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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Luke 9:23-25
Then Jesus said to them all, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"

Self-image is not all it's cracked up to be. Neither is self-esteem, or self-confidence. Self-ishness and self-lessness aren't that much different.

If my self-esteem is low, I should raise it; if it's too high, I should lower it. But those changes take place within the spectrum of self and so accomplish little in the much more important spectrum of God-and-me. It's only because God made me that I have a self at all.

Getting my mind's eye to focus more often on God-and-me is what changes my life. Suffering and joy both ground themselves in this rich soil of eternal companionship. It's like leaving a tiny ticketbooth and entering a vast planetarium.

In the planetarium I might feel tiny and insignificant, though, and in the arms of God I feel just the opposite. Here I find authentic joy, authentic humility, authentic pride. God wants all my heart, all my mind, all my strength - and I can give it to him. Not by my own effort; indeed, I must die to that. ALL my heart, mind and strength only become available when my own concepts about them are replaced by God's.

Lord, you know me. You know my mind, my heart, my strength. Take it all.

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