Let’s give an example: a husband makes the bed, does the laundry, makes dinner, etc. etc. because he feels an inward prompting from the Lord to be a blessing to his wife. Isn't he, like her, not tired and frustrated after a long day at work? But he does it all anyway. He does it purely for the Lord. He denies his ‘self’. He uses ‘self’ control, and by that I mean he controls self. He puts ‘self’ under his feet so that Christ can prevail in his life. Let’s add to this scenario. Let’s say the husband never gets any thanks or appreciation from his wife for all he does. Self would have him say, ‘Screw you! YOU serve ME! I’m the man of this house! Don’t you think I get tired too? I’m hungry! Feed me!’ Yet he doesn’t. Even though he may feel unappreciated and angry…he denies his own wants and needs in order to be Christ to his wife. He knows within himself he doesn’t have what it takes. He knows that often he doesn’t have a fat bank account of warm feelings toward his wife. He isn’t drawing from his abundance. He knows that the ONLY reason he can continue to bless his unappreciative wife is because of Christ in him, the hope of glory, and the more he subdues his own flesh and in the process allows his mind to be transformed, the more the life of Christ is evident to all around him. See the difference?
Shoot, let’s do a little detoxing (give it a year or so) now that we're outside of the 'box', let’s learn the whole new in-Christ lingo, and bang, we're off to the races! Nope! I don't think so, friends. Christ is not an add-on to our already nice selves. I honestly think that some folk hit a speed bump somewhere along the road, in panic turn to Christ, then continue along their very well-paved and manicured nice life-lanes.
Maybe this hidden, but ever present under-tow of nice self-reliance is a hideous entity that works seemingly wonderfully outside or inside of religion? Maybe this transformation of Christ in us, AS US, is far more than simply us hitting a speed bump and being momentarily inconvenienced? Maybe it’s a lot more like this, quoting a fellow sojourner: “Because of this man Christ Jesus I have suffered the loss of ALL THINGS”.