What Happens When You Die-to-Yourself Too Much

What does happiness or contentment look like to you?

In my nearly 30 years of spiritual coaching, I noticed a lot of people could not answer this question. After digging a little deeper, I found that it was due to a not-so-good interpretation of “dying to self” that comes from Bible verses like this one: 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
Galatians 2:20 NIV

What happens is people take dying-to-self way too far, to the point that they’re not even sure what brings them joy or makes them light up!

Here are 2 signs that you may be dying-to-self way too much:

#1 You have a hard time accepting compliments or praise.

I’ve approached many people to compliment them on something they’ve done well. Oftentimes, I’ve found it’s difficult for people who love God to accept compliments! 

An example of a common deflection is: “Oh, that wasn’t me. That was God!”

Of course, God definitely has a lot to do with it. But a lot of times, this is a sign of false humility coming into play! 

This is real humility:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:6 NIV

God wants to elevate you! 

If your child was to do something well, wouldn’t you want them to feel good about it? In fact, you would most likely showcase them and say, “Check out what my amazing child did!” 

Our Father in Heaven is no different!

Practice looking people in the eyes when they compliment you and just say, “Thank you.”

#2 You don’t feel like you’re a co-laborer with God.

Another popular verse people use when they’ve died-to-self too much is this one:

“He must become greater; I must become less.”  John 3:30 NIV

Here’s some context: John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus to come by baptizing people. Once Jesus came on the scene, He started baptizing people, too! 

The people who followed John were worried about this. They were afraid John would lose his place—his status! So, John the Baptist kindly explained that as Jesus’ influence became greater, then his would become less.

John did not make Jesus greater by making himself become less. John was still amazing, but Jesus was simply greater.

Here’s what Jesus had to say about John the Baptist:

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:11 NIV

And here’s what Jesus had to say about us!

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  John 14:12 NIV

We get to share in the greatness of God and be co-laborers with Jesus!

God wants you to live!

Remember, Jesus dying on the cross was only one day of His life. There were approximately 12,045 days of his 33 years on this earth when He did not die.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. Romans 6:8 NIV

You’ve died with Christ, but there will be many more days that you will live with Him! So live!

I invite you to learn more about this topic in my interview with Convergence:

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Watch for new hope to come to your life!

Blessings,


Doug Addison

DougAddison.com


P.S. Dying too much to ourselves can keep us from hearing God with accuracy. My new 3-part audio series Getting Clarity When God Speaks  will walk you through the solutions to the mental-blocks that keep you from hearing God daily. 

Doug Addison is the founder and president of InLight Connection. Doug is a prophetic speaker, author and coach. He is known for his Daily Prophetic Words, Spirit Connection webcast, podcast and blog. He and his wife Linda live in Los Angeles, California where they are impacting the arts, entertainment and media industries. 

  1. Reply

    Dying to yourself ‘too much” to the point of self negation is not what God means by it . Thank fully

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 5, 2019
      Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed! Bless you!

    • Connie Drake
    • August 2, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you for this timely word, Doug.
    Bless you!
    Connie

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 5, 2019
      Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed Connie! God bless you!

    • Anita
    • August 2, 2019
    Reply

    Hi I found this very relevant & I believe the comment from Tracy is spot on. Emotional abuse as a child causes low self esteem, which then distorts the ‘dying to self’ message, allowing the enemy to steal your gifts and trap you in a poverty spirit ( not just financial) I refused promotion at work & allowed myself to be robbed on many fronts as the dying to self became confused with allowing others to abuse me, emotionally, spiritually & financially. When we don’t have a right relationship or understanding of Father God, the vultures of the enemy jump on the back of that to bring destruction. I’m so grateful for teachers like Doug, & Doug in particular, who have brought revelation & balance to the body of Christ & are helping me to become whole & healed – and to have a right understanding.

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 2, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing Anita! I am so glad this blog post was helpful for you. Bless you!

    • Winnie Kyokunda Businge
    • August 2, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you Doug for sharing with more clarity on this matter. You are such a blessing to the body of Christ.

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 2, 2019
      Reply

      Bless you Winnie!

    • Tracy Brantlinger
    • August 1, 2019
    Reply

    Doug,
    I am SO HAPPY that you are sharing this with people!!! I FINALLY figured this out awhile back for myself… this misunderstanding and distortion actually manifested itself, at times, quite comically when looking back, but the effects were not and still are not really that funny, as it so truly can hold us back.
    I have believed that it mostly comes to those of us who were deeply abused one way or another, or raised in very disfunctional families, etc. I’d be curious to hear if you believe the same or have found that it also touches even ‘more healthy’ believers as well.
    At any rate, it is almost a comfort to me to be honest, on one hand that I was not alone in this huge misunderstanding, (as it is related though to lack of basic emotional development, that I imagine others especially in this ‘modern society’ unfortunately experience, I highly suspected it needed to be shared and understood), and is quite sad that it effects so many more than probably any of us believed. Thank you for addressing this to continue to bring more clarity to the Body.

    Blessings,
    Tracy Brantlinger

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing your heart, Tracy!

    • sonia saucedo
    • August 1, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you so much!

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 1, 2019
      Reply

      Bless you Sonia!

    • Leslie Canniff
    • August 1, 2019
    Reply

    Excess dying brings hope deferred, heart sickness, lost dreams, broken spirit – which are not from God. Thanks for being bold enough to speak the truth on this topic. Jesus died once then the resurrection. If we are dying too much, there will be only death with no resurrection, which is not God.

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing Leslie!

    • Sonya Sparrow-Petty
    • August 1, 2019
    Reply

    WOW! This article describes me to a “T”. I feel better after having read your simple biblical way of handling this aspect of our walk with Jesus. The false humility part stung a bit, but definitely got my attention. (I’m a musician and have no doubt my ability is a gift from God, so I never wanted to “steal His glory”. However, by saying such things when complimented, I may in actuality be doing just that!) I love how God gives us what we need, exactly when we need it! Thank you very much, Doug, for the eye opener.

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 1, 2019
      Reply

      Bless you Sonya!

    • Susan Delaney
    • August 1, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I came out of a very legalistic church where I suffered much spiritual abuse — 21 years. I came out almost 2 years ago now. Praise God I am in a good place and doing well but still in a process of grappling with things that were taught with a wrong spirit. So much of the church is affected with this legalistic religious spirit, but God is using people like you , Doug, who love Jesus and love His body, to bring light to these issues and misbeliefs. I pray He will use me also.
    I appreciate this ministry so much. God bless you all.

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 1, 2019
      Reply

      I’m so sorry you had to go through that Susan. You will be able to help many others find freedom.

  2. Reply

    Thanks for this Doug…there are times when one thinks they are dying to self yet they’re actually having the LIFE & JOY sucked out of them due to others.

      • Nikki, InLight Connection Team
      • August 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing Carolina!

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