Tim McGraw is one of my favorite country music artists, so when his song “Kill Myself” was released, I was mortified! Just the title alone stung my heart and brought painful memories of my stepmother’s suicide to mind. I was hesitant to listen, but the country stations were relentless about playing new songs over and over. As I listened, tears trickled down my cheeks. I wanted to understand the meaning behind his lyrics, because I knew there was something deeper than the sadness I was feeling. As I searched the lyrics, the line that clearly explained it all struck me: “And I thank God, the devil in me died-cause I stand before you now a man changed and alive.”
To die to self (or “kill myself” as Tim sings) means you are surrendering your life to Christ. You are actively seeking Him to take control of every aspect of your life (finances, health, relationships, and jobs). You are agreeing to leave behind a world where you were in control.
A world where the euphoria of meeting someone new and jumping head first into a fresh relationship energizes you. A world where the alcohol flows and you become the center of attention, running wild and free. A world that offers the adrenaline rush of spending money on anything you want! There is so much freedom in the world! It offers such a wide path of your choosing.
But, the wide path of freedom fades. Depression sets in after that fresh relationship fails. It comes with shame on the heels of your sobriety the morning after a sinful night at the bar. It comes with the stress of not having food because you recklessly spent your money on something you didn’t need.
In Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT) Paul tells us to, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
Now, when I listen to Tim’s song, I feel the joy of surrendering my old life to Christ. I stand before Him changed and alive in righteousness.
Which life will you choose this year?
The one where freedom fades?
Or, the one where Christ offers freedom for eternity?