I'd Die For You

"I'd die for you, that's easy to say
We have a list of people that we would take
A bullet for them
A bullet for you
A bullet for everybody in this room
But I don't seem to see many bullets coming through
See many bullets coming through
Metaphorically, I'm the man
But literally, I don't know what I'd do
I'd live for you, and that's hard to do
Even harder to say
When you know it's not true.."

(excerpt taken from Twenty-One Pilots song, "Ride.")

Big, ginormous, life-changing, world-altering events - taking bullets for each other - are things we can handle. They may be terrifying, but they require immediate action. They demand that we pull together and help each other through them. They require sacrifices that seem so monumental, it makes them incredibly worthy of applause. We've all seen it happen when war rips into a country or a hurricane hits our shores.

But the little stuff? No one wants to mess with that.

Daily tasks like washing dishes or vacuuming the floor fall under "menial chores." Changing diapers and answering emails and buying groceries and opening the door for strangers or inviting your neighbor to a dinner that consists of leftovers or babysitting someone else's kid for 15 minutes - these are so often overlooked because they are small. Inconsequential. No one is watching you do them, and no one cares if you get them right. They're just the gross underbelly of our existence.

Sometimes, I'd rather take a bullet for someone than clean up poop again, or wash smoothie out of my baby's hair, or cook dinner for the umpteenth time.

Not because any of these things are truly awful. But because the routine-ness of them starts to grate on my nerves. Their ever-present nag starts to feel like absolute drudgery.

So what are we supposed to do with Jesus's much-quoted words: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you." (John 15:12-15)


How are these menial things that I do every day equivalent to laying down my life? How are they necessary in the "grand scheme of things"? Why won't God give me something  I M P O R T A N T to do?
"And Jesus answered them, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.' "

(John 12:23-26) 

Directly following this, Jesus speaks about how difficult it will be for Him to be crucified; Jesus is speaking literally about losing one's life for the kingdom. For the sake of God and His glory. And most of our lives, this isn't required of us. Not all of us are asked to physically die for God or others. How then can we translate this information into our daily lives?

Let's look at this in a slightly different context:
"And calling the crowd to Him with his disciples, he said to them, 'If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.' "
(Mark 8:34-38)
Footnote: The same Greek word used
here can mean either "soul" or "life," 
depending on the context.



"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another."
(John 15:12-17)

Jesus's command here is about our love for Him and for one another. His whole ministry on earth is about this. Giving our lives up for each other doesn't happen all in one big act, with lots of fanfare and tears and our names going down in history. Giving our lives up for each other is about many, many acts of love.

Here's what I'm discovering: losing your life starts with the really small things. And the mundane and the simple and the gross and the boring. It starts with sacrificing bits of your time. Letting go of your money. Giving away what is dear to you. Sharing what you already have. You must lay down your life for God, for your tribe, and for your neighbor daily.

Laying down your life begins with moments, pennies, morsels of bread. Laying down your life doesn't start with something bigger than you can imagine; it starts with giving up the tiny pieces of your life that are hard for you to sacrifice. That moment when you're too tired to make dinner for you husband? Do it anyway. That day when you're at your wit's end, but your friend asks if you can help her with something? Jump right in. I'm not saying that we need to exhaust ourselves or seek to please people or always, always, always do things for others - mamas already have that weight on them, all the time, and it's too much to bear.

But what I am saying is that we see these daily, minuscule difficulties as opportunities to lay down our lives for Christ. Chances to witness His strength moving through us, and His love working in us to do powerful things. Just because it is small does not mean that it is insignificant.

These changes must flow from the heart - from the place where you spend time with God. If you seek to lay down your life for your own glory and with your own strength you will fail every time. But if you lay down what you want at His feet, He will give you a million chances to show His love.

Today you will serve, sometimes without an option to do otherwise. Are you going to do it like a martyr, or as a true servant of God? What small moments from yesterday or today did you take as opportunities to be selfless or selfish?

14 comments:

  1. This is an excellent post and a really great reminder to serve others with a heart of service and not selfishly and begrudgingly!

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    1. Thanks! It's so easy to have a wrong view of it when you feel like serving is part of your "job."

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  2. I agree with you that the little stuff gets so overlooked and it's hard to remember it's the small moments that make up a life.

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  3. Love this and your heart. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! You have a fantastic week as well 😊

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  4. I so needed to read this today friend, thank you so much for sharing! You totally hit the nail on the head with my attitude towards my everyday service. The past couple weeks I have definitely been feeling more like the martyr and this morning I woke up and decided "today is going to be different" and it was such a better day!

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    1. Attitude changes everything! I'm glad you were able to turn your day around.

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  5. This post is amazing :) Thank you so much!

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  6. Beautifully written Caity. The small things are sometimes even harder to do than the little things because they take constant attention and time. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the number of things I need to think about and do and remember that those little acts of service get pushed to the back of my mind. But we all need a little more kindness in the world. Thank you for the sweet reminder of daily sacrifice. :)

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    1. They really are harder to do well most of the time. And they're so important because they make up most of our days, our lives.

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  7. So true. I absolutely love this! The little stuff adds up and can feel like such a burden if we let it get to that point. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Yes a burden! But we have to take them one a time and do each one well. I have to start over with this a million times a day lol

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