.

Dying to self.

Titus 1:15-16,

“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God but by their deeds they deny Him…”

Don’t deny God, deny self.

12 thoughts on “The Sting of Dying to Self”

  1. I sense the powerful reality of the truth you are speaking of. Satan’s sin of pride can be found in all people, believers and unbelievers. And It seems saddest when we see it,threads of it, tides of it, in our own lives. I know what I want and when I want it. I know what God wants for me for He has spelled it out in the Word. And if anything gets in the way, pride is at the door ready to be offended, ready to get into self pity. To humble myself and take the rough places of life without reacting seems to me to be what dying to self is. The Spirit of God intercedes for me according to the will of the Father. Christ intercedes for me from within me. And He has made it possible for me to come boldly to the throne of grace. Pride! What a terrible soul flaw. God help us all! And He does…oh, He does.

  2. Mary, you’ve touched a nerve with me. Or should I say the Word of God has? I have a tendency to believe I’m right in every situation, and instead of dying to myself, I make sure my dh knows how right I am. It’s ugly. Please pray for me to be loving and submissive, I need it!

  3. I understand, Georgiana, and I’m praying. This is touchy stuff with us women, especially with the culture’s way dogging us and our convictions. We’ve been raised to think that we know best and that men don’t! Put a quiet, easy-going guy with a strong woman and watch out, huh.

    There are some great books out there, one that really opened my eyes to some of my heart issues. Two that I find myself recommending a lot lately are Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl, and Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. And of course, you can never go wrong with Titus and 1 Peter! :O)

  4. hmmmmm… is there some reason you could not have taken the children on time and then he could have met you there a bit later when he was cleaned up? it’s pretty typical to have some feelings when your spouse isn’t being considerate. i’m not saying to disrespect each other, but to allow yourselves to be human. i’ve been with my dh for 20+ years, btw. :)

  5. Well, we’re pretty conservative with gas (b/c or in spite of driving a Suburban!)and our church is thirty miles away. The thought didn’t even cross our minds.

    :)

  6. It sounds to me like you were quite right to be upset since he wasn’t being very considerate to you and your girls or the new friends. Which is not to say you couldn’t have put on a stiff upper lip so that he could degrime his hands very quickly while you buckled kids into the car, but you have a right to your feelings.

  7. It would have taken him a long time to clean up. We don’t have a shower, only a bath, and he was filthy from sliding in and out from under his truck all afternoon…I knew it would take him at least a half hour and then another half hour to get to church.

    The nice thing about my dh is he realized right away that we’d never get there on time if we waited on him, and he didn’t hold my bad mood against me. And in all fairness to him, he’d lost track of time and we hadn’t communicated concretely whether he was going or not. I was playing the “hopeful wife” and not wanting to push. He, of course, was cluelessly working on his truck, not realizing how much hinged on his going or not. And so because of a lack of communication, it turned out like it did. Also, as an Awana leader, I really needed to be there on time. Or early, for that matter!

    He was able to come to this year’s Awana kick-off, and we all had a great time.

  8. Yes, I think we’ve all done that a few times — thought that he knew what we were thinking while he was thinking about cars :)

    I’m glad it all worked out fine.

  9. “Yes, I think we’ve all done that a few times — thought that he knew what we were thinking while he was thinking about cars”

    Exactly. :)

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