I am a child of Christian parents. I gave my life to Christ when I was 13. I’m 5 days away from my 25th birthday. This has the implication that my development as a person happened alongside my development as a Christian. I always joke about the fact that I can’t determine whether my changes happened because of puberty or because of the Holy Spirit successfully did it’s thing.
More importantly, there isn’t much of a self to… kill. Why? Because one hasn’t formed as a person. There isn’t enough data to know who you are and, therefore, qualitative and quantitative value can’t be assessed. When you are developing as a person the focus is what and who you want to be and not who you are.
The challenge for a human being that is developing as a person and as a Christian isn’t to die to self but to not become of the world. It is about NOT SCREWING UP, so you don’t have to die to self later.
This is why when I was a biological adolescent and young adult I would always think to myself: How am I going to die to self if my self hasn’t even had a chance to live? The idea of dying to self at a young age without any clue of what to kill made no sense to me.
I am aware that the context of the verse is that you have to diminish the sinful and carnal part of your being and not to commit suicide. It’s a verse that it’s made for a church that has a demographic of people that hadn’t been raised in the church. Therefore, the “being raised in the church, never departed from it” demographic have to see this text differently.
The problem with churches when they market this text to its congregations they sell it as if everyone is an adult that is new to the faith, expecting all other demographics to identify with this concept and apply it.
The data that I have compiled and analyzed as an INTJ show that my perception was that I couldn’t apply this text on myself until I became an adult and who I was and how screwed up I am has manifested itself clearly. It feels wrong because of the culture, but church sermons are not appealing to all demographics and to all contexts.
I think that you can die to self before being fully developed if the text is sold taken into account their demographic status. What does that mean for a young person? You can die to the desires, attitude, and patterns of behavior that are not God-like at adolescence. Personality weaknesses should be left alone until you become an adult.