While a student at Liberty University, Shelly Fowler McDonald served alongside our church planting team in Ecuador as a short-term volunteer. One time when we were going through a particularly trying time, she shared these timely words of blessing from a John MacArthur Bible study that I have never forgotten.
Dying to self is...
-When you are not forgiven or you're neglected or purposely set aside and you hurt with the insult or oversight, but your heart is happy and you're content to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ- that's dying to self.
-When your good is evil spoken of; when your wishes are crossed, your advice is disregarded, your opinions are ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger arise in your heart or even defend yourself but take it all in patient loyal silence- that's dying to self.
-When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, or any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with foolishness, extravagance, spiritual insensitivity, and endure it as Jesus endured it- that's dying to self.
-When you see another brother prosper and see his needs being met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor even question God while your needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances- that's dying to self.
-When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up in your heart--that's dying to self.
-When you never care to refer to yourself or record your own good works or seek commendation; when you can truly love to be unknown- that's dying to self.
-Truly loving to be unknown...faithfully serving so that others may prosper and draw closer to Jesus. Accepting any and all tasks, regardless of where that leaves you- that's dying to self.