If we want to be good at cooking or playing sports or speaking a foreign language, we have to practice. I think the same is true when it comes to dying.
What does it mean to practice dying? First of all, let me tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean laying down on the couch and pretending you're in your casket! Practicing dying is a much more positive experience.
It’s what parents often do. When my mom was pregnant with me in 1947, my dad took a second job to replace our ice-box with a refrigerator. He did that to help us. He died to himself 3 days a week and every other weekend for many years.
I die to myself when I bite my lip before I say something hurtful. I die to myself when I don’t insist on my own way or when I respond to someone’s call for help. I die to myself when I do good things that are hard to do or when I swallow my pride to respond with love.
Jesus gave his life away many times before He died. He asks us to do the same.