'Dying to Self' May Be One of the Most Important Aspects of Being Christian

By Eric Kruep  | Submitted On January 18, 2014


When I began my first discipleship group about 6 years ago, I first heard this phrase - "Dying to Self".

"Dying to Self" Defined

I have to admit; I still think this is a strange phrase. However, I have come to appreciate the meaning and application of this phrase in the Christian livelihood. The way I have learned to understand and apply this phrase is to think about continuously killing my selfish intent.


We, as human beings, are driven for selfish ambitions. It is innate! In fact, this is a big piece of "original sin". Our human nature is constantly seeking to fulfill its own wishes and desires with little regard for its fellow man and woman... unless they suit our purposes.

Killing Selfish Intent

The Christian attitude is radically different. In studying God, we see a righteous God that puts others ahead of Himself. In our pursuit of righteousness, God calls all Christians to do the same. We are to take on an attitude of humble service towards our neighbor. In Mark 12:28-34, when religious leaders of the day asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was (out of 611), Jesus responds to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.

So how can we put "dying to self" into practice? Admittedly, it is NOT easy! To continuously put others' needs above our own has consequences for our own personal agenda. You may fall behind in your work as you put your family needs ahead of work email. You may miss a night out with friends from the office while you stay home to watch your kids. You may have to turn the TV off instead of watching that action movie you've been wanting to see on FX because your kids are still awake.

The ability to "die to self" is critical in fully surrendering to His will. Admittedly, many Christians struggle with this kind of full surrender because the consequences seem too great. It can feel as if we don't get to do anything that brings us personal joy anymore!

In these moments, I want to remind you that the return on investment in others is well beyond your greatest expectations. I encourage you to exhibit and to own the faith in God's promises to you. He will bless you abundantly if you follow His will by serving others' needs before your own.

Thanks for reading my article!