Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to deny myself and follow the Anointed One.
"And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
While I have a desire to be a blessing to others, it's hard to see others and myself through clear eyes. I have a tendency to think rather well of myself. In school, I was in the habit of comparing myself to others based on grades and I often felt pretty cozy where I stood. Now, I can't do that, but I still tend to think a lot of nice things about myself while giving comparatively little thought toward those who sit across the cube from me or those who devote themselves to prayer every day for me. It's easy for me to snap at people when they ask me to do things that I really don't feel like doing, but it's a lot harder for me to consider how my attitudes impact others until after the bitter words are out of my mouth. Am I a spring of clear, cool water that refreshes others by sharing the love of Christ? Or am I a stagnant pool that only reflects a murky, muddy reflection of my own stress and worry?
I need to keep my eyes on the perfect One. I need simple and pure trust that God will continue to shape me in His image. I need to look up at my heavenly Father with open hands. Give me good gifts! Give me a loving heart! a righteous heart that does good! a gentle heart that comforts others!
I don't want to be ruled by perfectionist fear. I don't want to be ruled by selfish dreams that leave me feeling dry and disappointed. I don't want to be ruled by the need to constantly please others. Instead, I want my life to be ruled by the One true God. His perfect love drives out all fear and enables me to see, live, and love in a godly way. May He draw my eyes off myself and set them on Himself. Teach me how to take up my cross and follow you, Lord.
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."