I am preparing a sermon and the premise is basically... when Jesus calls us to the life of faith; he asks us to take up the cross, to follow, and to give up things that are part of our old way of life. These might be things that remind us of the sin we once were powerless to struggle against. These might be people whose influences were not in the direction of Christ. these might be our identities, our egos, our stuff, and even the very things we used to point toward as evidence of God's blessing in our lives. But, I was wondering if those of you who read this blog could comment (either publicly on this page or by personal email firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know some of the things you have given up to follow Christ. I would like to create a list and will not use your name. I believe, like Paul did a long time ago, that when those who experience us on a daily basis hear what we have given up for Jesus, when they realize that the person they experience was not the same 5, 10, 20 years ago - we have just, in that moment, provided a powerful lens through which they can view God. Where God is working, his people are giving some things up and trusting that God will provide, renew, and save in the end!
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.