A mature man is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of others. He is aware life is not all about him, and freely pours out his strength to protect and serve those around him.
Photo by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash
However, can we do this without losing ourselves? Does dying to self mean we must eliminate self?
Dying to Self
Dying to self certainly includes stepping out of our comfort zone and giving up our preferences for the good of others. It means sometimes we take the hit when things are not fair and patiently endure when times are hard.
Ultimately, dying to self means my agenda is no longer my own. I now answer to a higher call and participate in a reality beyond myself. I die to self so that Christ might live through me.
But this does not mean I lose myself.
My personality, quirks, and desires all stay with me, but they are no longer in service of my agenda. All that I am is now used in service of a higher good – Christ through me.
Marriage and Sex
So, in marriage, for example, my sex drive is no longer focused on fulfilling my desires alone. I am willing to surrender my wishes for the good of my wife and our marriage.
At the same time, dying to self does not require me to kill my sex drive to merely appease my wife. Rather, the goal is for me to repurpose it – to use it as Christ would to bring greater life and love into the marriage.
My sexual desires are now used to drive us toward the full portion of what God has for us in marriage.
If I’m not using my sexuality for this higher good, rather I play it safe or become a sexual martyr, I might still need to die to my pride and false humility.
Dying to self is not giving up who God created me to be. Instead, this call to die is to take all that I am, including my sexual nature, and live for Christ.
It is his agenda, not mine, that I live for.