Once “crucified” with Christ, that is “surrendered to Him,” you in fact can live and have meaning and purpose in your life. If you are not crucified with Christ voluntarily and with set purpose, then you will be crucified on the cross of your own contradictions and your own conflicts. It isn’t a question of if you would rather be crucified or not. You will be crucified. However if you accept being crucified with Christ, through self-surrender, you can now focus on a new center, which has been cleansed, and you can cultivate yourself around that surrendered self.
With self-surrender, Christ asks us to take the one thing that we own (the self) and give it back to God. In surrendering the self, we may naturally fear that nothing will be left. We wonder, according to Jones, about how we are to live without the self, which gives us identity, value, and worth in this world.
The response sounds paradoxical, for it is in the total surrender of one’s life that one finds true meaning and joy in life. The surrendered self no longer accommodates itself to the pattern and values of this world, for it has been liberated from the demands of the world and placed in the hands of Jesus. The self is now free.
It is possible to cross the seas and leave your home and your friends and give up your salary and everything else and yet not give up the final thing – the surrender of one’s self.
Self-surrender is the only remedy. I cannot go down any road on anything with anybody who has problems without running straight into the necessity of self-surrender. All else is marginal; this is central. I only have one remedy, for I find only one disease – self at the center; self trying to be God.
The E. Stanley Jones Foundation is dedicated to preserving and extending the legacy of the late E. Stanley Jones who blessed millions of people around the world with his preaching, teaching, and prolific written works proclaiming Jesus is Lord.