Here is one of the hardest teachings of Jesus for us to live out. In Luke 9:24-25 Jesus said, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”
Most of life is about trying to gain our little piece of the pie or at the very least protect what we feel is owed to us in this life.
In the most recent Hunger Games movie, one of the characters has decided to give her life for the main character. She says something to the effect that the capital has already taken everything I love. Out of that emptiness she chooses to give her life for someone else. Someone who she is numbered with (a “victor”).
I mentioned this past weekend that I used to run from conflict and try to avoid it whenever possible. Here’s one of the reasons: I was protecting myself from being misunderstood, hurt, rejected. For me, avoiding conflict was all about me. That realization coupled with this teaching of Jesus, has helped me to let go of myself, my desires, my wants, what I think I deserve, even my dreams and serve and comfort those around me. And sometimes the best service to someone you love is to confront them.
It’s amazing how everything is tied to everything. We are truly complex people with strengths and weaknesses.
God, help me today to be God-focused and other-focused. I know that in laying my life down people may step on it or over it, but I also know that if I don’t, I will lose myself somewhere along the way and forget that this life is not about me.