In this chapter, Tim discusses the everyday nature of Christian martyrdom. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:21 ” I die every day”. What was true for Paul should be true of every one of us as we follow his example as he followed the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). But what does it look like to die every day?
Tim answers this question with a very helpful list of examples where he asks “what does the practice of the cross mean when…” and then follows up each scenario with a passage from the Bible concerning the cross. The list is full of excellent examples but the best thing about it is the model it promotes. As Tim says, “The point is not to learn the list, but to learn the habit, the reflex, the principle”. If you’ve heard me talk about the need to preach the gospel to yourself, this is exactly what I mean. We need to practice addressing the gospel to the everyday, moment by moment situations of our lives. If you’re keen to grow in your ability to preach the gospel to yourself Check out Note To Self.
Further on in the chapter, I found the idea on page 65 that we try to live like “spiritual zombies” very helpful (although a little bit gruesome!). Reflecting on my own life I can feel the truth of it – that my unfruitfulness in living for Jesus is often the result of trying to hold onto my old life even though its dead.
Following on from this, the final section in the chapter about making “excuses” was also very confronting. I’ve been reminded lately of how I can get so caught up in my own circumstances that I use my busyness as an excuse not to die to myself and love others. “I’m busy doing good and important Christian ministry” I think to myself and then ignore the opportunity to love somebody that’s right in front of me.