Crucify self…

Luke 14: 25-35

 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,  “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.  And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?  Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?  And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?  Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

 Hate here is similar in meaning to ‘turn from.’  Self rules when we consider what we do for  those close to us more important than what we do for the Lord.  Self rules when we plow ahead with plans before considering the cost and find we can’t complete what we started.  Self must be crucified on a cross before we can be useful.  The totally self-absorbed person says their family means much to them and that is true, seen through the filter of self.  The totally self-absorbed person lacks greatly in awareness of the needs of others, or even what others are doing.  The blinders are on and their vision is only inward.  They often are not even aware of their self-absorption.  Jesus likens them to salt with no flavor, worthless, even to themselves!  There is the dilemma.

 When we lose self and having to have things our way, we are free to truly love those we say we love, free to truly serve others without always needing to serve self, do it our way.  We can begin to hear what is said, we can begin to understand the living of the life of service Christ calls us to.  Do we have the ears to hear?  Or do we have earplugs of self in, sunglasses of self that don’t allow us to see?  Crucify self.  There’s the cross we carry; constantly ridding ourselves of having it our way. “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”  Lord increase our awareness of when self tries to get down off the cross.  Increase our awareness of putting the filter of self back in place. Keep us only to Yourself.

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