What does happiness or contentment look like to you?
In my nearly 30 years of spiritual coaching, I noticed a lot of people could not answer this question.
After digging a little deeper, I found that it was due to a not-so-good interpretation of “dying to self” that comes from Bible verses like this one:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20 NIV.
What happens is people take dying-to-self way too far, to the point that they’re not even sure what brings them joy or makes them light up!
Here are 2 signs that you may be dying-to-self way too much:
#1 You have a hard time accepting compliments or praise.
I’ve approached many people to compliment them on something they’ve done well. Oftentimes, I’ve found it’s difficult for people who love God to accept compliments!
An example of a common deflection is: “Oh, that wasn’t me. That was God!”
Of course, God definitely has a lot to do with it. But a lot of times, this is a sign of false humility coming into play!
This is real humility:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time,” 1 Peter 5:6 NIV.
God wants to elevate you!
If your child was to do something well, wouldn’t you want them to feel good about it?
In fact, you would most likely showcase them and say, “Check out what my amazing child did!”
Our Father in Heaven is no different!
Practice looking people in the eyes when they compliment you and just say, “Thank you.”
#2 You don’t feel like you’re a co-laborer with God.
Another popular verse people use when they’ve died-to-self too much is this one:
“He must become greater; I must become less,” John 3:30 NIV.
Here’s some context: John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus to come by baptizing people. Once Jesus came on the scene, He started baptizing people, too!
The people who followed John were worried about this. They were afraid John would lose his place — his status!
So, John the Baptist kindly explained that as Jesus’ influence became greater, then his would become less.
John did not make Jesus greater by making himself become less. John was still amazing, but Jesus was simply greater.
Here’s what Jesus had to say about John the Baptist:
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he,” Matthew 11:11 NIV.
And here’s what Jesus had to say about us!
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father,” John 14:12 NIV.
We get to share in the greatness of God and be co-laborers with Jesus!
God wants you to live!
Remember, Jesus dying on the cross was only one day of His life. There were approximately 12,045 days of his 33 years on this earth when He did not die.
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him,” Romans 6:8 NIV.
You’ve died with Christ, but there will be many more days that you will live with Him! So live!
I invite you to learn more about this topic in my interview with Convergence:
Watch for new hope to come to your life!
~ Doug Addison
Dying too much to ourselves can keep us from hearing God with accuracy. My new 3-part audio series Getting Clarity When God Speaks will walk you through the solutions to the mental-blocks that keep you from hearing God daily.
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Doug Addison is a prominent conference speaker captivating audiences with clean stand-up comedy and high energy prophetic messages, also shared on TV, radio and the Internet for over a decade. He brings laughter, fun and a unique prophetic style while empowering people to transform their lives, discover their destiny and understand dreams, tattoos and piercings. His powerful messages stay with his audiences long after hearing him.