And, this is how the conversation went yesterday.
John Henry: “Mom, Anna says you die when you get baptized.”
Anna: “Mom, it’s true! The old Anna dies and a new Anna comes up out of the water!”
Me: “Anna is right.”
John Henry gave me quite the dumbfounded look. So, of course, I explained what dying to oneself means. Dying to one’s own thoughts, belief systems, and desires and whole-heartedly seeking after those of Christ.
The truth is.
I have to die myself every single day. I have to consistently make myself make right choices in how I respond to people. I have to consistently choose to forgive even though holding a grudge seems easier at times. None of it is always easy. But, it’s always better.
It’s always better to admit to my children, “Mommy was wrong. Would you please forgive me?” This way they know the behaviors and words that are good and healthy.
It’s always better to squash my pride and take my husband’s hand after an argument. This way we both know we are okay.
It’s always better to forgive a friend and shut my mouth about it. This way I can continue to pour into her life and she into mine.
It’s always better to forgo a day set aside for some “me” time to spend the day counseling someone struggling. This way she will know God loves her, and her life matters.
It’s always better to give up sleeping in on a Sunday morning to go to the local church. This way my children will always be reminded Who their source is for every need they will ever have. And, they will know how much they need the body of Christ.
It’s always better to choose Him. I don’t always understand His ways and thoughts. But, I do know that choosing them is always better. I’ve never heard someone say, “The worst mistake of my life was forgiving that person.”
Or making up with my husband. Or making things right with my children. Or going to church. Or helping out a friend in need.
Dying is always better. It’s in the dying that I truly live for Him.
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Luke 9:23-24