Support us | Click here ←
To die to yourself - a typical Christian theme which primarily means to live not for yourself but for a higher purpose of life - is to live for another. This is not easily understood unless from this higher purpose. Freud once wrote: 'If I love another, he must somehow deserve it ... and he deserves it, if he is so like me in important ways that I can love myself in him.'10 That is the love out of yourself, for yourself.
Not that this can be done without also loving yourself; after all, there is nothing to be gained from an empty vessel. "Love others as yourself," Jesus said. But that was the second commandment; the first: Love God with all that is in you.11 And that is precisely the source of love. Human love is focused on the object of his love, where divine love unconditional is. Rabbi Twerski puts it this way: people often love each other as they love fish. You catch it, cook it and eat it. And then say "I love fish! But you don't love fish; you love yourself, and how this fish tastes to you and fills your stomach. Thus, our love is often 'fish love' (see the video: Rabbi Twerski on love).
In other words: actual love Is living for another. Is dying to yourself. Freedom is make a choice I said earlier, and there is the choice of the higher over the lower. Now I add that it is also better is to make a choice. After all, it is better at freedom to live.
John's revelations say that God also prefers faith that is cold or hot, as long as it is not lukewarm.12 It is better in freedom to choose something higher than yourself. It is better to live in sign of love, it is better to live in love that transcends yourself. It is better to live in love for the other, than for yourself. It is better to live in sign of divine unconditional love, than in love for the object (which is actually self-love).
In dying there appears to be life.
Needless to say, of course, not only Christians could live for another. Examples abound of non- or otherwise believers who have lived - and died - for another. It is not reserved for Christians to know a higher morality and have the desire to pursue it. This is in man laid. It is necessary to say, however, that Christians should be expected to pursue them, for they know grace. Unfortunately, not always in a way that they can give out of it as well.
Simone Weil gives as an example of grace the powerful image of gravity and sunlight. She writes: 'There is an analogy between the mechanical relations that make up the order in the observable world and the divine truths. The force of gravity that on earth completely controls the movements of matter is the image of the carnal attachments that control the tendencies of our souls. The only force that can overcome gravity is the energy of the sun. It is this energy that descends upon the plants and allows them to grow from the bottom to the top. The sun is the image of the grace that descends into the darkness of our evil souls and constitutes the only source of energy that can counterbalance moral gravity, against the tendencies of evil.13
What draws you away from God, what kept Adam behind the bush? Or: what forces pull you down, what prevents the sunlight?
The choice. The choice for Jesus is to die with him and rise again in new force. Light power. Living a virtuous life is something for every person, but being the "salt of the earth" is much more than that. Being the salt, the light in the darkness, a city on a mountain, a priestly kingship, which is about the higher. The choice of Jesus is a choice of the way inward. Not one's own (Eastern) search for the inner self, but God's search for you. It is His way in.
- This blog is part of a short series: Have to choose
10. Quote from Freud taken from the following blog: Love as Agapè
11. Matthew 22 : 37
12. Revelations 3 v.a. verse 14
13. S. Weil, Pensées sur l'amour de Dieu, p.16
Dick van Keulen writes it this way in his book *´Growing in Faith´ The first thing Jesus asks of you is not that you try to be a light bearer, someone who radiates light, but the first thing Jesus asks of you is, ´Do you bear it as My light falls upon you?
Simone Weil is new to me. Interesting fare!
*practical book on growth I have not yet found. He also talks about letting Christ die in your heart inwardly. Talk about the way in. A fascinating picture!
I don't know him; I'll look him up sometime! Regarding discipleship, I think 'God's secret plan' by Dallas Willard is one of the best books (known to me). And in terms of practical (Dutch) example, 'The royal way' by Frans Horsthuis.
I don't know that one again. I'm going to look it up, too. Reading is food for development and self-writing. Sometimes just one sentence conjures up a blog idea in me. I'm sure you know that too.