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making the connection | June 10, 2018

June 12, 2018

How many of us can honestly say we want to die to ourselves? Without God’s work in and through us, we probably have little motivation to start this process. This weekend we continued the series Before I Die by delving into 1 Peter 4 which begins, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude‚…” Christ was willing to suffer and die, so we should be willing to suffer and die to ourselves.

As you go about your week, take time to read and reflect on this powerful chapter each day. After carefully reading and rereading 1 Peter 4, consider these questions: What have you spent too much time on in the past? How might God be calling you to grow in relationship with Him or to serve others?

To discern a way forward, we probably need to begin by distinguishing between self-care and self-serving or self-indulgent behaviors. Check out these definitions‚…

Self-care: An activity that strengthens, nourishes, or develops who we are at our core. It supports us in authentically connecting with Christ and reflecting Him to the world.

Self-indulgence: Something that feels really good, but does not have additional benefits. It is an activity that gives us momentary pleasure, but does not move us beyond ourselves.

So, the challenge over the next week is to find and replace a selfish behavior with a way of connecting to God, caring for ourselves, or serving others. To do this, we might begin by looking at behaviors in our lives that fit the definition of self-indulgence. Then, we can look at the encouragement found in 1 Peter 4:7-11. We should also spend time considering the ways God has gifted us. Those gifts are given to us to bless others. Finally, let’s consider these practical ideas:

  • Get off the couch and start moving
  • Choose to eat a healthier snack or skip dessert
  • Step outside and enjoy nature for an hour or so
  • Put down your favorite devices and open the Bible
  • Spend time processing your worries through written prayers in a journal
  • Talk to God – tell Him who you need to forgive, and ask for His help to do so
  • Create something to give away to someone else
  • Tell a friend or family member how much they mean to you
  • Clean out a closet and give away your excess
  • Find a creative way to give money to a person in need

-Nate Metler

 

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