by Jonathan Bailey
“Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
When we talk about dying to self, that really means something. There really are things we can do to move in that direction. It is not a passive process, it’s and active process! Remember, grace is not opposed to effort, it’s opposed to earning (Dallas Willard.) Jesus said take up YOUR cross and follow me. Not His, but yours. It is our responsibility as 21st century disciples of Jesus to bring that archaic 1st century teaching to life, our life. This week that is our goal. Essentially Jesus was saying, you need to die! That selfish, prideful person inside must die. Of course there are many ways to do this and creativity always helps. This week I want to introduce you to cross chores.
Cross chores are those weekly responsibilities we all have to do, for instance, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, cleaning the toilet, making dinner, doing the laundry, folding the laundry, hanging the laundry, etc. Does anyone else find these things highly annoying? Most people do, and that is why in any relationship whether husband or wife, roommates, or if your living with your parents these chores are divided up so no single person has to do all of them. In my marriage, I am basically responsible for all the trash in the apartment, paying the bills, and Kori does the laundry and cleaning. We both split doing the dishes. I am sure you all have a similar set up.
So our experiment this week is to do some Cross Chores.
Experiment 002: Denying Ourselves, Serving Others, Serving Jesus.
I propose that if you have a spouse, roommate or mom or dad that this week you do one of their weekly chores. If it is dishes, laundry, trash, cleaning, whatever, you do it the entire week as a way of denying yourself, serving others, and serving Jesus. It may be simple and not heroic enough for some, but spiritual disciplines are not for heroes. Every time you clean that dish, fold that awkward shirt of your wife’s, carry your smelly trash to the can, or scrub the stains off your toilet bowl, think of Jesus. Think of His suffering, His willingness to leave His Dad, to become a helpless infant, to get beat, to get his beard ripped off His cheeks, to get Roman saliva in His eyes, to carry a cross, all for the joy set before Him. As we practice this experiment this week, I know that we will feel the life of Jesus Himself begin to pour into our bodies and we will ‘slowly but surely’ feel the selfishness and the pride retreating. May Jesus and His Spirit be our guide this week! Have fun!
Seek the Kingdom,
PS. Keep the comments coming, it is fun and helpful to read each others experiences. Love you all!