Dying To Self – The Amazing Prov. 31 Woman
– All I have, I have been given, therefore freely give. (Bible)
– I have been given by God, and by others
– E.g. talents, food, clothing, shelter, time, abilities, skills, etc.
Dying to self means:-
– Not watching out for the interests of self
– Living for the sake of another, and not self
– Spending and being spent for another/others
– Not being overly concerned about the wellness and rights of self
It means trusting in God to take care of you, because:-
– You are important – because He made you, and that’s also why He made you
– You do have something of value to offer
– God cares for you
– God loves you
– God has good plans for you
– God knows what you truly need – needs that no one else, not even you, can meet for yourself
– Trusting in God to watch out for your
- Rights – perceived, and others
It means not rushing to do these things for yourself, because in pursuit of them, you:-
– Can go overboard and hurt others
– Can go overboard and make a fool of yourself
– Can go overboard at the expense of spreading the gospel
– Can go overboard at the expense of loving children and others
– Can get so absorbed in self, such that the goals that are reached are very local, and of passing/fading impact
However, if we trust God to take care of us, because He always has, always will, and has 100% of the time done a good job, then we will:-
– Be relaxed (in God) about our identity, worth and purpose
– Will be fully surrendered to Him to meet our needs
– Will be focused on achieving goals that go beyond our limited time and space of influence
– Will do things that outlive us
– Will do things that bless others
– Will do things that live a positive, lasting legacy
– Will be unbothered about titles and appearances
Does this mean that we are not important, and that we should totally abandon/neglect ourselves for the sake of others?
– On the contrary, NO! it means that we are so important, that God has chosen to entrust us with His most precious possession – people.
– And He expects us to take good care of them, because He knows that we can. He has given us that ability, to love others using His love.
Then why is it so hard???
– Because we have wrongly shifted the focus from Him to us
– We want the credit and recognition from man
– We have a sense of entitlement – yet all that we have, we have been freely given
– Because we have been wrongly cultured that we are only important if we are on top shining, calling the shots
However, that is quite a great responsibility to put on ourselves. It we left it to God to create and sustain our value for us, we would do much better and have a much simpler life, because:-
– A good name comes from the Lord
– Cursed is the man who trusts in man, e.g. Saul. Go rejected him for choosing to please man instead of God.
– A true sense of worth comes from affirmation from The Greatest, not from the “commons”
– As a vessel, e.g. a pipe, ours is to receive and pass on the contents to the user. Be a channel, and not a hoarder. Channeling is much easier than managing, e.g. a valve.
So why don’t we do it?
– We first want assurance that we are worthy, special and important
– And well, we are. You are. Because God made you, and made you His workmanship. You are the apple of His eye. He has written your name on the palm of His hand. He remembers you. He has given you the special talents, skills, abilities, education and experience that you have. He has entrusted you with the members of your family. With the friends that you have, and with those who look up to you. He thinks you are great!
So what will you do?
– I will ask Him for forgiveness where I have failed
– I will ask for His grace to help me understand His love, and be influenced and led by it
– I will ask for courage to do seemingly base and demeaning things, remembering that Jesus washed His disciples feed even though He was God. But He did so because He knew who He was, not to seek affirmation or prove a point. I will pray for the same grace, the same mind of Christ.
– I will read and meditate on His word:-
- To get affirmation and assurance about my identity, worth and purpose in Him
- To receive t he charge and authority to carry out His will
– Then go on to do what I ought to do, according to God’s word, seeing as He is the One who sent me, and the One I am accountable to, and the One I will stand before on the day of judgment.
– Also doing so in faith, knowing that God, not man, is the great rewarder, and He will reward the misthos-apodidomai way, return to you what you have spent, and then give you more as a reward/gift. That’s way better than any man can do!
– It is not easy to come to the conclusion to start doing this, because it may call for turning the other cheek sometimes. But is it worth it? YES.
– For a good conscience and confidence, knowing you did the right thing, and for the reward that God will give, both in this lifetime and in eternity.
So how does all this add up to make the Prov. 31 woman?
– Because being a wife and mother is often a thankless job
– In all the description, we see the woman giving
– Only one verse tells us about her being given, and even then, she is receiving the fruit of her labor (V.31)
– The Prov. 31 Woman has died to herself. This is the ultimate beginning of a life of purpose.
God help us all!!! Amen.