“Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” Luke 17:33
As I walk in this life, more and more I find myself attempting to keep my own life, or save it, or hold onto it. The tighter I hold onto it, the more of it slips away, leaving me hollow and unfulfilled.
Most Christians know this passage and testify to it, but what exactly is “keeping your own life”, and how might that result in its loss?
Our sinful nature inclines us to keep our life in various ways. Here are some of them.
1. I’ve got my own agenda.
The only agenda that should matter to us is God’s agenda. When we lay claim to our own agenda, we are trying to keep that part of our life and not surrender it to God. We lose it because anything not of the Lord is doomed to inevitable failure (Proverbs 19:21) or will end in personal disaster (James 1:15).
2. I’ve got my rights.
As slaves to Christ, we have no rights. God gives us gifts out of His love for us, but we deserve nothing. There are no “inalienable rights” as a famous document claims. God clearly states there are only two positions available to Mankind: slavery to Christ, resulting in Life, or slavery to sin, resulting in death.(Romans 6:16)
3. This is more important.
Nothing is more important than God’s work. To be clear, God’s work includes more than evangelism. God’s will for you is to also love your neighbors, serve others, take care of your family, etc. The rest of life is junk. Worthless dust and shadow that will pass away in the End. Only three things will remain after the Day of the Lord, Faith, Hope and Love, the greatest of which is Love. (1 Corinthians 13) What you have done to grow and support those three things will go with you into Eternity. The rest burns away. (1 Cor. 3:11-15)
4. I need this.
If what you seek truly is a need, then God Himself will provide it. You need only to do as you are told by God, loving others and serving the Kingdom, and what you need will become yours. (Matthew 6:33)
The more I let go of my agenda and perceived rights, the more I realize only what God wants is important, and the more I realize He will provide my every need if I but serve Him and others, the more I am blessed, and the more I live the life Christ talked about. I’m a long way from where I want to be, but I encourage you to come with me and lose your life so that it may be found.