“First, say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do.” Epictetus.
If you use this sentence as a base it will be of enormous help in getting on with life. This formula is also very helpful for those who may want to be a servant of Jesus Christ. His statement on the subject, given to Christians who want to be more, gives essentially the same advice as Epictetus, for all wisdom comes from God, no matter whose lips may be employed in delivering said wisdom.
Mark 8:34, “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Note that Christ put desire first, what you want to be. He then points out that anything you desire to be will require self-sacrifice, and the energy spent on self, be focused toward what it is you want to be. And make no mistake, whatever your heart’s desire may be, the becoming will require some “cross” bearing.
Jesus made it plain that following Him included laying aside your own dreams, and accepting the gifts He has given to you. Any satisfaction in service will involve using the gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit.
Do I want to “be” a serious disciple of Jesus? If so, I must do what He said must be done. Many would like to “be” an NFL player, but they are unwilling to “do what must be done.” The rule applies to any above the norm “be.”
Born into slavery, Epictetus outgrew his beginnings, learned and passed on the secret to you and me.
“First, say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do.”
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
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