God Wants to Kill You

It is amazing how often Jesus spoke of our need to die to our selfish nature:  “Pick up your cross . . . “ “Lay down your life . . . “ “If you lose your life for my sake, you’ll find it . . . “  He even gave us a simple parable about it:  “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  Jesus taught that the one way we could guarantee we would be alone is to refuse to die to our selfish nature, but if we willingly set selfishness aside, we would experience new life.

God wants to kill you….. Not the physical you, but the selfish you.  Jesus taught us that if we don’t die to our selfish nature, we will never be able to experience all of the blessings that God wants to bestow on us.  Talk about a paradox!  Everyone wants to live, but Jesus taught us that the only way we can truly live is if we die.  Well, if there was ever an institution designed to kill the selfish you, it’s marriage.  In fact, it is virtually impossible to succeed ant marriage if you don’t learn how to let the selfish part of you die.

It is not unusual for me to hear a frustrated spouse cry out, “I feel like I’m dying!” “Yep,” I reply, “you probably are.”  The answer, however, is not to fight death to the self, but to embrace it.  Remember, Jesus said if the grain of wheat fails to die, it remains alone, and that is precisely what we have today: millions of married people who refuse to die to self and become one with their spouse.  The result is a state of profound loneliness. (Let me clarify that I am speaking of dying to selfishness.  I am not advocating that one should die emotionally or physically due to neglect or abuse.)

It is hard to die to one’s selfish nature under any circumstance, but this has been exacerbated in our consumerist culture, which screams at you, “You deserve it!”  “You’re worth it!”  “Reward yourself!”  “Indulge yourself!”  And the more selfish our world becomes, the higher the divorce rates climb.

Sadly, since the 1960s, millions of children have been raised with no idea of how to sacrifice for other people.  Our society has glorified the do what you want ideology to such an extreme that most don’t even understand the concept of selflessness, much less practice it.

Marriage for the Christian is supposed to be on a completely different footing than the what do I get out of this mindset. You must understand that you will never be able to achieve a successful marriage if you stay focused on you and remain selfish.  If, however, you are willing to surrender your selfishness, to die to yourself, then true life can begin to grow out of your marriage.

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15 Responses to “God Wants to Kill You”

  1. Roman says:

    Very inspiring message. Yes that is really true. The marriage is the place for me, where I’m going to die to my selfishness.
    When I was thinking about my marriage and my happiness, when I wanted to quit, because I was dying – one of my friend told me – your place is in this marriage – this is the place where God wants you to grow, if you quit your marriage you will turn from your right direction the God has prepared just for you.
    If you will not stay in your marriage you cannot grow with God, this is your way to heaven.
    And he was right, as Mark is very right.
    Mark, thank you. This message is very inspiring sight of view to our life – Jesus want to kill us. Very good, thank you.
    Roman

  2. Patrick says:

    Friends of mine have described marriage as: the relentless persuit of ‘us’ over ‘me’… we so often fail to invest in the us thinking that any time out is for me. It has been a good challenge to recognise that time given elsewhere (work, church etc) is not ‘us’ time and so time out from there needs to be invested in ‘us’ before ‘me’. As you say I need to die to selfishness.

  3. Pamela says:

    This only works well if both partners are “in”. Otherwise, it’s an act of “murder” with the selfish abstainer giving less that a penny’s worth about the welfare of the “die – er” (?).

    • B. Marshall says:

      I agree. Longevity does not change a person if he/she refuse to change. Thirty-six later, I feel my life was a sacrificial death which accomplished nothing.

  4. Carol Parowski says:

    I want to congratulate you for blending humor with good sense and solid marital advise…not to mention a wonderful ability to use the shock factor so well. I spent years as a marriage counselor and I applaud your ministry.

  5. Joy Moehlenpah says:

    Right on Mark! Donn and I have been married 54 1/2 years now. In some way, it is a continual dying to yourself. I am being tested right now as a senior with having to take on more responsibility for things I really don’t want to do because my husband is starting to have short term memory loss. It is another season of life. That’s when “’til death do us part” takes on new meaning. That is why we “preach” to couples their need to know how to pray together and have Jesus as the “third cord” in order to make it joyfully celebrating to the end. God bless you and your wife as you help couples. The need is so great.

  6. Sandi Steidley says:

    What a great message!! Many times when we hear the scripture “…take up your cross and follow Me…” we think “the Cross” is our burden to bear. Jesus did that for us. People misunderstand “the Cross” we’re to take up. The cross is not our husband, our children, our job or boss, our pastor, aggravatin’ people or family members, etc., “the Cross” is our purpose that God has prepared for us; “the Cross” was Jesus’ purpose before the foundation of the world. We must place our flesh on the altar of sacrifice (the Cross) in order to experience life and life more abundantly that Jesus promised us and it’s a tough thing to do. So we take that step and lay down for maybe 30 seconds and get up kickin’ and screaming because we can’t stand the heat or the “smell” of burning flesh, but it’s a sweet smelling savor to God (see also James 1). Hosea 6:1,2 (Amplified Bible) specifically tells us what God’s doing in us when the heat’s turned up. It’s the process of death, burial and resurrection. Proverbs 27:17: “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose].” (Amplified Bible.) It takes the oil of the Holy Spirit to cut the friction when there’s conflict. God is faithful to see to it that we don’t bleed to death when He begins using that scalpel to cut away those sins that weigh us down and impedes our progress in becoming more like Him (Hebrews 12:1).

  7. Naomi says:

    I have always tried my best in our marriage. We have 40 years
    and I want to continue many more happy unselfish yesrs.

  8. Lynn says:

    Selfishness has become a paramount issue recently in our marriage. Specifically, how we, with barely a thought, took in a 4 year old girl (who is distantly, and I do mean DISTANTLY, related to us) rather than allowing her to disappear into the system. Yes, we are both over 50 and it is TOUGH! Yes, we hope her parents can pull it together to be able to take back the child (good people, but even good people make mistakes). Yes, we are burning our vacation time from work like there was a fire sale. SO WHAT!
    Every day my husband says how he appreciates me, what I do and who I am, and every day I thank him for his immediate willingness to DO THE RIGHT THING, that I love him.
    It amazes me that people around us are stunned, taken aback (etc.), they simply can’t understand why we would do this. Yet for us it wasn’t even a question.
    For us, this is why we are together – to do the right thing for family, no matter the distance.
    I thank God every day that I am blessed to have a relationship with a man (however imperfect, as I am as well) where our moral centres are so well aligned that we, almost without a word exchanged, can choose the right path.
    Selfishness would have denied us, and this beautiful child, with this magnificent opportunity.

  9. Robyn says:

    My husband and I attended a retreat via Internet, through my work at the Air National Guard. My favorite part was the talk about Men’s nothing boxes. So true. Looking forward to another weekend retreat!!!

  10. Dawn says:

    We must remember god is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. When we get married we have this expectation that this other person is going make us happy and fulfill all our needs when in reality they are a device in our life that god will use to grow us up and change us spiritually. To become one is a difficult thing it takes realizing the purpose of marriage as god sees it not as we see it, if most of us saw it the way god does we wouldn’t get married! Marriage along with parenthood are the two most spiritually clenching things we will ever face. I tell my married daughter who is struggliing in her marriage that you a cristian dies not to get don’t get out of a marriage like the world does because her vow is to god first and her spouse second and if he wants her to stay and make the sacrifice of being thir to help her spouse with thir life then that is what she is to do and unlike the world doesn’t get to decide that she is jumping off the iffy the boat just because she wants to bail if that was the case I would have been gone a long time ago. I tell all young people to look deep within another’s life befor choosing to marry because what the see or know will be what their issues are later in life, hands down!

  11. Dana says:

    I’m not a fan of tattoos but I should consider having the words “die to yourself” on my forearm! A constant reminder would help the forgetful, selfish me when I am in the midst of complaining that my husband doesn’t talk or show affection or whatever! ( how on earth is my husband supposed to know what need when I change like to wind. Most of the time even I don’t know what I want!) Truly, I know I am blessed with a committed christian husband who is a great father, hard worker, good provider and willing to put up with me. Maybe on the other forearm I should put “Count your Blessings” to remind myself to appreciate what I have and forget all that stupid stuff that has seeped into my unconscious thoughts that may be shaping my expectations of real love and marriage. Yep, that’s me selfish and forgetful and many times ungrateful! Wait! Squirrel! Ok, maybe the problem is distractibility which makes me seem that way! Hummm… maybe I should consider the word “Focus”, ( nah, I’d just get lost in the meaning of the word or what it was supposed to mean). Did I mention how blessed I am that my husband puts up with me?

  12. phumzile says:

    Thank you sharing God’s word unreservingly
    for we are sustained by the power that its in His word for in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and was God. John1verse 1.

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