“But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away ‘blindly’ so to speak…The very first step is to try to forget about self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look to Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.” Matt. 16:24
Every single day we must wake up and allow Christ to kill the old man. The flesh must die. The old man must be killed, the desires that raise up within you that desire things of the old man must die. Let Christ kill the old man every time he rears his ugly head. The old man will look strangely familiar—he will look more like you and be more dear to you then anyone else you know. But if Christ is to grow the New Man within you that looks more like Jesus, then the old man must go. There is no use in keeping him around, he will only drag you down to hell. The old flesh must die. When you’re angry at your parents and want to snap back at them for their guilt trips BAM, let Christ kill the old you. When you’re furious, running late and someone just cut you off in traffic, BAM, let Jesus kill the old you. When you’re offered to smoke some weed and you want to fit in, BAM, let Jesus stab in the chest with his knife, the old you. When you’re tempted to go farther than you should with your girlfriend or boyfriend, BAM, let Christ knock the old you on your back and kill you. For only once you give every fiber and ounce of yourself to Jesus can He raise to life a new you, one that you will not quite recognize but that will look with every passing day that you allow Him to control you to look more like Him.
“The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25