The laying down of a life (1 John 3:16) is a tall order; one that I’m not sure can be accomplished by grit and determination. Because the laying down of a life—at least the laying down of it as Jesus calls us to—is not a one-time event, but a perpetual lifestyle. I can’t consistently choose you over me on a regular basis; I need Divine assistance. Only when I make this realization is it possible to make consistent progress in the direction of self-sacrifice. I cannot make myself like Jesus, no matter how hard I try. Only Jesus can make me like Jesus. I must simply surrender myself to him and put myself in his hands. He is my only hope of ever really living a life of laying down my life. Which, in wild irony, is the only way to become my true self (by abandoning myself altogether). Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
O Jesus, I am so terrible at laying down my life. It runs so against my nature. Yet that is what you call me to. Teach me to love like you. Give me your heart. Make your heart, my heart. Amen.
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