Daily Reflections

An Unexpected Death

June 9, 2021 Kelly Needham

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” —Luke 9:23

I had been following Jesus for many years when I got married. But my aversion to dying to self would have convinced you I’d just begun. My husband’s budding career held a knife to the throat of my own self-importance. As his fame grew, mine faded into his shadow.

I thought I knew how to lose my life for Jesus, but clearly any dying I’d done hadn’t been that painful. And now I was surrounded by the inevitable death of my reputation and self-sufficient habits. The significance I found in being a good Christian girl was being put to death.

Though confused and angry in the moment, I now realize God gave me the best gift I would ever receive: freedom from myself. Because the subtleties of my sinful flesh usually manifested in “good Christian behavior,” pride and self-love had been impossible for me to detect. Since I was unaware of this growing stronghold in my life, God took the initiative to set me free. I’ve never been so grateful.

Make it Personal

When has God called you to die to yourself? What happened as a result?