“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Psalm 63:3
I read a quote by John Piper this morning: “The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life. So we will choose to die rather than lose sweet fellowship with God.” This choice is about more than physical death. It isn’t only brought up when our life is on the line. The choice is made in our everyday lives. Those moments when we choose to die to ourselves. Knowing the supreme treasure that is our Lord, we die to ourselves rather than lose sweet fellowship with Him.
It’s experiencing life with Christ with such delight that everything else pales in comparison. So we choose Him instead of making a decision that could hinder that relationship. If we live like this, then selfishness is cast aside. Pride is defeated. It’s shown in the smallest of details—the music I listen to, the TV shows and movies I watch, the way I react to situations and things said to me. Even my language displays it. Not just in word choice, but in the emotions behind what I say. Am I speaking in love and for the benefit and building up of others? Or do my remarks cut and tear down?
Choosing to die to myself means I am mindful of my words and actions. I am aware of what I am doing and what God would have me do. I determine to follow Christ’s example, to serve and show compassion and forgiveness even when it’s inconvenient and hard. To stand firm with conviction and hold fast to truth and righteousness—and to do so in a way that honors God and highlights the glory of His grace.
The driving force of this choice is recognizing that my relationship with Christ is the best and most important in my life. Drawing close to Him, listening to Him, knowing and treasuring His Word, is vital. It affects everything. It impacts every relationship I have. The closer I am to Christ, the better I will love and serve those around me. It changes my entire outlook. Circumstances and conversations are viewed through the eyes of God. Seen as opportunities to show our love for Him, to highlight His supremacy above all things.
This is why we earnestly seek Him, as it says in verse 1—He is greater than anything. So there is an earnestness in our desire of Him. We are no longer content to try and put God in a box, to give Him at most a few moments of the morning and then go about our day with no regard for Him. We want Christ in everything. Because He gives everything purpose and beauty and light. His steadfast love is shown in all of it. Our joy is full because He is here, abiding in the details of our lives.