Killing Me Softly

  • June 22, 2018
  • #9430

Losing our lives for Christ’s sake means taking up our cross, and following our Lord into a new life of peace and joy.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a beautiful song you might know.

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song.

And I love those words, ‘killing me softly’. Because I’ve always thought, that’s what the Christian life is all about. In Luke Chapter 6, Jesus cuts right to the chase; He leaves no fine print in the contract, because He says flat out, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life is going to lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

You know, when I was young in the faith, I just glossed over those words. To me, Jesus was talking theory. I thought He really didn’t mean for me to deny myself – you know, kill myself. He was just giving us an ideal, something far out there to shoot for, but not something I was supposed to actually do each day, minute by minute. ‘Really? Deny myself, as in, turning off that TV program, or putting down that magazine, or not dating that guy, or saying no to a second helping, or waking up early to do my quiet time? Witnessing, even if it invited a cold shoulder? Denying myself? Like biting my tongue from gossip, or to stop complaining? No more whining?

That’s what I used to think. But once I broke my neck, once suffering became an everyday affair, I began to take the words of Jesus in Luke Chapter 6 a lot more seriously. No longer was it just theoretical, or idealistic to take up my cross daily. Now, it was something I had to do every day in practice. God wanted me to take Luke Chapter 6 seriously, and deny myself the comfort of complaining about quadriplegia, or whining about my wheelchair. I was to take up my cross and die to my wants and wishes, my former dreams and ambitions. I had to let go of, I had to die to my desire to walk and run, jump and stretch.

It wasn’t easy. But in doing so; in losing my life for the sake of Christ, oh my goodness, I found my life; my new life in Christ, a life of joy and peace, contentment and endurance. I found happiness! Real and lasting happiness that did not depend on circumstances. And it felt wonderful. This is what I mean when I talk about Jesus killing me softly – just like that song says; just like Roberta Flack sang. Because when the Lord takes away something, oh my goodness, what He gives back is so much richer. Second Corinthians Chapter 6, verse 10 says it better than I ever could: we are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”

Killing me softly? It’s not just a song from the 70’s. It’s what the Holy Spirit does every day when we deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow our Lord and Savior. He kills the old flesh and brings to life the new. Normal Christian life is dying and rising with Jesus, and suffering gets you there. Thanks for listening today on Joni and Friends.

“Killing Me Softly” composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel, sung by Roberta Flack; Copyright public domain

© Joni and Friends



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