Advent Day 9: Read: Luke 9

I want to draw your attention to verses 23-25 in this chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Jesus says in order to be his follower we must turn away from our selfish ways. There is no benefit to gain the whole world and yet lose our soul.

Henri Nouwen puts it a little differently. He says in order to live a life of compassion, we have to die to our neighbor. By this he means that we die to what they think about us, how they might judge us, giving up measuring our worth and value by the yardstick of others.

So, how are these two similar? If we are constantly concerned about what others think about us, if we measure ourselves by the achievements of others, if we stand in judgment of others, we are enslaved to them. If we die to them, and ultimately to our own ideas of what is good, we are free to live for Christ. We are free to show compassion in world changing ways. If only we die to our neighbors and our self at the same time.

How do you need to die to your neighbor today (dying to yourself and taking up your cross in the process) and live for Jesus? What keeps you from letting go of the yardstick of the world?

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