“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24)

 

I came across this inspired piece of writing a long time ago but it never grows stale. It is very challenging but it is also deeply inspiring. I share it here in the hope that it may inspire you, too.

The author is unknown.

A meditation on Galatians 2:20

 “I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me”

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer with Christ, that is dying to self.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence, that is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality or any annoyance; when you stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus endured it, that is dying to self.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation; when you can truly love to be unknown, that is dying to self.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God, that is dying to self.

When you can see you brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in Spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and you are in desperate circumstances, that is dying to self.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion nor resentment rising up within your heart, that is dying to self.

“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”           (Matthew 16: 24-25).

Ann Shakespeare

Welcome to the Ann Shakespeare blog. Ann, a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, BBC World Service and The Daily Journal, is currently involved in editing and writing on Christian themes. She also ministers in a local ecumenical centre which provides prayer and pastoral support.

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