Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
However, as we little ones work that out it doesn’t look nearly as pretty, i.e. we can speak the truth in love, and we can also be big old fashioned jerks as we figure it out. As the Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us things we focus on them, sometimes losing sight of other aspects of our faith and walk. Gradually these bends are often mediated as the spirit works on us, and we are made more like Jesus. We are also blessed with other parts of the body of Christ that are blessed with different giftings and we learn from each other. We work all this out in the comfort and shelter of grace.
This sense of balance and fullness is tricky, and is something that I have been very aware of lately. Naturally, I can be very action oriented and I have been in a few situations lately where I simply need to wait. I am vulnerable and exposed emotionally. Through any wide array of feelings it became a lot more real to me that grace and annoyance are not opposites, but rather interrelated as one person lays down their rights for the good of the other. Yet somehow, this can still be mutually beneficial. This is especially true when we are laying down our pride and privileges because of obedience to the cross - rather than obedience to the whims of the world. When our self-worth is centered, based, concretely established in Christ we are free to live without the flimsy shelter of ego and pretense, we are free to lose our life. The growing pains are tremendous, but the freedom is more authentic than anything we have ever known.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.