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Death-to-self

how-to-practice-mortification-in-everyday-life

The ability to make sacrifices in service of a greater good is the hallmark of maturity. – Jordan Peterson

Despite the horrors and negative connotations connected with its name, all mortification means is simply that one chooses what is right over how they “feel”. It means choosing to put the good of any given person, event, or outcome above what you “want”. To mortify oneself is to choose to do something hard or in order to prepare yourself to make the even harder choices later, even when you feel like you’d “rather die” than do it.

We practice mortification when we don’t allow our fear of pain to overcome our love of truth, and when we quell our fight or flight instinct in order to act with intelligence and intentionality.

It is a beautiful thing.

It’s what superheroes are made of!

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Personal Growth, Spiritual Fitness, When life is Hard

What is Mortification? – Archaic Masochism or Indispensable Spiritual Discipline

The word mortification is a terrifying one. It literally comes from the Latin mortificare that means “to put to death”, specifically, in traditional understanding, “the desires of the flesh”. It was considered essential for salvation back in the day and it conjures images of self-flagellation, monks in hair shirts holding skulls, and all manner of other creepy and unpleasant things. The thought of it has almost single handedly fueled the rampant hatred of traditional Religion. To 99% of the population it seems to suggest that mankind is bad, God’s gifts should be rejected, and that the world and this life are evil. Such a view of mortification fuels a vision of God who is cruel and bloodthirsty rather than a gentle and loving good shepherd. We all know the vision of an egotistical and masochistic God couldn’t be farther from the truth, therefore, it “stands to reason” that we should also reject everything that supports this vision – hence the word has become all but taboo, and anyone who dares contemplate it is automatically considered crazy, even by themselves.

But what if mortification is more than this? What if we’ve rotundly rejected an essential spiritual practice because of misunderstanding, and rediscovering it might be the forgotten secret to the spiritual vibrancy we can only dream about.

Personal Growth, Spiritual Fitness, When life is Hard

What is Grace? + Can you Have a Stronger Life of Grace?

Intro to the New Life of Grace Series!

As I write this I am tired, spent from the demands of another long day. I sit down to refuge in the sound and the texture of my .05 G2 as it softly and smoothly scratches its shiny black ink across the page to let some of the pent up thoughts flow, that I might make sense of them. This is my “self-care”. At least, that’s what they tell me. “Writing” gives me my joy, my spark, my strength to carry on.

But, as the evening sun warms my shoulders and with it life and hope return to my soul, I am reminded that true strength never came from anyone’s self-care, no matter how much they enjoy it.

Oh no, my friend, our strength does not come from what we do for ourselves – our strength comes from what He does for us! It comes from beauty, silence, contemplation, and prayer. Ultimately, it comes from GRACE.

Fasting, Seasonal Reflections

Why Fast? 5 Surprising Reasons to Embrace Spiritual Fasting

Growing up the focus was always on making sure we were fed. We lived, laughed, and loved around the table. Meals were everything and treats were the solution to every problem as well as the perfect means of celebrating every joyful moment. We had a generous, loving, and happy home. When I was first introduced to the concept of fasting, I could not wrap my brain around why anyone in their right mind would ever think that voluntarily depriving oneself of such a bonding, healing, and delicious necessity could possibly be a good thing.

I fought the concept tooth and nail for over 10 years.

But, somehow, despite all my best efforts and my long list of excuses, I could not silence the incessant tugging at my heart that somehow fasting was more than just a good idea (or a bad idea), it was a calling.

Endurance, Self Care, When life is Hard

Is Self-Care compatible with Christian “Death-to-Self”?

Is Self-Care compatible with Christian Death-to-Self?  This question is especially important in a culture where self-care is preached as the solution to every problem and depression is still at an all time high.  Are we just not doing enough “self-care”? Or could dying-to-self actually be the solution to life?

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:24-25