5. I Must Sacrifice Myself at All Costs
Matthew 16 speaks of surrender and forsaking our version of rightness for the sake of God at work in and through us.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.' – Matthe 16:24-25
Most of my life I carried an unhealthy weight of responsibility because I misunderstood this verse. I thought it meant that in every situation and every circumstance I must deny what I need. I believed it meant that if someone wanted what I had it was selfish to not give it. That if someone acted in harmful ways it was up to me to ignore it and accept it.
By doing so, I dishonored God’s call to steward the life he’d given me. I no longer valued what he valued in me, or how he wanted to work through other people’s pain to bring them closer to him.
I played savior, not steward.
Sacrificing myself at all costs led to depression, anxiety, and even signs of PTSD mixed with spiritual, emotional, and physical exhaustion.
As I healed, I realized God wanted me to give beyond my comfort levels, but as he led and as I was empowered by him. This cannot be done from an empty well, or when we live as shell of who we’re designed to be.
6. Anger Is a Sin
By believing anger is sin, I pushed real feelings aside. Inevitably, this led to self-harm, depression, anxiety, reactionary explosions, and dysfunctional ways of relating to others. Instead of finding healthy ways to express anger, I denied my needs. By attempting to not sin, I caused harm to myself and others because I hid what was truly needed.
When we believe anger is a sin, we miss the redemptive qualities of anger. Anger is an emotion that follows injustice from real or perceived wrongs. Like other emotions, anger is meant to drive us to action and the action that follows is meant to be redemptive.
Because we are used to destructive forms of anger, it is easy to believe anger is the problem. What’s underneath unprocessed anger is hurt that needs care, distorted beliefs that need love and truth, and wrongs that require attention.
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