Matthew 16: 24-25 MSG
"Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self."
Matthew 16:24 starts out with Jesus giving a lesson to the Disciples. If you want to come with me, if you intend to follow me, you have to let me lead. As a disciple, we have to learn to let Jesus drive. We have to give over the wheel, so to speak. You've heard the songs, and seen the bumper stickers, but have you put it into practice? Giving up control is difficult during the best of circumstances. It's even harder when you're under duress.
Don't run from suffering, but embrace it. This statement is counterintuitive. Who wants to suffer? Most people would say that they would rather do anything else, right? What is Jesus saying here?
As we go through life, we may face ridicule and injustice. We can pretty much count on meeting with obstacles and challenges. We are going to be criticized and disliked. How do we work through these things? These everyday issues are easier to turn over than the harder moments in life. Facing criticism and disrespect from within our own families can be very difficult. Jesus felt it. How do we do it? We live in the world, so we will meet up people who can be cruel and intolerant. We may even face death for our beliefs. What do we do when the rubber meets the road?
Jesus says that His way is the best way. Jesus says that not self help, but self-sacrifice is the way to find your true self. Sounds like so much hullabaloo, right? It's not.
The self-help that He's talking about here is your own self interest. Putting yourself first. Considering what you're going to get out of whatever you're doing. How is it going to work out for you? Something that I refer to as our Me-Attitude. Our tendency to only think about me. It's all about me. Me, me, me.
Self-sacrifice is the opposite point of view from self-help. When you change your perspective to something other than yourself, your own life changes dramatically. This happens when you are able to take others feelings and thoughts into consideration before taking action. Thinking about how your actions may reflect to others before doing. Considering how your words may be interpreted before sending them or posting them. Moving in self-sacrifice is easier than you imagine. Once you start letting Jesus drive it gets easier and easier.
When you consider someone else before yourself, you'll find your true self. Jesus' words. It all boils down to this. When you let Jesus drive your attitude adjustment towards self-sacrifice will become essential. Believe me, it is the only way to travel. You'll find your true self on the journey.